Have you run out of stamps? As long as your items will fit through a letterbox, there’s no need for a time-consuming trip to the Post Office. Here’s how to print out postage stamps and address labels at home.

All you need is a PC and a printer. You don’t even need special A4 sheets of sticky labels, as you can print onto plain paper and use sticky tape to attach it to your package.

Royal Mail doesn’t exactly make it a breeze to print your first stamp, but once you’ve set up your account (the process we’ll explain here), it’s much faster next time.

Step 1: Head to www.royalmail.com in your browser – we’re using Google Chrome, but you can use Internet Explorer or something else. Scroll down (if necessary) and click on Buy and print postage online.

Print postage stamps from your PC Step 1

Step 2: On the next screen click the red Buy Postage Online button and on the next screen click the red Register button on the right. Enter your details, scrolling down as you go, entering your address and finally ticking your preferences for contact from Royal Mail and third parties.

Print postage stamps from your PC Step 2

Step 3: You will be taken back to the screen where you clicked the Register button, but since you’re now logged in, click the Get Started button.

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Step 4: Choose how you want to print your postage stamps: on sticky labels, envelopes or plain A4. For each, choose the specific size or layout. We chose ‘A4 4 per page’. Then click Continue.

Print postage stamps from your PC Step 4

Step 5: This step is only relevant if you’ve chosen an A4 sheet, as you’re asked to decide where to start printing. This matters only if you intend to re-insert the sheet later on and print more labels. Click Continue.

Print postage stamps from your PC Step 5

Step 6: Enter the address to which the letter should be sent. You can save this to your address book by ticking the box at the bottom so that you don’t have to enter it next time. Click Continue.

Print postage stamps from your PC Step 6

Step 7: Weigh your package so you know the total weight of the item and wrapping, and then enter the weight on the next screen. If you can’t weigh it, use the Sample weight and Size format options on the page. You can also choose additional compensation, guaranteed delivery and a signature on delivery. Once you’ve filled out the details, click Continue.

Print postage stamps from your PC Step 7

Step 8: Choose a postage service from the list. The prices shown are appropriate to your parcel’s weight and size. Click Continue.

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Step 9: You’ll see a summary screen where you can check the details before adding the order to your basket. If everything is Ok, click Add to basket. Now tick to confirm your package doesn’t contain any prohibited or restricted items (or declare if it does), tick to say you’ve read the Ts & Cs and click Confirm and Pay.

Print postage stamps from your PC Step 9

Step 10: You have to use a pre-pay system to pay for postage, so click Continue and choose a top-up amount (the minimum is £3.50). Click Continue and enter your debit or credit card details. After clicking through, and entering any extra security details required by your bank, you will see a confirmation page.

Print postage stamps from your PC Step 10

Step 11: Click Continue twice and then the Print Postage button (you can click Create test page if you want to do some test prints first). As we’re using Chrome, the PDF of our label appears in a new tab. It’s then a case of pressing Ctrl-P to bring up the printing options, choosing the correct printer and paper size, and clicking Print to get the all-in-one postage stamp and address label. If you’re not using Chrome the PDF might open in Adobe Reader, or be saved as a file in your downloads folder, which you can open and print using any PDF reader software.

Print postage stamps from your PC Step 11

Bear in mind that these stamps have a post-by date, so you need to head to a post box within 24 hours.