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“What’s the best vinyl sticker machine?”
“How do I weed and transfer my stickers to their final destination?”
In this guide, we will introduce you to the most popular vinyl sticker machines. We will also provide resources and tutorials that can have you cutting, weeding and transferring your first vinyl decal in less than 30 minutes.
Creating your own stickers isn’t just a fun hobby.
It can be a fantastic way to make money, too.
Vinyl decals sell with a big mark-up, often 300-500% the production cost. This can make it a lucrative and viable home business, or simply a fun second source of income.
Whether you are looking to find a vinyl sticker cutter for commercial purposes, or simply to have a whole lot of fun crafting at home, here’s our selection of the very best cutters on the market.
- 1 Vinyl Sticker Machines: Our Picks
- 2 Vinyl Sticker Sheets: The Best Deals
- 3 Interesting Resources
Vinyl Sticker Machines: Our Picks
Some vinyl stickers ready to be cut, creative commons via Gatanass
Creating your own vinyl decals is a three-step process.
- Creating (or importing) the designs via software
- Cutting them with a suitable machine
- Weeding and transferring the cuts to their final destination. Or simply peeling them for application.
While you don’t absolutely have to use a cutting machine to make great stickers, they will save you time and make your life easier.
Here’s our pick of the best sticker cutters:
The Silhouette Cameo is one of the bestselling vinyl cutting machines in the world.
This is a fully fledged craft cutter that can dice up more than just stickers, but if that’s your task, the Cameo is a great fit.
It works with a variety of materials, including vinyl, paper, cardstock and fabric.
If you need a lot of stickers cut, then the good news is that the brand new Cameo 3 can handle materials up to 12 inches wide and 10 feet long.
It also comes with the award winning Silhouette Studio design software, a tool that simplifies the process of designing, importing and cutting entire sheets of stickers.
Silhouette Cameo Deals: >> Click to check the current price on Amazon
The Silhouette Portrait is the lighter portable cousin of the Cameo. It’s also a little cheaper.
While the Portrait makes for a great vinyl sticker machine, it can’t handle the same cut sizes as the Cameo. Its maximum cutting area is 8 by 12 inches vs. 12 inches by 10 feet for the Cameo.
Both machines are accurate and reliable. While they are not considered ‘commercial’ cutters, they will do a fantastic job with 99% of the stickers we’d typically work with.
The Portrait benefits from being considerably more compact and portable than the Cameo. It’s around half the weight, smaller in size, and will hog less of the desktop.
Silhouette Portrait Deals: >> Click to check the current price on Amazon.
Cricut Explore Air
The huge consumer market for vinyl cutting can be divided in to three camps: Silhouette fans, Cricut fans, and those who love both.
The Explore Air is Cricut’s answer to the Cameo 3.
Explore Air is a tremendously accurate cutter on materials far more testing than the sticker sheets that we love to feed it. It can handle a wide variety of materials, including paper, cardstock, vinyl, iron-on, poster board and fabric.
Its supported cut sizes range from 0.25 inches to 11.5 inches wide by 23.5 inches tall.
It doesn’t handle the monster 120 inch lengths boasted by the Cameo, but realistically, how big are those stickers going to be?!
One great advantage of the Cricut Explore Air is that it’s embedded with bluetooth for wireless cutting. So while it’s a larger machine than, say, the Silhouette Portrait (and the Big Shot), you can tuck it away in a different room without having to be connected by wires.
You can read our in-depth review of the Explore Air here.
Cricut Explore Air Deals: >> Click to check the current price on Amazon
The big sell of the ScanNCut 2 from Brother is disclosed in the name: scan and cut.
ScanNCut comes with a 300 DPI built-in Scanner and RBG color recognition.
If you are looking for a vinyl sticker machine that makes it easy to cut a hand-drawn design, then you will love this one’s simplicity.
We recommend ScanNCut for craft fans who prefer designing by hand, as opposed to relying on software. In fact, this machine doesn’t require any software. Simply plug it in, scan your work, follow the touchscreen instructions and start cutting.
Brother ScanNCut Deals: >> Click to check the current price on Amazon
Budget Option: Sizzix Big Shot
The Sizzix Big Shot is a cute little dye-cutter, much loved by families and crafty kids.
It can be used to make cards, invitations, scrapbook pages, home decor, fashion, altered art, quilting and yes — lots of stickers.
The Big Shot cuts materials up to a maximum size of 8 1/2″ x 11″.
