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If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s the value of having a great hobby. Hobbies help us pass the time, connect with others that share the same passions, and engage our brains in continuous learning. For many, a hobby must also be affordable and easily accessible. A hobby that is prohibitively expensive or requires you to give up an entire room in your house isn’t a good lifestyle fit for the average American. This is why a sticker making hobby is ideal. You can be creative (or not!) in the design process, the equipment and materials are very affordable, it takes up very little room, and it is a fun and rewarding experience. You can even monetize it, as many sticker making hobby enthusiasts have realized.
So, what do you need to get your sticker making hobby underway? Not much. In fact, you probably already have most of these items in your home. Ready to learn what sticker making equipment you need? Let’s dive in!
Computer or laptop or tablet
The first thing you need for a sticker making hobby is a digital device that can support basic design functions (no special software needed but we’ll get to that in a minute). All your device needs is access to a design platform and the ability to connect with an inkjet or laser printer.
What about using a smartphone? Yes! Your smartphone can be used for your sticker making hobby. There are apps and photo programs you can adapt for this. While you’ll have the most flexibility and creativity with a computer or laptop, you can have a lot of fun altering photos or creating doodles on your phone, then using them as printed stickers.
A design program
There is no need to rush out and buy a special program for your sticker making hobby. Any program that lets you manipulate an image will do. You can use MS Word’s picture toolbar and label features, or go online and use Avery’s label maker design studio.
There are plenty of online applications that will provide templates, graphics, and more. You’ll be able to match your level of expertise and creativity to a program for your sticker making hobby. For example, if you are comfortable with a high degree of image manipulation, Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop will let you create to your heart’s content. If you prefer drag-and-drop options and templates, Canva has everything you need. Crello, similar to Canva, keeps an updated supply of new designs. Some design programs are free, others have a cost for premium features.
Once your sheet of stickers is ready, all you have to do is print them out and enjoy. Your inkjet or laser printer will do the trick. Sticker vinyl is actually formulated for inkjet or laser printers to leverage the capabilities of each for the most durable, colorfast, stickers. When starting your sticker making hobby, ensure you get printable vinyl formulated for your printer. It will say “inkjet or laser” on the package.
Your printer can also accommodate precut labels (very handy when working with a template program like Avery), but for those shiny, tear proof stickers, buy printable sticker vinyl. If you do prefer precut paper labels, use a laminating sheet to add durability and waterproofing.
As mentioned above, printable sticker vinyl is the fastest and easiest way to create beautiful, tear-proof, waterproof creations for your sticker making hobby. It’s easy to cut with scissors or with a crafting cutter, and the full sheets allow for a variety of shapes and sizes on one page. Sticker vinyl is available by the box and can even be purchased in bulk. You can choose among glossy, matte, or clear to get the finish you want for any project. It’s very affordable and the flat packs are a cinch to store.
As you get more into your sticker making hobby, you can branch out and experiment with other types of sticker vinyl. For stickers on uneven surfaces, like the side of a tumbler, choose waterslide. This is a type of sticker vinyl with an adhesive that is activated in water. The adhesive is slow to dry, allowing you to slide the sticker around without creating a mess until you are happy with the placement.
For next-level crafting with your sticker making hobby, you can get non-printable vinyl that is cut into shape. Not to be confused with printable vinyl that has an adhesive side, this non-printable counterpart is called adhesive vinyl.
Adhesive vinyl is great for your sticker making hobby because it is not only trending, it really allows you to flex your creative side. You know those fun quote pictures; murals; and script on glasses, candles, and mirrors? That’s adhesive vinyl. If you ever walked into a makerspace, pop up shop, or home décor store and wanted to make one of those items for yourself with your own customized saying or graphic, adhesive vinyl is the way to go.
The equipment you’ll need for adhesive vinyl is a little different than for printable vinyl, though. To use adhesive vinyl for your sticker making hobby you’ll need:
- Adhesive vinyl sheets: They come in a huge variety of colors, patterns, and finishes.
- Transfer tape: This is how your design makes it onto a surface.
- A cutting tool: You can use scissors, but most adhesive vinyl designs are intricate. A CriCut®, Silhouette, or similar tool is best for when using adhesive vinyl for your sticker making hobby.
- Accessories: A weeding tool helps you remove excess vinyl from between loops of script or tight places in your design. A spatula, also known as a scraper, helps the transfer tape stick to the vinyl. Cutting mats or squares help with symmetry. You won’t need every accessory all at once. As you progress in your sticker making hobby, you’ll learn which tools you want to add to your collection.
The final thing you need for your sticker making hobby is a place to use your stickers. The options are endless! Personalize items for yourself or friends. Create bumper stickers. Make home décor. Put them in a bullet journal. You can even put them on magnetic sheets and have yourself a set of fun fridge magnets!
Since stickers are meant to be used, seen and enjoyed, you’ll never run out of ways to gift or display the products of your sticker making hobby.
A sticker making hobby is among the most affordable, flexible, and enjoyable hobbies out there. You can get super creative and dream up designs from scratch or use templates and design elements from sticker making apps/programs. All you need for your sticker making hobby is a digital device, a design program (even Word will do!) a printer, and sticker vinyl. For more experienced crafters, a sticker making hobby can include adhesive vinyl that is not printed on, but cut into shapes and sayings. You’ll need a few more things with adhesive vinyl, namely a cutting tool, transfer tape, and some accessories. Whether you choose printable or adhesive vinyl for your sticker making hobby, you’ll never lack for a place to enjoy them. Stickers make great gifts, can be used to customize or label objects, and can even be used as bumper stickers. The only limit is your imagination! So, start a sticker making hobby today and have fun.
Want to get started on your sticker making hobby right now? Royal Elements sells printable and adhesive vinyl, along with transfer tape, laminating sheets, magnetic sheets, and more in our online store – 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).