I am obsessed with planners. Now that i make my own planner pages, I am always looking for new stickers to help me customize the pages. I have bought a million different kinds of custom stickers, from holidays to motivatonal quotes to funny little pictures. Now I just make stickers with a Cricut machine. It’s so much easier, and the stickers are exactly what I want because I make them all myself.
Anyone who likes organizing knows how important a planner is. I have paid a ridiculous amount of money on notebooks and planners to help me keep my life and 3 jobs in order, as well as the rest of my life. However, I could never find the perfect planner. There was always something missing. Now that I make my own, I have exactly what I need on every page.
Stickers help with that. Stickers go with planners like peanut butter goes with jelly. Cricut stickers are perfect for me because I am in control of exactly how they look, how they function and how many I can make. So I’m going to teach you the easy way to turn your own design into an awesome sticker.
Having the right material is essential to making beautiful and long lasting stickers.
Equipment Needed To Make Stickers With A Cricut
- A home printer– any printer will work for this, but I love Canon printers most of all.
- A computer or laptop– your phone or an ipad will probably work, but I have never tried it that way so I’m not 100% sure
- A cricut maker– I have had this one and it has paid for itself 100x over
- A free Canva account– this is the site I use to make my stickers, but I make SO MUCH MORE with it. I have the paid version, but the free version works great as well.
- Printable sticker paper
- Laminating sheets– these are optional and are great if you want to make more water-resistant stickers for things like water bottles
How To Make Your Sticker Designs
The first thing you are going to want to do is sign up for a free Canva account. You can do so much with Canva. I probably use this site more than any other site on the internet. You can use the paid account if you want, but the free account is great to get started.
Once your account is set up, it’s just a matter of making your sticker sheet. I create my own stickers on 8.5×11 paper, because that’s the size normal printer paper is 🙂 Under “create a design”, you’ll choose the US letter option. (Obviously, if you aren’t in the USA, you’ll have to make some modifications to your size. Canva has lots of options for a design size, as well as the ability to make a custom size.)
After you pick your size, you’ll have a blank canvas to start making your sticker dreams come true. Depending on what you want your stickers to look like, you can use images, text and more to make them exactly what you want.
On the free version, Canva allows you to use all of the image elements to make your stickers. You can search elements for graphics and photos, and then add them to your project by clicking on them. Once they are on the page , they are ready to print. The great thing about all this is you don’t have to change your print settings in any way. Well, I don’t anyways. You can also use your own image for stickers or choose from hundreds of free images from Canva. Below I also talk about another site I love for images, Creative Fabrica.
Adding Text On a Sticker
Just click on the text box and click “add a heading”. Then change the font, size and the text itself to say whatever you would like it to say. You need to add something to the background with text however. Text on it’s own will print as individual letters, making it really hard to place them. Placing something like a shape behind the text will allow the text to become part of one “image”, making printing and placement much easier. There’s also an option in the Cricut design software to add a blank image behind text, so you can wait if you want to.
Downloading Your PNG From Canva
Once you have added all of the stickers you want to your sheet, you’ll want to download it. Just head to the share button, and then click download and download as a PNG. Make sure if you have the paid version, you click “transparent background” to get rid of the background on the image. If you don’t have the paid verson, Cricut software has a background remover also.
Using Print-Then-Cut Feature To Make Stickers With a Cricut
Once you have the stickers made the way you like them and downloaded, you’ll want to upload them into the Cricut Design Space app (CDS). CDS is the Cricut brand design software. It is free, but the paid version (Cricut Access) allows for more creative freedom. You can do what you need for stickers with the free version, though.
To upload your design, you will open CDS and make a new project. You’ll click the “upload” button and then select your image. After you have uploaded your design in CDS, you will select the “complex” upload option. I’m not sure why, but none of the other options give me the quality I am looking for when I print stickers. After that, you’ll have the option to remove the background and your image will be placed on the new canvas.
If you have a sticker that is strictly words with no background image, you are going to want to use the offset tool. This adds an image behind the text so the whole thing is one image. If you print then cut text all alone, every letter will be an individual sticker. Once you make the offset you want, make sure you use the flatten tool to make the offset and text a single layer. Otherwise your text and offset layer will be cut individually. The offset feature is also good if you want to add a border around an image. I normally choose a black or white background depending on what I want the finished product to look it.
Once you choose the print-then-cut option and your image is added to the canvas, you can select make it and your image will be sent to the printer you choose. After it’s printed, the next step is to add the page to a lightgrip mat and start your Cricut. The machine scan the entire image and then cut. Make sure you have your dial turned to the appropriate material settings to cut depending on whether you want a kiss-cut or die-cut sticker. We will take about those in just a sec.
It will take a little time checking the boundaries of the image, then it will cut the stickers out. If your machine has trouble starting the cut sequence, it may be because the machien is having trouble reading the borders. Turn the lights off and then it should work.
Kiss-Cut Stickers Vs Die-Cut Stickers
Kiss-cut stickers are stickers that are still attached to the backing. These work really well for sticker pages. For kiss-cut stickers, I use the “washi” setting and cut it twice. To cut twice, you simply restart the cricut once it has cut out all of the stickers. DO NOT take your cutting mat out of the machine if you are going to cut twice. Once it’s done, just hit the start button again.
Die cut stickers cut through the sticker paper and the backing, leaving individual stickers. The best way to cut out die-cut stickers is with the “medium cardstock” setting.
Making Water Resistant Stickers
Making water resistant stickers is essentially the same as making regular stickers. These stickers will NOT be completely water proof, but I have had stickers on my daily-washed water bottle for over a year and they are holding strong. There is one difference between regular stickers and water resistant ones.
After you have your image printed, you are going to put a laminating sheet over it before you let the Cricut do it’s cutting magic. It’s very hard to do kiss cut stickers with a laminating sheet on top, so I recommend you only makewater resistant die cut stickers.
Which Machine Should I Get
I love the entire Cricut brand. it’s all I have ever used, and I have never had a problem with the machine or Cricut Access, the paid subscription for CDS. There are TONS of images with the paid version, as well as additional fonts and features.
I have the Cricut Explore Air 2. I’ve had it for years, and it still works just as well as it did the day I bought it. While I only use my Cricut for paper, sticker paper and vinyl, you can use it to cut medium weight fabrics. There’s also now a Cricut Explore 3, which is essentially the same machine with faster cutting speed.
A step down from the Explore Air is the Cricut Joy, but it’s not good for making stickers. It can cut paper like a champ, making it perfect if you are a beginner or don’t plan on cutting anything beyond paper or adhesive vinyl. It’s also smaller than the Explore Air and more lightweight, meaning more portability and less taking up space. However, it DOES NOT WORK WITH PRINK AND CUT.
A step up from the Explore Air is the Cricut Maker. Not only can it do all of the things the Explore Air can do, but it can also cut leather, balsa wood and unbonded fabric. The Maker is the be all and end all of Cricut machines. You don’t need it if all you’re looking to do is basic vinyl cutting and sticker making, though. Stick with the Explore 2 or 3.
Where Else Can I Get Images?
You have to be careful when you use images from the internet. Sites have restricyions on how you can use their images, especially when you are using them commerically (for a profit).
Creative Fabrica is my favorite place to get free SVG files to use for my stickers. While Canva offers tons of free images, CF offers their images with very few commercial restrictions when you sign up for a paid account.
Hope this article made sense. If you have any questions, however, feel free to shoot me a message or leave a comment.
If you wanna check out some other DIY projects, you can check here.
Things I used in this article include: