Introduction: How to Print Bumper Stickers at Home (nebsi/english Production Method)

[This describes a sticker making technique now called the nebsi production method]

There are lots of places online where you can design bumper stickers and get them shipped out to you ASAP. In small quantities this will set you back a couple of bucks per sticker. Printing your own bumper stickers is ten times cheaper and more than ten times faster.

Follow these instructions to print glossy, nearly professional-looking, peel-and-stick bumper stickers. Your stickers will be removable and repositionable. Though they're weather-resistant enough to last an election season, it's practical to replace them after a week, or day, with a new message—a sticker du jour, if you will.

You can print a page of three stickers, or do a production run of hundreds to give away. Either way, your materials cost will be about $0.25 each. The labor, when you cut in stacks, amounts to only a minute per sticker.

Step 1: Tools and Supplies

The secret ingredient is Avery #461253-73601 Self-Adhesive Laminating Sheets (look for them at your local office supplies store.) These laminating sheets are 9" x 12", and come 50 sheets to a box. A box (enough to make 150 bumper stickers) costs about $25. You probably already have the other things you need:


• Avery #461253-73601 Self-Adhesive Laminating Sheets
• 8.5" x 11" paper
• a printer
• scissors, or a paper cutter, or a rotary cutter, straight-edge, and cutting mat

Step 2: Printing

To streamline these instructions, I will assume you already have a suitable pdf or jpg file to print out. If you want to design your own sticker, the easiest thing to do is riff on the Pages files I have posted at stickerdujour.blogspot.com. You will also find instructions there for designing from scratch.

My designs are posted as 3-up (i.e., three stickers on each printed page), full-sheet jpgs. The standard mac program Preview (and many others) will print these full-sheet jpgs correctly by default, that is, the image will fill the entire printable area of the 8.5" x 11" page.

Let inkjet prints dry out for a few minutes before cutting.

Step 3: Cut Out the Stickers

You can use scissors, or a paper cutter for cutting and trimming, but, for production work, a rotary cutter, straight-edge and cutting mat are recommended. Cutting in decks saves lots of time.

Make the cuts indicated by the tiny printed registration marks. Make the outside cuts first, then the ones that divide the deck.

Step 4: Organize the Stickers

Organize the stack of paper bumper stickers you are going to place. You will be placing paper bumper stickers face-down on the sticky sheet, but with their face-down lettering still oriented right-way up. Put maybe more clearly: the ending of some word on your face-down bumper sticker is going to end up on the left. Put all the paper stickers in a correctly oriented stack now so you won't have to think about it later.

Step 5: Assembly

Clean off a work surface for assembly, this is a "clean room" step. Peel off the backing paper from an Avery Self-Adhesive Laminating Sheet, leaving the narrow, white strip in place. (Don't throw away the backing paper, you'll need it in a few minutes.) The white strip serves as an alignment tool, and as a model for the width of the other margins.

Lay the exposed laminating sheet, sticky-side up, on your work surface. Turn it around so that it is in the "landscape" orientation, with the white strip on your left.

Begin with the sticker that will be placed closest to you (because it's the easiest.) Judge, by eye, a clear bottom margin of the same width as the white strip. Holding the paper face-down, and at a steep incline, bring its left edge down to abut the white strip. (Inclining the paper keeps the adhesive from grabbing it prematurely.) Trust the white strip to mechanically align the paper sticker. The clear margins will be nearly invisible on the installed sticker, so they don't have to be perfect. When you are satisfied with the placement of the edge, press the paper down next to the white strip and gradually increase the area of adhesive contact until the paper is fully down.

The next the bumper sticker you will place is the one farthest from you. (This time, you estimate a clear upper margin the same width as the white strip.)

The middle sticker goes on last. Just "split the difference" between the stickers you have already placed, and all the margins will come out right.

Replace the backing sheet using the very same technique: incline the backing sheet, abut its edge to the white strip, and gradually press it down into place.

