If there’s one thing you should know before starting a sticker business, it’s this; the sticker industry is booming!

In fact, stickers of all kinds are one of the biggest and fastest growing trends on Etsy and shopify stores in 2021, quickly rising to bestseller status.

The stickers market is projected to rise from an already staggering 46.5 billion USD in 2020 to an even more eye-watering 59.2 billion in 2025.

Why not cash in on this growing market and make some serious cash whilst doing something super fun?!

In this guide, you’ll discover how to make and sell stickers online, even if you’re not a designer!

THE LOW DOWN – A BRIEF LOOK AT HOW TO MAKE STICKERS TO SELL (EVERYTHING DETAILED BELOW)

  1. Choose the type of sticker you wish to make
  2. Purchase the necessary equipment for your sticker type
  3. Create your stickers 
  4. Choose the right printing method for you
  5. Discover how to make your stickers sell like crazy!

I go into more detail about each of these sections below.

TYPES OF STICKERS TO SELL ONLINE

You have 3 main options to choose from; selling digital stickers, selling physical stickers you print and cut yourself or selling physical stickers with your designs via a print on demand service.

They all have their pros and cons.

#1 SELLING DIGITAL STICKERS

Pros

  • No physical shipping or packaging
  • Very high profit margin
  • Resell same design again and again!

Cons

  • Excludes buyers who want physical copies of your stickers
  • Can only be used in digital planners, files and trackers (unless customer wants make the effort to print the designs themselves)

#2 SELLING PHYSICAL STICKERS YOU CUT & SHIP YOURSELF

Pros

  • More sales, 65% of customers on Etsy who bought stickers purchased physical sets
  • You have total creative control over packaging, shipping & design work
  • Physical stickers can quickly rise to bestseller status

Cons

  • Very labor intensive
  • More equipment needed (especially if you print them yourself)
  • Middle ground profit margins

#3 SELLING PRINT ON DEMAND STICKERS

Pros

  • Hands-off business other than design work
  • Sold items are shipped by the print on demand company whilst you sleep!

Cons

  • Lower profit margins
  • You have little to no control over the finished product/packaging that’s sent to your customer

EQUIPMENT NEEDED FOR EACH TYPE OF STICKER

DIGITAL STICKERS

Digital stickers are surprisingly easy to create! Plus, they’re amazingly profitable! You make them once and sell them again and again, no shipping needed!

Customers love decorating their digital planners, trackers and even client welcome packs with them.

Here is what you need to create them:

  • Procreate or Canva Pro (Designing Software)

Procreate is more of a drawing platform i.e you draw the sticker yourself whilst Canva is perfect for combining clip art designs or text together to create a sticker.

Canva Pro is what I use for all of my designs. I’m not a designer by any means, but it makes creating stickers so simple.

Plus, Canva Pro, unlike the free version, allows you to save your sticker designs in JPEG, PNG, SVG and PDF format.

Some customers and printing companies prefer to have the designs in either PNG, JPEG or SVG format, so it’s a great tool to have.

If you’re completely new to the whole digital sticker thing, I recommend checking out Carmen’s course too. She teaches you not only how to make stickers FAST but also how to sell them fast too.

PHYSICAL STICKERS (OUTSOURCED PRINTING/PRINT ON DEMAND)

These are stickers that you design yourself, but outsource the fiddly printing, and in some cases, shipping, to someone else.

This is known as print on demand, and whilst the profit margins are lower than if you made and printed the stickers yourself, you reap the benefit of owning a virtually hands-off business

Here is what you need to create them:

  • Procreate (+ Ipad Pro) or Canva Pro similar designing software

You can either just get the stickers printed professionally via Sticker Mule, Sticker Ninja or Got Print, and have them shipped back to you ready for you to send them out to the customer.

Or, you can use a service such as Redbubble, Printify or Prodigi (UK) who will print, package and ship them to your customer whilst you sleep, or eat, or drink (you get the picture).

PHYSICAL STICKERS (COMPLETELY MAKE YOURSELF)

This is the more manual option, but you have total and complete creative control over your business, not to mention potentially higher profit margins than the print on demand option.

You’ll need:

  • Sticker Paper or Vinyl
  • Procreate (+ Ipad Pro) or similar designing software
  • Silhouette Cameo 3 (Cutting Tool)
  • Inkjet Printer
  • Packaging materials
  • Time to dedicate to your business (!)

