You Said It

DIY Stickers

Because why not?

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.

You’ll need:

  • 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.
  • Scissors
  • 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.


  • moonchild November 19th, 2012 11:07 PM


    • moonchild November 19th, 2012 11:08 PM

      I especially love “is my vagina normal?” :)


      • sophiethewitch November 20th, 2012 3:35 AM

        Hahahahaha me too– that was an article from 17 magazine… I know because my conservative aunt bought me a subscription for my birthday. I hate fashion (I like style, but not being told what to wear because it’s trendy) and, being lesbian, don’t have much use for tips on how to get guys. But it’s fun to cut up and make things. Or to deface offensive adds.

        • moonchild November 20th, 2012 3:29 PM

          omg wait I thought that was a health article!! It was about is my vagina normal for a guy to like it??? how awful!

          that’s so funny though!

        • marineo November 20th, 2012 5:25 PM

          it was a health article….lol

          but yeah when i saw that page i laughed for like five minutes straight

      • mayaautumn November 23rd, 2012 7:01 PM

        haha yea;)

  • DreamBoat November 19th, 2012 11:08 PM

    I am going to spend all my free time perfecting this ART of sticker making!


  • i-like-autumn November 19th, 2012 11:10 PM



  • litchick November 19th, 2012 11:11 PM

    Such an awesome DIY! I cannot wait to stick homemade stickers onto anything/everything.
    Thanks for the great tutorial!

  • Ariella95 November 19th, 2012 11:20 PM

    HOMEMADE STICKERS?! Rookie makes my life.

  • paige.xo November 19th, 2012 11:20 PM

    omg. i am so doing this. i have an unhealthy obsession with stickers.

  • angelsandlace November 19th, 2012 11:24 PM

    OH. MY. GOD. This DIY, man. It rules. Stickers are my OBSESSION so this is totally happening. My Saturday night DIY sesh is in order. Thank you soooo muuuuch <3

  • izbee November 19th, 2012 11:29 PM

    Where has this been all my life?

  • Lydia Jane November 19th, 2012 11:36 PM

    This is perfect. I have found my new favorite activity :)

  • Terra November 19th, 2012 11:57 PM


  • Adrienne November 19th, 2012 11:57 PM

    Awesome DIY… so easy even I can do it. :)
    Thanks Alaina!

  • Eryn November 20th, 2012 12:03 AM

    Um k so life is officially complete.

  • Space Witch November 20th, 2012 12:13 AM


  • ListsNotFists November 20th, 2012 12:31 AM

    Well past college and I couldn’t be more excited to try this over the weekend.

  • Bree November 20th, 2012 12:40 AM

    I read this and was like, “okay, this is cool, no way it’s going to work though.” Thankfully, I tried it anyway, because hollllllllllllllly cattle, it really works! So far I only have stickers of “SMART” and a map of Hong Kong, but that’s only after 15 minutes of reading this…mwahaha! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • streaked lights November 20th, 2012 1:14 AM

    Omigosh I didn’t realize this would be so easy!

    I think it’s time to make some Doctor Who stickers, don’t you?

  • Mary the freak November 20th, 2012 1:43 AM

    Yesterday was awful. and then I saw “DIY Stickers -will be posted at 11pm EST”. And I was happy again. this was the best day on rookie ever.

  • sarahrose November 20th, 2012 2:37 AM

    this is so cool! definatly going to try this!!!

  • sophiethewitch November 20th, 2012 3:36 AM

    Best. Idea. Ever. Fucking ever.

  • Pearl November 20th, 2012 3:53 AM

    OMG I’ve always wanted to make my own stickers. This should put those random scraps of collages to good use.

  • raggedyanarchy November 20th, 2012 4:23 AM


  • Majel November 20th, 2012 5:48 AM

    I like the idea a lot, but if you don’t use a bowl, a lot of water is wasted, so please use one!
    And the water is then full of glue, but I suppose the sewage works will just have to cope with that…

  • Lucy23 November 20th, 2012 6:46 AM


  • Brook November 20th, 2012 8:16 AM

    “Why Alaina is Perfect: A Novel” by Brook. Alaina, I am so proud of you. You’re beautiful inside and out and I’m super crazy about you. YOU GOT A POST ON ROOKIE!!!! We’re getting married and getting an apartment with cats and a window above the bed and a million books. I’ll see you next period c:

  • FlowerPower November 20th, 2012 10:56 AM

    Genius! I always see cool stickers floating around in stores, but they can be really expensive :/ I’d much rather make my own stickers than buy those!

  • Krista November 20th, 2012 10:56 AM

    I may need to cancel my evening plans for this.

    • marineo November 20th, 2012 5:26 PM

      haha i was going to write college app essays today but now i think i’ll just make some stickers with beyonce’s face on them…

  • vintagewhimsy November 20th, 2012 11:16 AM

    This is so awesome! Why haven’t I ever heard of this magical sticker making method before?!

  • shelley November 20th, 2012 11:29 AM

    my stickers aren’t sticky on the bit where the paper is, does this always happen and you need to leave a sticky border or should I try a different packing tape? I’m using the scotch one

    • Anaheed November 20th, 2012 3:00 PM

      I think maybe you didn’t get all the paper off the way you’re supposed to in step 5?

  • sophiethewitch November 20th, 2012 11:48 AM

    Best thing ever. EVER.

  • Flyer November 20th, 2012 11:57 AM

    I like to cut out pictures like that (or quotes from boxes of Celestial Seasonings tea), cover the fronts or the whole things with packaging tape, trim, then attach magnetic tape or cut up flat magnets. Instant customizable fridge magnets!

