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Here is an easy way to make your own waterproof stickers. You can follow along if you have a Cricut machine, or you can even cut them out by hand! The Cricut machine just makes the process easier.
In this method, I’ll show you how to make a full page of cricut stickers instead of the measly half-page that wastes SO much black ink with that registration box!
I have a full video of the process on this page, but you can also follow along with the written steps below! 😊
Before we start, you’ll need the following supplies:
- An inkjet or laser printer* (I’m using a Canon Pixma Pro-100)
- Photoshop & Procreate, or a similar drawing program
- Vinyl Sticker paper**
- A Cricut Machine (I’m using the Cricut Explore Air 2) OR scissors/a pen knife if you don’t own a cricut
- Optional: Self-Adhesive clear laminate (I’m using Avery Self-Adhesive Laminate Sheets)
*If you don’t own a high-quality inkjet, or mid-range laser printer, I suggest going to your local Staples to have your stickers printed out. All you need is to put them on a USB drive, and bring you sticker paper with you. This is a very cost-effective method and shouldn’t cost more than a dollar per sheet!
**For the Vinyl Sticker Paper, I do not recommend anything that claims to be “waterproof photo paper“, as this is not the same as vinyl and won’t be waterproof due to the paper backing. Please make sure you purchase printable vinyl only!
The brand of vinyl sticker paper I’m using for this tutorial is PPD Self-Adhesive Vinyl Sticker Paper. I receive NO commission from recommending this product, but I really should 🙃! I highly recommend this vinyl as I have tested it’s waterproof ability many times and my stickers have held up well, even as bumper stickers on my car!
Alright, let’s get started!
- First, create your design! I’m using Procreate on my iPad to draw this cute little raccoon sticker.
To create the “sticker” outline, I created a new layer underneath my design, and I used the “hard airbrush” at 100% opacity. Make sure you fill the inside of this outline layer completely, by toggling off your design layer to see behind it.
2. Next, make an 8.5″ x 11″ canvas in Photoshop, align your sticker design on the page (I use a dark colour as a layer behind my sticker design so I can easily align them)
3. Now we will create Alignment Squares – one for each corner.
The purpose of these squares is to ensure the sticker page does not change size when we import it into Cricut. This step is VERY IMPORTANT, so please do not skip it!
If you are using a program other than Photoshop to make your sticker page, all you need to do is create a small mark that covers each corner. In this example below, I used Procreate and the hard airbrush tool to create these marks.
To make an alignment square in Photoshop, choose the Rectangle Marquee Tool from the tool menu.
Make the square 0.25″ x 0.25″ in size using the ‘Fixed Size‘ menu drop down.
Now, create your first alignment square using the rectangle marquee tool, and fill it in with white using the paintbucket tool.
Let’s align this first square to the top right corner.
Press ‘V’ on your keyboard or select the Move Tool, then press Ctrl + A (or CMD + A if you have a Mac) to Select All. Click the “Align Top” button in the Alignment Toolbar, and then “Align Right”.
Repeat these steps for your next three alignment squares; remember to make each square on a New Layer.
Place your remaining squares in their respective corners, and then it’s on to the next step!
4. Turn off your background layers, so that all you have ‘on’ are your sticker sheet and your alignment squares. Save this as a PNG.
5. Print your design with the Glossy Photo Paper setting, make sure ‘Borderless Print’ is NOT selected.
6. ✨ OPTIONAL STEP ✨ – I like to add clear self-adhesive laminate to my stickers in order to increase their longevity and make them scratch and fade-proof! This step is optional, and if you used the vinyl I mentioned previously, your stickers will still be waterproof. However I highly recommend this step as it further protects the stickers from wear & tear.
- To add the self-adhesive laminate, tear off the top strip and place this directly onto the top of your sticker page. Make sure your stickers are fully dry before you do this step!
- Carefully pull the backing off the laminate, and use a plastic card to smooth the laminate over your sticker page, bit by bit. Do this slowly to ensure no air bubbles form.
- If you have a cold press laminate machine, you can run your finished sheet through it to smooth it out further.
You can continue to the next step if you are cutting out the stickers with your cricut machine, or alternatively you can use scissors or a pen knife to cut your stickers out by hand!
7. The next step is to create an Alignment Box in the Cricut Design Space App. To do this, simply create an 8.5 x 11 inch rectangle, and make sure you align the X & Y axis to ‘0’. The Alignment box helps you know where to place your sticker page when you cut them out!
8. Place some blue painter’s tape on your Cricut Mat – you’ll need enough to cover a bit larger of an area than the size of your sticker sheet. Cut them out using the “Sticky Note” Setting.
9. Next, place your sticker page onto your cricut mat inside the alignment box. You may need to use some clear tape to keep the edges in place.
10. Upload your design to the Cricut Design Space App, and select “Complex Image Type“.
11. As we did with the Alignment Box, you’ll want to resize your sheet to 8.5 x 11 inches, and align the X & Y axis both to ‘0’.
12. To cut out the stickers, use the setting “Photo Paper“, and set the pressure to “More“. You may need to cut the sticker page out twice in order to get the best results!
– You may find that your stickers are slightly off-centre while cutting, due to the nature of the glossy paper. If this happens, stop the cutting and move your page slightly off of the alignment box to the left or right, depending on which way the cuts are misaligned. I find that I usually need to move my stickers 1 mm to the right, but every machine is different! Pay close attention to when it cuts the first sticker – it’s better to lose one sticker to a mis-cut than the entire batch!
And that’s it! You now have a full-page’s worth of stickers, ready to stick on your laptop, waterbottle, journals, bikes, whatever you like!
I hope you guys enjoyed this tutorial, please feel free to leave me any questions or comments below. I’ll be posting more DIY’s here on my blog and my youtube channel.
Feel free to follow me @mooneyesart on instagram, and if you’d like to support me by buying an “I’m Trash” sticker, you can click the button below! Thanks so much for reading.