How to Make Custom Stickers: Full Guide
So you want to make stickers, huh. Well, there are many, many different ways to go about it.
1. USPS stickers.
You could draw your character/design/letters on usps stickers. This method is quick and easy and a lot of people like the look of the original design in the background. You can order up to 500 free stickers here online. When you draw onto the sticker, I suggest using paint markers. Molotow, decocolor, krink, OTR, sharpie paint, there are many to choose from. Simple sharpies or household markers may fade and run purple in the rain. You can also paint onto these stickers by hand or using a stencil.
2. Plain paper and carpet tape.
Carpet tape is a permanent double-sided tape. Same as the above applies, use water-proof, fade-proof markers. Draw the design onto the paper. Take your carpet tape and apply it to the back of the paper. Do not take the second side of the tape off yet. Make sure the whole back of your design is covered. You should not overlap them, otherwise when you later go to take the back off it won’t all come up. After you have covered the whole back side, now is when you cut each individual sticker out.
3. Professional printed vinyl stickers.
If you have enough money laying around you can go to a place like sticker giant. You will need to have a clean digital vector/EPS copy of your design. If you do not have access to a vector program to make your design you will need to find a good printing service that allows jpeg’s or you to send a hard copy in.
4. Using vinegar and and elmers glue.
These will be a stamp like sticker that you will need to spray lightly with water before you put it up. There is a great instruction manuel here that will teach step by step how to make permanent stickers with materials you probably have laying around your house.
5. Finally, my way.
For this you will need
- label sheets (you can get them 100 sheets for $10 here. If you are willing to throw down more you can also buy their weatherproof/vinyl-like or colored set)
- laser printer, inkjet printer, paint, or markers (depending on you)
- packaging tape, matte finish spray, or latex (optional)
- scissors a/o exacto
- a card or something like it to burnish
Design: First thing you will need to do is create the actual design for your stickers. When you draw your designs or print them onto the label sheets make sure you fit as many as possible onto each sheet. That way you get more bang for your buck. Start drawing in a corner rather than in the middle of the sheet.
Printing: If you are printing out your design it is preferred to use a laser printer. This is because the ink will be burnt into the paper rather than laid on top as it would be with an inkjet and it will make it completely water proof. It is possible to use an inkjet printer when making these stickers, but the following step will not be optional if you want your stickers to be durable and last.
Waterproofing: After you have your designs all drawn/printed out it is time to choose whether you want it to have a matte or glossy finish. This is the most optional step because if your stickers were printed with a laser printer or drawn with waterproof markers you do not need to do either of the following choices, but it definitely does not hurt.
-Your first option to make your stickers waterproof is to laminate your sheet of designs with clear packaging tape. This will create slightly noticeable lines in your finished product but what the fuck ever. You should do with each individual sticker in mind. You should make sure that each design is completely covered by the tape. While laying down the tape, do it with precision. Start on one side and slowly lay it down pushing it with a card avoiding creating any bubbles. If a bubble occurs it may be able to be saved by slitting it with a knife and pushing the air out.
-If you need to waterproof your stickers but don’t like that method you can use a finishing product instead to have a more matte finish. You will need to go to a store like Wal-mart or hardware store that sells “Matte Finish” or “Glossy Finish” spray. Use either of these to spray an even, light coat over your sheets. After the first coat wait at least five minutes to add another. Keep doing this at least four times.
-Another option is to use clear latex. This could come in a large tube, small paint can, or large paint can. It is available in hardware stores and places alike. Use a sponge brush to put an even coat over your sheets. You can do this once or twice depending on how much you put on.
Cutting out: After your sheets of stickers are waterproof and dry it is time to cut them out. You can obviously do this any way you prefer. Scissors or an exacto knife may work best depending on the shape.
Storage: To store your stickers before you put them up try to keep them in a flat area. It could be in a sketchbook, blackbook, small container, or in your back pocket with flat object. That way when you take off the back of the label to put it up it will be nice and easy.
Application: Stickers are a preferred form of graffiti for most because it is convenient. You can take as long as you need to in making them and yet put them up and be out of there in a matter of seconds. Just remove the backing (or wet it depending on the type of sticker you decided to make) and put that sucker up. Obviously make sure you push it all down paying most attention to the edges. With most stickers, the smoother the surface the better it will stick.
6. Your way.
You can use any of these instructions or combination of which to make your stickers how ever you please. You may develop even more ways, but always keep in mind; make it waterproof and make it buffproof and keep getting up.
7. Spread this guide around. The more who see it, the more it will help.