“What’s a good vinyl sticker machine?”
“How do I choose the best vinyl sticker maker?”
If you want to make your own stickers at home, or you’re wondering how to make vinyl stickers, there are a variety of helpful machines that can simplify the task and make creating stickers… really fun.
Whether you choose a manually operated machine, or a sophisticated electronic cutter, a sticker maker is a fantastic tool that will bring joy to any home craft room or school classroom. If we had to choose a favorite, it’s hard to look beyond the Cricut Joy as the most popular sticker maker machine in 2023. The machine is like the “little sister” of the larger Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker models. It is specifically designed for creating labels, stickers, gift tags and decals.
But it’s not the only option!
If you are looking for a super-cheap sticker maker, the Xyron Create-a-Sticker is a worthy affordable option. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles of an electric cutter, but it produces stickers in seconds – and it’s dead easy! You might also consider the Sizzix Big Shot, a cult-classic manual sticker maker that is capable of working with vinyl, too.
In this guide, we will introduce you to the most popular sticker maker 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.
Here’s a sneak peek at our top 3 sticker maker machines:
Below we’ll be covering a variety of popular sticker cutting machines, with both manual and electric options for you to choose from.
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 professional sticker making machine for commercial purposes, or simply to have a whole lot of fun crafting at home, we’ll be using this piece to show you which sticker cutters are best for your needs.
- Our Pick of the Best Sticker Maker Machines
- Deals on Vinyl Sticker Sheets
- Interesting Vinyl Sticker Maker Resources
Our Pick of the Best Sticker Maker Machines
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 an electric cutting machine to make great stickers (or any machine at all!), they will save you time and make your life easier.
Here’s our pick of the best sticker cutters, starting with a machine that is built specifically for the task:
Looking specifically for a Cricut sticker maker?
We’ve chosen the Cricut Joy as our #1 machine for making stickers — because it’s been purpose-built for the task.
Cricut has a reputation for making some of the fanciest electric cutting machines in the craft world. Their flagship Explore Air and Maker machines are hugely popular, but they’re also designed for much more than simply making stickers, labels and vinyl decals.
In short: You might not need a Cricut Maker just for making stickers.
That’s where the Cricut Joy steps in. It’s a wonderful portable machine that can cut stickers up to 4″ wide and 4′ long — or repeated images up to 20′ long.
We described it as a “pocket rocket” when we first got our hands on it, and that view hasn’t changed. It can cut and write, and is capable of working with over 50 different materials.
See Bethadilly’s cute demonstration of Cricut Joy stickers here:
The only limitation with the Cricut Joy is its diddly-size. If you want to work with stickers that are wider than 4 inches, then the task will require the extra cutting width of its big brothers – the Cricut Maker or Explore 3 (featured below).
See our full Cricut Joy review.
Best Deals on the Cricut Joy:
Silhouette Portrait 3
The Silhouette Portrait 3 is the lighter portable cousin of Silhouette’s flagship machine: the Cameo. It’s also a little bit cheaper.
While the Portrait makes for a great vinyl sticker machine, it can’t handle the same cut sizes as the Cameo. It has a maximum cutting size of 8″ x 60″.
In terms of how that compares to other options on our list, the Portrait offers double the width of the Cricut Joy (4 inches), but it falls short of the Silhouette Cameo 4 and Cricut Explore (both offering over 11 inches).
Both the Portrait and Cameo are accurate and reliable machines. 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 3 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.
So if you’re not a Cricut fan, and you’re looking for the most affordable sticker maker from their biggest rival, the Silhouette Portrait should be your number one choice.
See our full Silhouette Portrait 3 review.
Best Deals on the Silhouette Portrait 3:
Sizzix Big Shot
The Sizzix Big Shot is a cute little die 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 6″ 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.
It’s the sort of machine you’ll find sitting in the corner of a classroom, or home craft room, that all the kids gravitate towards. Not because it’s the most sophisticated. But because they just get it.
The cult-classic Big Shot is easy, fun, and it produces stickers in seconds!
See our full Sizzix Big Shot review.
Best Deals on the Sizzix Big Shot:
Cricut Explore 3
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 3 is Cricut’s answer to Silhouette’s Cameo 4. It’s up to twice-as-fast as the Explore Air 2 that came before it.
And in keeping with a modern electronic machine, Explore 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 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.
See this beautiful demonstration of Cricut stickers from Kaitlyn Films:
If you are only looking to cut vinyl stickers, the Explore 3 would tick the box: lavish purchase. You don’t need all this modern tech when the Cricut Joy will surely suffice — unless you are limited by the Cricut Joy’s 4-inch max cutting width.
