This is a tutorial on how to make stickers with the Cricut cutting machine. I will cover how to make shadow layers, how to make kiss cuts on sticker paper and how to foil your designs using a set of planner sticker examples.
I remember way back in the day when I was in elementary school, all my friends and I would collect stickers. And every weekend when we did our weekly shopping at the local Walmart, I’d beg my parents to get me a new sheet of stickers to add to my collections.
On a few occasions when I had a couple of bucks from some random neighborhood job, I’d go to the Hallmark store in our town square and get a few of the premium stickers that came on a roll. My friends were all into the puffy stickers. Then there were the oily puffy stickers. I personally like the foiled metallic and fuzzy ones because they actually flexed and looked the prettiest.
We were all so easy to please back then! A few stickers and it would just make my day.
And so here we are, a few decades later, I am once again revisiting my childhood hobby of stickers. Except for this time, I have this handy machine now and can make all the stickers I heart desires.
While my heart doesn’t desire nearly as many stickers now as it once did, it was still a fun project that I’d like to share with everyone.
Before we get started, if you are interested in making more decal like stickers with vinyl, I have a separate tutorial on that here. This tutorial is more dedicated to printable sticker designs with a shadow layer.
Cricut sticker material
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I’m going to list a few recommended products for Cricut sticker making. Not all of these items are necessary. For example, if you don’t want to make foiled stickers, there’s no need for foil sheets.
Sticker Sheets – there are so many types, I will just itemize a few of my favorites:
- Clear Printable Sheets – My favorite brand is the Silhouette Clear Sticker Paper. It seems to perform the best with most printers and is the most reliable.
- White Printable Sticker Sheets – These are the most versatile sticker sheets that print great with both laser and inkjet printers.
- Printable Vinyl – I have not tried these Cricut Printable Vinyl Sheets but they seem to have reliability high ratings on Amazon. These are best for waterproof projects.
Design – I use a set of planner word designs for this tutorial. These planner stickers already have a shadow layer and are ready for Print and Cut on the Cricut. I also have many other designs in my resource library. Everything is available and free to use in my resource library.
How to make word stickers on Cricut
Lets first start with Cricut Design Space. The fundamental difference between a sticker and a vinyl decal is the that the sticker has a shadow layer behind the actual graphic.
This makes it much easier to peel and stick the stickers. Letters stay together and separated graphical elements stay together.
To make this happen, we need to create a halo around the design. I will cover how to do this with words which is the more difficult scenario and the same method can be applied to graphics.
First, we write our text. Make letter-spacing adjustments as needed. With the final text in place, select the word and “flatten” to turn it into a “cut|print” element.
Then we want to go ahead and “make it”.
In the Print Setup screen, instead of printing, we want to “Send to PDF”. The default should be set to “add Bleed” but check to make sure this is so.
You will then need to convert this PDF to a PNG or JPG file format. This can be done on almost any desktop editing application like Microsoft Word or Powerpoint, Google Docs, Good Slide, etc. If you don’t have a native program to use, you can always use a free site like https://pdf2jpg.net/
After your file has been converted to a PNG or JPG file format. We want to return to DS Canvas and “Upload” this PNG or JPG version of the image.
After erasing the background, select “Save as a cut image”.
The newly uploaded image should envelop the original text. I’ve changed the color in this screenshot to make it easier to see. For sticker making, you want to change the background shadow to white.
Select both elements and “align” to “center” the two items.
Then with both elements select, click on “flatten”.
Your image is now ready for print and cut.
How to make planner stickers with the Cricut
This actually applies for any stick that you want to make with a clear background which is most often the case for planner stickers because you want to see the underlying graphic/line/words.
First, be sure to use the clear printer sticker sheet I recommended above.
Also, set the background color of the shadow layer to white. I can’t emphasize this enough. White doesn’t actually mean white. In the context of printing, it just means the absence of any color.
If you are using my designs, I have left them as a transparent PNG so when you upload them, there is no need to create a shadow layer, erase the background, or flatten. They are ready to go as is.
In terms of a setting for cutting, I find the “Clear Sticker Paper” setting for Cricut Makers to be pretty accurate. If you are using the explorer, I would start with the vinyl setting and do a few trials to get the right kiss cut for your material.
How to make foil stickers with the Cricut
For this next part, you will need access to a Laser Printer. If you don’t have one, you can always go to your nearest Kinko’s or Print center and print on their machines for $0.15 a sheet.
The foil transfer sheets when heat activated will stick to the laser toner.
All you do is cover the part of the printout you want foiled with the foil sheet.
I then add another piece of cardstock on top of the foil to make it stiffer and send it through the laminator.
If you don’t have a laminator, sandwich everything between some tea towels or sheets and use an iron.
I had to run mine through the laminator a couple of times to get a sufficient transfer.
So I have yet to share my sticker making skills with my kids. They tend to collect less and stick then all over the house. I’m not exactly in the mood to scrape stickers off of every surface yet so I’m going to keep this one to myself for a while.
Have fun with your stickers!