How to Make Stickers with Your Cricut/ Sticker Making 101

How to Make Stickers with Your Cricut/ Sticker Making 101

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When I first got my Cricut I think I was most excited to start making stickers. I love the simplicity and bit of fun of adding stickers to my phone cases, laptop, water bottles (my Stanley, let's be real) or even my Kindle case. They are just a fun way to spice up my everyday items with little bits of things I like!

Probably like a lot of people, the idea of starting a new to you project is SO intimidating. I've had my Cricut for a year and this is my first time actually making stickers. So, let me help you with the mistakes I made to help making stickers a little less intimidating to you (because they are truly so CUTE). 

Let's walk through the step-by-step process I took to make stickers with my Cricut! 

Starting with what you will need!


What You'll Need:

  1. Cricut Machine: The star of the show! Cricut machines come in various models, but to make print-then-cut stickers you will need a Maker 3, Explore 3 or Cricut Joy Xtra. I used a Cricut Maker 3. 
  2. Cricut Design Space: This is Cricut's design software, where you'll create and customize your sticker designs. I do have the paid version (Cricut Access), so some of my stickers are from there. *Tip: you can also make designs in Canva if you have that (I will talk more on this later).
  3. Printable Vinyl or Sticker Sets: The new Cricut Sticker Sets are PERFECT. I love that the laminate sheets are so easy to use and make them waterproof (great for tumblers and cups)! If you choose just printable vinyl, they don't come with the laminate sheets, so they won't be waterproof. *Again, sticker sets= waterproof, printable vinyl/paper= not waterproof*
  4. LightGrip Cutting Mat: This holds your printable vinyl in place while it's being cut. I had a new LightGrip mat and it was still SUPER sticky. So I wouldn't recommend any stronger of a grip mat unless you have a used StandardGrip Mat!
  5. Scraper: I used my scraper to smooth out the laminate sheet over my printed design to ensure there were no bubbles! I also used is to help remove the items from my mat!


Now that we have everything we need to make our stickers, buckle up and let's get started! My assistant, my cat Luca, always has to help with my craft projects so he was ready to learn too!

It is a long one because we cover everything from designing the stickers to placing our finished items. 


Step 1: Design Your Stickers

I used a few different ways to design my stickers!

Cricut Design Space:

As I stated before I do have Cricut Access, so some of my stickers came from pre-designed images in Cricut Design Space. To find these items I just searched for what I was looking for and then filtered on "print-then-cut". This isn't fully necessary as you can turn a "cut" design into a print-then-cut design with the check of a box, but it saved some time already having pre-designed stickers!


Canva is another fun way to design your stickers as they have a ton of premade ones as well! I have the paid version of Canva, so I will note the features that are only available with that. I started with a "sticker" project to make sure I was getting the right size (image 1 and 2). You can start with a blank project or pick one that is already started. From there I just made stickers that captured my personality (in my case books, cats, Taylor Swift and coffee) (image 3). You can pick started designs or make your own! *I do not plan on selling my stickers, if you are check the legality of this before you do. I downloaded my Canva designs as a PNG and made the background transparent (paid version) (image 4).

searching for a sticker design in Canva

either start a pre-existing project or start from scratch

search for designs that match your personality

download your design as a PNG and with a transparent background if you have the paid version of Canva

Uploading a Design to Design Space:

I then uploaded them into Design Space as a print-then-cut design. *You can remove the background in Design Space if you don't have the paid version of Canva. 

Select upload in your canvas on the bottom left side (image 1). Then upload your design as a JPG, PNG, SVG, GIF, HEIC or BMP (image 2). From there you can remove the background if your design needs the background removed (image 3). The auto removal feature is only with Cricut Access otherwise you can use the eraser tool. *I recommend toggling the "preview as single layer" while using the eraser to ensure you got everything and didn't miss any little spots! In the case of the stickers you would select "flat graphic" on the next step (image 4). Finally you can name you image/ add tags and then upload it to your canvas (image 5 and 6).


