How to Print Your Own Stickers at Home

reviewing brand documents in office

Stickers are a convenient and versatile way to advertise your small business. This low-cost solution is efficient and effective and, now that you can learn how to print your own stickers at home, sticker printing will be more affordable than ever. 

Designing Stickers

Before you start printing, consider the sticker design. Unlike labels, which tend to provide information, stickers are usually graphic and should represent your brand with an eye-catching design. 

When creating your design, take your equipment capabilities into account to decide the right complexity of your graphic. To begin with, simple may be better.

Printers for Printing Stickers

The printer you choose will impact how the stickers turn out. If your design is relatively simple, then a four-color printer should do the job. If you would like to experiment with color and tonal variation, then you’ll need to consider an upgrade. Review the pros and cons of an eco-friendly printer and why having an eco-friendly printer is important before making a purchase.

There are various options for printers with varying capabilities, from the HP Envy 7155, which has only two cartridges to more advanced eight-cartridge printers. Keep in mind, the more advanced the printer, the more expensive the ink cartridges will be. For example, an Epson UltraChrome HD pigment ink cartridge will cost much more when picking up a printer cartridge than for an entry-level Canon inkjet printer.  

The right printer for your business will depend on the size of your organization and what you expect from the printer. Some quick research can help you to find the best printer with the cheapest ink cartridges. For a small business, a less powerful, entry-level machine like the Canon PIXMA TS6220 will do just fine.

cmyk print cartridge focus

The Sticker Surface

Your choice of paper should be based on the intended purpose of your stickers. The cheaper option, paper stickers, is a great choice for jars, bottles, and other items that remain indoors and which are only exposed to basic wear and tear. 

If your stickers will be outdoors and exposed to the elements, like bumper stickers, then vinyl is an excellent option. Waterproof vinyl stickers with the right choice of printer ink can be very durable. 

Pre-cut stickers sheets are available in basic shapes, but, if you are looking for a more stylized shape, you can purchase whole sheets of sticker paper. You can cut the stickers out yourself using basic cutting tools or a laser cutter. 

Before printing, ensure your paper is compatible with your printer. If the paper is too thick, it may jam inside the printer. Only use inkjet paper with an inkjet printer and laser paper with a laser printer. Interchanging the two could cause irreparable damage to your equipment. You can find information in your printer manual on which type of paper is appropriate.

Printer Ink for Stickers

It’s also important to select the right ink for the printer and the paper. For example, pigment ink is a great choice for making durable stickers, but you should not use pigment ink in a dye ink printer. You can find guidance in your printer manual on which ink is compatible with your printer. 

The Sticker Printing Process

When designing your sticker, consider how well the color palette will translate into print. The most common printing process used for home printing is Cyan Magenta Yellow Black (CMYK) which can result in a 10 percent loss of color tones. 

If you require absolute color accuracy, consider Pantone printing. This provides a more professional-looking outcome, but it is more expensive and not as easily accomplished at home as CMYK. 

Lighter colors will not translate as well into print as dark colors, and some of the lightest colors may not translate at all. If you prefer the cheaper printing process, avoid light pastel shades in your design, as these may appear off-white once printed. 

You may want to avoid large blocks of color in your design, as the quality of these areas may appear inconsistent in print. To achieve the best possible result, select the highest print-quality option available in your printer settings. This option will take longer to print, but it will produce a much nicer product.

bright stickers being printed

Final Word

The quality of your stickers will ultimately depend on the equipment and processes you use to make them. Make sure the intended purpose of your product guides your production choices. 

Finding the right combination of elements to print your stickers can seem complicated and overwhelming, but, once you have a basic understanding of your equipment and how it all works together, you’ll find sticker printing an excellent outlet for your creativity.