How to draw stickers | how to use Procreate to make stickers | make stickers with Procreate and Cricut

How to Make Stickers on Procreate the Easy Way- Trace Photos!

Seriously, this sticker-making hack is a game-changer for anyone who has ideas but doesn’t feel confident in their drawing skills. In fact, one of the best things about Procreate is that you don’t have to know how to draw to create your own sticker designs! It’s really a little magical. The other day a friend of mine literally gasped with amazement when I showed her this trick for drawing stickers. Ready for it? Here you gohow to trace photos to make stickers on Procreate.

In this Tutorial You’ll See…

  • How to upload and trace photos
  • The benefits of working on different layers
  • How to get a hand-illustrated look by using different brushes to sketch and then paint your designs
  • Use the color palette to get highlights and shadows
  • A simple way to add the white cutting border
  • How to use Procreate 5x to duplicate and make columns (for kiss cut sticker sheets)
  • AND export the sticker designs to cut with a Cricut or Silhouette Cameo.

If you love stickers, and have ideas but don’t feel like you have the art skills to make them happen, then this sticker making hack will seem like magical sparkles and pixie dust making the impossible completely possible.

UPDATED for Procreate 5x- Plus a Quicker Way to Add a Border Around Your Stickers

In the video and tutorial below, I show you how to trace a photo to draw the stickers. In the second part of the tutorial, you’ll see how to add the white border by drawing around the image with my Free Sticker Border Brush. Since I first wrote this tutorial, I’ve found a better way of adding the border, and have a video of this on my YouTube channel.

I also changed the tutorial below to reflect the changes that the Procreate 5x update made in aligning your designs. For instance, creating rows and columns is MUCH simpler now with magnetics and snapping.


Free Procreate Brush for Sticker Making!

The cute pumpkin and maple leaf sticker sheet I designed in the video is a free download in my Freebie Creative Resource Library. I’d love to have you grab it! But I ALSO have a free Sticker Border Procreate brush in the Freebie Library as well. Originally, I made it for myself, so that I could create a more fluid border that also has a hard edge. You can use a hard airbrush instead. It’s just not quite as tweaked or streamlined so you can extra pixels on the edge of the stroke sometimes that then need to be cleaned up later.


How to Trace Photos to Make Stickers on Procreate

Tool and Supplies

This page includes affiliate links- which means that you don’t pay extra, but I get a small commission when you purchase through them. This helps me buy more supplies for these tutorials! So if you choose to support me in this way, thank you!

Directions

Step One: Create a Custom Canvas on Procreate

Start in the Gallery and click the + symbol in the corner. Then hit the icon in the top right of the drop-down menu.

how to create a custom canvas in Procreate| How to add a custom canvas on Procreate
To add a custom canvas on Procreate start with the + on your Gallery page.

About Canvas Size- If you plan to print and cut these stickers in Cricut Design Space, create a custom canvas that’s 2025 px x 2775 px with a dpi of 300. (OR you can just create a canvas that is 6.75″ x 9.25″ since that’s the max size that you can print a sticker sheet in Cricut.)

If you plan to print these without using Design Space at all, then go ahead and make your canvas the standard letter size.

Note: Remember that you can size down without losing detail but you can’t size up.

Next, set the size of your custom canvas and rename it. Make sure your DPI is 300 and then hit Create in the upper right corner.

How to Change the Size to create a custom canvas in Procreate
Change the size in pixels, inches, mm, or cm.

Step Two: Add a Photo

Tap the wrench icon in the top toolbar on Procreate. This will give you Actions> choose Add. Then Insert a photo. Choose a photo from your photo library (you can also save the pictures in this post to your photo library).

how to add a photo in Procreate
Insert a photo into your Procreate canvas

This will import your photo onto your canvas on Procreate. It will be selected, and you can drag the corners to size it as desired.

Pumpkin photo to trace in Procreate.

Note: You can right-click and save photos from this page to follow this tutorial OR use your own.

Step Three: Create Layers

Tap on the Layers icon at the top of your screen, it looks like one blue square overlapping another. This will drop down the Layers, and if you touch the plus sign in the corner, you can add layers. So add a second layer. It will be on top of your first layer, which has the photo.

how to add a layer in Procreate
Add a second Layer

Step Four: Change the Opacity of Your Photograph

On Layer One, touch the N to the right of the layer name. If you tap that some options appear on a dropdown menu. The top is an opacity slider. If you slide that to the left that decreases the opacity. Do that until the image is visible but transparent.

How to change the opacity of your photo layer in Procreate| Trace Photos to Make Stickers in Procreate
Reduce the opacity of your photo

Step Five: Trace the Photo

With Layer Two selected, click on the brush tool to select a brush to trace the photo. I like to use the 6b pencil that is under Sketching in your brush library. To change the size of the brush use the sliding scale toggle on the left-side toolbar on your screen.

In Procreate find the Sketching Brush Set and Choose a Pencil
Tap the brush in the top toolbar to get your brush options

Note: To trace details, it helps to enlarge the canvas. You can do this by touching two fingers to your screen and then moving them apart.

To get a good trace of your photo it helps to enlarge your image in Procreate
Enlarge your image to see the details

Step Six: Check your Sketch, Then Delete Layer One

In the Layers panel, uncheck the square that is next to Layer One (the photos). This will hide your photograph entirely, and you can check that you have everything you want to include in your sketch.

If you’re satisfied, you can delete Layer One by swiping left on the Layer and tapping Delete.

Delete a layer in procreate by swiping left on it.

Step Seven: Add color and texture with the brushes library and palette

In the Layers panel touch the “plus” symbol in the corner to add another layer. This is going to be your color layer. Choose the brushes and the colors you like and color your image.

