If you want to make your own stickers, one thing you’ll need is sticker paper. There are TONS of different sticker papers. And you probably have lots of the same questions that I did. Should you get glossy or matte? What’s the difference between printable vinyl or sticker paper? Which sticker papers make your stickers waterproof? What’s the best sticker paper for your printer? To make long-lasting quality stickers, it’s important to choose the right sticker paper. In this post, I’ll help you figure out which different kind of sticker paper will give you the best results for making custom stickers at home.
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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 to be able to print and cut your own custom stickers.
21 Most-Asked Questions About Sticker paper
What Makes a Paper- Sticker Paper?
Sticker paper is a sheet of paper that has an adhesive backing and easy peel-off paper behind it. These are created to be printed on a home printer. You can also use this same paper to make your own labels.
Are There Specific Types of Paper for Different Printers?
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 Printers or Laser Printers” and can be used with either type of home printer. Just read the product info to find your best sticker paper for a printer.
To make your stickers waterproof, you’ll want to start with a paper that’s considered water-resistant or waterproof and then seal them.
Why the extra step? Because the ink you use is probably NOT waterproof, you’ll still have to either laminate your stickers or seal them to make them waterproof. I have an entire post on how to protect and laminate your stickers.
Most sources suggest that printable vinyl sticker paper is more waterproof than actual sticker paper is.
Still, Online Labels makes a waterproof 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 your home printer with sticker papers. 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 usually made of paper. 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 a 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 and works for bumper stickers or decals. 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.
Clear sticker paper is not really paper but is a transparent vinyl or plastic. However, it still tears fairly easily if you try to reposition or remove it. Clear sticker paper 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 transparent printable vinyl has a 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.
For more tips on laminating stickers, see my post, How to Protect and Waterproof Your Stickers.
No. Some white sticker paper is better quality than other paper. More importantly, colors of white differ- some of the “white” sticker papers actually show up as a warm white that’s really 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 Michaels stores, JoAnn Stores, 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 like Online Labels or Zicoto.
Yes! You can find sticker paper that has a cool kraft paper look from a few different sources; however, you’ll want to check Online Labels for solid colors like pink, green, or yellow. 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. As of right now, though, you can only draw stickers with the Cricut Joy, not print and cut.
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 kiss-cut sticker sheets, you will probably want regular weight sticker paper. If you plan to make die-cut stickers, you can choose either weight. But again, most people use regular sticker paper for these as well.
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).
Note: The BEST kind of sticker paper for your electronic cutting machine project may not be Cricut sticker paper.
However, if you like the feel of thick stickers, then Cricut Printable Sticker Paper is definitely an option you’ll like!
*This applies to the Cricut Explore Air, Cricut Explore 3, Cricut Maker 3 and Cricut Maker.
The Cricut Joy has its own sticker paper products. You can also use these sticker papers with other electronic cutting machines like the Silhouette Cameo.
No! I purchased a sticker paper that had 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 simplest 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 white-white vs. creamy white, and it has white backing paper.
It is the second-highest reviewed on Amazon (the first has a yellow backing paper which is icky).
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’ve never used this brand, though.
Yes! Online Labels has a sticker paper listed as removable sticker paper. I believe Avery has a removable sticker paper option as well.What I Like Best for My Sticker Projects
For waterproof stickers, I recommend the Zicoto printable vinyl. This gives your stickers a strong base that won’t absorb water or tear. But make sure to laminate your stickers as well, either with a heat laminator or self-adhesive sheets.
For kiss-cut sticker sheets, I recommend Online Labels glossy or matte. I love how white these are, and how vibrant and beautiful my stickers look once printed.
For die-cut stickers, you can either use regular sticker paper or printable vinyl.
Still, Have a Question About Sticker Paper? Ask Me!
Super importantly, I hope you found this post on the different kinds of sticker papers helpful. So If you have questions that I didn’t answer 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?
If you landed here because you were thinking about making custom stickers with Cricut, I would LOVE you to check out my other sticker posts!
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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