Picture of Homemade Stickers
Want to make stickers, but don't feel like forking out lots of cash for sticker paper? Thankfully there's an easy way to make your own with stuff you probably have around the house, or are easily accessible.

WARNING: These stickers can be VERY difficult to get off depending on the surface you put it on. They are not like your average peel-n-stick and might rip during removal. If you get in a...sticky situation...for what you stick where it's your own damn sticker adhesive and you're gonna soak in it!

If you like my Instructable please rate it. :)

- Thanks to ItstheHobbs for helping me remember what contact paper is called.

- Please do not ask me to upload my sticker designs. I'm not going to give them to you no matter how nicely you ask. The only way to get one is for me to personally hand you one.

- I just added that pun in the warning there. Please do not hesitate to shoot me in the face.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
You need:
White Vinegar
White Glue (Elmer's works fine)
Your design(s) printed out on paper*
A wide brush
Tupperware container OR jar (optional)
Packaging tape OR Clear Contact Paper (optional)**
Straight edge
Little spray bottle (Recommended)
Scissors OR X-acto Blade

*Regular printer paper works the best I've found. I printed some on matte paper and the adhesive didn't absorb into the paper, making for a weaker sticker.

** Utrecht's art supply carries this in about 36" rolls. It's also great for making very crisp stencils. The only bad thing about this is it rips easier than the tape. It's also a tad expensive, last I remember.

Design Tips: Try to fit as many stickers as you can on one sheet. With rectangular or square stickers this shouldn't be a problem. But with stickers with a more dynamic shape I like to leave about an 1/8" border around the edge of the ink.
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Does it have to be vinegar mixed with glue? Can there be an alternative to vinegar for this?
I need to do something like this. I have stickers on the back of my 3DS, and they are already peeling. Thank you for the tutorial!
Be mindful that the adhesive works best on porous surfaces. The smooth back of a 3DS may not be the best surface.
NUBIG3NA.4 months ago

i tried this with and without the duct tape, and it didn't stick either time. what am i doing wrong? could it be the size of the sticker? mine are a little bigger than your cthulhu's head, but i also tried just cutting out bigger pieces of paper and doing the same thing on them and that didn't work either.

i didn't use elmer's glue specifically, just random liquid glue i had lying around(i don't live in america and the brands in my country are completely different). could that be the problem? also this could be a weird question, but can i also do this with wheat paste? a.k.a. does it dry and get sticky again if you wet it?

thanks for the guide, it's the most useful one i've found so far

SirBrittanicvs (author)  NUBIG3NA.4 months ago
So long as it was plain white glue and within the right proportions for the concoction it should have worked fine. Wood glue might even work tbh, but that stuff is of course better suited for wood applications.

I don't have any wheatpaste experience, but from what I do know is that it's sort of like plaster- when it's dry it stays dry.

i guess i messed up something while making the glue+vinegar mixture then. i'll try again, if nothing works i'll just have to make wheat paste haha

Is that an iron maiden sticker I see there? ^.^
Pilljoys5 months ago
I am so confused, I think I did it wrong…
SirBrittanicvs (author)  Pilljoys5 months ago
Can you provide any details?


HI I AM SETH5 months ago
Hey... Flower power stickers!
jdhitc6 months ago

just a quick question here. When you put that glue on the back before it drys could you put the contact paper on it(the non sticky part) and leave the peel part on the contact paper so you would then have a peel off sticker?

SirBrittanicvs (author)  jdhitc6 months ago
Probably not, the glue works best with surfaces that can absorb it.
It will just sit on top of the contact paper if you do it that way. Plus, the glue is much stronger than contact paper on the right surface.
SLinaArt7 months ago

Does it have to be normal paper? I have some photo paper (dont know the actual name) thats a bit thicker and i was to print the sticker on that

SirBrittanicvs (author)  SLinaArt7 months ago
The glue really only works on regular paper so that its fibers can absorb it. Photo paper would not.
sarena.ebel7 months ago

Working on my gun and decided rather than paint in I would make my own sticker and adhere it to the gun before all the painting / and stain started. Turned out awesome! Going to try the window decals next!

frikkie7 months ago

So when you spray littel bit of water on back of sticker it basicly 'acitvates' the glue than you stick it? Just wanna make sure I understand correct. I also wanna make my own.

SirBrittanicvs (author)  frikkie7 months ago
That is correct. Think of it like a stamp.
nmccrary1 year ago
so cool! my first sheet turned out awesome!!
I adore your Ingress sticker! I can't see what the other two are though.
dkrampton9 months ago


miguel a11 months ago

the adhesive didint work for me

miguel a11 months ago

the adhesive didint work for me

really great method - works amazing

I used a hair drier to speed up the drying and they work great

JamesAre3 years ago
In step 3 theres weights ontop of a book ontop of the drawing. what surface is the glue touching? do u have a nonstick surface touching the glued side of paper? another question is. how can u make the stickers portable. like having a peel of backing to it?

the glue is dried so it dosnt matter what it touches so when its dried you can put it in your pocket but you still need to wet it with water before sticking it to something

djiron11 year ago

Thanks buddy this method really helped me, i based an article on how to make stickers in a cheaper way, where i had to analyse the most common printing methods and theyr advantages and also alternatives for the expensive vinyl sheets and sylicon layer paper sheets. gave you the proper credit for the information and stuf alot of thanks! :D

For the vinegar, does it have to be white vinegar, or can I use apple cider vinegar as well?

kcarring2 years ago
Can you use color ink jet printed images?
Wow, I have always wanted to make my own stickers, and now I know how! :D
Palo0132 years ago
Cool instructable whats the dead squid called in the first photo
This is pretty cool :)
adacus3 years ago
I'm a little confused. are these lick-and-stick stickers or the kind where you peel off the back and stick it? I have the ingredients ready to go, I just wanna make sure I'm making the kind of stickers I want to sell at a convention :)
BATKENYAN5 years ago
Where do you get your contact paper?
SirBrittanicvs (author)  BATKENYAN5 years ago
A few art/craft supply stores carry it. You could also check out hardware stores, the one I work at has a few kinds, I don't know about gloss clear, though.
heres an idea to make the stickers extra-tough. instead of contact paper, go to an office supply store and get a bunch of those clear overhead projector sheets. attach them to your stickers with spray adhesive. i haven't tried this method of waterproofing but i might. the overhead sheets are really thick so they should make the sticker really tough.
ilpug ilpug3 years ago
Update: tried it, and it works great, but honestly not worth the extra trouble. Packing tape works just as well.
 I think walmart carries contact paper. Sometimes it's used to cover shelves in kitchen cabinets and such so try in the household organizing section.
gossip133 years ago
can they stick to skin n be removed?
Energyzed3 years ago
So I tried my hand at this Instructable, and I followed everything correctly. For every 2 tbsp of glue mix in 1 tbsp of White Vinegar. Put one coat on the back of the sticker horizontally, let it dry, then put another on vertically, and let it dry. I put a heavy book on top of the sheet with my gaming computer on top of that. Let it sit for like 20 minutes, then put on the packaging tape to cover the artwork.

The only problem I'm having is that the water isn't making the glue sticky...it gets a little gummy, but the stickers want to curl up rather than stick. I can force them onto a surface and they seem to stick for the most part, but the corners are not lying down flat, and there's water spots. Is there something I'm doing wrong?
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