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how to make stickers on procreate

How to Make Stickers on Procreate: Step-by-Step Guide

Knowing how to make stickers on Procreate adds fun to your images on Instagram, digital, or paper planner.

There are many sticker options available online and in stores, but if you have an artistic side, why don’t you create your own? 

This way, your pictures, notebooks, planners won’t look like anyone else’s and show your personality. 

Creating a sticker is easy with the Procreate app, and this article will guide you through every step.

After you create your stickers in Procreate, you’ll be able to add them to your Instagram stories or print them out.

This guide also provides instructions for that.  

Give yourself another type of entertainment and learn how to make stickers on Procreate.

Step 1: Opening Your Procreate and Creating a Canvas

The first thing for you to do is as simple as they come. 

Click on your Procreate app and click on the + in the top right corner of the screen. 

Procreate has several options, such as screen size, square, paper, comic canvases.

As background won’t play any vital role in creating stickers, you don’t need anything fancy.

Choose the screen size canvas as it’s the largest option available.  

However, if you’d like to print and cut your stickers using a Cricut or another device, you might want to create a canvas of the size that is suitable for that option.

To create a custom canvas, click on the Canvas menu, then click on + in the top right corner.

There you’ll see settings for width, height, DPI. 

Make them 2025×2775 px respectively, and set DPI as 300. 

That’s the largest size that works with Cricut. 

Step 2: Choosing Your Design

The success of this step depends entirely on you, and you have an infinite amount of things you can draw.

However, sometimes the freedom that lets you do whatever you want can feel like more pressure.

Have you ever stared at your canvas and didn’t know where to start or what to draw?

On the Pinterest website, you can find some examples of beautifully designed stickers that will give a boost to your creative mind, and you’ll be able to come up with unique ideas. 

You can also check out these 13 tips for creating stickers for personal and commercial purposes. 

Step 2.5: Copying A Photo

If you’re drawing stickers for yourself or your loved ones, you might want to make a sticker that resembles your boyfriend/girlfriend, family members, your pet, or some item that serves as an inside joke for you.

You can trace a photo to make sure that your drawing is as precise as possible.

Take a good photo of the person or item you want to draw, upload it to Procreate. 

To add a photo to Procreate, click on the wrench icon, tap on Insert and then Insert flat image.

The formats of images that Procreate supports are PNG, JPG, PSD files. 

Decrease the visibility of the photo. 

You can do that by opening the layer tab, tapping on the layer that contains the image with two fingers, and sliding the Opacity slider to the left.  

Create a new layer above the photo by tapping on the layer icon and then the + button. 

Start tracing.

YouTube video made by Well Crafted Studio will help you understand how to upload and trace a photo easily.

Step 3: Sketching

If you’re creating your sticker from scratch, you want to start with a quick sketch.

Sketching makes it more convenient for you to outline and color your design.

It doesn’t require you to draw lines perfectly but will give you a feel of your design and let you change things before you invest too much time in the drawing.

Choose an HB Pencil brush in the Brush Library of Procreate. 

Make the brush size 1% and keep it that way.

The color of the brush doesn’t matter as you’ll paint on top of the sketch anyway.

Once you finished your sketch, you might want to make it less visible so that it doesn’t distract you while you draw on top of it.

To change the opacity of your sketch, go to the Adjustment settings (the magic wand icon).

Click on opacity and then slide your Apple Pencil to the left on the screen until your sketch is barely visible.

Step 4: Outlining and Coloring Your Design

If the design of your sticker consists of multiple parts, it’s better to create a separate layer for each detail so that at any time, you can go back and edit them without ruining other parts.

Once you completed your sketch, create another layer that goes on top of the sketch layer, and choose another brush.

Procreate offers a wide variety of brushes suitable for drawing, inking, calligraphy.

Choose a brush that you like to use, change the size if you need to, and outline your design with it. 

Once you finished outlining the design, you don’t need the sketching layer anymore, so you can either hide or delete it.