While it doesn’t have the complexity or the digital integration of the machines above, it makes up for this by being fun, easy to use and an authentic ‘hands on’ cutting experience.
Sizzix Big Shot Deals: >> Click to check the current price on Amazon
Vinyl Sticker Sheets: The Best Deals
Once you have a suitable cutting machine, you can get down to the fun business of creating your own stickers.
This is an area of crafts where the learning curve is as big as you want it to be.
There are some fantastic sticker designers out there. Many enthusiasts and beginners quickly learn how to turn their love in to a viable small business.
However, it’s not just a machine for the stickers you’ll need. It’s the actual materials, too.
A stylish vinyl sticker pack, creative commons via Mr. Switch CRS FERc
What are some of the top vinyl supplies that every sticker designer should have?
Well, first and foremost… the vinyl itself.
There are some nice deals to be had on Amazon:
Inkpress Specialty Media Adhesive Vinyl pack
First we have a budget-friendly permanent self-adhesive material with a high bleached, water resistant inkjet coating. These Inkpress sheets are suitable for application both indoors and outdoors.
Not quite as glossy as some of the other vinyl sheets we’ve seen, but at such a good price for 20 sheets, it’s a decent deal. Super durable.
Vinyl Ease, Permanent Adhesive Backed 30 Sheet Pack
This is a great vinyl sticker starter pack.
It includes 30 sheets of adhesive-backed vinyl in a variety of colors. Each sheet is 6″ by 12″, nice and glossy. Durability is over 5 years for indoors, up to 5 years for outdoors.
We recommend this as a starter pack so that you can get a feel for each of the colors and test their application. The downside is that if you find one you like, you will need to buy further supplies — as there’s only one sheet per color.
The bundle is also suitable for those running larger vinyl decals operations who may have an occasional need for ‘odds and ends’ in different colors.
Always good to have an emergency supply!
Expressions Vinyl, Inkjet Printable 5 Pack
Expressions Vinyl has this five-pack of plain white inkjet printable vinyl with a lovely matte finish.
They are suitable for use with or without laminate — although we highly recommend laminate for outdoor use, especially if the stickers aren’t printed using UV ink.
The sheets are 8.5 by 11 inches.
The material is strong, thick and durable; perfect for making bumper stickers, production labels, graphics or window decals.
Cricut Printable Vinyl for Die-Cuts
This pack includes 10 sheets of 8.5″ by 11″ white printable vinyl.
Cricut’s sheets are designed for inkjet printers and the Print Then Cut feature of the Cricut Explore machines.
To create your own stickers, you select the custom setting Printable Vinyl to achieve a lighter kiss cut. This cuts through the vinyl but leaves the backing intact for easy application.
By the way, you don’t have to own a Cricut machine to use these sticker sheets. They work just as well with a Silhouette cutter. 😉
Once you’ve caught the bug for making stickers, it can rapidly turn in to a full-blown small crafts addiction.
Hey, we’ve all been there…
Here are some interesting articles and videos related to vinyl sticker crafts that we thought you might enjoy:
How to Make DIY ‘Vinyl’ Decals (Without Vinyl) — Melissa and Stephanie have an excellent guide to making vinyl stickers and decals without the use of a Silhouette, Cricut or any other diecutting machine. Their secret? A printable and cuttable vinyl-like material that isn’t actually vinyl!
StickerYou — As an alternative to buying your own vinyl sticker machine, you can upload or create your designs on StickerYou and have them do the cutting for you. They specialize in high quality custom stickers, labels, decals, iron-on labels and temporary tattoos. The service is expensive for single designs ($9.99 for 1 page of white vinyl stickers), but for those who have a one-off cut requirement, it is cheaper than buying the equipment yourself.
How to Create Stickers with Silhouette Studio — Below is a great video tutorial on how to create stickers in Silhouette Studio by YouTube user CraftyMe83.
How to Make a Vinyl Car Window Decal Using the Silhouette Cameo Portrait — Another nice video tutorial showing how to create, cut, weed and transfer vinyl car stickers with the Silhouette Cameo, via TheRhinestoneWorld.
How to Make Customized Stickers with a Cricut — In contrast, some craft fans prefer the Cricut series over Silhouette. Here is a nice video from Michelle Greatness on how she makes customized stickers using her Cricut Explore machine. It includes a step-by-step process from the software/design stage.
What is your favorite vinyl sticker machine? Are there any supplies you couldn’t live without?
Any tips you’d like to share?
We’d love to hear from you!