The printing industry has gone through tremendous growth over the years. Do you know it’s an easy and cost-effective way to promote your services and products through printing? Probably yes if you know how decals and stickers work.
You might find yourself confused about the difference between a decal and a sticker. However, an in-depth look at each product will clear your doubts. Decals are used to beautify walls, devices, or any item you have in mind.
On the other hand, stickers’ creative uses are many, but you have to produce distinctive designs. With this in mind, read on and learn more about creating and printing decals or stickers.
What is Decal Printing
A decal or transfer is a paper, cloth, or plastic printed on its image or pattern. It can be easily transferred from one surface to another upon contact, usually water or heat. Once moved to a surface of your liking, a decal will have four layers. They include:
- A paper material that makes the top or upper layer of the label stock where printing is done
- A paper liner that provides the bottom layer of the label stock
- An adhesive layer at the bottom or lower side of the face stock
- A silicone coating layer to the upper side of the backing material
Decals utilize an eco-solvent printing process whereby they must be immersed in water before their application. Vinyl is the primary material that decals are screen printed on or can be in cut form. You can use decals indoors to decorate water bottles, cars, laptops, and other smooth surfaces.
Print cut vinyl decals are less complicated and smaller. They also feature dense monotonous colors. They are usually less intricate and smaller. The good thing is that you can create unique products upon learning how to print decals at home. Key benefits of creating and printing decals include:
- Present a cost-effective way to advertise products and services.
- They are the backbone for branding.
- Help display a variety of information.
- They are a better scope for a one-of-a-kind design.
What is a Sticker?
A sticker is a type of label and can be printed or cut from vinyl. Stickers come in two layers that make them stand out, and they include:
- The paper you peel off.
- The decorative part with an adhesive on the back and the design on the front.
You can machine or manually cut stickers of the printed vinyl and come up with a unique design. Stickers are complicated and come in various colors. Vinyl stickers are widely used on cars, food packaging, marine equipment, or similar surfaces. Before you learn how to print decal stickers, here are their key benefits. Have a look:
- They are durable and can be used for more than eight years
- Resistant to moisture
- A cost-effective choice
- Environmentally friendly
- Quite colorful and come in matte or gloss
- Easy to take off by heating the surface
Printing Decals and Stickers- Everything to Know
There is freedom and joy in making your decals or stickers at home. You get a chance to create an image you wish and use it for many purposes. How to print decals is not rocket science, and you can produce outstanding designs from the comfort of your home.
There are incredible techniques you can utilize to create decals or stickers. However, they will depend on the amount of time you have, the budget you have in place, and your skills. Read on and find out how to print decals stress-free.
Using a Computer and Printer
Printing decals using a computer and a printer shouldn’t be a daunting task if you have the skill sets. The big issue is always how to print decals on a printer. Inkjet printers are the number one choice for printing vinyl stickers and decals. Here are steps to follow:
- Gather the Right Materials- Besides a computer and printer, you will need a scanner, photo editing software, vinyl sheet paper, laminator, laminate sheets, and scissors.
- Scan the Image- Draw an image in Photoshop or make one using photo editing software. Ensure the decal is around 600dpi resolution. Feel free to also choose some pictures from the internet and edit them for use.
- Edit the Decal- Using your computer software, edit the decal and make necessary changes. Ensure you resize the image for it to fit perfectly into the space you want to cover.
- Insert the Vinyl Paper into the Printer- Ensure the paper is facing the right side. You don’t want to waste reams of paper on a single project.
- Make a Decal Page- Ensure the designs don’t overlap to avoid wastage.
- Print the Decal Sheet- Use plain white paper to print your decal. Check the contrast and color of the paper. Also, countercheck the printout and ensure you get the results you desire.
- Print the Decal on the Vinyl Paper- Ensure the paper faces the right side and reduces wastage. If you have printed a decal on the wrong part, the ink won’t stick permanently.
- Laminate the Paper- Use a cold press laminator to protect the design and the fading colors. The backing paper sheet from the laminate will loosen and separate. Go on and trim the extra laminate and send the decal sheet through the laminator again for the best results.
- Cut out the decal and apply it to Your Object- Using your sharp scissor, cut the decals out, but stay close to its outline. If you want more detailed and cut complicated designs, use a Cricut. Peel off the backing from the vinyl sheet and stick the decal on the surface of the object you are decorating.
Printing out Vinyl Stickers
The uses of vinyl stickers are limitless, and you should take the initiative to learn how to print decal stickers. It’s a viable project if you start by gathering the right tools. You will need the best image editing software, a computer, vinyl printer paper, laminator, and printer.