Create another layer for adding color. 

Procreate offers a wide variety of colors; select the one you like by tapping a circle in the top right corner and picking a palette that suits your design. 

If you use different colors for your design, you can save the colors you pick for quick access.

To save a color, tap on the one you want and then click on a grey square below the colorful circle. 

To access the saved color, just tap on the square that contains the color, and it’s ready to use. 

YouTube video made by Stayf Draws will show you how to save and use colors.

Step 5: Adding the White Outline 

As you know, all stickers have a white background.

The white outline also helps the cutting machine to cut your stickers properly.

Adding a white background is easy and won’t take a long time.

Once you’re satisfied with your design, create a new layer between the ones that contain your drawings and background. 

If you’ve created separate layers for different parts of your design, you can put them all together in one group.

To do that, click on the layer icon, select all the layers except the background by swiping right on each tab, and then tap on the Group option in the top right corner. 

You’ll see all layers in one group, but as you didn’t merge them, you’ll still be able to edit them.

Choose the new layer you’ve just created and select a Hard Airbrush; the brush size should be around 11%.

There is also another brush you can use; its maker, Jennifer Swift, created it for this purpose, and it’s available for free.

Make sure that the color of the layer is white, the color of your background is black.

Now it’s time to outline your design; you can do that by tracing the shape of your illustration or painting a rectangle shape around your drawing. 

Once the outline is complete, hide the group of layers above this one and fill everything inside the white lines.

A faster way to fill the outline is to tap on the color circle and drag it inside the lines.

It’ll fill everything in white color.   

Make sure there are no empty spaces.

Check this YouTube video made by Sara Faber for a tutorial on how to create a white outline.

Step 5.5: Another Way to Add White Outline

If you don’t want to draw outlines manually, there are other ways to do it.

One of the ways is to use the Wrap settings, but they won’t work with complicated designs.

If your image is simple and doesn’t contain many details, then this method will save you a lot of time and effort.

To add a white outline, combine all your layers except for the background, and duplicate them.

Put the duplicated layer between the original one and the background.

Select the duplicate, choose a white color, and click on Fill Layer. 

Now that you see your design in white, click on the arrow icon in the top left corner, and it’ll open a bar with three buttons – Transform, Distort, Warp.

Click on Warp and drag out the white design to the outside area of your colorful image.

Some lines will be thinner than the others, so you can click on the brush and thicken them manually. 

There is a YouTube video made by Let’s Draw with BeeJeyDel; it explains multiple ways to outline a sticker.


Step 6: Saving Your Stickers

Whether you intend on using a digital version of the stickers you draw or print them out, it’s important to have them with transparent background.

To achieve that, hide the background by unchecking the checkbox on the background layer.

Then tap on the action menu (wrench icon) and choose the share tab.

The share tab provides you with several format options – Procreate, PSD, PDF, JPG, PNG, and TIFF.

To have an image with a transparent background, you have to export it as a PNG format file. 

After you clicked on the PNG button, you’ll see several sharing options – sending it via your social media, using Dropbox, saving to files, Camera Roll, or printing.

If you want to print your stickers, you’ll have to export it to the application that will help you prepare your stickers for print and cutting, such as Cricut, Silhouette.

If you want to add them to your Instagram stories, then all you have to do is save the stickers to your Camera Roll. 

To add the stickers to your digital planner, save them to the Files folder – it’s more convenient this way.

If you’re better at learning while watching videos, you can check this short YouTube video that will show you the process step-by-step.

Step 7: Adding Stickers for Digital Planners on iPad

If you’re using digital planners to stay organized and productive, you know how helpful these things are.

But do you know how beautiful they can become when you add pictures to their pages?

Although some apps offer stickers for the planners, they might not be suitable for your taste, and the ones you created yourself will make you feel proud every time you see them.

Adding them to your digital planner is an easy process, and it’s the same for various apps, such as Goodnotes, Notability, or OneNote. 

