Being from the Lisa Frank generation, I am all about stickers. From plastering them onto notebooks and laptops to sticking them on cups – and yes even the occasional walls – I will forever be a sticker fiend.
So with yet another summer soon upon us, I was on the hunt for anything and everything that will keep my children entertained. As a work at home mom, I appreciate the flexibility I have in my schedule, but it also means that I need to mom while simultaneously working.
Enter: yet another creative outlet leftover from the hobby collecting I did in 2020 – making my own stickers!
This activity is especially great for rainy days and honestly is fun for all ages. I myself had a blast making my own! All you really need is a printer + scanner, sticker paper, and ideally paint markers (though any coloring utensils will work). You could also get away with not having a scanner, but that then makes this activity for kids old enough to use a computer. And maybe it’s the nostalgic fool in me, but I also love the unique creativity that comes from actual scribbles.
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DIY Stickers at Home – A Fun and Easy Activity for Kids
To start, I used Canva to make a layout for my kids to then color in.
If you don’t have Canva or don’t feel like making your own, you can click here to download the sheets that I created.
Getting started with sticker making
Once I printed these sheets, the kids and I sat down at the dining room table and got to work. I found that using paint markers means the colors translate relatively well after being scanned and reprinted, but even crayons or regular markers seem to work. We just happen to always have paint markers on hands for things like drawing on coffee mugs for gifts.
Definitely experiment with the different mediums and see what works for you. Once we had all of the stickers drawn out that we wanted to use on one sheet of paper, I scanned them into my computer. From there it was as easy as re-printing the sheet on sticker paper.
What kind of printer paper is used for stickers?
There’s a variety of options for the different kinds of sticker paper you might use. Clear and opaque glossy sticker paper is great for making professional-looking labels or stickers. So if you’re making stickers as labels for jars in your kitchen or drawers in your art cart, clear or opaque is the way to go.
Vinyl sticker paper is nice in that it’s usually waterproof and works great in almost any situation. These are especially nice if you want something that’s longer lasting.
Lastly there’s matte sticker paper, which is economic and great if you’re only using it for the kids to have fun with. I will tell you that matte sticker paper is known for acting like a sponge when it comes to ink, so don’t be surprised if your images aren’t as vibrant as expected!
Glossy Sticker Paper
Glossy sticker paper is what you see pictured here as I put my non-artistic self to use on some punny stickers:
It’s water resistant, but not waterproof. It’s not as expensive as vinyl sticker paper, but a little bit more so than most matte sticker paper. That said if I’m going to go and buy just one set of sticker paper, the glossy sticker paper is my top choice:
Pictured above is of course opaque sticker paper, but I also use clear glossy sticker paper. I love clear glossy sticker paper to make my own stickers for my yearly planner, my kitchen canisters, and anything else that I might not want white space mucking up the design or flow.
Vinyl Sticker Paper
Vinyl sticker paper is what you get when you think of bumper stickers, car decals, laptop stickers, etc. Unless you are planning to go pro and diy stickers to sell, vinyl sticker paper is absolutely overkill. Again it’s nice that it’s waterproof, but for a fun rainy day activity, the glossy mentioned above is your best choice.
What kind of printer do I need to print stickers?
This is actually really important. If you have a Laser Jet printer then you need to make sure you are using sticker paper meant for Laser Jet printers. Likewise, Inkjet printers require special Inkjet sticker paper. Paper is always labeled for one, the other, or both, so make sure you take a moment to double-check.
How do you cut stickers?
I’d be lying if i said i wasn’t toying with the idea of getting a paper cutter. Yes, one of those big ones you remember from the classroom. That said, if you’re not a weird crafty person like me, there are certainly easier options. A pair of scissors always works well, and if you have slightly older kids, this is a great opportunity to strengthen their fine motor skills.
Other options include a trim and score board (love these!) –
Or a craft punch, which again has a multitude of uses beyond today’s activity –
The kids absolutely love making their own stickers because they can also create labels, badges, and really anything that their imagination can come up with. As a mom, I really love this activity because not only is it fun for me, but it also means that my kids are entertained for a solid hour with very little direction needed or mess to clean up.
Lastly, I love keeping sticker making in the routine, because it means I almost always have sticker paper on hand. This means if I get the declutter bug, I’ve got the means to create labels as necessary. Or hey maybe I’ll start creating promotional stickers – if you see a minivan driving around Springfield, IL with a “Thrifty Guardian” sticker, give it a wave. 😉