How to make transparent stickers

Written by filonia lechat
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If store-bought stickers are just too generic and ordering custom ones online is too expensive, make your own at home to decorate your windows, vehicles or even glassware. Transparent stickers let the insides show through, creating a cool decoration effect while still using your creativity to show off your artistic side. You’ll be able to make transparent stickers through two programs: Microsoft Publisher, which is included with your computer’s installation and offers basic drawing and sketching; and Adobe Photoshop, part of the Adobe Creative Suite, which allows for finely detailed art including the use of photos for your stickers. You can print on clear decal paper, then add your new stickers to any kind of glass or clear plastic surface.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Digital image
  • Microsoft Paint

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  1. 1

    Create a new Photoshop file by clicking “File,” then “New.” Name the file “TransparentSticker” and set your preferred sticker size, such as 4 inches by 4 inches. Pull down the “Mode” menu and click “RGB Color,” then click the “Transparent” button under the “Contents” section. Click “OK.”

  2. 2

    Open a photo by clicking “File,” then “Open,” then browsing to the image on your computer. Double-click it so it opens in the Photoshop workspace. Click the “Lasso” tool on the “Tools” palette on the left side of the screen, then draw an outline around part of the photo to use for the sticker. When you see the blinking dotted line, press the “Ctrl” and “C” keys together on your keyboard, which is the copy function.

  3. 3

    Click back to the “TransparentSticker” box, then press the “Ctrl” and “V” keys to paste in the photo cut out. Click the “Move” tool, which looks like a black arrow head and plus sign on the “Tools” palette, then drag the photo into the centre of the sticker box. If it pasted in too large, pull down the “Edit” menu, then choose “Transform,” then “Scale,” then shrink the image.

  4. 4

    (Optional) Pull down the “Image” menu, select “Adjust,” then select “Hue/Saturation.” Move the “Hue” slider bar to the left or right to completely recolor the photo in the sticker. Move the “Saturation” slider bar to the right to amp up the degree of colour to a neon-bright shade.

  5. 5

    Save the sticker by clicking “File,” then “Save As.” Choose a destination for the file, then pull down the “Format” menu and choose “GIF,” which is the only way to save a transparent image.

  1. 1

    Open Paint and pull down the “Image” menu and click “Attributes.” Set the dimensions for your sticker, such as 4 inches by 4 inches, and click “OK.” Pull down the “Image” menu again and uncheck the “Draw Opaque” option; if it is already unchecked, leave it as it is.

  2. 2

    Click the “Paintbrush” tool on the left side “Tools” palette, then choose the medium square brush head and click a colour from the “Color Picker” at the bottom of the screen. Draw the outline for the sticker image, such as a flower, sports ball, team logo or cat head. Click the “Paint Bucket” tool, then click inside the outline, which fills with colour.

  3. 3

    Click the “Pencil” tool and switch paint colours, then add some accents to the sticker.

  4. 4

    Save the sticker by pulling down the “File” menu, choosing “Save As” and selecting a destination to save it on your computer. Name the file, then pull down the “Save as type” menu and choose “GIF,” the only format that allows for transparency.

Tips and warnings

  • Paint can’t render transparency on screen, so your sticker will appear white. Any white areas won’t print, so when you print the sticker, only the coloured areas will show on the decal and the rest will be clear.

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