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Launching your small business can be absolutely overwhelming. While so many artists and makers can be helpful, I encountered a lot of "gatekeepers" when I first got started - people who would not disclose their materials or sources for any supplies that are essential to running a business. And yes, part of the fun of starting a small biz is figuring out how to do this yourself. But you can also save A LOT of trouble by reading recommendations (like this one!) for materials to get yourself started. So here we go!
Finding quality sticker without breaking the bank was a big hurdle when I started making my stickers in house. I had previously relied on outsourcing my sticker production to sites like Sticker App and Sticker Ninja, which are great companies with super high quality stickers. However, if you're just starting out, testing out the popularity of a new design, or want to do small batches, making your stickers at home is a good way to save money and get creative.
A few sticker paper tips and best practices before we get started:
- DO: Check the price per sheet for the paper you're buying. Make sure to factor that into the cost of the stickers that you sell! Sometimes it's better to buy in bulk to bring down the price per sheet.
- DO: Check the printer compatibility for the sticker paper; some are designed for laser printers, while others only work with inkjet printers (disclaimer, I use an inkjet printer!)
- DO: Check the size of the sticker sheet and make sure it will fit in your printer - most sheets are standard 8.5"x11".
- DO: Consider adding a clear laminate sheet of sticker paper over your printed stickers to add durability to your final product!
Best Glossy Sticker Paper: Zicoto Premium Printable Vinyl Glossy Paper
This glossy sticker paper is nice and thick and feels the most similar to professionally made stickers from everything I've sampled. Colors appear bright and vibrant, and the ink dries very quickly compared to other materials I've run through my inkjet printer. Despite the thickness, my Cricut has no trouble cutting through this paper without dragging. The paper is also water and UV resistant, making it safe for use on higher-traffic items.
Best Matte Sticker Paper: Zicoto Premium Printable Vinyl Matte Sticker Paper
The Zicoto matte sticker paper is similar to it's glossy sister, but slightly thinner. As with all matte sticker papers, the colors don't pop quite as much as the glossy alternative, but they still come through clearly. Like the glossy version, this sticker works great with the Cricut, and is water and UV resistant.
Runner Up Glossy Sticker Paper: Homsto Printable Vinyl Glossy Sticker Paper
Another great glossy sticker paper, this Homsto brand comes in packs of 20 and is made for inkjet printers. Just like my first place stickers, these are also UV and water resistant, but it's recommended you add a laminating sheet for further protection. This paper feels slightly thinner than the Zicoto paper, but has bright colors and dries very quickly.
Runner Up Matte Sticker Paper: JOYEZA Printable Vinyl Matte Sticker Paper
This quick-drying matte sticker paper is a little thinner than the Zicoto brand, but great for inkjet or laser printers alike. Colors are bright and clean, and sheets come in packs of 20, 40, or 80 for bulk buying savings!
Best Budget Sticker Paper: BETCKEY Full Sheet Label Sticker Paper
This is an awesome sticker paper for beginners who are just getting started with making stickers at home. The stickers come in packs of 100, 150, or 500, so you can buy in bulk and feel free to play around without feeling like you're wasting expensive sheets. It's also great for "freebies" and small stickers you may want to give out with each order. However, the paper is thinner than some other options, so it may not be the best for selling high-quality stickers in an Etsy shop.
PS - it works in inkjet or laser printers!
While you're testing your sticker papers, it's always a good idea to try a few different designs so you can see how your colors are showing up on the paper. While you may be tempted to order in bulk immediately to stock up, it's recommended your order one or two packs to start, just to be sure the paper works with your style of printer.
Questions about sticker making, or more recommendations you'd like to see? Leave a comment for me below!