Choose a watercolor brush to add a wash to your sketch in Procreate

Note: If you’re making a change and you’re not confident you want to keep it, you can create another layer to continue working on.

Add another layer in Procreate to use as your painting layer
Create additional layers to experiment with color and brushes

Use the visibility checkbox on each layer to play around with your options. I like to do a watercolor or gouache layer and then add some colored pencil on another layer on top of that. This is totally where the fun and magic of Procreate happens.

You can also touch then drag the layers to move different ones on top. For instance, I like to move my sketched layer on top of my color layer.

About the Color Tools

how to change the hue and saturation of your color in Procreate

Tip 1) It’s easy for non-artists to pick highlight and shadow colors on Procreate when you use the Palette tools. Just select a color in the outer circle and then tap to select the value of that color in the center circle. The top left of the circle is white and the bottom left of the circle is black. Choose a lighter version of your main color to get a highlight and a darker version to get a shadow. This trick goes a long way to making your art look intentional.

how to use the color picker in Procreate

Tip 2) If you want to use a color you’ve used before in your canvas (or select one from your photo) you can use the Color Picker. To bring this tool up simply touch the square that is between the brush size tool and the opacity tool in the toolbar. Once you see the circle tool move it to the color you want and that will select it and it will appear for you in the palette window!

Note: I go more in-depth about how to select brushes and create custom palettes in the YouTube video for this post (above)

Step Eight: Merge Your Layers

When you’re done with your images, you can merge the color and sketch layers. By touching the layer on top and choosing “merge down” in the sidebar toolbar that appears.

Step Nine: Select Your Image

To give yourself room to work, Select your completed sketch by touching the arrow.

Select a layer in Procreate

This allows you to move and adjust the size of design.

If you don’t want your proportions to change, then make sure that in the Selection Toolbar (at the bottom of your screen) you have Uniform chosen. This locks the constraints of your image.

Note: Any action can be undone by touching the Undo arrow beneath the brush size slider.

Step Ten: Add the Sticker Border Outline to Cut Around

Updated: See the link at the top of this post for an easier and quicker way to add an outline to your stickers.

Create another layer and move it beneath all the other layers, directly on top of the “background” layer. Choose either a hard airbrush from your brushes library or download my free Sticker Border Brush that I created to be more streamlined and have a super hard edge so you don’t have extra less opaque pixels hanging off the edge of your stroke.

Using white, draw a shape under and around each sketched image. I demonstrate some ways of doing this in the video. Color drop in white to fill each shape completely.

Add a white sticker outline to your shape.
Use the Sticker Border Brush (or a hard airbrush) to add a white shape beneath your art

Then Merge your art image and the white background shape.

Step Eleven: Duplicate your image

Once you have your sticker the way you like it, you can have two options to duplicate your image.

  1. You can swipe left on the layer, and instead of choosing “delete,” select “duplicate’. This will create a second layer with your duplicated image on it directly on top of the image you copied. Repeat to get enough images for a row. This may decrease the image quality slightly if you duplicate a duplicate, so duplicate the original layer each time.
  2. Now that Procreate 5x is here, you can use the three-finger swipe down to bring up the Copy and Paste panel. Choose Copy and then Paste 3 times.

Step Twelve: Create columns of your images to fill the canvas

Select the image layer by touching the arrow icon next to the ribbon, move your duplicated shape below the original. Continue to do this until you have a column of images.

Turn on the Magnetics and Snapping Feature to Align your Images

Note: If you have the Magnetics and Snapping toggled on in the Selection menu, then lining up your images is a breeze (another Procreate 5x feature)!

Merge the Layers to create one Layer and Duplicate the entire column to fill your sticker sheet.

Use Procreate 5x Copy & Paste panel to create columns on your canvas

Step Thirteen: Export your image

The final step is to go back up to the top toolbar, and under the wrench symbol, choose the share option. This allows you to choose what file format you wish to export your image in. Choose the .png option and then save it to your photo gallery. Or you can airdrop, message, or email the image.

Note: Make sure the background layer is unchecked- this gives you a transparent background. That keeps your border in place when you upload into Cricut Design Space.

Export as a PNG with a transparent background

You’ve now learned the secrets of how to trace photos to make stickers on Procreate!

Uploading into Cricut Design Space as a Print then Cut Image

Where this post ends, my post, How to Print then Cut Stickers on Your Cricut, begins. Be sure to click the link to that for the instructions on uploading your .png files to Design Space and then process them as image files that you can Print then Cut with your Cricut!

Love Me a Freebie!!!

Don’t forget to stop by the Creative Resource Library and get the FREE Sticker Border Procreate Brush and grab the pumpkin and maple leaf stickers I created in this video as well.

How to draw stickers | how to use Procreate to make stickers | make stickers with Procreate and Cricut
Free stickers with pumpkins and leaves for you to download and print from the Creative Resource Library.

Want more stickers to print and cut with a Cricut? Stop by the Well Crafted Studio Shop to pick up the printable sticker files for my “Hello Fall” sticker sheets below!

I created this Hello Fall sticker set using the same techniques I demonstrated in the video for this post. Pretty magical huh? Sparkles and pixie dust…

For More Inspiration

I’d love to have you check out my YouTube channel for other how-to ideas, including some awesome stickers and Cricut videos. AND a video on how to make borders for your stickers SUPER FAST. You’ll love this one- it’s like magic!

Love it? Share it!

If you found this post helpful, I would LOVE to have you share it with others. You can easily do this by simply sharing this post through the links at the bottom of this page, or by pinning the image below to Pinterest. Every share counts, so thank you!!! And if the video was helpful hit Subscribe for more!

Thank you for reading,

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Drawing Hack- Trace Photos to Draw Stickers in Procreate. | Make Stickers for the Cricut with Procreate | Print then Cut Pumpkin Stickers with Procreate and Cricut
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