How To Make Vintage Stickers

How To Make Vintage Stickers
Authored By Michael Soltis 0 Comment(s)

Feeling nostalgic lately? Remembering an old road trip in the family station wagon? The days of the massive boom box before teeny iPods took over? Jellied salads and striped popsicles on hot summer days? Nostalgia is fun. While the progression of time and technology bring about important innovations, vintage items remind us of happy times such as family vacations, a favourite food, or connecting in person before social media. Today, let’s trip down memory lane by making vintage stickers. This blog will guide you through this project, and give you some ideas on what to make. Ready? Let’s go back in time.

What you need to make vintage stickers

It’s easy to make vintage stickers from home. All you need is a computer/laptop/tablet, a printer, printable self-adhesive sticker vinyl, and your imagination.

Using your device and a program like Word, Avery, or Canva, you’ll organize a sheet of stickers digitally. If you use a label template, you can quickly line up your graphics, or even get one the way you want it and replicate it in each cell on the page.

The printer you will use to make your vintage stickers should be an inkjet or laser. Since both printers work differently (one sprays the color and the other layers it), you’ll get the best results by using the printable sticker vinyl that is specifically formulated for your printer. It should say on the package if it is for a laser or inkjet printer.

Printable sticker vinyl comes in different finishes: clear, glossy, or matte. Each will give you a great result, but if you are looking for more of an antique feel, choose matte. The matte finish really goes well with muted, faded tones. If you want more of an 80s pop art vibe when you make your vintage stickers, choose glossy. Those bright colors and black outlines really pop on glossy printable sticker vinyl. Clear is for when the destination surface your sticker will adhere to is part of the design. For example, if you are decorating a locker and want the stickers to appear “painted on,” clear provides your graphic on a see-through background.

Once you have your device ready to go, a design or label program open, and your printable sticker vinyl in your printer, it’s time to make vintage stickers! Now the rest is up to your imagination.

Project inspiration to make vintage stickers

You’ll find a lot of information about what is vintage and what is nostalgic online. Some articles even regulate “vintage” to a certain time period! We are only making stickers here, so don’t worry about if you are targeting the right decade. Vintage is whatever it means to you. If that’s the 90s, that’s fine. If that’s the Roaring 20s, go ahead. If it’s the peace and love of the 60s, more power to you. Vintage could be the iPod shuffle as easily as it could be the phonograph! So, start making your vintage stickers by choosing the time period that resonates with you.

Once you’ve identified a time period to base your vintage stickers on, decide what graphics you’d like to use. Some ideas are:

  • Maps
  • Photographs
  • Pop clip art/older clip art
  • Vintage tattoo styles
  • Route 66 memorabilia
  • Fashion
  • Cars
  • Music players
  • Retro culture/Rockabilly
  • Historical figures

When you make vintage stickers on high quality printable sticker vinyl, you’ll get a great result whether you are printing photos or graphics.

Where to find images for vintage stickers

If you can draw, paint, or make digital art, why not make vintage stickers from your own designs? You can scan your art or create your digital art in a program that will make a file that can be ported over into a label template. However, you really don’t need to be artistically inclined to make vintage stickers. There are plenty of free and paid sites where you can source images. Please be ethical and respect artists’ work. If the site has a fee to use a graphic, paying it compensates the artist or photographer. Now, if you are using common images, such as a picture of Elvis or a general photo of a cassette tape, the graphic is not on a paid site, and you are not going to use it for any profitable gain, you can use images you find online.

Tips for creating vintage stickers

Vintage photographs are not very high res, so you’ll want to avoid resizing them and losing the photo’s integrity. If you resize a low-resolution photo it could become quite grainy. Look for vintage photographs that have a good natural size where everything is clear to avoid making stickers too small to show off the details, or having to enlarge them and making everything fuzzy.

We’ve created two blogs with desktop design terms to help you create stickers of all kinds. These guides apply to making vintage stickers on printable sticker vinyl as well. Here are links to part 1 and part 2. Of particular interest in part 1, for making vintage stickers, is the bleed mark. Graphics inside the mark do not “run” over the edge of the stickers. This is ideal for pop art, simple graphics, and line art. Running over the edge is more suitable to photographs.


Go down memory lane with a fun and easy vintage sticker project! To make vintage stickers all you need is a computer, laptop, or tablet along with printable sticker vinyl and an inkjet or laser printer. Choose among glossy, matte, or clear for your sticker vinyl. Glossy is great for pop art while matte is ideal for antique styles. Clear lets the background of the surface come through. The graphics are up to you. Vintage to you may mean anything from the neon colors of the 80s to the fun of the Roaring 20s. The stickers are up to you as well. From photos to graphics to line art, vintage can be represented in many different ways. You can source vintage photos and graphics online or create your own. As long as you can get a digital file compatible with whatever program you are working in, and this can include something easy like Word, you can make your vintage stickers. We’ve provided two blogs on the blog section of our website of common desktop design terms to help you create stickers of all kinds.

Ready to get started? Royal Elements has everything you need to make vintage stickers. Our online store sells printable vinyl, adhesive vinyl, and heat transfer vinyl along with transfer tape, laminating sheets, magnetic sheets, and more and our blog has plenty of design tips. We love to see the projects you make using Royal Elements products. Post your results online with the hashtag #royalelementsstickers so we can feature your designs on our social networks (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube).  Visit to learn more.


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