Learn how to print stickers on Cricut, then Cut. All you need is a Circuit cutter and an inkjet printer to make professional-quality stickers at home!
Personalized stickers are fun to decorate and personalize your journal or diary. I love using stickers to label my embroidery or pantry. Handmade stickers are great gifts and trivia items to sell in your Etsy store!
How to Print Stickers on Cricut
It’s easy to make colorful custom stickers at home with the Cricut cutting machine and the Print then Cut feature at home.
In the “print and cut” method, the sticker design is first printed on adhesive paper, and then each sticker is cut out on a Cricut machine.
In this article, I’ll show you step by step how to make stickers on Cricut’s “Print then cut” feature. I will explain how to set up an image file in Design Space, print it on a regular inkjet printer, and get the best results on a Cricut machine. Also, I will share with you my sticker file for free download.
New to Cricut? You might want to read this first: What is the Cricut Machine, and what can it do?
What is Printing and Then Cutting?
One of the things I love about my Cricut machine is the Print then Crop feature. Print Then Cut is an easy way to cut pictures that you first printed on your home printer.
With this feature, you first print your images on your home inkjet printer and then cut them out with Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore.
Only the Cricut Explore and Cricut Maker can print and then cut. Cricut Joy cannot make stickers using the Print then Cut function but can write directly on Cricut’s dedicated smart labels.
What Do You Need to Make Stickers?
Here are the materials you will need to make stickers on Cricut:
Let’s talk about each of these materials in a little more detail:
Sticker Circuit Paper
When buying, look for a matte white full-sheet label paper designed for inkjet printers.
Paper for printing stickers brand Cricut is of high quality, but it is thicker than other brands of sticker paper. As such, some people have trouble getting Cricut label paper to run smoothly through their printer.
If this is a concern for you, I recommend another matte decal paper, such as the Avery brand. If you want to make a lot of stickers, this pack of 90 stickers will be a good choice.
You can also find printable glossy vinyl if you’re looking for decal material with a bit more water resistance. (For even more durability, you can seal the decals with a thin layer of clear, UV-resistant sealant spray.)
Inkjet Label Printer
Print Then Cut stickers require a high-quality full-color inkjet printer. But if you’re looking for a new printer, the Canon PIXMA TS9521C is a good choice. This printer supports 12″ x 12″ borderless printing, which is especially useful for paper hobbyists (but not necessary for this project!).
Best Cricut Machine for Making Stickers
Both Cricut Explore Air 2 and Cricut Maker are great for making stickers. Both work with the Print then Crops feature. However, Cricut Joy does not work with the Print then Crop method.
However, if you want to make stickers without Cricut, you can cut out the printed designs with scissors or an X-Acto knife.
Sticker Sheet Image File
Finally, you need an image file that can be printed and cut out. You can create your sticker designs or find and download sticker sheets. You will receive the same botanical sticker sheets used in this lesson.
Create Stickers in Procreate
You can use a graphic design program like Photoshop or Procreate to draw illustrations or lettering for your stickers.
My favorite way to create text labels with Cricut is to draw the resolution in Procreate first.
As a reminder, the maximum printable area for printing and cutting stickers is 9.25″ x 6.75″. Make sure the finished sticker is this size or smaller.
You can create full-color stickers or stickers with a white border. By default, the Cricut Design space will add a bleed, but you can disable this.
Lastly, don’t forget to export your illustration as a PNG to preserve transparency. Once the image file has been exported, you can upload it to Cricut Design Space.
Create Stickers with Design Space
You can also create stickers directly in Cricut Design Space. Embedded shapes can be combined with text and graphics from the Design Space library.
Note: If you don’t already have Cricut Design Space, you can download it for free. The program can be used on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices.
Since the maximum image size for printing then cropping is 9.25″ x 6.75″, I suggest adding a 9.25″ x 6.75″ rectangle template to the Design Space canvas to help plan your design.
You can then create sticker sheets using basic shapes, text, and images from the Cricut Access library. Select everything and use the Flat tool to combine the shapes and text into one layer for printing when the design is complete.
How to Make Any Image Printable
You can convert any design into a printable image by changing the fill type. To change the file type, go to the edit panel, select the Fill drop-down list, and select Print.
Note: You can use the Flatten tool to merge multiple layers into one printable layer.
How to Print and Then Cut Stickers
Here are step-by-step instructions for making custom Print Then Cut stickers on Cricut. Instructions:
Step 1: Create an Image File
Download the pre-made sticker sheet image file. Or create your sticker sheet image in applications such as Procreate, Illustrator, or Design Space.
