The first step in making a sticker is to decide what will be printed on it. One's own art can be scanned on the computer. Afterward, one can use a program like Photoshop or even Microsoft Paint to add color. This is a good time to thicken the lines. Thicker lines will it easier to cut out the sticker later.
Whether one is using clip art, one's own work or something else for the sticker, once the design and look is satisfying, it's time to print. The sticker needs to be printed out on special sticker paper. This may also have other names such as contact paper or vinyl paper. The other side of the paper should be adhesive. It's best to let the ink dry on the paper before moving on to the next step.
If the paper turns out to not be adhesive enough, a homemade adhesive can be made with a ratio of two parts glue to one part vinegar. The adhesive should be left to dry and a second layer added. Once that dries as well, it's time for the next step. When the time comes to place the sticker, the adhesive can be reactivated and made sticky by dampening it slightly with a cloth or a spray bottle filled with water.
Once both the art and the adhesive have dried, a gloss can be added to the stickers. This makes the stickers look more professional and also makes them waterproof. This step requires clear tape, clear contact paper or laminate. It's important to execute this step slowly and carefully. The laminate, tape or paper must be laid down on the sticker carefully, avoiding wrinkles and air bubbles. One of the best ways to do this is on a flat surface with the help of a ruler. One should hold the laminate with one hand while smoothing directly behind it with a ruler using the other hand. It's important to be patient, as rushing at this stage could spoil the stickers.
Once the laminate, contact paper or tape has completely covered the sticker, any remaining air bubbles can be rubbed out with the hand or with a ruler.
Now it's time to cut out the sticker. This is best done with an X-acto blade, cutting carefully around the heavy black lines of the design. This is the final step.
The stickers are best stored someplace that will keep them flat. Inside or under a heavy book can be a good solution. Care should be taken with where they are placed. Many commercial stickers easily peel off surfaces, but these homemade stickers tend to be much harder to remove. They should be applied carefully to avoid wrinkles.
Personalized stickers are enjoyable to make and so much more meaningful than stickers purchased from the store. Anyone following these easy steps can produce fun, colorful giveaways for friends or strangers, or the stickers can be used to brighten up one's own space.