8 EASY Ways to Make DIY Stickers and Custom T-Shirts!

8 EASY Ways to Make DIY Stickers and Custom T-Shirts!

Whether it’s your hobby, your business, your job as a teacher or activity planner, or just something you do to relax, sticker crafts can be part of your life. Thanks to today’s many options of sticker vinyl and the countless affordable tools on hand to make, print, and cut stickers, anyone can discover the fun and relaxing ways sticker crafts can enhance your life.

In this blog we will explore some of the sticker crafts you can make, but first, let’s make sure you have everything you need on hand.

8 Crafting Materials for Making Stickers and Image Transfers

The first thing you need is high quality sticker vinyl. If you have tried to make stickers in the past, you may be thinking of those white sheets of printer paper with a peel-away backing. Sticker paper has come so far since then! Now you can get a wide variety of sticker vinyl for any type of project.

  • Matte white printable sticker vinyl: a non-shiny surface and a white background. Great for clip art, kids’ crafts, and indoor signs.
  • Clear printable sticker vinyl: transparent with no visible residue. Use this when you want the surface of what you place your sticker on to come through. Great for open designs on things like tumblers.
  • Glossy sticker printable vinyl: can come in white or clear. Has a high-shine finish. A good option when printing photos on sticker paper.
  • Waterproof vinyl: choose this when your design will be exposed to the elements or dishwasher. Great for cups, vases, bumper stickers, and outdoors signs.
  • Laminating sheets: if you don’t have waterproof vinyl for your sticker crafts, you can top the printout with a laminating sheet before cutting to increase the durability.
  • Waterslide decal paper: when making sticker crafts that have to be positioned before the adhesive dries, choose waterslide. This decal’s adhesive has a slower drying time so you can slide the sticker around until you are happy with its placement.
  • Heat transfer sheets: for iron on decals. Like printable vinyl, heat transfer sheets have come a long way. Today’s transfer sheets are designed to last through wear and tear, washing and drying, and come with protective backings to prevent gumming up your printer. Choose heat transfer vinyl when making t-shirts, caps, kerchiefs, and other sticker crafts on light or dark fabric.
  • Magnetic adhesive sheets: there is no need to transfer your sticker to a magnet when you can print it right onto magnetized paper. Magnetic adhesive sheets are great for fridge magnets, and it also sticks to cars. They are a nice blend of rubber and magnetic material, ensuring your design is flexible and magnetically active.DIY
laminating sheet infographic how to waterproof DIY vinyl stickers

What Printer to Use (for printable vinyl and printable heat transfer vinyl)

Adhesive printable vinyl is compatible with most home inkjet or laser printers. If you do not have access to a printer, find your nearest copy shop. Most have USB ports on their printers so you can bring your design in digitally (or email it to them) and then use your sticker vinyl in their printer. Just be sure to ask ahead of time if you can use your own paper and if that is okay, let them help you load it. Industrial machines need to be loaded correctly to prevent time-consuming paper jams.

A Heat Press or Iron

If using heat transfer paper, you will need a heat source. A household iron will do. Also have a heat-resistant flat surface like an ironing board or protected countertop to work on. Safety first! Never leave your heat source unattended.

Design Software

There is no need to buy expensive design software. All you need is a way to get the design you want from your computer to your printer. You can work in Word, Canva, Avery Templates, Photoshop, or any other program that lets you draw, size, download, and move your designs. If you want to make stickers with your own art, all you’ll need is a scanner that turns your paper into a .jpeg, .tiff or similar digital format.

Scissors or a Cricut®

Sticker crafts made on conventional sticker vinyl can easily be cut with a pair of scissors. However, for the avid crafter, small business owner, or someone that wants to cut out complicated designs, a Cricut is worth the investment.

Fun and Easy Sticker Crafts

Now that you have everything you need, you can get started making sticker crafts.

DIY Journal/Bullet Journal

Journaling has so many practical applications, from helping you manage your mental health to maintaining gratitude, tracking food choices, recording dreams, writing poetry, or capturing daily musings. Bullet journals, the highly visual journals filled with colorful cues, are all the rage right now, but instead of buying a ready-made one, you can create your own personalized bullet journal.