Making your Designs into Stickers:

Now that we have all of our designs in Design Space, it is actually super easy to make them into stickers with their new sticker feature! First, (if you hadn't already selected this) make sure you change your design to "print-then-cut" (image 1). From there select the "Create Sticker" button. You will then select if you want "Die Cut" or "Kiss Cut" (image 2). They are very similar, but Kiss Cut has an additional cut border that is supposed to make peeling the backing off easier where as Die Cut cuts right around your design (image 3- top Die Cut, bottom Kiss Cut). From there you can select if you want a border around your sticker and can customize the weight of the border (image 4). I used a border on most of my stickers because I liked the look and it gives you a buffer if the calibration is slightly off. Then you hit "apply" and your sticker is made (image 5)! The final image looks very similar to what it looked like before, but it attaches everything so that Design Space won't want to print and cut everything separately (image 6). This feature is SO HANDY and super easy once you get the hang of it!

Making your design into a sticker- changing it to print-then-cut in Design Space

creating a sticker in Cricut Design Space with the new "create a sticker" function

 die cut vs kiss cut- kiss cut has an extra edge

Creating a sticker- selecting if you want a border and then border thickness

creating sticker- accepting sticker type and border

your finished sticker design with border

Sizing your Stickers:

 I was really nervous for sizing my stickers because I didn't want to waste my printable vinyl by printing the stickers either too small or too large. SO, I printed out a design on regular printer paper in a few different sizes to see which one I liked the best. Below the designs are printed as 1x1, 2x2, and 3x3. I then resized based on my preferences! 

 sticker size reference- a 1x1, 2x2 and 3x3 design

Step 2: Prepare Your Machine

Alrighty, now that are sticker designs are ready to go, let's get our machine all set! If you've never done a print-then-cut design with your Cricut (like me) you will have to calibrate your machine!

Calibrating your Cricut:

Calibrating your machine is pretty easy as you just follow the prompts that Design Space gives you! First, you print out the sheet and put it on your mat (image 1). From there your machine will make a first cut and you will state if it cut within the lines (image 2 and 3). *I made the mistake of walking away and then removing the mat and sheet not realizing that there was more to do. Don't be like me because you will have to start all over!* The machine will then do another series of cuts where you pick which lines are most centered (images 4,5 and 6- I marked which ones I picked). Finally, your machine does a couple more cuts on that same sheet until you are happy with the calibration (images 7 and 8)!

calibrating your Cricut machine to make stickers- step 1 adding the printed sheet to your mat

second step in calibrating your machine- cutting a square

second step- cut square, making sure it is within the lines

next calibration step in Cricut Design Space

Calibration step 2- a series of cuts and you pick which is most centered

Calibration step 2- a series of cuts and you pick which is most centered

final calibration step

final calibration step results


Printing your Stickers:

Now let's print out our stickers! This is super simple as Design Space will send your designs to your printer (make sure you have an inkjet printer- one that uses ink) (image 1). *I also always move around my designs in Design Space before I cut because I always think I can tetris it better and fit more on one sheet (this is just me being anti waste and wanting to use every inch possible haha). There is an option to add "bleed" to your stickers (image 2, top is with "bleed" and bottom is without). I didn't add a "bleed" to mine because I had a border. One of my coworkers always adds "bleed" to her designs as it gives you a buffer if the calibration is off so it won't cut into your design. "Bleed" is essentially expanding the outer most color. This is all personal preference. *Only applies if using Cricut Sticker Set: there are two different sheets, 1 is the laminate topper sheet (thing that makes it waterproof) and the 2nd (with the grid) is the printable vinyl (image 3). Make sure you put your printable vinyl sheets in facing the right way so you don't print on the wrong side (image 4)! I also only put one sheet in at a time, to prevent them sticking to each other. *LET THE INK DRY* I tend to be a bit of an impatient crafter so way too many times I didn't let the ink dry and I ended up smearing it on my mat, my hands, the laminate sheets, and other stickers. Learn from my mistakes and don't do that (haha 😂)

Design space sending the designs to a printer

adding bleed to your stickers vs not adding bleed

Cricut Waterproof sticker set- Laminate sheet vs printable vinyl sheet

putting your printable vinyl in a printer

printed designs on Cricut printable vinyl

Adding the Laminate Sheet and Cutting your Stickers: 

The steps of the laminate sheet can be skipped if you aren't using the Cricut Sticker Sets. 

