How to Choose the Best Sticker Paper For Your Projects (2021)
If you want to make your own stickers, one thing you’ll need is sticker paper. And you will probably have questions! Should you get glossy or matte? What’s the difference between printable vinyl or sticker paper, AND which sticker papers make your stickers waterproof, what’s the best sticker paper for your printer, these are just some of the questions you may have! In this post, I’ll answer those questions and at the end of the post, I’ll give you my recommendations on which sticker paper will give you the best results for making stickers at home.
You’ve Got Questions… I’ve Got Answers
These are all questions that I’ve been asked or that I’ve seen people ask in Facebook groups. Personally, I’ve been making stickers for over two years and I know that there’s a lot to figure out. But trust me, it’s SO WORTH IT!!!
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19 Most-Asked Questions to Help You Figure Out the Best Kind of Sticker Paper for You
Yes! You need to get the type of sticker paper that is right for your type of printer. So be sure that you buy sticker paper that says “for inkjet” if you have an inkjet printer. Or “for laser” if you have a laser printer.
Some Sticker Papers do say “For Inkjet or Laser”. Those can be used with either type of home printer. Just read the product info to find your best sticker paper for printer.
To make your stickers waterproof you’ll want to start with a paper that’s considered waterproof. However, because the ink is NOT waterproof you’ll still have to either laminate your stickers or seal them to make them waterproof.
Most sources also suggest that printable vinyl sticker paper is more waterproof than actual sticker paper is, but Online Labels makes a sticker paper that they claim is comparable to vinyl. So if you prefer to purchase paper vs. vinyl there are options!
Glossy sticker paper has a shiny surface that some love and others don’t like. I prefer the glossy finish because I feel like it’s more professional looking, AND it seems to make my colors more vibrant when I print on them. I LOVE vibrant colors.
Matte sticker paper has the normal appearance of a piece of typing paper. There is no gloss to the surface at all. Some people prefer a matte finish, especially if they’re creating planner stickers and they don’t want the stickers to distract from everything else on the planner pages.
There is a price difference between glossy and matte sticker papers. Usually glossy sticker paper is more expensive.
No. You can use either an inkjet or a laser printer. If you’d like a printer recommendation though, I REALLY LOVE my Canon Crafter’s Printer. It’s seriously the best printer! It has a rear-feed printer tray so that heavier paper doesn’t get stuck and can do 12″ x 12″ paper.
Printable vinyl is made of plastic, and sticker paper is made of paper which is a wood by-product. The biggest practical difference I’ve found is that printable vinyl can be pulled up without tearing, whereas sticker paper will tear when you try to remove it. It also leaves less adhesive residue (if any) when removed from a surface.
Printable vinyl is also more waterproof and often more UV protectant; making it the go-to for outdoor applications, like car decals. Be sure to read the product descriptions as not all printable vinyl says it’s waterproof. I’ve tried both JOYEZA’s Matte Printable VInyl and Zicoto’s Glossy Printable Vinyl as well as their Frosted Clear Printable Vinyl and I like each!
There is a cost difference between printable vinyl and sticker paper with printable vinyl being more expensive per sheet.
Here’s a great article on the difference between Printable Vinyl vs. Sticker Paper.
Clear sticker paper is not really a paper, but has a plastic base so that it’s clear. However, it still tears fairly easily if you try to reposition it. It gives you a transparent background for your stickers.
Most people use transparent sticker paper for items like candles, planner stickers, or other objects where you’d like to see the surface beneath the sticker.
Clear sticker paper vs. clear printable vinyl- Clear sticker paper can come perfectly clear whereas most clear printable vinyl hasa bit of a frosted appearance.
I’ve tried this brand of clear sticker paper, and although it did tear when I tried to reposition it I really like how super clear it is.
Clear sticker paper can also be used to laminate your stickers. The difference between clear sticker paper vs. self-adhesive laminate is that the sticker paper is usually printable.
