DIY Stickers | Document Your December 2020

Discussion in 'Document Your December 2020 Fun & Games' started by Karen, Nov 10, 2020.

  1. Karen

    Karen Wiggle it, just a little bit!

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    Hello everyone! Can you believe it's time to start thinking about keeping Christmas/Holiday memories already? I won't lie, normally I'm not quite ready to think about any of it yet, but this year, I'm actually excited for Christmas and pretty lights and planning Christmas shopping lists. One of the things I want to do to get ready for Christmas is to make some fun Christmas stickers to use in the upcoming weeks in my personal journal. I'm slightly obsessed with making stickers from all of the great goodies in my digital stash, so I thought I'd share the steps I take to make my own stickers.

    The first thing you might find useful is THIS TEMPLATE. I personally use my Silhouette Portrait to cut my own stickers out after I print them. If you're going to print and cut your stickers with a Silhouette, there are keep out areas where you can't put any elements because the software prints registration marks in 3 of the corners, so that when you feed your printed stickers into the Silhouette, it reads those marks and knows exactly where to cut. If you use a Silhouette Portrait, download my template and put your stickers inside the gray border.

    Keep Out Areas small.jpg

    I prefer to lay out my stickers in Photoshop because that's what I'm most familiar with. You can use any software to layout out your stickers. If you use another software, I've included a .png of the keep out areas for the Silhouette Portrait.

    I will TRY to be concise with my steps. If you have any questions feel free to ask in this thread and I'll try to help you out!

    STEPS TO PRINTING AND CUTTING STICKERS
    1. Create a 8.5 x 11 document in Photoshop. You can start with my .psd or the .png for keep out areas if that applies to you.

    2. Place all the elements you want to make into stickers. TIP: sometimes I fill my background with a color so I can see where the edges of my sticker are.

    Stickers to print 58_A5 sheets laid out small.jpg

    3. Create a blank layer on top of all other layers. On this layer you will create a solid black version of every element you want to cut. This will make selection in the Silhouette software SO much easier. Once you have a blank layer, hit hot-key "D" to make your foreground color black. CTRL-click the icon for each layer that contains any element (puts marching ants around each element) then while you have your new blank layer selected, do ALT-Backspace to fill black into that top most layer. You can also select a bunch of layers at once by doing CTRL-click on the first layer, then hold SHIFT-CTRL-click on all of the other layer's icon.

    Stickers to print 58_A5 sheets BLACK small.jpg

    4. Turn off the background layer so it's just the black outline of all your elements and the background is the grid to show it'll be transparent.

    5. Save a .png of the black "tracing layer"

    6. Turn off the black layer and save another .png of all your elements.

    Stickers to print 58_A5 sheets small.jpg

    7. Open your Silhouette software.

    8. Turn on the registration marks.

    Capture 3.jpg

    9. Drag in the black layer. Make sure it's completely inside the registration marks and inside the red border (anything outside that area is beyond the cutters reach).

    10. Trace the black layer. Click the butterfly looking icon. Click Select Trace Area. Window around your whole black layer and then click Trace. This puts a red line around each black shape and that's where the cut with happen.

    Traced small.jpg

    11. Drag in the elements (colored) version and hover over the black traced layer until it pops right in place.

    Sticker inserted small.jpg

    12. Print your design. Make sure you load the sticker paper into your printer first. (recommendation for sticker papers below). I always print with HIGH quality, and the Matte Photo Paper setting. I have also found that I have to use Fit-to-Page with my printer in order to get it sized correctly. You may have to play around with this a bit. I would be wise to print a draft quality on regular paper first to make sure it looks correct if this is your first time.

    Print Preferences small.jpg

    13. Stick your printed sheet on your cutting mat. Feed into your Silhouette with the mat loading button (top one on my Portrait, the one with the grid)

    14. Click on the Send tab. Pick the type of sticker paper you are printing on from the Material drop down. Set the cutting depth on your blade to match the setting in your software.

    15. Click the bottom SEND button and watch the cutting magic happen.

    I know this looks like a LOT of steps, but once you get the hang of it, it goes pretty quickly. I'd be happy to answer any questions if you get stuck. I know I was really frustrated when I first tried to print and cut and didn't know what I was doing and I couldn't find anything online to help.

    What about STICKER PAPER?
    The next important part of printing stickers is what sticker paper you should use. There are many options and I've tried quite a few. I have one favorite for white sticker paper and 2 equal favorites for clear sticker paper.

