How to Make Vinyl Stickers for Business

 March 3, 2021

By  Jane Melcher

Nowadays, it's unnecessary to buy stickers for water bottles, mugs, tumblers, and other typical household products. With the right tools and materials, you can make custom vinyl stickers that are good enough for a starting vinyl sticker business.

There are two main ways of making these decals; by hand or by using a machine. Either way, by the timer you're done with this post, you'll have all the information you need to make a detailed sticker.

How to Make Vinyl Decals With Printable Vinyl

1. Understanding Print Vinyl

Printable Vinyl could sound complicated; on the contrary, it is easy to make in a few steps. It is based on the same concept as using your desktop printer and paper. You can print on vinyl to get a sticker that looks professional and attention-grabbing.

Unfortunately, this process only works with print vinyl since regular vinyl doesn't take the ink; instead, it runs off the page. You could lay six different vinyl colors on the transfer tape to get a brilliant sticker, but the process is tedious. The print vinyl readily accepts the print to give excellent results.

Using printable vinyl will save time and energy since you won't have to weed out the inside of letters and object centers. So, you'll have enough flexibility to make stickers of cartoon characters or animal images. The printable vinyl provides a wider range of color effects that provide intricate details that typical adhesive vinyl can't produce, like watercolor and shading.

2. Things You'll Need

The only way to make custom vinyl stickers easily is to have the right materials for the job. These necessities will include.

  • a cutting machine,
  • design software,
  • an inkjet printer,
  • printable vinyl,
  • clear vinyl laminate,
  • a cutting mat, and
  • an application tool.

3. Printing the Design

For this step, you can use a mainstream editor such as Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator to construct your design. This software usually has all the tools you'll need to make the print. Place the designs on the page and if you have different shapes, ensure as many of them fit into the vinyl.

The next thing to do is to add the cut line that will guide the shape of your designs. Then load the printable vinyl into the printer and make sure the ink goes on the matte side of the paper, and start printing.

4. Adding the Laminate

This is an optional step that can add to the durability of your vinyl stickers. Since the top layer of printable vinyl is susceptible to water damage than adhesive vinyl, a layer of clear vinyl laminate will give it waterproof protection for about 5 years.

Once you print your design, lay it on a leveled hard surface and start to peel the backing off the laminate an inch at a time. Make sure you line up the edge of the paper with the edge of the laminate and gently press it down to remove creases or air bubbles.

As you pull the backing off, use a ruler to smooth the laminate on the printed page since this will keep it in place and get rid of any air bubble.

5. Cutting the Vinyl Decals

The next step is to place the printed vinyl sheet on the cutting mat and feeding it to the machine. Once loaded, you should set the cut settings for your paper and cut the sticker.

6. Peeling and Placing

Finally, peel them off, stick them onto the surface, and smoothen them out to remove any wrinkles or bumps.

How to Make Vinyl Stickers by Hand

1. Things You'll Need

You'll need a couple of items before we begin to make the custom stickers.

  • A sticker design
  • A cutting knife
  • A cutting surface
  • Colored adhesive vinyl
  • Tweezers
  • Scotch tape
  • Transfer tape Scissors

2. Create the Design

Use the software of your choice to invent a creative design that you want for your vinyl sticker. You have a lot of freedom in this step since you can search through as many ideas as necessary. After getting the design, determine the size you want and leave a margin of about half an inch and print the design.

3. Securing the Image to the Vinyl

Cut a vinyl piece about an inch larger than the design and tape it to your cutting surface. It's unnecessary to tape vinyl if it's not very curly since it will be easier to manipulate.

Make sure to crop out any large empty spaces in the center of the design. With several anchor points, the paper will not move about as you cut the print.

4. Cut the Vinyl

This is the hard part of making custom decals by hand since you can experience fatigue. That is why patience is crucial to your success if you want to make excellent DIY vinyl decals. If the design on the vinyl paper is detailed, start by rounding the corners and leaving the edges and other details for later.

Unfortunately, you'll have to start with the insides of the letters or numbers. Overlap the cut lines on areas like corners to close any gaps to make the process smooth. If you accidentally cut the digits, you can repair them by taping the back.

5. Picking Out the Pieces

Ensure you cut the border into several sections if you have a complex design. If you made the cuts accurately, you have nothing to worry about; start picking the outside pieces first. Once you have your design, trim the edges and smoothen out the lines to get an excellent sticker.

6. Adding the Transfer Tape

Place the decal flat on a leveled surface and avoid distorting it. Unfortunately, transfer tape has a lot of static electricity, which is why you need to fasten the custom vinyl stickers to your work surface.

Roll the tape, follow with your fingers to ensure it is flush. Then trim the tape to about half an inch from the decal and leave an overlapping end to help you with placement later.

7. Applying it To the Surface

Ensure the place you want to position the vinyl stickers is clean. Place it on and secure the tape overlap, which should be large enough to hold the cut vinyl securely as you remove the backing.

Press the vinyl firmly and ensure it adheres well to the surface, and voila! You have completed making vinyl stickers.


Making stickers doesn't have to feel like a hassle; with this detailed guide, you can easily make vinyl stickers. So, there's no need to hire someone to do it for you since you now have the information you need to succeed in this expedition.

Jane Melcher

Jane is a stay-at-home small business mom. She makes more than her husband selling her creations on Etsy.

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