Vinyl stickers are a great alternative to regular paper stickers because you can stick them to items that might need to be washed or will be in contact with water like cups, glass or car windows.
There are a few key things when making vinyl stickers. The main difference when making vinyl stickers is the design.
Before we get started, I want to offer all the robotic designs used in this tutorial for free. Both the SVG and printable versions of the design are available in my resource library.
Best Vinyl for Stickers
The reality is any type of permanent adhesive vinyl works for stickers.
I would just recommend getting an assorted set. That way, you have many colors to work with.
All permanent adhesive vinyl can withstand some water although none will survive the dishwasher. I have not found a huge different in the brands and their ability to battle the elements.
There are many many great deals on assorted vinyl sets from Amazon.
Vinyl Stickers Designs
When making vinyl stickers, one thing to keep in mind is the negative space.
Will your sticker be a cut out of the shape or letters? Do you expect to use transfer tape to get the sticker on the glass?
Vinyl is really flimsy and super hard to transfer by itself, especially for larger designs.
When making designs that don’t require transfer tape, the entire design needs to be intact and continuous.
For example, in this robotic face design, I made a continuous stick to put on these wrapped cookies. In doing so, I removed the rectangular strips and triangle in the forehead.
Transfer Tape for Vinyl Stickers
I would recommend using clear transfer tape for all vinyl stickers regardless of the design.
Here are some great deals on clear transfer tape from Amazon.
Using transfer tape for Vinyl stickers is super easy.
First weed the negative space of the vinyl cutout. Then place the transfer tape on the remainder of the design. Scrape with a credit card or dedicated scraper. Peel back the base paper and place the transfer onto the end item.
Transfer tape works on the basis of relative stickiness. The transfer stickiness is less than the stickiness of the vinyl.
This usually works unless you are trying to stick it to really textured surfaces like wood or canvas. My best advice is to use your tweezers to pin down the corner of the vinyl piece if you are having trouble sticking it.
Also, when layering multiple colors in one sticker, use clear transfer tape to align the design to its original layout.
DIY Vinyl lettering
Vinyl letters is tricky because not all letters in the alphabet are continuous in every font.
If I am making vinyl stickers with letters, I like to use all caps because most capital letters in most fonts do not have separate pieces.
When making designs that contain multiple letters, consider how they will keep together.
This thank you sticker I designed in the same robotics theme was used as a tape for my gift bag. I wanted the whole design to be continuous so it would be better at keeping the bag closed.
This required moving the letters close to each other so the words were continuous.
Printing on vinyl with inkjet printer
I would not recommend printing on vinyl. Vinyl is plastic, it is non-porous so there is no place for the ink to absorb.
I would recommend instead to layer different colors in your design if you want a multi-colored vinyl sticker.
How to make vinyl decals with Cricut
How to mirror vinyl on Cricut
Mirroring on the Cricut can be done in 2 ways.
You can use the Flip tool in the top toolbar in Canvas View. Be sure to flip horizontal.
You can also just turn on Mirror when you Make It.
Can all Cricut machines cut vinyl?
Yes, all Cricut machines use the fine point blade which is the blade recommended for cutting vinyl.
I have found when using the non-Cricut branded vinyl, it is better to apply less pressure when using the Vinyl cutting setting so you don’t cut through the back paper.
Layering vinyl in Cricut Design Space
Creating different layers for cutting on different color vinyl in Design Space is done by using the colors drop down in the top tool bar.
It doesn’t matter what colors you use. The shapes you want to cut with the same material just needs to have the same color.
You can also add the vinyl sticker to smoother wood. If the wood is rough, try sanding the part where the sticker goes first.
If permanent vinyl can work on wood surface if you just want something more temporary. If you want something more long lasting, I would recommend getting some HTV (Heat Transfer Vinyl) and ironing it onto the surface.