  • taliabc November 20th, 2012 12:47 PM

    This is fabulous, now to hunt around the house for magazines! thanks rookie ;-)

  • lubs November 20th, 2012 12:48 PM

    thank you for giving my life a meaning

  • anniek November 20th, 2012 2:05 PM

    When I was little, I used to buy those cheap sticker makers from Michael’s and make stickers! It’s so fun! I can’t wait to try this method.

  • RockHatesMiriam November 20th, 2012 2:05 PM

    great diy! does it work with cello tape? :D

  • thelionheartedgirl November 20th, 2012 3:08 PM

    “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.”

    Alaina, I think we’re made for each other. *yay for Kristen’s face and cats*

  • aylaluvsBM November 20th, 2012 3:36 PM

    this really awesome!!!!!

  • GlitterKitty November 20th, 2012 6:57 PM


  • thesheikofaraby November 20th, 2012 7:15 PM

    This is beyond groovy and I am definitely going to do this ~*~

  • poison ivy November 20th, 2012 7:56 PM

    my art teacher actually did this as part of a collage project. its a nice idea, but it is REALLY HARD to get the paper off the tape without getting the image off the tape. national geographic magazines were especially hard to do. fashion magazines are better. and the sticky stuff never stayed on so we had to double stick tape them on.

  • LeatherStuddedFae November 20th, 2012 8:42 PM

    OMG! I could stick this into my binder and make a collage our of this or something this is so amazing thanks for sharing. =3 <3

  • Feli-city November 20th, 2012 9:02 PM

    This is perfect! I think I know what I’m doing my day off.
    Also, does this girl have a tumblr because I think I need to follow/internet stalk such fabulosity

  • AndreaGG November 20th, 2012 9:14 PM

    I love this <3

  • Casey November 21st, 2012 12:23 AM

    Wat. This is so useful.

  • spudzine November 21st, 2012 8:19 AM


  • onewithahippiesmile November 21st, 2012 5:43 PM

    this is just the coolest thing EVER! I spent all the afternoon creating stickers, i just cant get enough of it! i luvd it so much, its amazing! omg! i look just like a silly happy child who discovered chocolate in the kitchen lol.have i already mentioned how awesome this is?

  • bookworm123 November 21st, 2012 6:21 PM

    My only question after trying this: how do you get white to show up in a sticker? It just shows up clear in mine. Wicked cool tutorial though!

    • marineo November 23rd, 2012 1:36 AM

      I had the same problem too. but i think to fix it you only scrape off the first layer of paper and leave the second thinner layer there. it’s kinda hard but it can be done… when mine dry i’ll tell you if it works…

  • rhymeswithorange November 21st, 2012 9:29 PM

    This is so fun and easy! My stickers are drying now. THANK YOU

  • lovelyhippo November 21st, 2012 11:30 PM

    I know how to spend the rest of my vacation and have some actual fun.

  • ijustreallylikebands November 22nd, 2012 2:47 PM

    Ahh these are awesome! I think I know what I’ll be doing this weekend ^-^ If only I’d known how to make these a few years ago when I ran out of Cella sticker maker refills!

  • Tulip November 22nd, 2012 9:12 PM

    This is amazing!

  • Guinevere November 22nd, 2012 10:54 PM

    These sound amazing! I wish I wasn’t out of town right now so that I could make some…

  • Tiffany November 23rd, 2012 12:39 AM


  • lizziemcguir3 November 23rd, 2012 2:22 AM

    totally doing this tonight.

  • Newyorkbeats November 23rd, 2012 2:53 PM

    I really don’t know how it works! Help. I tried it but I think I did something wrong.

  • thelionheartedgirl November 24th, 2012 11:25 PM

    I love the outcome! and

    They decorate my laptop :)

  • Anna November 26th, 2012 5:49 AM

    my stickers are totally dry but the stickness is gone. :(

  • mollythedolphin November 30th, 2012 11:57 PM

    Literally I saw this and spent my entire night making stickers- THANK YOU!

  • HypnoPants December 7th, 2012 6:26 PM

    YES!!! I tried it, and it’s really cool, but the stickiness isn’t returning, or it is a little stick, but not enough to skick onto something. Anything I can do? It might be my fingers, or the water, but I am not sure. GAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • katherinerose1 December 16th, 2012 1:52 PM

    I taught my two little boy cousins how to do this for the holiday art book we made while I was babysitting. I am now the coolest adult cousin. Snowflakes, glitter glue, squiggle game, Christmas Pandora station, and HOMEMADE STICKERS. Thanks, Alaina.

  • onethousandprinces December 23rd, 2012 11:57 AM

    Love this so much, but as some others said, the stickiness will not return to the back of the image (although it will to the surrounding tape?) Help us Rookie! We want to be cool like you!

  • Britney January 6th, 2013 12:03 AM

    Would normal tape work, too?

  • Cutesycreator aka Monica January 21st, 2013 2:36 PM



  • gnarlyelixir February 2nd, 2013 10:46 PM

    dude why not just use the tape and that’s it?! i mean this is a great idea, but taping it is so much simpler.

  • Molly February 11th, 2013 9:49 PM

    This is the most awesome idea EVER. I am so super serious that I think it might have more awesome powers(that’s the power of awesomeness) than me! And that’s not really saying anything, but still SUPER COOL!

    not that I would even be able to set aside all that procrastination I need to get done. I mean, my schedule is full of lazing around all day. I just can’t get a break these days!

  • ueno54 May 29th, 2013 5:49 AM

    This is awesome. Never ever thought it was so easy to do.

  • rubyredroses May 31st, 2013 10:11 PM

    this would probably be one of my favorite DIYs. I used to live in los angeles but now I live in New York city, so some awesome trends like stickers, red lipstick, pins and badges, chokers, and good music haven’t really been introduced.. so im pretty much a loaner. Iv been looking EVERYWHERE for good stickers but the stickers here pretty much… suck. So this was SO helpful, thank you!