Step 2: Upload the Sticker Image to Cricut Design Space
First, open Cricut Design Space. Create a new project, then click the Upload button on the main canvas. Find the image file, and then click Upload Image to import the sticker design.
Cricut Design Space will prompt you to choose an image type. I almost always choose the Complex image.
On the next screen, click Save as Print, then Cut image. You can name and tag the image if you like. Then click Save.
Finally, click Insert Image to add an image to the canvas.
Step 3: Print the Image
Once the image is on the canvas, you may need to resize it to make it compatible. Print and then cut. If the image is too large, reduce it until it fits within the maximum value of 6—a printable area of 75 by 9.25 inches.
Load label paper into the inkjet printer. (In my printer, I load label paper face up. Your printer may be different, so be sure to double-check. )
Then click the Make it button in Cricut Design Space. Click Continue, then Send to Printer, then Print to print your sticker design.
You can toggle Use System Dialog to access advanced printer settings to get the highest quality prints from your device.
On the printed sheet, you will notice a solid black rectangle on the edge of the drawing—the correct answer. The Cricut machine uses these printed black lines to guide you through cutting the design correctly.
Step 4: Set of Materials
Return to Cricut Design Space and select a material. In the media setting, select “sticker paper” if you use Cricut label paper or “washi” if you are using Avery brand label paper. (For Cricut Explore users, set the dial to custom to see this option.)
Step 5: Download the Mat
Place the printed sticker on the blue LightGrip mat. Try to align the page as close to the top left corner as possible. Smooth out the sticker with your hands or with a brush. Press the flashing arrow key to place the mat in the Cricut machine.
Step 6: Cut Out the Stickers
After the mat is loaded into the machine, you should see the button with the Cricut icon flashing, indicating that the device is ready to cut the stickers. Press button C to start cutting.
You will notice that the Cricut will begin to move across your paper, scanning the black alignment lines. After the scans the paper, he will start cutting.
Step 7: Remove the Mat and Stickers
The Cricut will notify you to unload the mat after complete cutting. Press the flashing arrow button to unload the mat.
Before removing the mat from the machine, you can check that the notch is completely gone, especially if you want die-cut stickers. If this is not the case, you can run it a second time.
When you are done cutting, remove the mat from the machine and remove the stickers from the mat. Now your stickers are ready to use!
If you’re having trouble with the sticker sheet tearing or curling when you tear it off, try the following: Turn the entire rug upside down on a clean work surface and remove the rug from the sticker sheet. This technique will prevent the stickers from curling!
The outer self-adhesive paper can be removed from the cut sticker when made as a sticker. The perfectly cut sticker can then be attached to a backing paper and used immediately.
Printing and Cutting Tips
Here are a few essential points to remember when setting up a Print then Cut project:
If you are trying to print and then cut out an image that is too large, you will see a warning symbol in the Layers panel on the right side of the screen. Resize the image to 6.75 by 9.25 or smaller and try again.
By default, Cricut design space will give your image a “crop,” an extra border extending beyond the cut line. Bleeding can cause the printed image to look blurry as if it has fuzzy edges. Do not worry; this extra border will be trimmed during the cutting step.
If you make stickers with a white border, you can safely turn off the bleed.
Place the printed sticker in the upper left corner of the cutting mat. Try to align the top edge with the grid lines on the mat. Do your best to keep the sticker paper flat and smooth. This will help the Cricut read the probe marks and make accurate cuts.
Complete a Project in One Session
For best results, try doing the entire process in one session. Use the same computer and the same browser to access Design Space. This way, you will avoid most printing problems, registration errors, or cutting errors.
Troubleshooting Printing and Then Cutting
Sometimes “Print then Crop” projects don’t turn out outright. If so, check out some of these troubleshooting tips and frequently asked questions.
Check a few things if your Cricut cannot read cut sensor marks. Here are some of the reasons why your Cricut cannot read cut sensor marks correctly for your Print then Crop projects:
- Too much direct light or glare
- Improper placement of material or mat
- Glossy, patterned, or dirty material
For more information on troubleshooting print sensors then crop errors, click here.
If the cuts do not match the image, your Cricut may need to be calibrated. To calibrate the machine for printing then cutting, select Calibration from the menu and print a calibration sheet.
Then follow the instructions on this page.
If the Cricut cuts through the substrate, you may need to adjust the pressure settings. To do what’s called a “kiss,” you need to reduce the cutting pressure so that the Cricut cuts through the decal layer but leaves the back layer intact.
The Sticker Paper setting should produce a kiss if you use Cricut sticker paper.
If you use sticky notes from another manufacturer, you may need to reduce the pressure to create them. Try setting the pressure to “less” or choose other custom settings such as “sticky note.”