This is a tutorial for how to make DIY car decals with free templates.
Making your own car decal is super easy to do and actually doesn’t require that many materials.
There are a couple of different ways to make and place card decals.
The most common way people make card decals is to use vinyl on the outside of the car.
If you are placing a decal on the window, I would consider placing it on the inside of the car. Decals on the inside of the car can use removable vinyl because it is no subjected to weather and other environmental wear out.
Removable vinyl is easier to take off and can be replaced when you’ve decided to swap out the decide.
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Materials for DIY Card Decals
Vinyl – My recommendation is to use Oracal 651 vinyl which is intended for outdoor use.
Most flat colored (as in non-holographic and non-glittery) vinyl has the same color on the sticky side. I would recommend putting vinyl decals on the inside of your car. Not all vinyl is weatherproof. Depending on how long you want this decal to last, you can consider using the decal on the outside if you live in a more moderate climate.
I also don’t recommend window cling for decals. It is really hard to transfer, especially if it is a detailed design.
If you want to use something removable on the inside of the window, I like this assorted set of removable vinyl.
Transfer Tape – Vinyl is really flimsy. I like to use Transfer tape to transfer it onto the window. Here are some great deals on transfer tape from Amazon.
A cutting machine is not absolutely necessary but it sure helps for more intricate designs and letters.
Templates – This set of deer and bear family car decal templates are available in both SVG and printable PDF formats for free in my resource library.
How to make vinyl decals for cars
Depending on if you have a cutting machine or not, the methodology differs a little bit. If you are just making a single decal for your car, this is totally doable by hand.
If you are making custom car decals to sell, I would recommend getting a cutting machine like the Cricut not only to make the process more efficient but also to make more professional-looking car stickers.
How to make car window decals at home without a cutting machine
First, print the design on the backside of the vinyl sheet. If your printer can’t handle the vinyl sheet, I would print the template on regular copy paper and cut it out by hand to trace for the vinyl sheet.
Then cut the design out. If you have traced or printed the design on the backside of the vinyl, be sure to mirror the design.
If the design has multiple pieces, you will have to guess to keep them in place.
Also, be sure to mirror the design if you plan on placing it on the inside of the window.
Place the cutouts with the vinyl side down on the transfer sheet.
Peel off the backing.
How to make car stickers with a Cricut
Making a car decal with the Cricut is super straight forward.
With your design in place, you can either Flip it in the Canvas view or turn on Mirror when you Make it.
If you choose to Flip the design, choose flip horizontal.
How to transfer your Cricut car decals
Clean the surface where you intend to place the decal with some alcohol. This will eliminate any dirt and debris so the sticker lasts longer.
First, weed the negative parts of the design from the cutout. The negative part is just the background around the cutout. If you are making a relatively simple design like this deer family, you can probably just peel the background off by hand. Otherwise, try using some tweezers to get it started.
Then place the transfer tape over the vinyl. I use a special scraper to scraper the top of the transfer tape.
Peel the back off the transfer tape. Place over the window and then scrape and peel.
Be sure to smooth out any air pockets.
How to remove your DIY car stickers
If you used removable vinyl then simply pick off an edge of the stick and peel it off by hand.
If you used permanent vinyl, there are a couple of different ways to peel off the sticker from your window. Even the most permanent of vinyls will eventually start peeling depending on your weather conditions and other environmental factors like temperature variation and whether you part it indoors or not. If it has started peeling, you can just peel off the rest by hand.
You can also take a blow dryer and apply some heat. The sticker will start warping at which point it is easier to peel.
If there is any residue left, try using a solvent like Goo Gone to remove the residue. Try not to use a scraping device as it might damage the surface of your car or window.