Printing stickers at home with your inkjet printer
Updated: Aug 16, 2022
When it comes to having stickers printed, the common misconception is that it's a job better left to a professional, even more so if said stickers need to be printed on glossy vinyl sticker paper.
Printing stickers at home with your inkjet printer is something few people think is doable. Well, it's not only possible, it actually gives you some really good results. So you should definitely not let the fact you have a basic inkjet printer stop you from printing your own planner or journal stickers. All you really need is the right paper and an inkjet color printer and be familiar with the printing settings (it's really not difficult at all, don't let that scare you).
The first thing you need is a fairly decent inkjet printer and make sure it has the original brand's cartridge or ink in its tank. I cannot vouch for results with cheap refill inks, but you can still give it a try. I currently use a Epson L805 ink tank printer made to print photos, which is a bit more high end than your regular all purpose home printer, but you will get good result with a more basic color printer model just the same. In general, and from experience, Epson and Canon printers give better color printing results than HP, but this doesn't mean HP is bad by any mean. This means I don't want any of you to think you absolutely need a premium printer to do the job. I repeat, your regular printer WILL do just fine.
Next, you need sticker paper that is compatible with inkjet printers, and that one is VERY important, the inkjet printer ink tend to stay tiny bit wet during the printing process and the wrong paper could cause the ink to smudge and your printer to get insanely dirty, so when you buy sticker paper, make sure it is specifically made to be used with an inkjet printer and NOT a laser printer. There are several brand and finish options out there with different finish. My 2 favourite are TeQuiero Vinyl sticker paper with a glossy finish, and True-Ally Vinyl sticker paper.
Last but not least, you will need to pay attention to your printer settings carefully. On most printer, you will be better off using the best printing quality settings available and select "Glossy Photo Paper" as your paper option. The print speed will be a lot slower than with regular paper, this is normal, this is your printer's way to ensure the ink gets to dry and not smudge during the printing process. One thing I recommend is to make a test print on regular paper before you print your stickers, to check if all ink nozzles are clean and working correctly, and to make sure the color mode of your printer is giving you the best color results. Not all printers and inks are equal in that department, some printers convert the on screen RGB color values better than others, and denpending the print results, you might have to tweak the color settings a bit before you print. You will find those color options in your printer settings as well. A few years back, I made a YouTube video explaining it all.
Cutting your stickers for use
Once your stickers are printed, you'll need to cut them out of the A4 size paper, and you don't need a fancy plotting machine to do that. All you need is a good pair of scissors and a bit of patience. I usually cut mine out with regular craft scissors and then store them all in a box for when I am ready to use them in one of my journals. When I use to sell stickers on Etsy (Which I don't anymore) I would use an exacto knife and a cutting mat to do it. With an exacto knife, you can also "kiss cut" stickers so that just the sticky paper side get cut and the backing paper stays intact, it's all a matter of applying the right pressure with the knife on the paper. I do kiss cut more now that I have long acrylic nails that make peeling the backing of a completely cut out sticker really hard, ultimately you've got to stick with what works best for you right?
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