Make Window Decals With A Printer And Transfer Paper

What do you mean, you don't want to pay five bucks for a sticker when you can make it yourself for less? Here's how to do just that.

So you're sick of paying five bucks for one lousy little sticker that you can barely even see from more than ten feet away. Even if you're okay with paying that much money for it, you're slightly annoyed by the fact that you'll probably get tired of that particular slogan/band logo/trademark at some point in the not-too-distant future.

But here's the worst part: you have some great ideas for slogans and artwork that would look great as stickers, but you don't want to pay some online company to mass-produce stickers for you. It would be cheaper and faster to just do it yourself.

That's exactly what you're going to do. It's fast, easy, and inexpensive. Here's what you need to get started:

* Home printer (preferably a fairly new deskjet or a laser printer)

* Word-processing program (MS Word, Works) or photo-editing software that allows you to manipulate text (PhotoShop, MS Paint)

* Sticker paper that's compatible with your printer. It often comes in 8.5 x 11 sheets: the same size as the letter paper you usually put into the tray.

* Time, patience, and a little creativity.

What to do with it all:

* Read the directions that came with the sticker paper. Be sure that it's compatible with your printer BEFORE you buy it - that way you won't waste ten to twenty bucks on something that's going to gunk up your $300 laser printer (and, of course, ruin your fun).

These directions need to be followed to the letter. That way you avoid running the risk of clogging up your printer, misloading the sticker paper, producing warped, runny stickers, or wasting several sheets of paper trying to figure out how to load it into your particular printer.

* Create your design with the program of your choice. Word processing software will probably work best if you only want a plain old slogan (i.e. no logos, colors, etc. - just text). Photo editing software will allow you to add photos, graphics, logos, and other eye-catching extras along with your text. It all depends on what you want the finished product to look like.

* Load a plain old sheet of paper into your printer and print a copy of your design. This way you aren't wasting expensive sticker paper trying to figure out what exactly your sticker will look like when it's finished. This will help you modify the size of the sticker, make the text and graphics more appealing, or even simply see how the colors look after they've made the transition from screen to paper.

* When you're sure you like the design you've created, print the actual stickers according to the directions that came with the paper. Be sure to follow these instructions as closely as possible, and be patient if things start to go wrong. This is an easy process, but it's not foolproof. Even new printers get jams, hang-ups, and bad karma sometimes.

* Cut out the finished product and slap it on the window, wall, skateboard, or locker. Just don't put it on your principal's forehead. They tend to frown on that, especially if the sticker promotes an anti-school message.

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