A tutorial by Indigo Cola
Today I’ve decided to share my process into how I personally make stickers. Now people have very different methods when it comes to doing this, and mine may not necessarily be the best way, or the most cost effective. It’s simply the way I do it, so read on if your new to this, and if you’re not maybe there’s something in here for you anyway.
*Generic disclaimer about how if you get into trouble this isn’t my fault*
You will need:
1. An image you’ve drawn/ wish to make into a sticker.
2. Avery White Full sheet Labels (8’1/2” by 11”)
3. Fellowes Self Adhesive Sheets (9” by 12”)
4. Computer & Printer / Scanner
** Items 2 & 3 can be purchased from any Staples for 16.99 & 10.99**
Step 1: Create an image you wish to make into a sticker
This can be edgy, or stupid, or cool or whatever you want. There are no rules to this, but I have found the more offensive an image, the faster it is destroyed (or taken down.) Which that shouldn’t stop you, but for your first time I wouldn’t suggest trying to start a revolution with your art . Crawl before you can walk, ya know? :)
Step 2: Scan your image
While this is self explanatory, I cannot stress how much better it is to scan your image rather than try to take a picture of it (And try to scan it at the highest quality possible). When its scanned the quality is significantly better and the image stays sharp depending on how you will distort it when you get closer to printing time. ***When I first started alot of the images I used I took with my camera phone and again, when I tried to make things bigger they didn’t look too good.***
*Feel free to add some digital pizzazz.. I always do :)*
Step 3: Print your image
I know as part of the aforementioned supplies I told you to make sure you have Avery label paper, but that shit (pardon my french) is expensive, and making a mistake will not only irritate you, you will also feel like you’ve lost money. (I mean they only give you 10 sheets). So to be safe, when your at the printing process, messing with your images size and how many times you want it duplicated on the page your printing, print it out on regular printer paper first.
The label sheets are also standard printer paper size so you will be able to get an idea of how it will come out with the real thing. Once your satisfied, replace the printer paper with the label paper and get printing!
Step 4: Laminate your image
Right now you’re probably super psyched at how your sticker page has come out, BUT WAIT YOU’RE NOT FINISHED YET! When I first began I would stop at Step 3 then simply cut them out, but my stickers would be exposed to the elements and only last a day or two at best. You need to laminate your stickers, so here is where the Fellowes Self adhesives come in.
Take a sheet of the Fellowes and peel it carefully from the back. (It will leave you with two sheets, a clear sticky transparency and a two sided page with a grid on one side and a glossy texture on the other) Place your label paper with the printed image on its glossy side. Then very carefully place the sticky clear sheet over the entire page. Be sure to do this on a flat surface, then take your hand and slowly swipe it along the page to make sure there aren’t any air bubbles. (Don’t get mad if you mess up, it takes practice, I’ve definitely messed up at this part at least 3 times now.)
Step 5: Cut out your image
On the backside of the page that your printed your image on there should be at least three lines running through it. Those are the peel off points. (If you bend the page and use your fingernails you should be able to take of the back part off along those lines….but you don’t want to do that yet!!) Instead hold up the page to the light and try to see if any of the lines go through the image. If they do great! Take your scissors and simply cut out your images. If not try to peel back the page partially then cut out your image, that way its easier to use it when the time comes. Inconvenient I know as it’s really hard to peel your sticker without going along the lines, but I always find that its impossible to print multiple images and not have at least one line run through them.
Step 6: Put up your stickers
Put them on babies, doors, ex’s, and gaming consoles, put them wherever you please! If your going to do it street art style, the back of street signs, pipes and anything metal I find works best. The lamination should help protect your work from the elements, so get out there and have fun!
Well then I hope all of this was helpful. I do have some alternative pointers and tips I’m going to leave below, if you have any suggestions or comments let me know.
1. Color images can be taxing on a home printer. In times where I want a color image, I take the digital copy of my colored image and email it to myself. From there I go to one of the many FedEx office stores and ask them to print it out for me. Its not too expensive and I feel a lot of people would rather waste FedEx’s ink than their own.
2. If an area has no other stickers there is probably a reason. And thats not me saying not to try to put your stuff up anyway, but a lot of cities have crews dedicated to making sure certain areas look pristine…so a sticker on city hall window may not be the best idea…especially if you want it to last.
3. Have fun :P