Step 6: Trimming

Flip over a laminated sheet of stickers (or a deck of sheets) so you can read the stickers. Judge by eye an equitable clear margin along the left side, and trim off the excess.

Finally, aligning by eye, make the cuts that divide the sheet (or deck of sheets) into finished stickers.

Step 7: Distributing Your Bumper Stickers

OK, you've made a batch of bumper stickers real easily. Maybe you'll may want to distribute your stickers for free to interested parties, but consider that most people don't mind paying a buck for a sticker that says it for them, and you'd have money to make more stickers.  Or, consider donating your pro-looking stickers to a like-minded group that would like to sell them to raise funds. 

Step 8: Installing

Installing these bumper stickers is pretty intuitive, but I plan to print these instructions on the back of mine:

Installation:
• Thoroughly clean and dry the surface.
• Attach one edge first.
• Hold the sticker in tension while gradually increasing the area of contact.
• Rub the eraser end of a pencil firmly over the clear borders to seal out rain.

Removal:
• Peel the sticker off from one corner.
• If some adhesive remains, it can be removed with ammonia and a soft cloth. Expose adhesive to an ammonia-soaked cloth for about half a minute before gently wiping it off.

Comments

author
SusanS346 made it!(author)2017-07-01

hi, agree with dart 1962. directions for printing and layout are overly complicated, then you end up with a laminated bumper sticker with no way to attach it to anything! please clarify!

author
dart1962 made it!(author)2017-04-29

i don't understand how it sticks to the car or anything else for that matter he puts the paper with his design face down on the laminate sheet,but how does the back of the paper stick to anything given that its paper or are the laminating sheets 2 sided because if they are i cant tell by the photo or the text could some one explain

author
JessicaD152 made it!(author)2017-03-23

I think that bumper stickers are so much fun! They give your car a lot of personality and let's everyone know your opinions. I have had to make some pretty big road trips before and reading all the bumper stickers has always been my favorite part.

author
Louminosity made it!(author)2015-11-04

It's spelled Propaganda, maybe if you voted progressive you would have gotten a better education...

author
LibsSux made it!(author)2016-04-14

Yes, bet your Lib kids learned how to spell Food Stamps and Welfare in kindergaten.

author
seekinshadows made it!(author)2016-05-06

Oh the irony. You spelled kindergarten wrong.

author
Louminosity made it!(author)2016-04-14

That is actually spelled kindergarten. What does welfare and food stamps got to do with it? Bernie Sanders says we need free college so people will know the difference between a communist and a democratic socialist.

Oh, and about the be nice comment policy, my intention is good, sorry if I offended anyone...

author
LibsSux made it!(author)2016-04-28

Obviously if your a BO supporter, you know a lot about welfare, food stamps, free cell phones and open borders. And democratic socialist is spelled-Lib Demo!

Thanks again for this excellent instructable!!

author
Louminosity made it!(author)2015-11-04

Thank you for sharing this instructable. And thank you for your activism. I went to your blogspot and your downloadable bumper stickers are amazing, keep up the good work!

author
UberSookie made it!(author)2015-10-18

OK - someone figured out how to make something and one looks that subject up, finds this set of instructions, and either simply takes in the information or actually uses the method, one has benefited from the other person'so effort. If the person who finds the instruction and does not like the example, you could simply move on. The creator of the post offers the information in the spirit of sharing. If one doesn't like the example, one can move on. Why would someone use the instructions, which seems to be the case here, and then turn around and criticize the person who shared the fruit of their research. Next time, just don't use the instructions.

author
tfaulk26 made it!(author)2014-08-27

Nice instructable, but it would be even nicer if the author stayed politically neutral. Leavepolitics to mainstream media :-(

author
geigersteven made it!(author)2015-03-05

No kidding...

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Bio: Also http://weaveanything.blogspot.com/ my computer-designed weaving site.
More by jmallos:Make a self-replicating window stickerMake and install a removable window sticker in 10 minutesNational Emergency Bumper Sticker Making (nebsi/english)
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