How to Make Decals and Stickers

by Anthony Clark

The improvement in technology has led to the introduction of different kinds of items. Many people can purchase cars and other essential items that are needed for the smooth operation of their daily activities. Many a time, people desire to decorate, pass messages, and maintain their cars with fascinating items. For this purpose, you can use vinyl decal and stickers. The stickers protect and cover the part of the body of your vehicle that has scratches. Hence, they are not manufactured for decorative purposes alone. Aside from scratched vehicles, you can also use it to cover other scratched surfaces - so far it can stick to it perfectly. Due to its increased usefulness to people, the demand for vinyl decal stickers has increased rapidly. Hence, most people are seeking knowledge on how they can make a durable, fascinating, and attractive vinyl decal and sticker. That said, there are different methods through which you can produce vinyl decal stickers for your car, doors, PC, and many more. These steps are easier to follow. All you need to prepare is the equipment needed to produce the vinyl decal stickers you desire. With that said, today, I will tell you how you can make vinyl decal stickers.

How You Can Make Vinyl Decal and Stickers

How You Can Make Vinyl Decal and Stickers
How You Can Make Vinyl Decal and Stickers

Have you been purchasing vinyl decals and stickers but you have no idea of how they are manufactured? Do you want to start producing customized decals and stickers for different purposes? The methods to get it done - are straightforward. You need to purchase equipment that will make the work easier. The equipment needed for making decals and stickers is given below.

  • Computer: The computer is useful for the design and editing of any existing design of your choice.
  • Scanner: A scanner can be used to scan existing designs or those that you have drawn with pencil or other materials.
  • Printer: The printer is needed to print your favorite design on the vinyl decal sheet.
  • Laminating Machine: A laminating machine is used for adding materials that will increase the durability of the sticker.
  • Vinyl Cutter: A vinyl cutter is used to cut the sticker and decal after you have printed on them.
  • Hobby Knives: The hobby knife is used for smoothening the edges of vinyl decals

Steps to Making Decals and Stickers

To make decals and stickers, you don't need to acquire a special skill or engage the services of professionals. The steps discussed in this section will guide you through the process of making a decal and sticker successfully.

1. Create a Design

This is the easiest step to undergo. You can create a design for your decal and vinyl sticker enjoyably. When creating a design for stickers, you must identify the kind of design you want on your sticker. If you have gotten an existing design you want to use, you can either edit it or save it directly on your PC. To create a design for stickers, you can use photo editing software. The photo editing software is important and must be installed on your PC. It makes the design easier and also helps you to have an overview of what your sticker will look like. If you are designing a vinyl decal for businesses, you must be careful when adding logos. The logo must be original to prevent the production of a blurry image after printing the decal.

2. Place the Decal on One Page

Vinyl papers are expensive to purchase. Hence, this step is important when you desire to make vinyl decals. Because of the cost of vinyl paper, people attempt to make many decals and stickers at the same time. If you plan to make decal printing a profitable business, you must learn to manage the materials at your disposal. Before printing on vinyl paper, you need to get efficient editing software on your PC. On the editing software, you must do a print preview - as this will give you an idea of what you should expect after printing on the vinyl paper. When printing, ensure you have the decals on a single page.

While doing a printing preview, look out for any error so that you can make last-minute changes where necessary. Many a time, you may need to change the background color or make some important edits before proceeding to print it. This step is further necessary so that you can manage the vinyl paper and get the best output from it.

Additionally, ensure you have an outline on the page so that you will have an idea of how well the design will fit into your vinyl sheet. Many a time, the outline is expressed in dotted lines and is found around the border of the design. Considering the expensive price of vinyl paper, you must manage the space available. You can adjust the borderline on the editing software so that more space will be available for it. That will help you to manage the space available for printing on your vinyl paper.

Now that you have made the necessary edits and use the print preview functionality on your PC to check the changes, you can proceed to insert the vinyl paper into your printer and print out the design. Often time, it is important that you run a test print before printing on the vinyl paper. You can use regular paper for this purpose. All you need to do is to insert the paper on the appropriate side. Ensure you learn how to fix the vinyl decal on the correct side before printing. Any error during printing may result in the wastage of the vinyl paper - noting that the paper is expensive to purchase. Hence, exercise all care by printing on the correct page.

4. Make the Decal Durable

This step is important to people that desire to place their decal outdoor. However, you can skip the step if you are planning to place the decal in your room or for other indoor purposes. To make your decal or sticker durable, you must add an additional layer. The most suitable material you can add to make up this layer is laminating paper. This will prevent the decal surface from the sun, rain, and other unfavorable weather conditions. These unfavorable weather conditions are responsible for the fading and inability of the decal to maintain its standard and quality.

To add the laminating paper, you need to peel the adhesive layer and carefully place it on the surface of your decal. Make sure the top edge is clung to the table. You can use a hard ruler or squeegee to position the decals as you are pulling away - the back layer of the laminating paper. This method helps you to eliminate the appearance of air bubbles on your decals.

If laminating paper is expensive for you to purchase, another material you can use to add durability to decals is enamel. However, laminating paper works perfectly and is more suitable than enamel. Because it is cheaper than laminating paper, you can save some dollars by purchasing enamel. It can also provide the protection you desire for your decals.

5. Cut the Decal

This is the final step to make your elegant vinyl decal. After printing and laminating the decal to make it durable, you need to cut it. Once you cut the decal, you can paste it indoors or outdoors. To cut the decal, you can use a hobby knife or razor blade. However, the hobby knife has been identified as the best tool to use for cutting decals.

When cutting the decal, you need to place it on a flat surface. Then use a metal ruler to target the portion you want to cut. You can cut in a straight line or any way that is convenient for you. While using the hobby knife to cut the decal, press hard the ruler to prevent it from shifting from the position. If the stickers are small, you can cut them with a knife before cutting them into a smaller section using scissors. If you are using scissors for the first time, you must be careful so that you won't jeopardize the aesthetics of the sticker.

Summary of Steps to Making Decals / Stickers

The table below summarizes the steps involved in making a decal.

Steps to Making Decals Points to Note
Create a design
  1. Use editing software to create a design for your decal.
  2. Edit the existing design of your choice using the editing software.
Place the decal on one page
  1. Use editing software to preview the design.
  2. Do print preview to make edits where necessary.
Print the decal Test print before printing on vinyl paper.
Make the decal durable Use laminating paper or enamel to add durability to decals or stickers.
Cut the decal
  1. Cut the decal with a hobby knife, blade, or scissors.
  2. Use a metal ruler to locate the portion to cut.
  3. Use scissors to cut the stickers into different sections.

Conclusion on Decals / Stickers Makers

Decals and stickers are inevitable for people that have scratches on their cars. When making a decal or sticker, you don't need to be discouraged for lacking the expertise to produce an attractive and neat decal. To design, print, and cut decals, process requires some steps and practices. You may not be encouraged at inception. But when you successfully make your first decal, you will be motivated to produce more and even earn some funds by taking it to the commercial level. Today, I have discussed the simple steps through which you can make a neat decal. When you go through these steps, you won't waste your money purchasing excess vinyl papers. Follow the steps strictly and you will be glad you did so.

About Anthony Clark

Anthony Clark has always had that wierd passion for digital drawing and printing since he was little. He would just wander around in his parents' house in Phoenix, Arizona; drawing various things with his older digital tablet. Be it just a memory collection or a portay of just about anything: object, parents, school, events, etc. He received his BA in Graphic Design at San Jose State Universiry at the heart of Silicon Valley. Now Mr. Clark is really excited to present his expeirence coupling with some colorful dips to help shape it the future of printing.

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