Making stickers is fun and easy, and there are a variety of trends you can try from kawaii to popular affirmations. But, have you ever tried making vinyl photo stickers? If not, you should! Vinyl photo stickers are a great way to customize stickers for your own use, or to make to give to friends. You can even turn your photo stickers into fridge or locker magnets. This blog will discuss, step-by-step, how to make and enjoy vinyl photo stickers. Ready? Let’s begin!
What you need to make vinyl photo stickers
To make vinyl photo stickers, you need:
- Blank printable vinyl
- A computer or laptop
- An inkjet or laser printer
- Photographs, digital or printed
Note that printable vinyl is sold formulated for inkjet or laser printers; you can’t use inkjet vinyl in a laser printer and vice versa. This is because laser printers use heat to transfer images, while inkjets use a spray method. Vinyl is formulated to best retain the images based on the printer’s settings. Using the wrong vinyl lowers the quality of the final result and can cause issues within your printer.
If using digital photographs, all you will need to do to make your vinyl photo stickers is drag-and-drop, import, or copy-and-paste into a template. We’ll get into that more below, but if you are using printed photos, you must scan them first.
Scanning printed photos
You may have a trove of old family snapshots to turn into vinyl photo stickers, or you may have a treasured pet portrait or wedding photo that you want as a sticker. First you must transform the photo into a digital file by scanning it.
Most home printers have a scanning function; simply follow the manufacturer’s directions. If you have a large batch of photos or no scanner at home, you can take your photos to a copy centre and have them put on a USB drive or other portable digital medium. You can even use your smartphone as a scanner as apps for scanning are available on both the iOs and Android platforms.
How to make your vinyl photo stickers
Step 1: Open a template. You can find label-based templates in Word, Avery.com, Canva, and other online programs. You can also use a plain Word doc as a template if you are making sheets of non-identical stickers. Most templates have a function to replicate a cell, meaning you only have to place your graphic once and it is populated across the sheet, but if you only need a few, or non-identical stickers, a Word document is fine.
Step 2: Import or copy and paste your picture into the template or onto the Word document. Alternately, most applications will have an “insert” function. Choose “insert” and select the digital file from your computer, USB drive, or cloud storage location.
Step 3: In this optional step, you can manipulate the image. Use several pictures to make a vinyl photo sticker collage, or use the program’s edit features to greyscale, soften, sharpen, crop, or resize the photo.
Step 4: Time to print. To ensure you don’t waste your first sheet when you make vinyl photo stickers, take a plain piece of printer paper and mark an X on it. This X is the clear, shiny side of the sheet. Place it X side up and print a test page that contains text only (like the word “test”). This way you save on ink during your test run. If the word test appears on the X side, place the vinyl clear side up in your printer. If the word text appears on the other side, flip the vinyl so the clear side is facing down. Print your photo vinyl stickers.
Step 6: Cut out your design. Use scissors for easy-to-cut shapes, and a crafting tool like the CriCut® for more complicated shapes.
Step 7: Now your vinyl photo sticker is ready to use. Simply peel away the protective backing and place your sticker on the desired surface.
Vinyl photo stickers: your options
You can make vinyl photo stickers with a glossy or matte finish. Also available are magnetic adhesive sheets. To use these for your vinyl photo stickers, simply peel off the backing from the sticker and adhere it to the right side of the magnetic sheet. Then peel off the magnet’s backing, and you have a photo magnet ready to use.
Waterslide decal paper comes in clear and white. It is a type of vinyl with a slow setting adhesive. This way, if you are making a photo collage or are trying to center your design, you can slide it into place without having to pull it up and reattach.
Your vinyl photo stickers are naturally durable, but you can increase the durability and resistance to water by adding a laminating sheet.
Ideas for vinyl photo stickers
You can make vinyl photos stickers for:
- Locker, fridge, wall décor
- To personalize items, especially for children that may not know how to read their name
- Organization (such as a photo of what is inside boxes when moving or placing in storage, with the sticker on the box; or storing shoes in boxes with a photo of the shoe on the box)
- Gifts for friends
- Small vinyl photo stickers for to-do charts or bullet journals
- You are only limited by your imagination!
You can make your own vinyl photo stickers. All you need is printable sticker vinyl, a computer or laptop, and a printer. Use digital files, like pictures on your phone or computer, or scan photos to turn them into digital files. A template can save you time when making sheets of identical stickers. A plain Word document is fine for laying out large or non-identical stickers. Do a quick test using a plain sheet of paper marked with an X to determine if you need to load the vinyl sheets shiny side up or down. Cut out your vinyl photo stickers once printed, and they are ready to use. You can enhance the look, feel, and durability of your vinyl photo stickers by choosing glossy or matte paper, adding a laminating sheet, using waterslide to prevent sticking/unsticking upon placement, or using a magnetic sheet to make photo magnets. There are many ways to use your new vinyl photo stickers. Have fun and enjoy!
Ready to make vinyl photo stickers? Royal Elements sells printable sticker vinyl for both laser and inkjet printers in our online store and our blog has plenty of design tips. We love to see the projects you make using Royal Elements products. Post your results online with the hashtag #royalelementsstickers so we can feature your designs on our social networks (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube). Visit https://www.amazon.com/royalelements and https://www.royalelements.com/ today to learn more.