Now that your printed designs are dry, we can add the laminate sheets. This process sounds WAY scarier than it actually is. I first put my printed sheet on my mat, so it wouldn't move when I was trying to add the laminate sheet (image 1(plus my mess of smearing ink)). There is a little edge that I lined up with the black edge lines at the bottom (image 2 (the edge) and 3 (marked where the edge sits)). From there I worked bottom up using my scraper to push out all of the bubbles (image 4 and 5). I put a piece of cloth over my scraper to make the edge not so harsh (probably not necessary though). I would DEFINITELY recommend the bigger scraper. *I was super annoyed at first that I couldn't get all of the bubbles out, but in my case once they were cut, some of the small bubbles did go away.* 

put your printed designs on the mat before adding your laminate sheet to secure it 

laminate sheet edge- splits to make it easier to apply

laminate sheet over printed designs- put the edge under the black lines for easy line up

Cricut Scraper with cloth over it

using the scraper to apply the laminate sheet 

Step 3: Cut Your Designs

Once the laminate sheet is on, it is time to let your Cricut Machine work its magic! I picked the material I was using (in my case it was Printable Waterproof Sticker Set with White Background and Holographic Sheet). I left the pressure as the default pressure (image 1). It does take a bit to cut because it scans the sheet and then also cuts twice (image 2). Once the cutting is complete, you can remove your mat and take off your stickers (image 3 and 4)!

picking material and pressure in Cricut Design Space

Cricut machine scanning and cutting out around the designs

cut stickers around the designs

cut out stickers on mat

 *You can see that the mat, even a Lightgrip, was super sticky and left some vinyl on the mat. That's why I wouldn't recommend anything with a stronger grip.

*Some Error Messages/Mistakes I Got*

I got an error message if my laminate sheet was covering the lines of the mat weird (image 1). To fix this I just had to move the sheet on my mat because I must've put it too close to the edge. *This really only happened with the white backed with holographic overlay stickers, not the transparent backed.

Design Space error- machine couldn't see where the lines were to cut 

I also had an issue where I put the printed sheet on a weird spot on my mat (similar to above but the machine didn't have an issue with the lines) and it made my cut super off (image 1 and 2). So just make sure you are putting your printed sheet on your mat evenly and then making sure your laminate sheet is also as even as possible on the printed sheet.

Laminate sheet not centered, causing cut issues

cut issues because sheet wasn't centered on mat

I mentioned before, but I will mention it again, LET YOUR INK DRY!!! More images for motivation to wait. My hands, stickers and mat were covered in ink.

 If you resize your images after you already made them stickers, don't forget to check your border if you did a custom size. It wasn't a huge issue but I resized some of mine after I made them and it left some spaces in my white offset border. 

resize issue- resizing the sticker after it was initially made and not changing border size left spaces in the design

Step 4: Apply Your Stickers

You did it!!

Now comes the fun part – applying your stickers to your desired surface! Whether it's a notebook, water bottle, or laptop, carefully position your stickers and press them down firmly to ensure good adhesion. Smooth out any air bubbles using a scraper tool or your fingers.

Step 5: Admire Your Handiwork!

Step back and admire your custom creations! With your Cricut machine, the possibilities for making stickers are endless. Experiment with different materials, colors, and designs to unleash your creativity and add a personal touch to any project.

You know my assistant had to admire his work (even though he took a nap the whole time)!

He is a little skeptical because it looks a bit like him...

The Wrap Up:

Making stickers with a Cricut machine isn't as intimidating as I thought it would be! I love how you can really customize your stickers based off of YOU. Whether you're a seasoned crafter or just starting out, the simplicity and versatility of the Cricut make it easy to create professional-looking stickers right from the comfort of your own home. So, gather your materials, fire up your Cricut machine, and let your imagination take flight. You can add stickers to ANYTHING (everything is cuter with little stickers 😜) 

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1 comment

THANK YOU FOR doing this.
I’ve had my cricut Maker 3 in the box for almost 2 YEARS because it seemed so intimidating to make stickers! I also have Canva PRO and your blog post honestly has been the only thing that has ever helped me feel motivated to actually do it.

Megan Clift

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