    I love Online Labels for all sticker paper. They are very inexpensive, but high quality. You can order a sample of any kind that you like and they will send it for free. You can also order any amount that you'd like, but the more you buy, the cheaper each sheet is. Here are my favorites:

    ONLINE LABELS WHITE STICKER PAPER (this is matte)
    (they have glossy white labels too)
    Silhouette setting for white sticker paper:
    blade depth - 2
    speed - 8
    force - 14
    passes -1

    ONLINE LABELS CLEAR STICKER PAPER
    Silhouette setting for white sticker paper:
    blade depth - 1
    speed - 3
    force - 20
    passes -2

    AVERY CLEAR STICKER PAPER
    (same as above)


    Sticker paper tips:
    • If you use clear sticker paper, you can even add shadows
    • Glossy white paper is a bit more expensive, but the colors seem brighter to me.
    • There is always a tiny bit of offset when cutting a whole sheet of stickers. To avoid seeing an obvious shift, I prefer clear sticker paper and I always add about an 11 pixel border of "white" (prints clear) so I don't lose any of my design.
    • When printing on white sticker paper, to avoid seeing the shifts, I add a solid "bleed" stroke of 8-11 pixels. This works best when the whole edge of your sticker is the same color. So if you're printing a blue label, add a outside stroke of the same color blue. Then if the cutting shifts, you won't see a bit of white on one side and not on the other.

    Here are some pictures of the stickers after I printed them too. :agree
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
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  2. Karen

    Karen Wiggle it, just a little bit!

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    I'm going to reserve this post for easy Q&A. :agree

    Q: When do you add the bleed?
    A: I add the bleed as I'm going along and adding elements in Photoshop. I add it as a stroke layer style so that when I CTRL-click on the layers it only selects the original element shape, but then when I print, it prints the bleed outside of the black layer.

    When I save my black .png I do have to make sure all of my elements are turned off or you'll see that bleed outside of the black shapes.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
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  3. lcpereyra

    lcpereyra You won't believe my blue streak!

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    Excellent tutorial! Certainly better than trying to trace everything in silhouettes software, which is what I’ve always done, and why I usually fussy cut vs print and cut! Ha!
     
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  4. plumdumpling

    plumdumpling CT - Krista Sahlin

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    This is a great tutorial. I do have a question. When do you add the bleed for white sticker paper? Do you do it before you create the black cutting file layer? The shift was one of my main complaints when I tried the print/cut option for my second son's first birthday (he's 10 now!). I haven't used the feature since, but your tutorial has me willing to give it another go!
     
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  5. Karen

    Karen Wiggle it, just a little bit!

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    I add the bleed as I'm going along and adding elements in Photoshop. I add it as a stroke layer style so that when I CTRL-click on the layers it only selects the original element shape, but then when I print, it prints the bleed outside of the black layer.

    When I save my black .png I do have to make sure all of my elements are turned off or you'll see that bleed outside of the black shapes.
     
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  6. umyesh

    umyesh Swooning for warm bread & butter

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    I can't wait to try this! Maybe tomorrow...
     
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  7. bellbird

    bellbird Pollywog

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    i bow down to your hybrid awesomeness Karen! totally wowed by all this!
     
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  8. Karen

    Karen Wiggle it, just a little bit!

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    Can't wait to see what you make! :agree
     
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  9. Karen

    Karen Wiggle it, just a little bit!

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    :giggle I really love making stickers! so, thanks!
     
  10. plumdumpling

    plumdumpling CT - Krista Sahlin

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    Thanks!
     
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  11. Cherylndesigns

    Cherylndesigns All glasses should be bigger than 1.5 oz

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    Thanks so much for this awesome tutorial, Karen!!
     
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  12. umyesh

    umyesh Swooning for warm bread & butter

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    Thanks so much for this tutorial Karen! I'm finally ready to cut but my machine tells me registration failed. Any suggestions? I tried a manual adjustment but it still failed. Thanks in advance!
     
  13. Karen

    Karen Wiggle it, just a little bit!

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    Yep... scooch your matt over a smidge to the left (usually). There are bigger lines embossed along the front edge and then there are 3 smaller line. I usually line my matt up with the left most of the 3 small lines, but sometimes it wants it over to the left a little more. It's wonky and weird.

    Sometimes it's also if you have really low light or glossy paper. If there's a shine on glossy paper, that can mess it up too.
     
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  14. umyesh

    umyesh Swooning for warm bread & butter

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    Thanks! I'll see what I can do.
     
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  15. BevG

    BevG If I can't remember it, it didn't happen

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    And if you don't have one of those fancy cutting machines, just stop at Step 3 and use your scissors! Love printing stickers out for all kinds of uses.
     
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