The silhouette cameo 3 isn’t a printer in the traditional sense, it’s a cutting machine, which is why you will also need a printer.

This machine lets you print out an image on your home printer (ink-based) and then it cuts around that image perfectly. Ideal for intricate designs such as stickers!

Just a quick note, as you scale your business and have a huge influx in sales (and you will!), you’ll need to rethink your strategy.

You definitely don’t want to burn out, so I recommend diversifying your income sources by adding digital stickers to your shop as well as physical stickers and consider outsourcing mass orders to a printer such as Sticker Mule when you know what designs are selling really well.

Oh, and don’t try cutting stickers at home with a cricut. I’ve seen so many amazing crafters do it on Youtube, but from a business perspective, taking the time to get the alignments right every single time is a real time suck.

Silhouette is the way to go.

DESIGNING STICKERS TO SELL (2 METHODS)

Despite what you might have been told or been led to believe, designing stickers to sell is incredibly easy! In fact, it’s one of the easier craft side hustles out there.

You don’t even have to be a graphic designer or drawer to make money – here are the options you have for making your very own stickers.

You can either;

OPTION #1 – COMPILE YOUR OWN

If you want to make your own designs, but aren’t a drawer or graphic designer, this method is for you.

The best way to do this is to combine clip art pieces together to create your own designs via a software such as Canva.

You can also find clipart to use at My Cute Graphics. Some sticker sellers even use Powerpoint to design their digital stickers (yes, really!).

This method works well for print on demand, physical and digital file stickers.

OPTION #2 – BUY PRE-MADE DESIGNS

You can, of course, buy pre-made designs from places such as Creative Market, Etsy, Crello, The Craft Bundles and Creative Fabrica.

Just bear in mind that unless you’re willing to pay a premium for custom designs, you’ll likely have a generic sticker that’s being sold elsewhere on the internet. 

PRINTING YOUR STICKERS TO SELL

Okay, so technically, you can use any old printer to make and sell stickers, but… you want your reviews to be good, and customers can always tell the difference between a high quality sticker and low quality one.

For this reason, I recommend sticking to either a silhouette cutter and high quality inkjet printer with sticker paper or getting your stickers professionally printed via Sticker Mule, Sticker Ninja, Got Print or similar service.

STICKER MULE VS STICKER NINJA VS GOT PRINT – WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

Got Print doesn’t specialize in sticker making like Sticker Mule and Sticker Ninja does, but if you’re on a budget, Got Print is absolutely your best option.

They cost around half of what Sticker Mule and Sticker Ninja do to print stickers. Plus, they look just as good in terms of quality!

But if you want to sell vinyl or holographic stickers, Got Print currently doesn’t have that printing option, so you’ll want to advertise your stickers accordingly.

Vinyl stickers are best for water bottles, cars, and any other surface that may get wet.

STICKER MULE

Sticker Mule is great for making sure your artwork looks perfect before it prints. Why? Because they will do most of the image formatting for you.

You simply submit your image or design and they’ll send you unlimited proofs completely free of charge until you’re happy with how it looks (or decide to abandon your idea). 

So if things like sticker bleed, margins, die cut or kiss cut confuses you, the Sticker Mule team will happily help you format and choose the best option for your stickers. 

  • Uses thick, durable vinyl
  • 100 50x50mm round stickers (3 inch) costs $75 plus shipping
  • Range of stickers offered: die cut, bumper, sheets, holographic, round, clear, vinyl lettering etc.

STICKER NINJA

  • Uses thick, durable vinyl
  • 100 50x50mm round stickers (3 inch) costs $90 plus shipping
  • Range of stickers offered: die cut, bumper, sheets, holographic, round, stardust, glow in the dark etc.

GOT PRINT

  • Uses 60lb high gloss label with UV coating
  • 100 50x50mm round stickers (3 inch) costs $40.70
  • Range of stickers offered: circle, square, leaf, half circle, oval, rectangle and wink.

Customer service is good at Got Print – I should know!

I accidentally messed up one of my designs and submitted without checking which meant that I then had around 100 copies of a messed up sticker, but to my surprise Got Print’s customer service team offered to either replace those stickers for me at a much lower price or give me store credit, even though it was my error.

PACKAGING YOUR STICKERS

You might just be surprised how important your packaging is.

In a recent survey, over 55% of customers said they could tell if the product and brand was of high quality based on the packaging alone.

