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The 6 Supplies You Need to Start Making Stickers at Home

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So, you want to start a sticker business from home? You've come to the right place! 

 When I started my sticker business, I had no idea what I was doing. But after lots of trial and error, YouTube videos, and googling, I was able to demystify the process. Now, having sold a few thousand handmade stickers, I want to help you start off quickly and simply. 

You don't need a warehouse or a team of people to start producing stickers - you can do it at home, just like I did. 

Unfortunately, I didn't have someone to tell me what to buy (and what to skip) so I wasted a bunch of money learning those lessons the hard way. Starting your sticker journey does not need to be expensive -you can leverage some of the equipment and materials you have at home.  

Here are the five tools you'll need to get started:

  1. Computer/Tablet
  2. Printer + Ink 
  3. Cutting Machine + Mat 
  4. Sticker Paper 
  5. Clear Laminate  
  6. Laminate Roller/Scraper Tool 

You may already have some of these materials at home (yay!) and if not, I’ve included Amazon links to make shopping super quick and easy.  

Computer or Tablet

This may seem obvious, but you will need some kind of device to design, upload, and format your stickers. Your device will need to be able to connect to your printer and cutting machine - via a cable or bluetooth - and have an internet connection. Beyond that, the choice is yours!

You can do these operations on your computer or on a tablet as long as the installation software for your printer and cutting machine are compatible with your device - check the installation guide for confirmation. 

My preference is to use my iPad, which I bought refurbished, so that I can digitally draw all of my sticker designs and upload them directly into my cutting machine software. 


Printer & Ink

You do not need to go out and buy a fancy printer – a home-office inkjet printer will work just fine! 

I’d recommend printing some test sheets to evaluate the color and print quality which may vary based on type of paper and printer settings you use.  If you find that your printer isn't capable of printing your designs at the quality. you're looking for, there are a lot of reasonably priced machines that can serve as both your home printer AND sticker printer. 

I didn’t have a printer to start out so I searched for one that had good reviews and a low price point before settling on the Canon Pixma iX6820. This one in particular has a great print quality and extended paper size capability (up to 13x9), without being too expensive. It is strictly a printer - no scanning or copying functions - with one loading tray, but the simplicity meant that there were less things that could go wrong ;) 

My first Canon printer ended up getting damaged when I moved – RIP – so I used the opportunity to purchase a different model that was more ink efficient & eco-friendly. To stick with the Canon print quality, I chose the Canon G6020 which has refillable ink tanks to help cut down on plastic waste. Its a fairly standard office printer, with a scanner, copy functions, a small display screen, and two paper trays. For an all-in-one, I'd say this is a great option, especially if you need to scan your sticker designs into your computer/tablet. 

The large ink well has been a game-changer! I've been printing every day for six months and have only used half of my ink reserves. 

The downsides: Canon’s can be finicky and understanding the error messages can be tricky. Other reviews recommended against using Canon because the ink prices were so high, but I found an affordable alternative ink provider. If you’re looking for get compatible ink cartridges super cheap, my favorite is EZ Ink.  


Sticker Paper 

Now that you have a printer, you’ll need something to print your stickers onto. There are tons of brands offering sticker papers and I’ve tested many of them. But I will always recommend one brand over all the others: Online Labels.  

This company offers every type, shape, and color of sticker paper you could imagine (and there are lots!). The customer service is great, your paper ships quickly, and the the pricing is reasonable. The more paper you order, the cheaper it becomes per sheet - but when you're just starting out I would advise against ordering too much paper at once. On their website you can order free samples, which is a great way to test out the different types of paper and adjust the print settings for your machine. 

When it comes to stickers, you’ll want to select full size sheets (8.5 x 11 inches) either matte or glossy paper, without cut lines. Depending on the finish you want your stickers to have, one may be better than the other, so do a test sheet to figure out which you prefer. 

You can order directly from their website or via Amazon using the links below. My favorite paper is the Weatherproof Matte but alternatively, you can use Weatherproof GlossyMake sure to select the proper sticker paper for your printer type: inkjet or laser. 

One thing to note: cutting machines can have difficultly reading the cut lines on glossy paper. I found it easiest to print on matte paper and add a glossy laminate on top, rather than printing on glossy paper - I'd recommend testing it out with your machine. 



While sticker paper claims to be weatherproof or waterproof, it rarely is. You’ll need to add a layer of laminate on top that will add durability and water resistance. Don't be fooled: your homemade stickers won't be dishwasher safe, but the combination of Online Labels weatherproof paper + laminate will allow you to hand wash them and submerge in water without issue. 

My favorite glossy laminate from Amazon is sold by Turner Moore and can be found here. Stickers I made with this laminate are still holding up three years later! This laminate does produce a high shine but great clarity.  

Some people (myself included) prefer a matte finish on stickers. The color won't be as vibrant but it will heavily reduce glare. Matte laminate is much harder to find than glossy, especially if you're trying to save money. After lots of trial and error, I found matte contact paper which is extremely cost effective and readily available online and at hardware stores. 

If you're looking to get fancy with holographic or glitter laminate, my recommendation would be Cosrx or TechWrap. While I don't have experience with this type of laminate myself, I've seen lots of other craft businesses implement this in their designs and the effect can look really cool!

Keep in mind: laminate is to increase the durability for your stickers - if you're wanting to print stickers that don't require durability/waterproofing (ex: scrapbooking, bullet journaling, sticker sheets etc.) you can skip the laminate all together and exclusively use the sticker paper. 


Laminate Roller or Scraper  

Hands down, the hardest part of sticker making is avoiding bubbles in the laminate. Laying down the laminate sheets over your paper will take some practice and the trick to getting a smooth adhesion is to use the right tool. 

You can use something you have at home, like a ruler or credit card to push out the bubbles as you go. Lots of people like the rollers, like this one from REALIKE. However, I had purchased silicone scraper tools for baking and have been using these successfully for my laminate. 

Another laminate tip: keep a pair of scissors nearby to cut the laminate sheet down to size, which will help with a smooth application.


Cutting Machine & Mat

If you don’t already own a cutting machine, this will end up being your biggest investment. Unfortunately, there isn’t a good way around this, unless you want to hand cut all of your stickers... 

But good news: there are several brands to choose from and they can often be found on secondhand sites! 

There are different levels of cutting machines – some going as far as being able to cut thick materials like wood (wow!) - but for stickers, you won’t need anything too fancy. No matter what machine you purchase, you'll need to have a blade (this is almost always provided) and compatible mat to adhere your sticker sheet to, as well as the corresponding software/app in order to perform your cuts. 

The machine I use to cut my stickers is the Circuit Explore Air 2 and while I don’t love it, I haven’t had any major issues with it these last five years. I purchased mine in a set that included a cutting mat and some basic tools – most cutting machines will have a similar bundle so you can get started creating quickly. Here are the most popular cutting machines on the market:  

If you’re looking to snag a deal, you can track sales at your local craft store or check resale websites such as Ebay, Poshmark, Mercari etc. 

Each machine operates a bit differently so do your research to find which brand will work best for your needs. There is an accompanying software program/app for each brand where you will upload your sticker designs and adjust the cut lines. At least with Cricut, this app is free to use (although they will try to get you to pay for a subscription) - if you are simply uploading your designs to be cut, you shouldn't need to pay, but double check what your brand requires. 

If you're looking for help getting started with a cutting machine, there are some great content creators on YouTube who can walk you through all of your questions, provide step-by-step tutorials etc. 


I hope you found this helpful and feel more confident about what you'll need to launch your at-home sticker business. 


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