Leave those nasty foam stickers on the store shelf and show your kids how easy it is to make your own custom reusable stickers. While you’re at it, make yourself some stickers for your scrapbook, and that’s one more aisle that you don’t have to shop!
My next step in greening my family’s art supplies is stickers!
I know that foam stickers are just terrible, but when they’re 65% off on the day after Thanksgiving and my little ones are looking at them with adoration in their eyes, sometimes I just can’t resist. Of course, even more conventional stickers aren’t great–you can’t recycle that waxed backing, and it’s just one more thing to buy.
Fortunately, I think that we’ve finally broken the sticker lust in our family this year, simply because homemade stickers that work just as well (and often better!) than store-bought stickers have proven to be so simple to make, and so fun, too.
The girls can make stickers from family photographs, from their own art, or from pictures that they cut out of magazines or old books. When I scrapbook, I can make stickers out of lettering, or shapes punched from my vintage wallpaper collection, or, if I feel like it, from my latest Entertainment Weekly.
Reusable Stickers from Upcycled Paper
The trick to making your own stickers is finding a really good repositionable glue. This type of glue is often sold as an aerosol spray (yikes!), but my favorite is Aleene’s Tack it Over and Over, which comes in a bottle. Unfortunately, I did have to order it online and have it shipped to me, which I didn’t love, but one bottle lasts forever and I also use it to re-tacky my Cricut mats (shh, don’t tell Cricut!), so it earns its keep.
– paper that you want to turn into stickers
– Aleene’s Tack it Over and Over (or your favorite repositionable glue)
– paint brush (optional)
1. Cut out images for your stickers however you’d like. Repositionable glue works well with all types of papers, even my oh-so-brittle vintage wallpaper samples, and also thicker materials, such as plastic clamshells drawn on with Sharpies. In this particular project, I’ve cut a bunch of images out of an old and quite beat-up Golden Book encyclopedia.
2. Turn your images upside down and spread just a little glue on the back of each of them with your fingertips or with a paint brush, then–and here’s the trick!–let that glue dry completely, generally for about a day. When I scrapbook, I usually plan out what stickers I want to make and where they’ll go on my layout, then make those stickers and work on the rest of my page, or other projects, while they dry. My little girls don’t have that patience, however, so often I’ll make a set of stickers for them as a surprise, or make it clear from the beginning, as we do with many of our homeschool activities, that this is a two-day project.
3. After the glue on the backs of the stickers has dried completely, they’re ready to use! Although you can stick them down and then peel them up and re-stick them, the glue on these stickers does have enough adhesiveness to work well by itself for most art or scrapbooking purposes. When we want to use them on a project that needs to be sturdier, to decorate a treasure box, for instance, I’ll dab a bit of stronger glue on the back of each sticker once it’s been placed.