Which Sticker Paper to use? | Behind the Scenes at GTP
Starting to make your own stickers is fun but also a minefield - which paper is best for what you need? It can be hard to get recommendations, and testing them out yourself can get pricey. Since I started I have gradually been trying out different papers, trying to find my “perfect paper”. I don’t think I have found it yet, but I have found some good options. Here I’ll share with you the ones I have tried so far, so hopefully you’ll get some ideas if you are just starting the sticker journey like me.
Disclaimer: I have included links to the named products - please note that the image links are affiliate links, which help me out by possibly giving me a small commission, at no extra cost to you. However, the products are available on other sites so do look around for the best deal.
I am always learning more and looking for better solutions though - especially more eco-friendly options. If you have any tips yourself, please do leave a comment and let me know your experiences!
This is possibly everyone’s most common starter paper - it’s for sure the easiest one to find when you google Sticker Paper, and it is one I have heard many folks reference. The Matte version was my very first purchase and it has served me well…
Matte White Sticker Paper
The Matte paper is a decent weight - considering its reasonable price, it doesn’t feel too thin and is white (though not bright). It has yellow backing paper, which can be aesthetically a bit off-putting, but seeing as this is the bit that gets peeled off it’s not a deal-breaker. It isn’t too difficult to peel. Print-wise I always feel middling about this paper - the colours always come out more muted, and certain images can seem a little dull on it. That being said, I have managed to create some good quality stickers from this paper, so it is definitely a good launching off point (especially if you are using a digital cutter and are test-making to find your feet).
From the moment I tried this paper I was really impressed with the print quality. The lines came out crisp, the colours vibrant. Again, the price point is very reasonable, and this balances out the fact that the paper is a little thin. Despite the weight, the stickers peel pretty easily and the lesser density means the paper cuts well on a digital cutter - and is also easier when cutting by hand. The backing paper is white, which looks pleasant and so far I have had no issues with my Cricut not reading the lines (which I hear can sometimes happen with glossy papers).
I have heard good things about the Evergreen Goods Matte Vinyl but I have not tried it yet. Once some of my other stocks have gone down, that will be on my list!
Online Labels provide exactly that - there are all sorts of labels available and so far I’ve only tried two types. Price-wise they can be very reasonable if you are buying in bulk, though when you are just testing small amounts the extra delivery charge sometimes puts me off if I’m feeling a bit money-light…
I tried this because I wanted some paper that could create moveable planner stickers. This does do the job for that and is a nice bright white. It has tack but is noticeably less sticky than standard papers, and can definitely be peeled off after being stuck. It is quite thin but the print quality is pretty good, so I was happy. However, I will say that, originally I was cutting kiss cut stickers from this on my Cricut Explore Air 2 - which worked fine. Recently, for reasons too long winded to explain, I now have a Cricut Maker and this machine insists on cutting die cuts on this paper, regardless of how light a pressure it is set to. This is super frustrating, but shows that the paper thickness can be a deal-breaker depending on the machine you are trying to cut with.
This is a lovely bright white paper with a smooth feel. Perhaps because I had heard some good recommendations I got a bit over-hyped about this and my expectations went up unreasonably, but it is essentially the standard Matte version of the Removable paper. Of course it is, I don’t know why I expected it to be different - doziness on my part. The print quality comes out well, and although the colours still mute I feel they are a smidge better than on the Evergreen - probably because the paper is whiter than Evergreen's. The downside for me is that it feels so thin - and while I have been able to peel them, I had feedback from a customer to say they couldn’t get the back off a die cut sticker. Since my Cricut change I can’t use it for kiss cuts (which is why I originally bought it) so it feels a bit of a let down…but that’s perhaps more to do with individual circumstance than the paper itself!
Photo Paper Direct (PPD)
These papers really highlight how the papers you’ll need will change depending on how you use them…
On taking this out of the packet, it had a weird plasticky smell and I could tell at once how lux it felt. The sheets are very thick and the paper is bright white. Print wise, this is the best matte paper I have so far used - the colours seem bright against the crisp white. However, when I first bought this and put it through my Explore Air, it just could not cut it well. Die cuts seemed to be out of the question, and all I could do were kiss cuts…and even those were a bit ropey cut wise. However, my Cricut Maker is enjoying this paper far more - it can do lovely kiss cuts on it and die cuts are possible. So while other papers have had to go on the backburner since my Cricut change, I now have a use for this paper. Swings and roundabouts, eh!
This is intriguing because most of the qualities with this echo the matte version - it prints well, it is heavy weighted, it feels lux. However, when you hold the matte up next to it, you can see clearly that this gloss paper is a bit off-white…and I just don’t gel with it because of that. Personal preference I guess. And if your sticker design is fully colour, with not much white, then I imagine this would be fine, so I may still use it in future if I have such a design. But for now I’m a bit…meh…about it. So I’ll use it for my packaging stickers until it runs out and at least it won’t be wasted.
Mailing Address Labels
Tacked on the end here is a very cheap paper I found to use for my shipping labels.
I really want to find an eco-friendly paper to use for shipping labels (until I can afford a thermal printer), but until I find a solution I am using this. It is plain white, and prints decently, which is all you want for a basic shipping printout.
I really hope this rundown is helpful - as I try other products I will make sure to do a follow-up update too!
Keep Making to Make Happy, friends xx
Love Gem x