How to Make Holographic Stickers
If you've been curious about how to make custom holographic stickers for your business or personal use, you're in luck! Illustrator, Susan Moo of Paperoo Studio, shares how to make holographic laminate stickers in two different ways. Here's a step-by-step guide.
Gather Your Materials
The first thing we need to make these holographic stickers is sticker paper — specifically weatherproof matte sticker paper. This type of paper is great at keeping its structure and integrity even after washing. It's made from a synthetic poly material that is extremely similar to vinyl paper.
You'll also need some holographic laminate sheets. There are two different types of these laminate sheets — self-adhesive and foil-on-transfer. Either will work for this project.
Depending on the type of laminating sheets you're using, you'll need a laminator. The self-adhesive sheets are self adhering and don't require a laminator. The foil-on-transfer sheets require a laminator for the foil to adhere onto the stickers. (If you're opting for the foil-on-transfer route, then you are also going to need a sheet of white printer paper — just one sheet will do.
To draw out the stickers, you can use traditional media like pen on paper or digital options like an iPad. I typically prefer to draw digitally. This next one is optional, but I like to format my stickers on my laptop — it makes formatting a lot easier.
To turn your art into stickers, you are going to need a printer. I am currently using the Canon PIXMA iX6820, but other printers will work. To cut out the stickers, you can use a Cricut machine or cut them out by hand.
And that's it for the materials. Now let's get designing!
Design Your Stickers
Start off by drawing out your sticker design. I like to use the Procreate app on my iPad. Since my style is very sketch-like, I need to make a solid layer outline background for my piece so that when I go make the border, it's smooth and not jagged.
After I get done with the background, I AirDrop it to my laptop and finish up the formatting there. I do all of the formatting and outlining on Photoshop, but you can also format using the Cricut software itself.
I'm not going to go too in-depth on the sticker making-process, but if you are interested in learning how to make stickers from start to finish with a Cricut machine, there's a 20-minute video on how to make kiss cut stickers.
Print Your Stickers
Since I'll be printing my designs on weatherproof sticker paper, I tweaked the print settings so that they'll print in the exact colors in which I drew them in. To do so on the Cricket app, toggle on the option that says Use System Dialogue, and then press the Print button.
Everybody's print settings are going to differ a bit depending on the printer. I found that printing with the Matte Photo Paper setting on high quality looked the best with my printer.
Laminate and Cut Out Your Designs
The method you use to cut out your stickers will differ depending on which laminate you are using. Here are two methods.
With the foil-on sheets, we are going to first cut out the stickers with our Cricut machine. I like to use a light cardstock setting with the weatherproof sticker paper.
Once the stickers are cut, turn on the laminator to heat it up — I have it on the hot setting. With a piece of printer paper, fold it in half. This is going to be the vessel for the stickers to go into the laminator. Lay out the stickers on the bottom half of the printer paper, take the hollow laminate and measure it so that it will cover all of the stickers before cutting to size. Then, take the piece that was just cut, place it on top of the stickers and fold over the top half of the printer paper to cover everything. Stick it into the laminator, folded end first. (I like to run it through the laminator twice, just to make sure that the laminate adheres perfectly).
And now for the best part — peeling off the backing!
Method: Self-Adhesive Laminate
With the self-adhesive hollow laminate, you'll need to place the laminate onto the sticker sheet before cutting out the stickers. So just like the foil on laminate, cut out the self-adhesive laminate to size to fit your stickers perfectly. The self-adhesive laminate is essentially like a clear hollow graphic sticker sheet, and you'll want to put this laminate on before cutting out the sticker sheet so that the Cricut machine can cut out the entire thing in one go.
Apply the laminate using the same technique as you would with contact paper. I peel off a little bit of the backing, attach to laminate onto the sticker, and slowly peel and smooth the laminate down.
Learn more about the cut settings for Cricut.
While using a protective spray is the only way to make stickers truly waterproof, it removes the hollow effect from the self-adhesive laminate. On the foil laminate, you can kind of still see the hollow, but it made the stickers look very hazy and foggy. I'd definitely recommend completely omitting the spray for these hollow stickers if you want to have the full hollow effect.
Upon omitting the protective spray completely, I ran both types of laminated stickers underwater to see if they'd hold up. To my surprise, both types of hollow stickers came out perfect and mark-free. Not only was I thoroughly impressed by the laminate, but with OnlineLabels.com's weatherproof matte sticker paper, as well. None of the ink smeared and it looked exactly as it did before taking a swim in water after it dried.
If you're ready to take the plunge and start your own sticker business, check out the step-by-step guide on Startup Academy by OnlineLabels.com.