After 4 years of running my small sticker business, I'm finally ready to spill the tea on how I got started. As the owner of jasmithdesigns, my goal is to give back by sharing my knowledge over the last few years. It is almost 2024 and now is your chance to start making your sticker business dreams come to life!
To start our Sticker Business Blog Series, this covers the supplies you need to get started...
Whether you want to make stickers with your own two hands or outsource production, we've got you covered.
Some of the links are affiliate links and I can earn a small commission :)
Sticker making companies are at the end.
View some of the full supplies right here on our Amazon storefront
- Design Software (Illustrator, Procreate, Canva) or Licensed Images
- Sticker Paper
- Cricut Machine or cutter
- Laminating Sheets
If you're a graphic design pro, Adobe Illustrator will be your best friend. With its intricate features, you can play with different artistic styles, cool fonts, custom shapes, and vibrant colors. Bring your designs to life, then export them as .png design files. If you want to know more about design and exporting, leave a comment for a tutorial!
Procreate on the iPad is a fantastic option. We continue to use Procreate to design our stickers. Using your fingers or Apple Pencil, you can sketch super-cute illustrations or geometric patterns. With brushes that mimic real artistic tools, your stickers will look hand-drawn and full of personality. Add some fun text or hand letter your own, then export them with a transparent background as a .png file.
For quick and easy sticker making, check out Canva. With its user-friendly interface and tons of templates, you can design custom stickers in minutes. Simply customize the graphics, images, and text to match your vibe. Polish them off with filters and effects for some extra flair.
Now that you have your designs ready to go you need a good printer. This can be one of the most expense purchases when investing in your sticker business. Your sticker magic relies on one machine - your printer. It's the heartbeat of your sticker empire. But not just any printer will do. You need one you can count on.
Aim for a top-notch inkjet that makes colors pop and details shine. Lasers just won't cut it here. You need liquid ink bringing vibrancy and dimension to those stickers. And make sure you have backup cartridges ready to swap in. Nothing kills creativity faster than an empty ink tank in the midst of a printing session.
There is nothing wrong with a laser printer, but is more suited for printing text than high quality images. There are also more expensive upfront, but are economically better. Read more about laser vs. inkjet printers here.
My personal favorite printers:
Once you have found a solid printer you need the right sticker paper to print on.
When shopping for sticker paper, the first thing to look for is compatibility with your printer. You'll want paper specifically designed for use in inkjet or laser machines. Depending on which printer you choose, always use paper that is compatible. This ensures clean, crisp printing without issues like bleed or jamming.
My favorites and they have compatible options for your printer:
There are speciality sticker paper options like holographic and clear which can be so cool to make. Sometimes speciality paper jams, so test out the process before deciding to all in on new stickers.
Next up is the finish. Do you prefer a subtle matte look that blends in, or bold glossy stickers that gleam? Matte finishes are great for a low-key aesthetic, while glossy options make colors vibrant and designs leap off the page.
*I recommend printing with Matte paper. The last supply on this list can replace the need to get different paper because it goes on top. Protecting your stickers with a covering is something I HIGHLY suggest using.
Lastly, look for waterproof or weatherproof sticker paper. The biggest thing people want when they purchase and use stickers is to be waterproof. At home sticker paper doesn't compare to the vinyl professional print companies use when it comes to being waterproof. This is where laminating offers even more protection from water!
Cricut or Cutting Machine
The Cricut machine is a game-changer in the world of DIY crafting. This versatile cutting tool allows you to bring your sticker designs to life with precision and ease. With a wide range of models available, you can choose one that suits your budget and needs. It saves you a ton of time, by not having to cut your designs with a pair of scissors.
Check out the list of Cricut cutting machines here.
The Cricut can cut through various materials, making it perfect for creating stickers on different types of sticker paper. When using the Cricut to cut through your stickers, you need the right cut settings. I prefer to use Cardstock or Carstock+ or I will use a deep cut blade with the Light Cardstock option.
Other alternatives to the Cricut:
If you can't afford a Cricut, then you can of course use good old fashion scissors.
I have had my Cricut for 4 years and it still works great, but I know it's time for a much needed upgrade. Always keep in mind any potential technical errors that come with machines or equipment when choosing the one you want.
While not always necessary, laminating sheets can add an extra layer of protection to your stickers. This is especially useful if you plan to use your stickers on items that may be exposed to moisture or frequent handling. Opt for clear, self-adhesive laminating sheets for a seamless finish.
Like stated before, most sticker paper that claims to be waterproof or weatherproof it isn't...I have tested it. At least to my liking and your customers, put in some extra work and add a protective layer to ensure no one complains.
As mentioned earlier, you don't need to buy sticker paper with fancy finishes just get laminate instead. There are various options like matte, glossy, holographic, and more to use right over your printed sticker sheet.
Here are my favorite ones:
Get a squeegee. If you decide to laminate your sticker sheets make sure to use a squeegee to do it.
A squeegee may seem like a humble tool, but it plays a vital role in ensuring your laminating sheets adhere smoothly and evenly. Use just enough pressure when applying your laminate over your stickers. If you apply too hard, depending on where you store your stickers there is a tendency for them to curl.
So be firm but gentle.
Laminator to seal your laminating sheets. I don't have a laminator but it is automatic which saves you physical labor and time.
Sticker Making Companies
If you don't have the time or resources to make your own stickers, have a company do it for you! Here are some of our favorite ones:
Now you're ready to get started.
New blog is on the sticker making process. And if you want to watch the video on these supplies watch it here.