How to Make Gummed Paper

Updated February 21, 2017

Sticker or gummed paper from the office supply store is expensive, but you can make gummed paper more cheaply at home using safe, nontoxic ingredients you likely have in the pantry. Applying gum to the back turns drawings, magazine pictures or photos into stickers. In fact, anything printed on ordinary paper can become a sticker.

Mix one package of unflavored gelatin with 1/2 cup of warm water and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Do not use flavoured gelatin; the colour will show through and the sugar could attract insects.

Apply a thin, even layer of the solution on the back of the paper using the brush. The mixture is viscous and will not soak the paper. You can cut pictures from magazines or photos to make stickers or apply the gum to plain paper.

Dry the paper completely, leaving the coated side of the paper uncovered. The drying time will depend on the thickness of the gelatin layer and the temperature and humidity of the room. Allow to dry overnight for best results.

Store in a dry place until ready to use. When the paper is dry the stickers can be stacked for storage.

Lick the sticker and apply to a surface. The sticker can be moved around a bit until it dries.


The sticker is easily removed from a waterproof surface with a little warm water if it gets stuck in the wrong place. The stickers can be safely stuck onto hands and faces.


This gummed paper is for craft purposes only. It is not strong enough to use as mailing tape.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Unflavored gelatin
  • Small bowl
  • Paint brush
  • Water
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About the Author

Camela Bryan's first published article appeared in "Welcome Home" magazine in 1993. She wrote and published SAT preparation worksheets and is also a professional seamstress who has worked for a children's theater as a costume designer and in her own heirloom-sewing business. Bryan has a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Florida.