Stickers are awesome. You can use them to decorate anything and everything. Put them on your laptop, car, refrigerator, backpack—whatever you want to drive attention to. Personal use aside, learning how to make and sell stickers online can be a lucrative business to start, since there will always be customers for your products.
According to eRank, which tracks trending products on the online marketplace Etsy, “stickers” was the ninth-most searched keyword on the website in January 2022. There’s definitely a demand for this product, which is the reason why so many sticker shops have opened in recent years.
Why not start your own sticker business? In this post, we’ll go over how to design and print stickers, where to sell them, and some ideas for promoting your sticker business.
Don’t wait for someone else to do it. Hire yourself and start calling the shots.
Creating your stickers
First, think about what type of stickers you want to sell. With so many sticker shops in existence, you need to identify a unique aesthetic to stand out in the marketplace. Consider your hobbies, favorite artistic styles, quotes representing your personality, and communities you’re a part of to get ideas for your stickers.
When it comes to creating the sticker design, you can install a digital art program on a tablet and draw by hand. For iPad users, the app Procreate lets you draw, texture, and color anything you want to create.
What kind of stickers can I make?
When it comes to sticker printing, you can choose from a variety of cuts and finishes. Deciding these things early on will help you streamline your processes.
There are two main cuts for stickers: kiss cut and die cut.
- Kiss cut stickers are made by cutting through the top sticker layer while retaining the paper backing. When the sticker is removed, a border and the backing remain behind. You can use this cutting technique to make sheets of stickers containing different designs.
- Die cut is when both the sticker material and the backing material are cut into the same shape. It could be as simple as a square or circle, or as complex as the eight limbs of an octopus.
Types of sticker finishes
Stickers can have different looks and feels depending on the material they’re printed on. For example, fine detail may look better on a matte finish, whereas bolder designs look better on holographic stickers.
The most popular finishes include:
- Vinyl or glossy paper
- Holographic glitter
You may want to do a trial run with different finishes before finalizing one for your stickers.
How do I make stickers to sell?
There are several methods you can use to create your own custom stickers. Some people take the DIY approach, where they design, cut, and print stickers at home. Others prefer to work with a professional printer to make their stickers. There are also print-on-demand companies that do most of the work for you.
Each method has its pros and cons, which we’ll detail below.
Printing stickers at home with a Cricut
To make your own stickers at home, you’ll need access to the right equipment. A Cricut machine is similar to a primer, with a blade capable of cutting precise designs out of various materials, like paper.
Alongside your Cricut, you’ll also need access to adhesive sticker paper, available from online retailers (like OnlineLabels.com and Amazon), office supply stores, and craft stores. Double check that the paper you get is suitable for your type of printer (laser or inkjet).
To create your stickers:
- Choose your file for printing on your computer.
- Connect the computer to your printing machine.
- Prepare your choice of paper and print the design.
- Apply any finishes or lamination to the printed design.
- Use the Cricut machine to cut around your sticker.
You’ll need to calibrate your Cricut machine using the software included with the device. Go into your account menu, then choose calibration. Select your knife blade and insert a plain sheet of paper into your machine, and follow the instructions provided here for calibration.
It’s best to perform a few test cuts with a machine like a Cricut to ensure you’re cutting within the lines. Printing at home can involve some trial and error to get everything just right.
Printing stickers with GotPrint or Sticker Mule
The second way to print stickers is to pay a company to do it for you. There are many vendors for sticker printing, such as GotPrint, Sticker Mule, and StickerApp. With these services, you upload your artwork online and the company prints, cuts, and ships you the finished stickers.
If you’re on a budget, GotPrint is going to be your preferred choice, as it charges about half of what Sticker Mule and StickerApp charge for making and shipping stickers. The downside of this sticker printer is that it does not have the option of vinyl stickers. Make sure you factor this into your decision about which sticker printer to use for your business.
The main benefit of printing stickers with a company is that they take the guesswork out of calibrating a cutting machine on your own. It’s also sensible if you’re doing high-volume orders and don’t want to purchase equipment to print at home, or if you don’t have the time to print them by yourself. Not only do reputable sticker printers deliver high-quality finishes, but they also offer templates you can use to create unique stickers in less time.
Printing stickers with POD (print on demand) dropshipping
The last method of printing stickers is using print-on-demand dropshipping. Shopify POD apps like Printful and AOP+ let you upload a design and take care of everything else, from cutting to printing to sending orders to your customer.
Dropshipping takes a lot of things off your plate, but leaves you with less control, since you don’t get to see the finished product. So if you decide to take this route, make sure to request a sample so you can see the sticker’s quality first hand.
