When making DIY stickers, crafters can choose from a wide variety of adhesive material to create the item's permanent backing, and should consider waterproofing the final product to protect their artwork. Stickers can be made at home using many simple ingredients found around the house, or tools commonly available in art supply stores. These DIY creations are often less expensive than purchasing pre-made stickers, and can be used as a means of demonstrating an artist's personal design skills. The method chosen for making these unique designs often depends on the size, shape, and difficulty of the image being used.
Any type of spreadable adhesive can be used to coat the back of the printed paper to turn it into a sticker. A common mixture for this solution can be made from one part vinegar to two parts white all-purpose glue. The ingredients should be thoroughly combined and painted lightly onto the back of the printed surface. A sponge brush tends to work best for creating DIY stickers because it leaves an even layer of glue without creating raised brush strokes, which can appear later through the surface of the sticker.
Once the adhesive has been allowed to dry, the DIY stickers can be flattened for several hours prior to use. Heavy books tend to provide the flattest surface for this type of project, without creating unwanted permanent indentations in the stickers. The stickers must be flattened prior to applying any protective elements to the front of the design, to prevent bubbles, streaks, and raised areas in the finished product.
It is important to waterproof DIY stickers to prolong their lifespan and the integrity of the printed design. Waterproofing can be accomplished in a variety of ways, and typically involves coating the printed sticker surface with a protective material prior to activating the adhesive on the back. Clear packing tape may be used to cover small stickers, and clear or opaque contact papers can be used on larger designs. Whichever protective material is chosen, it should be able to cover the entire sticker design without requiring an overlapping second layer. Moisture and other elements can seep between overlapping lines and damage the design underneath.
Simple designs can be turned into DIY stickers quickly using image transfer techniques or specially designed sticker printer paper. Image transfer is the process of adhering the ink of a design to a new surface, without permanently affixing the material it was printed on. To accomplish this, home crafters can print out their favorite designs on standard printer paper, limiting them in size to that of the width of clear packing tape. The printed design can then be pressed against the tape, and wet with a damp cloth from behind. After soaking for a few minutes, the paper can be removed and the design will remain on the tape, which can be used as a sticker.
Sticker printer paper is available at art supply stores and some office supply stores. This type of paper, which has a peel away adhesive backing, can be fed manually through a home printer, and used to print out favorite designs from the computer or pictures. The stickers may then be waterproofed, or cut out and used as is.