No. Some paper is better quality than other paper. More importantly, colors of white differ- some of the “white” sticker paper actually shows up as a warm white that’s more of a cream. Unfortunately, the product description won’t tell you it’s a warm white or a cold white. You can see the difference in the pic below.
Yes! But you won’t find much selection at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby and you won’t be able to purchase more than a small pack of 10-25 sheets. If you haven’t made stickers before it’s a good way to see if you’d like it.
However, the quality of your stickers will be better if you purchase from a well-reviewed online source.
Yes! You can find Kraft sticker paper from a few different sources, however, for solid color like pink, green, or yellow, you’ll want to check Online Labels. They actually have TWELVE different colors of sticker paper. So not exactly endless color possibilities- but there are more flavors than just vanilla!
One thing to note is that Cricut is rolling out sticker paper options for the Cricut Joy and has solid color sticker papers available soon.
Yes! Most sticker papers are standard weight, however, Cricut Sticker Paper is actually a card stock weight and is what I use in my post, How to Make 3D Layered Stickers on Procreate with Cricut.
If your plan is to make traditional stickers, kiss-cut sticker sheets then you will probably want regular weight sticker paper. If you plan to make die-cut stickers you can choose either weight.
This is important to know- you don’t have to use the Cricut brand with a Cricut machine. In fact, depending on your project you may not want to use it because of its heavier weight (see above). The BEST Cricut printable sticker paper for your project may not be a Cricut product.
However, if you like the feel of thick stickers then Cricut Printable Sticker Paper this is definitely an option you’ll like!
This applies to the Cricut Explore Air, and Cricut Maker. The Cricut Joy has its own sticker paper products.
No! I did purchase a brand of sticker paper that had a yellow backing paper and it’s not nearly as professional looking. So be sure you check the product description if you want to avoid purchasing sticker paper with colored backing paper.
One more thing, some sticker papers do have their branding printed on the backing of the sticker paper so if you plan to sell your stickers you’ll want to make sure they are branding-free.
Yes! For example, you’ll find it both in letter size and A4 so be sure to know which it is that you want and read the description.
No. The difference between the two is whether the backing paper is cut all the way through or if the backing paper remains intact (and only the stickers are cut out.)
Yes! There are several. For example, Silhouette has come out with several printable specialty papers that are holographic, iridescent, brushed metal, glow in the dark and even glitter. I have more on using Silhouette Sticker Papers and their options in my post, 7 Tips to Use Silhouette Sticker Papers with a Cricut.
There is also Removable Sticker Paper which I’d consider a specialty sticker product as well.
There are actually three different methods to make holographic stickers. One method is to use a holographic laminate over your sticker paper. Another method is to use holographic vinyl, but this creates more of a decal type sticker. The third method is to use holographic sticker paper, like the Silhouette Sticker paper I mention above.
For either glossy or matte sticker paper I recommend you use Online Labels brand. It’s high quality, and shows off my designs the best. It’s also a white-white vs. a creamy white, and it has a white backing paper.
It is the second highest reviewed on Amazon (the first has a yellow backing paper). Be sure to purchase the full sheet label sticker paper. If you’d like to try a different brand Royal Elements is a great source as well.
Looking at Amazon it seems like iLabels has 100 sheets of full sheets for $12.99 that’s crazy cheap. I do not recommend this personally however, as I’ve never used this brand.
Yes! Online Labe
Still Have a Question About Sticker Paper? Ask Me!
Super importantly, I want this to be a comprehensive resource for at-home sticker making in 2021. So If you have questions that I didn’t mention in this post, please leave them in the comments! And thank you for helping me make this a great resource for other sticker makers.
Want MORE On Sticker Making?
My most popular post is How to Print then Cut Stickers with a Cricut and my second most popular is How to Draw Stickers on Procreate. If you landed here because you were thinking about making stickers with Cricut then I would LOVE to have you check out my other sticker posts as well! AND if you just really loved stickers in elementary school but don’t really feel up to drawing your own then check out my post on How to Trace Photos to Make Stickers on Procreate.
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