Kids love stickers. Who can blame them? Stickers are fun, especially when they have sparkles or are cut into cool shapes. Stickers brighten children’s spaces, and it’s not uncommon to see kids swap stickers on the playground or at school.
Here are 5 easy steps on how to make one-of-a-kind stickers for your kiddos.
Step 1. Make Custom Graphics
If you’re the creative type, you can draw personalized stickers and import the images to your computer, either by scanning (the best results are achieved by scanning at 300 DPI) or taking a picture of them.
Helpful Hint → Steady your camera with a tripod or other stable surface, make sure there’s even lighting, and keep the ISO value low to avoid noise.
It doesn’t matter what tools you have at your disposal (e.g., pencils, markers, photographs, or vector images). Just make sure to keep the original image as clean as possible, because it will make the editing and printing stages much easier.
If you have experience or time to learn, you can make the design for your own sticker directly in a graphics editor, like I did here (in which I used Adobe Photoshop CS5).
Step 2. Or Select a Stock Image
If designing or drawing isn’t your strength, or if you don’t have time to mess around with art supplies, you can get graphics from ‘microstock’ sites as Fotolia, Dreamstime, Bigstockphoto, or Cutcaster.
There are also many sites that give away stock images for free, as Stockvault, Stock.xchnge, and Deviantart. Make sure to read their rules before downloading and printing.
Step 3. Tweak the Design
With your software of choice, create a document that will match your paper specs: if you’re using A4 paper, make a new document that will match the specs of the paper you are using (see Step 5 for more on printing). If you’re using an advanced image or vector graphics editor like Photoshop, Illustrator, or their free equivalents —GIMP and Inkscape — you can trace your sketch with the pen tool to make it look cleaner.
If the original image is clean enough (see Step 1), you can simply adjust the brightness, contrast, and saturation or apply filters and effects to make the colors more vibrant. If you’re using a stock image, it’ll probably be enough to open your file without making significant changes — apart from resizing it to fit your document.
Step 4. Prepare the File
Your sticker will likely be smaller than the size of the average sheet of paper, so in order to minimize costs, copy and paste your design in the document until the whole document area is entirely filled. Depending on your design, you’ll be able to accommodate a variable number of stickers in it. Leave enough space around the borders to ensure no detail will be cut off in the printing stage. Test your settings on a sheet of plain paper and make adjustments if necessary.
TIP: We recommend working in CMYK color mode and calibrating the screen and printer to ensure colors will turn out accurate.
Step 5. Print Them Out
Printing stickers at home is simple, and there many different ways to do it. Some people print their stickers on different types of paper, then spread liquid gelatin or glue on their back to make them adhesive. You can also buy a pack of sticker paper from your local office and computer supplies shop or online stores like Amazon. Apply a layer of clear laminate over the printed sheets of paper if you want to make the stickers waterproof. After that, you can cut them out with scissors or an X-Acto knife. Of course, you can always use a professional printing service, which will take care of the paper and printing part for you.
If you have children, you probably know what their tastes and interests are, so coming up with an appealing concept won’t be hard for you. We hope these simple tips will help you through the actual process of creating your stickers from scratch.