How do I sell stickers online?
When you’re ready to monetize your creations, you have a few channels you can tap into for selling your stickers. You can sell on Etsy, use a dropshipping marketplace like Redbubble, or set up your own online sticker shop. Here’s what selling through each channel requires.
Selling stickers on Etsy and Redbubble
There are various ways to sell your stickers online, including listing your designs on pre-existing marketplaces. Creative marketplaces like Etsy and Redbubble are excellent for getting your designs in front of an existing audience. However, there is a slight difference between the two options.
With Etsy, you’re expected to create your stickers at home, ship them to customers, and manage orders. When you sign up for the marketplace, you’ll get a storefront you can list your products on, and customers will be able to find your products through search.
Each new product you add to Etsy comes with a $0.20 listing fee, which renews at a set time. When you make a sale using a basic Esty account, you’ll also pay a 5% commission and a fee for the transaction.
But while Etsy is very simple to set up, you’ll only have a handful of customization options to make your site stand out from sites by other creators. Make sure you optimize your storefront with:
- Engaging product descriptions featuring keywords
- High-quality product photos to capture audience attention
- A streamlined checkout and delivery process for customers
With Redbubble, selling is a little easier because you don’t have to make and ship stickers yourself. Websites like Redbubble allow you to upload your art to the shared marketplace for free. Whenever a customer buys something, the website prints and ships the product to your customer for you. All you need to do is pay for the costs of making the product.
Though Redbubble takes a lot of the work off your shoulders when it comes to selling stickers, you’ll have very little control over the creation and fulfillment process. This can make it difficult to stand out from the competition. Additionally, because you’ll pay a portion of your sales to Redbubble for creating the product and shipping it to customers, your profit margins can be quite low.
Selling stickers through your own online shop using Shopify
Creating your own ecommerce store lets you gain full control over the process, including the brand, the design, and running sales and promotions. You get to build everything from the ground up and call the shots about how your shop will be presented to your audience.
With Shopify, you pay a monthly fee to keep your shop running, depending on which plan you choose. If you’re selling on Etsy, you can migrate your sales, products, and customer information to Shopify by importing your Etsy data.
Note: Many online sticker stores sell on both Shopify and Etsy to diversify their reach and reap the benefits from both platforms.
The challenge of running your own sticker shop is you’ll need to spread the word about your business, which you can do by working with influencers, using social media, or through strategies like email marketing or customer service.
How to price stickers for sale
Choosing the right price for your stickers is one of the most important steps in ensuring you get a sale. When you’ve put a lot of time and effort into creating something yourself, it’s hard to choose a price that seems fair. A good way to begin looking for pricing options is to consider the competition. Look at other sticker shops selling products similar to yours.
Most stickers sold online will cost between $2 and $6. However, it’s possible to charge more based on factors like:
- The size of the sticker (bigger items usually cost more)
- The materials used, such as holographic sticker paper
- The complexity of the design, such as whether it’s a custom piece
Ideally, a good price for your stickers will allow you to make a small profit on whatever you create. To make a profit, you’ll need to consider the value of your time creating the stickers, the cost of materials if you’re going to be printing your stickers yourself, and the price of shipping and packaging.
You may decide to offer a range of different prices for your stickers, depending on whether people are buying standalone designs, bundled packs, or custom creations.
Cash in on your creations
By now you’ve learned everything you need to know to bring your sticker ideas to life. Stickers may be a small product, but customers know it takes plenty of hard work to make custom stickers from scratch. That’s why there’ll always be a demand for stickers.
Compared to other businesses, launching a sticker shop is a relatively straightforward and affordable way to get into entrepreneurship. From logo stickers to cute cartoon stickers to funny quotes stickers, there are several types of stickers you can create to get the satisfaction and profit you desire.
So start turning your pieces of art into stickers and cash in on a hot new trend!
Making and selling stickers FAQ
How do I produce stickers at home?
To make stickers at home, insert your designs into a color printer and then print them onto sticker paper. Once done, cut out the individual shapes either by hand or using a cutting machine like a Silhouette or Cricut.
How do I make vinyl stickers?
You can easily make your own vinyl stickers by printing your designs onto vinyl sticker paper. Self-adhesive vinyl paper for making stickers at home can be bought online, at office supply stores, or at craft stores. Or, you can get custom vinyl stickers made through a printing service.
How do I print stickers?
To print stickers, you’ll need to buy sticker paper, either online or at a craft store. Make sure the sticker paper you select works with your printer type, whether laser or inkjet. You can also use a service like Sticker Mule or GotPrint to get your stickers printed.