Do you love decorating and personalizing things like lockers, water bottles, mugs, or any other surface that needs some spicing up? Maybe you're just into crafts and making things yourself rather than buying them. If so, then learning how to print vinyl stickers for yourself might be your next obsession.
You can customize your belongings by learning to print vinyl stickers. Once you have the process down, you might even start a new business if you're good at it.
You can also design your own advertisements for your own business or band if you want to.
Printing vinyl stickers is relatively easy, and it can be a fun DIY project to pick up as a hobby.
Keep reading to learn how to print vinyl stickers at home.
How to Print Vinyl Stickers - The Whole Process
Let’s take a second to get a bird's eye view of the steps necessary for printing your own vinyl stickers.
Step One: Get All the Tools
It is important to have all the necessary tools and instruments required for printing vinyl stickers at hand. A list of what you will need is given below.
- Printable Vinyl: This should be available in any stationery shop. It is different from normal vinyl as it contains a unique layer on one side on which you can print easily.
- A Clear Laminate for the Vinyl: This is to make the stickers laminated and make them last longer.
- A Design or an Editing Software: Any software of your preference will do the trick.
- Inkjet Printer: You can use the ones that are made for heavier papers. That way, your printer won't get stuck.
- Cutting Machine with a Cutting Mat: This is to cut the printable vinyl into the shape of the stickers.
- A Hard Object: The object should be like a scraper to hold the laminate in place and to eliminate air bubbles.
Once you have the required tools, we can move on to the next step.
Step Two: Design Your Sticker
You can get an idea for your design if you do a 'google search' in google image. If you have already thought about your design, you can draw it using the design software.
It is, however, recommended for newbies to draw it out on paper first. You don't need extensive details, only a basic outline of your design will do.
Next, using a scanner, upload your design on the computer software, and take it from there. Remember to keep the resolution to a minimum of 300 pixels every 1 inch.
If you don't have a scanner, then just draw the design from the beginning on the computer. You will notice that drawing on the paper first was indeed a huge help.
And it is a good practice to keep your designs simple and colorful, for the first few times. You can move on to more complicated designs once you are used to your designing software and work more efficiently.
Step Three: Get It Ready to Print
Once you are done with the design, open a new page in your designing software and adjust the size according to the size of the printable vinyl.
Next, copy and paste your design on the new page, keeping in mind not to let it touch the margin, or else it won't get printed the right way.
Paste the design as many times as the number of copies you want. Arrange the design in rows taking care to not let them get out of the margin.
Then click on 'print preview'. This will give you a view of how your printed stickers will look. If you're happy with it, then move on to the next step.
Step Four: Print out the Stickers
Put the printable vinyl papers in the printer machine. Make sure the papers are 8 inches by 11 inches in dimensions, and the matted side is getting printed on.
In your designing software, look for the 'print' option and click on it. Now, you only have to wait a few seconds for the stickers to come out on the other side of the printer machine.
Step Five: Make the Stickers Long-Lasting
Regular vinyl stickers can last for about 6 months to a year, and even less if they are not waterproofed. It will not do if the newly made stickers for your coffee mugs don't survive more than 2 or 3 washings.
You can make them last longer if you laminate them properly. This will also give your stickers a professional edge.
Take the clear laminate and peel off the back layer from an edge to about an inch or so. Align the edges of the laminate and the sheet of printed stickers.
Press the laminate on top of the sheet as you peel off the layer completely so that the laminate sticks to the printed sheet.
Use a tool like a scraper or a hard object to wipe out the air bubbles from between the laminate and the printed sheet.
Step Six: Cut out the Stickers and Use
Cut out the laminated stickers from the sheets in a square or a round shape using scissors. You can also cut them according to the outline of the stickers.
A cutting machine can also be used to cut the stickers. It is easier to just let the machine do all the work, and it also saves a lot of time.
When it is done, peel off the backing and press on the surface of the object you want to decorate. Smooth out the vinyl stickers to exclude any air bubbles between them.
Now that you know how to print vinyl stickers, go on and label those salt, sugar, and spices containers and give your belongings such as your phone or laptop a new look at minimum cost.
Printed vinyl stickers look very professional at a low cost if they are well made. With beautiful designs decorating your phone or laptop, it won't be long before you are at your computer, printing new stickers again for your family and friends.