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Stickers are a fun and easy hobby and have so many applications. They are great motivators for kids when used on graded assignments or when used on a chore chart. Students love them because they liven up binders, lockers, and laptop covers. Business owners love them because stickers are a great and affordable way to add “thank you” to a receipt or packing slip and make handy promo items at conferences and events. There are just so many great uses for stickers! One of the most popular kinds of stickers are clip art, because of their simple yet charming nature. This blog will discuss how to make your very own vinyl clip art stickers so you can either develop a new hobby or learn something new about a hobby you already love.
What is clip art?
Clip art are simple pictures or illustrations of everyday things. They are uncomplicated, cute, and cheerful. Clip art is used as an electronic graphic to add to documents. It is also a form of artwork. However, most commonly you’ll see vinyl clip art stickers.
Two ways to make vinyl clip art stickers
There are two ways to make vinyl clip art stickers. The first is to find clip art that you like online. There are plenty of places online to get free clip art, such as Pixabay, Freepix, and Class Room Clip Art. You can also purchase clip art through sites like Etsy, Shutterstock, and GettyImages®. Reasons to purchase clip art, even though so much of it is free online, is that some images are licensed. If you are looking for Disney clip art, for example, the provider has purchased a license to be able to sell those images to you. Always ensure that you are respecting the company or artist providing the clip art – if the image is for sale, purchasing it protects the artist’s work.
The second way to make vinyl clip art stickers it to create your own clip art. You don’t need any special equipment. You can create clip art images in PowerPoint, Paint, and even Word. Also available is specific clip art software like Edraw. For those with no experience in digital art, there are plenty of tutorials online. Often, just playing around with the design elements of the software and learning how to draw lines, use the fill function, etc., is enough to get you started.
Important elements of clip art design
Designing your own vinyl clip art stickers? Here are some characteristics you should include:
- Basic colors: Clip art is all about the simplicity. Don’t worry about creating blended, shaded colors or fancy patterns and designs. Stick to basic, mostly primary, colors.
- Color blocking: Again, colors should not be used to create variation, shadows, or depict light. Clip art images are 2D and flat. Eyes are usually just round dots. There is little, if any, use of color to depict fine strands of hair, feathers, and other textures. Think of how a very talented child would draw something, then just color it in.
- Outline: Not all clip art images are outlined, but many are. A black outline around the illustration is a common hallmark of vinyl clip art stickers.
- Size: Most clip art images are on the small size.
- Playful: Clip art is joyous thanks to its cute design and colorful nature. Ensure your design is playful and fun.
- Simple: Don’t complicate your design with fine linework and depth. Keep it nice and simple. Ask yourself, what’s the easiest way to draw this image that still shows what it is?
- Nouns: When in doubt about what to draw, default to a noun. Draw a simple person, place or thing. Clip art isn’t about landscapes, realism, geometric patterns, etc. It’s about a simple image that is instantly recognisable, like the yellow smiley face, a smiling sun, or a thought balloon.
Printing vinyl clip art stickers
Now that you have either found designs you like or drawn your own vinyl clip art stickers, it’s time to print them.
Printable vinyl comes in matte, glossy, or clear. It is also formulated for inkjet or laser printers – be sure to get the right type for your printer to prevent the ink from smearing, the paper from jamming, and your image from not setting properly.
For printing rows of symmetrical stickers, use a label template in Word or Avery. This allows you to make one sticker then copy it down the sheet. It’s easier for replication or cutting. You are not bound by this, however. You can place as many individual stickers of any shape onto the sheet as it will handle! You’ll be checking your print preview before you print your vinyl clip art stickers, so you’ll see if any fall outside of the printable border. If so, just click on it and drag it back to a safe place on the page. Just ensure that you leave enough room to cut around your stickers.
Load your printable vinyl sheet (some printers require the clear side up, others require the backing side up so do a test run with an X on a piece of plain paper first) and hit print.
You have now printed a sheet of vinyl sticker clip art and you can use your stickers to add a little cheer to your, or someone else’s, day.
Vinyl clip art stickers are popular, useful, and fun. You can make your own vinyl clip art stickers by finding free or purchasable clip art images online. Alternately, have fun making your own stickers by using basic or more sophisticated design software. Some characteristics of clip art design include: basic colors, color blocking, outlining, smaller sizes, playful images, visual interpretation of nouns, and simplicity. Purchase the type of vinyl sticker paper that matches your printer – laser or inkjet. Lay your stickers out on a template, or drag and drop or copy and paste them to a page (if using Word. Design software will have its own printing process). Ensure you have enough room around each sticker so you can easily cut out your design using scissors. All that is left to do is to enjoy.
Are you ready to make your own vinyl clip art stickers? Royal Elements sells printable sticker vinyl for both laser and inkjet printers in our online store. We have a variety of printable and adhesive vinyl products for all your crafting and sticker making needs. Our blog has plenty of design tips too. 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 https://www.amazon.com/royalelements and https://www.royalelements.com/ today to learn more.