Turns out people really do judge a book by its cover.

Having said that, you also want your stickers to arrive in good condition. Never sacrifice package protection for style.

Here are some packaging ideas to get you started:

  • Rigid mailers
  • Cello bags
  • Brown kraft or tissue paper wrap
  • Jute rope or washi tapes

ADDING BRANDABLE INSERTS FOR A PERSONALIZED EXPERIENCE

Whilst you don’t need to invest in overly expensive or fancy packaging, you do want to at least have a brandable logo, a personalized thank you card or note and a business card.

Vistaprint is one of the cheapest business card printing options out there, and they even have discounts for bulk or repeat orders.

Ideally, you’ll want a website too, though this can come later on when you’re more established.

FREEBIES – THE PATH TO REPEAT CUSTOMERS

If you can afford to, try to include a mini freebie too.

Freebies are fantastic ways to delight your customer, snag that all important 5 star review and potentially pull in more repeat purchases. 

SHIPPING

Just as you wouldn’t sit and cut hundreds of stickers, you don’t want to manually add your customer’s shipping addresses to your packages either.

Instead, get a Rollo printer.

Rollo printers are complete time savers for sticker sellers, being able to reel off hundreds of shipping labels in just minutes. No ink needed!

Plus, it integrates seamlessly with many couriers and marketplaces including UPS, USPS, Fedex, Shopify, Etsy, Ebay and Amazon.

HOW TO MAKE YOUR STICKERS SELL LIKE CRAZY!

These are tips that I’ve seen make a huge difference when it comes to selling stickers online. 

MOCKUPS

Mockups can literally make or break a sale.

Customers not only want to see what their sticker will look like on different surfaces, but they want to be reassured they’re buying from a reputable seller. Professional and sleek looking mock-ups do just that.

You can either use a sticker mockup generator such as media modifier, or create your own in Canva.

LISTINGS WITH VIDEO

Videos sell. Period. It’s why Etsy encourages their sellers to add a short 10-15 second video of their product on every listing.

Customers want to see what their stickers look like in real life!

PICTURE & COMPLETE SELLER PROFILE

When buying something online, customers love trying to match a face with a shop.

It not only instills confidence that you’ll send them an amazing product, but it also adds accountability – if something goes wrong with their order, they know who to contact.

You’d be surprised how many people don’t buy if they can’t get a feel for who’s behind the brand.

A GOOD LOGO & BUSINESS NAME

I’m not necessarily talking about logo design here, but instead keywords.

On some platforms such as Etsy, the words you use in your business name play a small role in where you place in their search engines.

If you sell stickers and only stickers, having the keyword ‘stickers’ in your shop name not only tells customers what you specialize in but it also tells Etsy that you’re a more relevant match for anything to do with stickers.

The reward? A slight boost in rankings.

PROMOTE BUNDLES

Bundles are the most profitable way of selling stickers, especially if you’re going the physical route.

Bundles cuts down on packaging materials, ups the profit margins and gets you decent discounts on printing services such as Sticker Mule.

Plus, people love opening a package to more than one sticker, right?!

ANALYZE YOUR COMPETITION

This is key to making a name for yourself in this growing market. When looking at your competition, ask yourself the 3 ‘what’ questions;

  • What are they doing well that I can do even better?
  • What are their most popular items and why?
  • What keywords/sales tactics are they using to snag more sales and repeat customers?

WHERE CAN I SELL MY STICKERS?

There are many places to sell your stickers online. If you’re a complete beginner with untested designs, start on Etsy.

Whilst Etsy does have selling fees, it’s a quick and almost-free way of launching a sticker shop. 

Other good places to sell your stickers include:

  • Society6
  • Zazzle
  • Redbubble
  • Shopify Store
  • Amazon
  • Ebay

HOW MUCH MONEY CAN YOU MAKE SELLING STICKERS ONLINE?

The sky’s your limit! You can treat your sticker business as a fun and creative side hustle or as an all out fully fledged business.

There are some incredibly inspiring success stories out there to take a look at.

Take this one for example, an auto employee earned $100,000 selling niche stickers on Instagram in the 1st year of operation.

Or Ellie from Vinyl Boutique who has sold over 25,000 stickers on Etsy.

Or how about Michelle from Wild and Solo who as a busy digital nomad makes an extra $6,000 a year!

