Printing your own stickers is fun and easy! You don’t need any special equipment. As long as you have a computer, printer, and high-quality sticker vinyl, you have everything you need. Today we’ll walk through two of the most accessible programs for making stickers: Word and Avery. Chances are, you already have these programs, or can access them for free/cheap.
One of the easiest sticker design programs to use is Microsoft Word. Word is a document processing program that is part of Microsoft Office. You can use it as a sticker design program because it is easy to size and copy images and use label templates in this platform. Okay, we know this isn’t a “sticker design program” per se, but it has plenty of features that make sticker printing a breeze. For the purpose of this tutorial, we’ll be discussing Word 2016 (.docx) but the methods are similar for other version of Word.
How to work with images in Word
Word isn’t about photo/image manipulation like Photoshop, but it’s where you can size, copy, drag, or group images. Word, when used as a sticker design program, works best for images that are ready to print. That being said, some light editing can be done in Word such as sizing and cropping. To work with images in Word:
- On the toolbar, choose insert, then click the pictures icon. This opens your file box on your computer. Select the image of your choice and click the insert button on the bottom of the dialogue box.
- Now your photo is in your document; it can be a bit hard to work with. It doesn’t move easily and displaces other elements you have on your page. To fix this, click the image (you know it is selected when it is surrounded by the little circles that you can use to resize it) and the picture format option shows up on your toolbar. Open the picture format toolbar. Select the wrap text option, and choose through or in front of text. Now you can move the image easier.
- You can resize your image using those aforementioned circles. To maintain the ratios, use the corner handles to uniformly shrink or grow the image. Or, click the picture format option on the tool bar and use the manual sizing option on the far right.
- To rotate your image, click on it. A curved arrow appears at the top. Hover the mouse over this curved arrow until your mouse changes to a black curved arrow. Click and rotate the image.
- To crop when using Word as a sticker design program, click the image, open your picture format toolbar, and select the crop button, which is on the far right. A series of black bars appear on the corner and sides of the image. Use the mouse to slide these bars. When you release the bar, the part you have slid over is cropped out.
- Don’t be shy about playing around with other options on the picture format toolbar. If you make a mistake, simply press Ctrl+Z to undo your last action. Try applying an automatic picture style, increase the transparency, recolor or greyscale, or add artistic effects. All of these options can be selected using the icons on the picture format toolbar.
Printing from Word
Word, as a sticker design program, makes printing easy. When your image is ready, load your sticker vinyl into the printer. You may want to do a test sheet of plain paper marked with an X so you know if your printer needs to load with the backing sheet facing up or down. Also ensure that you have the right type of paper. Sticker vinyl is formulated for inkjet or laser printers; check the package before you buy to ensure you have the right one!
Now that your sticker vinyl is loaded:
- Choose file on your toolbar in Word, then click the print button.
- You’ll have a few basic options in your print dialog boxes, such as printing in greyscale, printing multiple pages, etc. But basically, if your image is all sized up, ready to go, and placed on the page where you want it, just hit the big print button on the top of the dialogue box.
That’s it! You’ve used Word as a sticker design program. All that is left is to peel the backing off and use your sticker.
Avery is best known as a label maker and a seller of blank packages of labels. This actually makes them an excellent sticker design program as well. Avery’s pre-set templates mean you can simply drop your image onto the page and populate it across the label template. For a full sheet of identical, perfectly spaced out labels, Avery is the sticker design program of choice.
How to use Avery’s templates as a sticker design program
To use Avery as a sticker design program, you will first need to know what type of sticker (size, shape) you want to create. You’ll need Avery or compatible labels sheets, or full sheets of printable sticker vinyl. Again, ensure whatever you are using is compatible with your laser or inkjet printer.
If you are using sheets of precut labels, they will likely be paper-based with an adhesive backing. You can enhance the durability and waterproofing of your sticker by using a laminating sheet. These adhesive sheets are great for small, DIY batches of stickers. If you need to quickly laminate hundreds of pages, you can find more options at your local copy shop. See our blog on this topic for more details: www.royalelements.com/what-is-the-difference-between-a-laminating-sheet-and-a-laminating-pouch.
Once you have decided if you will be printing on sticker vinyl or using precut labels and laminating the sheet, go to www.avery.com.
- On the upper portion of the page is a list of drop down options; choose templates.
- Clicking on templates opens up a variety of options. Search by shape or what the sticker will be used for (shipping, CD label, etc.).
- Alternately, you can use the design and print function that automates the layout process and gives you the option to print the labels yourself, or have them printed (for a fee) from Avery.
To get the best out of Avery, you’ll need to set up an account. Some templates and services are free, others have a cost. Either way, you may find the walk-through design process easier if you are not ready to use Word as sticker design program. If you like the idea of using labels as a template, Word has built-in label templates too – however, Avery’s walk-through design features make using their label templates a bit easier.
You can use Word or Avery as a sticker design program. Word has options on its picture format toolbar that, with some practice, make it easy to size, recolor, crop, and shape your design. You can lay out a sheet of stickers or make one or two large stickers. Choose printable sticker vinyl that is compatible with your laser or inkjet, and simply print, cut, and enjoy. Avery has templates and a design studio. Some features are accessible only to account holders. Some Avery features are free, others require payment. The label templates and design features are very user-friendly and a good option for those not as computer-savvy. When using precut label sheets, use lamination to make your stickers more durable and waterproof.
Using Word or Avery as sticker design programs means you can make stickers anytime you want. Royal Elements sells printable vinyl for both laser and inkjet printers, laminating sheets, and more in our online store. 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).