If you are uncertain whether printing on vinyl with inkjet printers will guarantee the best results, clear your doubts today. Inkjet printers are a perfect choice for printing vinyl sticker papers. Whether you have an Epson, Canon, HP, or any other inkjet printer model, you are ideally suited to undertake any vinyl sticker printing project.
In light of this, here are helpful steps on how to print vinyl stickers at home.
Step 1: Create Your Design
The internet is packed with robust information you can utilize every day. Look at the existing sticker designs online for inspiration. Then follow a few steps:
Draft your design on paper, and ensure it’s the right size to fit into your piece of paper.
Go on and create your design on the computer using the best picture editing software. Photoshop or illustrator are some of the best editing tools to settle for any day.
Step 2: Print your Stickers
Get started by opening up a new document in the image editing software of choice. Look for the size button and ensure your image meets your size requirements.
Paste your design in the new document. If you want to make as many stickers as you wish, paste your design multiple times.
Use the print preview button to have a glimpse of how your stickers will look like. But then again, make sure the copies don’t overlap.
Load and feed your printer with vinyl printer papers. At all times, use white or clear vinyl printer papers for transparent stickers and types that are compatible with inkjet printers.
Now, print your design onto vinyl paper. Ensure the printouts look good and are high-quality.
Step 3: Laminate and Cut the Vinyl Stickers
Use an over-laminate sheet over your vinyl stickers. Peel back the over-laminate sheet’s backing and press it onto the papers, so it sticks tightly.
Ensure the whole sheet of vinyl paper is laminated and get rid of any air bubbles using a ruler.
Cut out precise laminated stickers from the sheet of vinyl and discard the paper scraps.
Lastly, peel off the backing on your vinyl sticker. Place your sticker onto a flat surface of the item you want to decorate outdoors or indoors. Press it firmly and make sure it is bonded seamlessly.
What to Do with Decal and Sticker Printouts
You can turn decal or sticker printing into a hobby or a business. Because you now know how to make and print decals or stickers, go on and put this knowledge into use. You can use your decals in several ways:
- Personalize mugs, water bottles, and tumblers
- Decorate lunch boxes, phone, laptops, and lockers
- Advertise your company, blog, or Pinterest
Make decals for your car and bumper stickers
You can use this knowledge to help others learn how to make vinyl decals for cars, t-shirts, cups, or other items you have in mind. Decals are pleasing to the eye, especially if you choose a unique design. Significantly, they will stand out if they are flawlessly cut, printed, and fitted into a specific item.
Personalized cups and tumblers are pretty popular these days. You can make your customized designs with your name or graphics of choice. However, you should follow the exact steps on how to make decals for cups. The process is quite simple:
- Find a high-quality cup
- Choose printable vinyl with a laminating sheet
- Create your unique design
- Print, cut, and transfer the decal
You can also use decals to express yourself in a piece of clothing. You can create stylish t-shirts with heat-transfer vinyl. Here are helpful steps on how to print decals for t-shirts.
- Find a high-quality plain cotton shirt.
- Design your decal or text.
- Print onto heat iron-on transfer paper.
- Preheat the iron to the right temperature.
- Apply heat on the transfer paper directly. You will efficiently transfer the design to your t-shirt.
Don’t just limit this experience to designing certain items. Feel free also to figure out how to print decals on Cricut. You will efficiently customize your Cricut machine through the same decal printing technique and love how it looks.
Make Your Image into a Decal- What to Know
Are you wondering how to turn an image into a decal? Fret no more if you have a photo you feel you can turn into a decal or sticker. There are online tools you can use and upload your image as a decal.
Go on and download free SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) files for the project you have at hand. Here is how to go about the entire procedure.
- Upload the image you want to use for this project.
- Remove the background and ensure it’s the best quality.
- Adjust the photo settings and settle for the best contrasting background.
- Download your design as an SVG file.
- Use your Cricut maker to cut it out flawlessly.
- Weed the cutouts to remove any unwanted parts.
- Apply your decal using the transfer tape over the cutouts.
- Peel off the transfer tape or paper. And you will have a beautiful decal from one of your favorite images.
To Sum Up
Print decals and stickers have gained unmatched popularity over the years. Today, many people are embracing this invention to come up with their distinctive designs. With the right supplies, from high-quality vinyl papers, printers, image editing software to crafting tools like a Cricut, you can easily create and print decals. Feel free to embrace these technological advancements and revel in the many benefits they present.