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Back when printers were not as common, printing stickers was an expensive business. If you wanted to promote your small business with vinyl stickers, you would have had to go to a print shop, pay to make your design, and then pay some more to get it printed.
Thankfully, those days are long behind us. Today, if you have an inkjet printer at home, you can make your sticker design, and print out your desired stickers in an instant. So, whether you are just trying to have a good time, or want to print vinyl stickers professionally, you can do so without any hassle.
What Is Printable Vinyl?
Before we talk about how printable vinyl makes for wonderful stickers, I’d like to explain what it is and why it works so well. It used to be difficult for me to understand how to print vinyl, but today I find it very easy.
Have you ever used your desktop printer to print on paper or scrapbook or any other things? Vinyl can be printed as well! There is no better way to make easy, professional-looking stickers. How about regular vinyl?
The ink won’t penetrate regular vinyl when you print on it. This simply pools on the page and runs off. It looks awful. That is why it’s recommended to use printable vinyl only.
Advantages Of Using Printable Vinyl
You do not have to cut out the inside of letters or the center of objects when you design with printable vinyl.
The color effects and details you can achieve with adhesive vinyl are not possible with regular vinyl. For example, you can create watercolor, shading, and intricate lines. You can easily make many stickers with a vinyl cutter when you work with a vinyl cutter.
Mass-producing these babies can be used for a variety of purposes, from selling them to giving them away as party favors or advertising your business at craft fairs.
By applying a clear vinyl layer on top of printable vinyl, the vinyl can in fact become waterproof. As a result, they are superior to paper stickers.
Stickers printed on regular sticker paper won’t stand up to spills, as well as on mugs and tumblers, bikes, and mailboxes. Printing vinyl is definitely the best option if you want stickers that last.
How To Print Vinyl Stickers With Inkjet Printer?
Step 1: Preparing your Design
Before you can start printing your stickers with an inkjet printer, you need to design them. Unfortunately, this is a skill that you must learn yourself before you start working on sticker printing.
However, image designing applications have become a lot more intuitive these days. So even if you have some basic idea about using your computer, you should be fine. You can even take help from a friend, or look at some tutorial videos to teach you some of the basic functions.
Everybody has their own way when it comes to creating a new design. Though there is nothing wrong with that, we believe there is a right way to tickle your creativity to optimize the flow of ideas. That is why we recommend going with the three-step-method to prepare your design.
The first step to any creative process is an inspiration. Before you start making your design, you need to think about what your message is. A good sticker always sends a message. Amidst all the squiggly lines and doodles on a sticker, this is a deeper meaning that gives it a unique personality.
A good way to get some quick inspiration is to look at the work of others. Just do a quick google search for vinyl stickers and you should find a lot of good designs in the image section. Look closely at the designs until you find something you like and start from there.
Once you have an idea of what your design should be, you need to bring it into existence. So, take out a pen and paper and start doodling. Close your eyes and try to visualize the patterns. We will focus on the pattern first since it is much easier to work on the color later on in the software.
After a couple of attempts, you should have a decent idea of what your sticker will look like. Now it is time to create the design in your image editing software. Two good software options to create your desired designs are Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.
Unfortunately, you need to buy the software if you want to use it. You can also use any other free software of your liking to create the design as long as you know how to use it. After creating your sticker, you can also experiment with different color options to shape it to your liking.
When exporting your design, just make sure you export in 300 dot pixels per inch resolution minimum for good quality.
2. Printing Your Stickers
Now that you have your design finalized, you can get started with printing the sticker. Since you are printing vinyl stickers, make sure you have enough vinyl papers in hand.
For transparent stickers, you can find clear vinyl printer papers too. It is best not to go with cheap paper as it will reflect the quality of your stickers. Here are the steps to print your stickers properly.
Step – 1:
Open a new document in your preferred image editing software. If you have the option when opening a new document, set the size of the document to 8 x 11 inches. In some software, you need to edit the size later after you open it.
Step – 2:
Next, you want to import your design onto the new document. In some software, you can simply drag and drop the design file on the document window and it will get pasted. However, some software requires you to go to the “File” tab and choose the “Import” option.
You want to arrange your stickers in the right alignment to print them. Some people like printing multiple stickers on one vinyl paper to save cost. If you want that, you need to make sure that the designs do not overlap or touch the margins. Typically, you can arrange at least 8 designs in a single document.
Step – 3:
For the next phase, you want to preview the document before sending it to print. Look carefully for any inconsistencies in the arrangement of the stickers. If everything seems fine, you are ready to start printing.
Step – 4:
It is time to load up your printer with the vinyl paper that you bought from the store. When inserting the paper into the feed tray, make sure the non-adhesive side of the paper is where your printer prints to. If you are confused which side is the right side, do a test run with just a single sheet of paper.
Step – 5:
Once your printer is all set to go, you can simply fire it up. In your image editing software where you previewed your sticker, there should be a button labeled “Print.” Simply click on it and wait for your printer to finish printing.
Step 3: Laminating Your Sticker
Now that you have your sticker printed on vinyl paper, there is one more step you need to go through. You need to apply an over-laminate sheet over the stickers to make sure it looks good and shiny. You should be able to find these sheets in any local store or online.
When you get your over-laminate sheet, you want to put it on top of the vinyl paper where you have your design. Then while holding it close, you need to peel off the backing of the laminate paper slowly. As you peel, press down on the laminate paper to paste it on the surface of the vinyl paper.
Once you have pasted over the entire vinyl sheet, you can cut out the stickers and get rid of the excess paper. Try to cut as close to the design as you can without cutting through it. Voila, your stickers are now ready to be used.
With the advancement of printing technologies, printing vinyl stickers at home has become a lot easier. In fact, most people who print stickers for personal or professional use opt to do it at home to save unnecessary expenses. Besides, designing and printing stickers is a lot more fun this way.
We hope our article on how to print vinyl stickers at home with an inkjet printer could help you figure out how you can print high-quality stickers easily.
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