I learned how to do this one Tuesday when my art teacher (who is an absolute goddess) decided that that particular morning did not appeal to her at all. Instead of doing actual work, we made stickers for the entire period. After learning her magical ways, my friends and I plastered our notebooks and folders with homemade stickers of all varieties. There’s really no wrong way to do this, and it’s just something fun to add to your list of Things to Do While Procrastinating.
- Clear packing tape
- Pictures with water-resistant ink. Anything from a magazine or book should work, but if you’re printing from your computer, you may want to do a test first by getting it a little wet to make sure it doesn’t smear easily.
- Warm water
1. Gather the pictures you want to make into stickers—these could be of food, cats, spaceships, your girlfriend, whatever—and cut them out. I just used some cute images I found in old magazines that had been collecting dust.
2. Using a strip of clear packing tape, press the sticky side to the front of the picture you want stickerfied. You may need more than one strip of tape, and that’s totally fine—just make sure that the strips overlap just a little bit on each side, so it doesn’t tear apart later.
3. Start burnishing—this means “to make shiny or lustrous by rubbing,” according to the dictionary. Use your nail or the end of a pen or something to rub the tape, pressing the ink to it so that they make friends.
4. Run your sticker under warm water for two minutes or more (or submerge in a bowl if it’s easier). The bigger your sticker is, the longer it’ll need to soak. The point of this is to dissolve the paper. The stickiness will be gone, but only temporarily. It’ll return once dry.
5. The paper should be peeling by now. Try to pull it off and rub until only the ink imprint is left. If the paper is being obstinate, run it under more warm water until it comes off more easily.
6. Let the tape dry completely so that the stickiness returns. Cut the excess or unwanted tape from around the edges, and there you have it! No one ever said that just because we’re not in second grade anymore, we can’t enjoy stickers.
Alaina Sermersheim is a high school sophomore who likes to pretend she knows how to be a princess and an artist, but mainly spends her time reblogging pictures of cats and Kristen Stewart’s face.