It really is up to you how much money you make selling stickers online, based on the time you want to devote to the business.

HOW MUCH SHOULD I CHARGE FOR MY STICKERS?

Factor in production costs, design time, packaging materials (if applicable) and all other expenses when calculating your total cost. 

Total Cost/Total Stickers = Cost Per Sticker to Make

After you’ve worked out the cost per sticker, you’ll then want to add your desired profit margin to that price.

When combined, this gives you a rough price to charge for your stickers.

Obviously, it depends on the style, shape and size of sticker you create, but generally the average profit margin per sticker online right now is $2-$6. That’s a good base to work from. 

Look at your competitors – are most of them offering a similar design, size etc for a lower price than you? If so, how? What are they doing differently during production? Do some digging. 

If they’re pricing higher than you and offering free shipping, they’re likely just adding the shipping cost into the price. 

Don’t be afraid to price higher though! If you’re offering something unique and different, you should be rewarded for it! Customers expect to pay more for something they can’t find anywhere else.

If there’s one piece of advice I could give you it’s to not to underprice yourself for the sake of beating your competition.

It often backfires in 2 ways; 1) you end up making less profit per sale and 2) some customers associate lower prices with lower quality. 

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO MAKE STICKERS TO SELL?

Similar to the question, ‘how much can you make selling stickers’, it’s important to understand how much it will cost you to make said stickers.

The cost wholly depends on the type of sticker you make and the equipment you use, but here’s some rough estimates.

DIGITAL STICKERS

  • Canva or Canva Pro Subscription ($9.99/m)

Total = $99 for 1 year instead of $120 if you sign up via my referral link (thank you!). Snag 2 months of Canva Pro for free!

MAKING YOUR OWN TO SELL (DESIGNING, PRINTING, PACKAGING, ETC)

  • Canva or Canva Pro Subscription ($9.99/m) OR Procreate ($10)
  • Ipad Pro + Apple Pencil ($800 + $115) OR Wacom Drawing Tablet ($80)
  • Canon All-in-One Printer ($190)
  • Sticker Paper x 100 Sheets ($11)
  • Silhouette Cameo ($250)
  • Packaging Costs (roughly $60 to get started)

Total = $1525 OR $601, depending on which model of the equipment you choose. 

PRINT ON DEMAND STICKERS (REDBUBBLE, ZAZZLE, ETC)

  • Canva or Canva Pro Subscription ($9.99/m) OR Procreate ($10)

Total = $99 for 1 year instead of $120 if you sign up via my referral link (thank you!).

OOUTSOURCING PRINTING ONLY (STICKER MULE, STICKER NINJA, GOT PRINT, ETC)

  • Canva or Canva Pro Subscription ($9.99/m) OR Procreate ($10)
  • Sticker Mule Printing Fees for 100 Stickers (roughly $75 + Shipping)
  • Got Print Printing Fees for 100 Stickers ($41 + Shipping)
  • Packaging materials (roughly $60)

Total = $234 OR $200 depending on what equipment you decide to use.

WHAT KIND OF STICKERS SELL REALLY WELL ONLINE?

All sorts of stickers sell extremely well online – no niche is ever too niche. That’s the beauty of this craft side hustle.

Here are just 10 of the many top selling sticker trends right now:

  • Movement/Humanitarian Based Stickers e.g. Pride, LGBTQ+, BLM etc
  • Hobby & Career
  • Vintage
  • Anime 
  • Vinyl Labels
  • Party & Celebration Stickers
  • Business & Logo Themed
  • Journal Stickers
  • Teacher/Clasroom
  • Cute Interest Based Stickers e.g. Dinosaurs, Frogs etc.

These are just a handful of ideas though. If you have an idea, and spot a gap in the market, go for it!

SUMMARY – PICKING THE BEST WAY TO MAKE AND SELL STICKERS

You can easily create a sticker business with more than one type of sticker – pick the types of stickers that are going to give you the profit and life you desire.

If you’re searching for a quick, hands-off side hustle, print on demand is likely the best way to go.

If you’re looking to launch a small creative business that you can call your baby, combining a mix of physical and digital stickers is your best bet!

No method is better than the other, it purely depends on what outcome you’re hoping for.

There you have it, the ultimate guide on how to create and sell stickers online in 2021. I hope this post has been helpful to you.

If it has, please consider sharing it with other crafters and side hustlers in your life!