How to Make Stickers with Printer: The Easy 7-Step Guide
Custom stickers can add even more fun and excitement whether you’ll be using the stickers for your scrapbooking project or gearing up to start a small business. How cool is it to have a sticker that nobody else does?! Very!
Check out this 7-step guide for easy sticker printing at home. We promise you that you’ll be printing out your very own custom sticker in no time at all.
Step 1: Check your printer
You don’t have to get into that age-old debacle around inkjet vs. laser printers. Whichever one you have at home should work out just fine and give you beautiful prints.
You do need to pay attention to your printer and make sure that you’ll only be using paper and inks or cartridges that are recommended by its makers. Go against that and you’ll be running the risk of smudging and damaging your printouts. Needless to say, failing to follow the manufacturer’s instructions may also damage the adhesive or overall sticker paper quality.
Step 2: Shop for inks or cartridges
If you have a laser printer, you’ll need to buy cartridges. Cartridges are made up of toner powder. It has its own inherent advantages, ensuring your colors won’t stock up during printing. That would be ideal for printing stickers for personal use or for lower volume printing.
In case you’re thinking about making sticker printing a regular hobby or, if you’re planning to start a small business, inkjet printers that are capable of making use of pigment inks are the way to go. That’s because in the long history of dye-based ink vs. pigment-based ink, the latter has won a worldwide reputation for longevity.
That means, sticker printouts made with pigment-based inks are more durable than to wear and tear, and likely to last longer under normal conditions.
Step 3. Pick a sticker paper
Simple sticker printing need not be complicated. There are dozens of paper sticker choices for you to choose from. Just make sure to mind the labels because they matter. Use laser paper for laser printers only and inkjet paper for inkjet printers only.
Then you’ll have to decide whether you’ll be designing stickers to fit pre-cut sticker paper or if you’d rather print on full page, uncut sticker paper. The precut design obviously has inherent advantages — the biggest one doing away with having to cut the stickers manually or with the aid of a machine.
You’ll also have a choice to either print on glossy or matte paper.
Step 4: Laminate (Optional)
This step is absolutely optional and only necessary if you’re printing all-weather, water-resistant sticker printouts. It’s always best to work with matte sticker paper if you go down this path.
However, you’ll also need lamination and with that, a laminating machine. These can significantly raise the cost per sheet of sticker paper — at least initially, until you’ve fully earned back the ROI for your purchases. Obviously, if you’re only printing for personal use, this process may not be the most suitable option for you.
Step 5: Start designing
For most people, designing is the biggest challenge they need to overcome. Especially if you want to make a cool design. It will be if you’ve never designed any graphic before or never had your chance to manipulate Adobe Photoshop.
Oh boy, you will love what we have got to tell you! It doesn’t matter — yeah your eyes aren’t deceiving you. You can design pretty much anything with any program of your choosing whether that be MS Word or Google Slides. There’s plenty of royalty-free vectors and images available on the Internet that you can work with. Our only advice is that you check user permissions, most especially if you’re planning to sell your stickers or distribute it in line with a public event. If you’re creating exclusively for gifting or personal use, pretty much sky’s the limit.
You might also want to check out web-based design software. Most of which have freemium services, which means that there’s a free version and features available only to paying customers. Right now, perhaps the most widely used SAAS (software as a service) is Canva. Don’t be afraid to try it. It’ll only take your good taste for design to learn the ropes — absolutely no prior experience or certification required!
And, if you’re still not comfortable handling graphics, have someone do it for you for just $5 or less! Absolutely possible. Find a suitable contractor on online job platforms like Upwork or Fiverr. The really talented ones can get you your graphic in under 1 hour.
Step 6: Print it!
At this stage, there’s nothing else left to do but to queue that file and start printing. Make sure you have the correct paper and ink or cartridge.
Most people also tend to forget their graphic software and printer settings — DON’T! Make sure that the alignments are correct and press “no margin” or “bleed” on your printer settings if that’s the finish you’re aiming for.
In any case, it’s always best to test 1 copy so you can see the final output before you queue multiple copies. If the test copy doesn’t come out right, you’ll have the chance to make necessary adjustments and avoid costly wastage.
Step 7: Cut It!
Make a decision about your final product presentation. Again, you may take this for granted if you’re only printing stickers for crafting or for personal purposes. However, product presentation is everything if you plan on selling your stickers.
If you’re printing full-page stickers, there might be no need for a cutter. If you need to size your stickers into squares or rectangles, you will need a cutter.
In case you’re working with more complex designs and prefer to cut it to shape, you’ll need a die cut machine to get that done or, you’ll have to do that manually which could be more wasteful in the long-term.
Checklist for How to Print Stickers
Here’s a short checklist that summarizes all the actionable items in this guide about how to make stickers with printer. Have it on hand the first few times and soon enough, you’ll know how to do it even with your eyes closed:
- Set your goals. What do you want a sticker for? If you’re considering crafting for business, you should definitely take a closer look at your budget. Some colors will be more expensive on your raw materials — ink in particular — than others.
- Check your printer. Mind what printer you have or plan to get. That will mostly determine what kinds of stickers you can make.
- Get the right inks or cartridges. Depending on your printer, get the compatible inks or cartridges.
- Choose the right sticker paper. Decide on what material you want to print out your stickers on. Some types of sticker paper are better used with laser printers, while others work better with inkjet printers. On the contrary, if you already have a printer, you might want to choose your paper accordingly.
- An optional step. Think about what final output you want to achieve. For instance, waterproof stickers require lamination. If you’re making stickers that you intend to use outdoors, you definitely need lamination.
- Design your stickers. Remember, if you can’t or won’t DIY it because you want to focus on other areas of your sticker business like marketing and promotion, you can always find help. Get someone to do it for you for a cheap dollar with a quick turnaround.
- Print! Make sure you have all the materials you need on-hand – always better with extras, believe it. If you’re expecting to print large volumes, you may want to sign up for printer programs where you pay for a subscription service that charges per page, not per cartridge. That could save you hard dollars in the long run.
- If it’s a full sheet printout, you can forget this step. Remember, if it’s a square or rectangle, it’s easier to cut. If you prefer die-cut, there’s a proper machine to achieve that.
The most fun part of all, stick it! If it’s for your business, we hope you’ll make lots and lots of clients proud of the endless customizations they can give to any surface or even space.
See how easy it is to get creative and stickin’? We sure hope this guide on how to make stickers with printer got your creative juices flowing. Now there’s only one thing left to do — go on and start creating beautiful stickers!