If you’re looking to explore other crafts and more ambitious projects, the Explore 3 is a wonderful machine that will proudly sit centre stage in any craft room.
See our full Cricut Explore 3 review.
Best Deals on the Cricut Explore 3:
If the Explore 3 is a lavish purchase, then the Xyron Create-a-Sticker is the type of sticker making machine you’d pull out of a bargain bucket.
It’s delightfully simple — and extremely limited — requiring no heat, no electricity and thus no patience to spit out stickers in seconds.
This is not a machine we’d recommend for launching a vinyl decals business. It’s essentially a handy tool for turning little photos, pictures or graphics in to stickers, by directly applying adhesive to the back of them.
You simply place the item in the feed, turn the handle – which applies the adhesive – and then trim it down. Et voila.
The Create-a-Sticker is capable of making stickers up to 2.5 inches wide, so it’s certainly on the mini-size. You also have to top it up with regular adhesive supplies, although you’ll get around 10 feet of adhesive with the initial purchase.
This is a primitive tool at a very low price, but if you are looking for the most basic sticker making machine on the market, Xyron’s Create-a-Sticker *might* just get the job done.
Depending on how basic you want to go.
Best Deals on the Xyron Create-a-Sticker:
So, to summarise… if you’re looking to invest in a sticker maker machine, here’s what we recommend:
- The Cricut Joy — as the best all-round sticker maker, but only if your designs will fit in the 4.5 inch cutting width.
- The Silhouette Portrait 3 — as the closest alternative from rival Silhouette. It boasts a superior 8 inch cutting width.
- The Sizzix Big Shot — as a retro manual sticker cutter that kids will love. Easy to use and super fun.
- The Cricut Explore 3 — if you are looking for a state-of-the-art machine that makes stickers and much more. Or if you need the impressive 11.5 inch cutting width.
- The Xyron Create-a-Sticker — if you need something dirt cheap that that can turn card or paper in to stickers with one simple turn of a dial.
Deals on Vinyl Sticker Sheets
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.
Oracal 651 has always been our favorite adhesive vinyl for sticker cutting.
There are some nice deals to be had on Swing Design:
Oracal 651 Glossy Vinyl Sheets by Sheet
The good thing about Oracal 651 is that it’s a permanent adhesive backed vinyl. It’s extremely durable and will retain its stick for a very long time – even when used outdoors.
You can pick up an assortment of color sheets on the Swing Design website.
A single 12 x 12 sheet typically sells for $0.65, or you can get a pack of 10 sheets for $6.50.
Oracal 651 Glossy Vinyl by Roll
Swing Design also sells color rolls of Oracal 651 in useful 12″ by 6 ft packs.
If you find yourself working with a particular sticker color very often, this is the best value deal at around $4.99 per roll. There are over 60 colors to choose from.
Oracal 651 Color Sample Packs
Of course, you don’t always know what colors you’re going to be using before starting a new project.
Amazon has a couple of great Vinyl sampler packs that you may like, including this little gem that contains 63 different colors in 12″ x 12″ sheets.
- 63 Different Colors of Oracal 651 Sampler Pack, 12"x12" sheets
- Compatible with most craft cutters.
- Comes with a bonus four (4) 12"x12" transfer sheets and one (1) 12"x12" pattern vinyl custom printed by Kate's Craft Store.
- Outdoor vinyl with permanent adhesive. Rated 5+ years.
- Packaged flat with a printed, full color, step-by-step instruction sheets.
Very useful for crafters!
Alternatively, here’s a pack that contains 24 of the most popular colors:
- Top 24 most popular colors of oracal 651 Glossy vinyl
- Each sheet is 12 inch by 12 inch
- Vinyl is designed to last 4+ years outdoors. White and black will last 6+ years
- Thermal Print compatible
- 2.5-mil thick
And don’t forget the classic matte white option. It’s one we always come back to…
- Product: 12" x 25ft Oracal 651 Matte white. Intermediate calendered PVC film, 2.5 mil thick,
- Safe for use on all non-porous surfaces. Splice free guarantee, effortless plotting and weeding.
- Safe and tested for use on cars, trucks, vans, and trailer lettering Architectural window and wayfinding signage General outdoor signage and graphics Craft and home décor applications
- For indoor and outdoor // up to 6 years
Interesting Vinyl Sticker Maker Resources
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 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 maker machine? Are there any supplies you couldn’t live without?
Any tips you’d like to share?
We’d love to hear from you!