Open the planner app on your iPad and choose a page where you’d like to add your sticker.

Slide your finger from the bottom up to see a line of applications at the bottom of your iPad. 

Those applications will include Messages, Safari, Music, Mail, Files, and others.

Long press on the Files icon (blue folder) until you can move it across the screen, drag it to the side of the planner, and let go.

Change the size of the Files window so you can see the pages of your planners.

Find the sticker you created in the Files, drag, and drop it on the page of your planner.

You can resize it, move it around until you’re satisfied with the look. 

Step 8: Using Stickers for Instagram Stories

Instagram offers a wide variety of emojis, gifs, stickers that you can add to your pictures, but if you can use them, other people can do, too. 

To ensure your picture stands out and all of the graphics are unique, just add the stickers you created.

It’s a straightforward process that won’t take more than five minutes of your time.

After you added the sticker to your Gallery, open your Instagram.

Swipe right to start creating your Instagram Story.

Choose any photo you like from your Gallery or take a picture in the app. 

After you uploaded or took a picture, tap on a square with a smiley face on it. 

You’ll see a lot of things that you can add to your pictures, like hashtags, location, time, poll, questions, etc.

The icon you’re looking for is grey and round with a simple dot and lines on it.

Tap on it, and Instagram will open your Camera Roll, so you only have to find your sticker and tap on it.

You can rotate and change the size of the stickers to find the most suitable variation for your photo.  

Here is a quick tutorial video made by Laura Jane Illustrations that shows you the process.

Step 9: Tools for Printing and Cutting Your Stickers

Are you thinking about selling the stickers, or you want to stick them on your laptop, planner? 

Then you need to know what you need for printing and cutting them.

You’ll need sticker paper, a printer, a vinyl cutting machine, and some patience. 

For sticker paper, there are two main types – glossy and matte.

Materials used for sticker paper include vinyl, latex, polyester. 

LD blog has a helpful article that you can read to learn which paper you should buy.

Regarding printers, any brand of inkjet printer will be able to print the stickers you created successfully.

You can use a laser printer, but they only work with a particular vinyl paper, which isn’t common.

The most popular brands of sticker cutting devices are Silhouette and Cricut. 

These companies have also developed applications, which allow you to prepare your stickers for print.

Step 10: Cutting Your Stickers Using Cricut Machine

This chapter explains the process of cutting your stickers with the Cricut app and machine, but it’s the same for Silhouette and other devices.

The first thing you have to do after you saved your sticker on your computer or iPad is to upload it to Cricut Design Space.

Then the desktop software will present three options that describe your image type – Simple, Moderately Complex, and Complex.

Usually, stickers don’t have too many details or colors; you can choose Simple.

Since your image already has a transparent background, you don’t have to anything in the app, so on the next page, click Continue.

There, you’ll have to options of how you want to save the file; choose Save as a Print Then Cut image.

Then you’ll have to upload your Print Then Cut image to Canvas Area, choose a suitable size for your sticker, copy and paste your image to fill a page, or several pages (depending on how many you want to create), and line them up.

After you’re satisfied with the look of your sticker sheet, click Make it in the top right corner of the screen.

Print your image (if you’re using your computer, don’t forget to turn on Bleed), check if everything looks right, and then place the page on the Cricut Mat in the same way you see it on the preview in the Cricut app.

Turn your Cricut device on, place the mat inside, and click on the logo button.

Then when the machine finishes cutting the stickers, remove them from the mat, and enjoy your handmade stickers.

Here is another Sara Faber’s video that will show you the process step-by-step. 

Final Thoughts

As you can see knowing how to make stickers on Procreate can be a lot of fun!

Moreover, it is not that complicated.

The Procreate app offers you numerous useful features and brushes, which are suitable for total beginners and experienced artists.

And you can use the stickers you created for multiple purposes – for your planners, notebooks, for Instagram, as gifts to your loved ones, and even for commerce.

If you found this interesting, the articles below will equally pique your interest.

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