Hi everyone! I’m back to the blog with a highly requested topic and I hope to be more active here this year!
Let’s talk about sticker making! Before we get into the nitty-gritty, we should chat about why you may or may not want to make your own stickers. If you’re starting your own small business you may want to consider if making your own products is right for you.
PROS and CONS of making your own stickers
♥ You can make small quantities cheaply
Manufacturers often have MOQs (Minimum Order Quantities) and if you’re just getting started, it can be a bad idea to order a large quantity of one design! I think it’s better to try out small quantities of lots of different designs first and see which ones really take off. You don’t want to get stuck with 100 stickers that don’t sell!
♥ You can make new designs quickly
You can design a new sticker, print it, and have it ready for you shop the same day!
♥ It’s cheaper! (eventually)
It’s expensive to invest in equipment and materials initially, but after you’ve made back your investment, making your own stickers is cheaper than any manufacturer I’ve found!
♥ It can be really frustrating
The equipment used to print and cut stickers is SO finicky and things do go wrong. Be prepared to get frustrated and waste material, especially at the beginning!
♥ It’s a big investment to get started
But I do think it’s worth it!
The biggest con of making your own stickers has to be the time and manual labor! It is a pretty slow and laborious process, but if you’re starting your business from scratch it’s worth it to put in the time now so that someday when you’ve built up your business you can have someone else do the manufacturing for you!
Ok, now let’s get into the fun stuff.
HOW TO MAKE STICKERS
My current setup includes:
I highly recommend Brother printers because I’ve had so few issues with them (printers can really be demons sometimes) and I love their cheap, high yield ink cartridges. This printer is super slow but does a great job. Do your research on which printer might be best for you!
This is a compact, affordable cutting machine that’s a great place to start! I like the software that Silhouette uses and it doesn't take a paid subscription.
♥ Cutting Mats
Cutting machines require sticky mats to feed your sticker paper into the machine and I prefer this brand over the Silhouette brand!
♥ Sticker paper
I use the brand Online Labels and my current favorite is their matte vinyl, but they also have more affordable varieties I’d recommend if you’re just getting started. Just keep in mind that glossy paper is usually trickier to use with cutting machines, so I like to stick with matte.
♥ Clear weather-proof vinyl overlay
You can buy this from online sign shops and it’s essential in making waterproof stickers in-house. If you’re printing on “waterproof” vinyl sticker paper with an ink-jet printer, it’s not fully waterproof until you’ve sealed it with an overlay. I use this one.
Find everything I use in my Amazon shop here!
1. Design your stickers however you’d like! I draw mine on an Ipad with the app Procreate.
2. Use the software that comes with your cutting machine to create printable sheets of your designs.
3. Print! With any new printer or sticker paper, you’re going to have to play around with your settings. I’ve found that for my printer and sticker paper, printing on the “photo paper highest quality” setting produces the best quality.
4. If you're making waterproof stickers, apply the clear overlay after printing and before cutting
5. Time to cut! You’re going to have to do a lot of experimenting with your Silhouette machine. They’re extremely tricky. Play with different blade depths and make sure you pay attention to how much direct or indirect light is shining on your machine. If your machine won’t read your registration marks, adjust your ambient lighting and how you feed the mat into the machine. If your cut lines are off, calibrate your machine or check to make sure your printer is feeding properly (not crooked).
If you found this post helpful, please consider checking out my shop or using my Amazon affiliate links when you purchase any equipment I've mentioned. Thanks so much!