  • From the dollar or stationary store choose a blank journal that appeals to you.
  • How will you use your journal? Food tracking? Thoughts and dreams?
  • Once you decide on the purpose, find, create, draw, or source art that fits your theme. This can be anything from motivational words like “I did it!” and “breathe” to reminders like “time to drink water” or “gold star for five veggies today.”
  • Lay out your designs on the software of your choice, print, and cut them out.

That’s it! Now you have a one-of-a-kind journal that is perfect just for you.

clear printable vinyl image of turtle on tumbler

Cups and Tumblers

Personalized tumblers are also popular right now with many sellers online willing to create one with your name or a graphic that is important to you. However, thanks to printable vinyl, you can easily make tumblers, cups, sippy cups, and more on your own. This way you can make a matching set for the family, or something special for yourself.

  • Find a good quality cup, sippy cup, or tumbler.
  • For this sticker craft, choose printable vinyl with a laminating sheet, or waterproof printable vinyl.
  • Create your design.
  • Print, cut, and apply.

Brides-to-be, this is a great gift for your bridesmaids. Parents, personalized cups are wonderful stocking stuffers at Christmas.

infographic of printable heat transfer vinyl t shirt transfer paper

T-Shirts

It’s hard to express yourself when you can’t find the clothing with the design or saying you want. You can create your tasteful t-shirts, hats, and clothing decals with heat-transfer vinyl.

  • Craft stores like Michael’s carry plain cotton shirts, kerchiefs, hats, aprons, etc. in light and dark colors.
  • Design your saying, decal, or artwork.
  • Print onto heat transfer paper.
  • Heat an iron or heat press to the temperature listed on the sticker vinyl package.
  • Carefully apply the heat to the transfer sheet as directed. It should only take 15-30 seconds to transfer the design to the fabric.

Family reunion? This is a great way to affordably make commemorative t-shirts.

Reminder Boards

Keep your personal projects, work life, family chores, or homework organized with your own customized reminder board.

  • You can use magnetized vinyl for this sticker craft if you want your reminder board to be on the fridge.
  • Decide what kind of reminder board you need and create your grid that shows days, projects, or whatever you are trying to keep track of.
  • Design the accompanying stickers: reward stars, red flags, food items, check marks – whatever visual cues you need for your board.
  • Print and cut your stickers.
  • Install your board and keep the stickers in a nearby envelope or on your desk.

Bumper Stickers

Have an honor student? Want to proclaim a political affiliation? A fan of a particular band? Express yourself with a bumper sticker.

  • Choose waterproof printable or adhesive vinyl. You can always laminate over top of your bumper sticker to completely waterproof it
  • Use the design software of your choice to make your bumper sticker.
  • Print and cut your sticker, or cut out your adhesive vinyl with your Cricut or Silhouette die-cutting machine.
  • Using a soft cloth or damp paper towel, carefully clean and dry the area where the sticker will adhere on your vehicle.
  • Ensure the area is complete dry and free of grit or dirt before proceeding.
  • Carefully place the sticker. Smooth it down with the heel of your hand or a rubber squeegee.

Conclusion

There are many different kinds of sticker crafts you make on your own by using today’s high-quality, durable, long-lasting sticker vinyl. Sticker paper and heat transfer paper is nothing like it was in the past. Now, thanks to the increasing number of makers (and makerspaces), sticker vinyl is a popular product designed to work with digital design software, high-impact color printers, cotton and linen fabrics, and crafting accessories like the Cricut.

There are many different types of vinyl available for your sticker crafts. In fact, there is a type of vinyl whether you want small stickers for a journal, large stickers for bumpers, stickers that can get wet, stickers that will be peeled away, and more. These sticker crafts are great to make personalized products or gifts.

If you are new to making sticker crafts, you’ll find all the information you need online along with the best quality of sticker vinyl on Amazon, where you can get one or two packs for small projects or subscription packs of sticker vinyl for ongoing projects or small businesses.

Get Featured Online

How will you use your sticker crafts? The only limit is your imagination. We would love to see what you come up with. When using Royal Elements sticker paper and posting your projects to social media, please use the hashtag #royalelementsstickers so we can see and enjoy the results and feature you on Royal Elements’ social media.

If you are an influencer, avid crafter, or want to be an affiliate, we would like to hear from you. Email us at info@royalelements.com, tell us a little about yourself and where we can find you on social media. If we are a match, we’ll get in touch.

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