How to Make Your Own Bumper Stickers: Tips and Tricks

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Written By Sam Davis Ph.D.

Sticker Crypt is the internet's premier source of free advice for artists and small business owners! 

Making your own bumper stickers online (or offline) is a fun and easy way to show your support for a political candidate or cause. Not only are they a great way to express yourself, but they can also be an effective form of marketing for your business. In this blog post, we will discuss the different methods you can use to make your own bumper stickers, as well as some tips and tricks that will help you create the perfect sticker!

Old car on asphalt road
Clear stickers don't work as well on cars, but we do still love them!

Step One: Design Your Bumper Stickers

Depending on where you are in your sticker business process, you might already have an established technique to creating custom bumper stickers. But if you don't, I recommend using Canva (freemium), Photopea (free), Affinity Designer (one time purchase), Rebelle 5 (one time purchase), or the Adobe CC suite (subscription) to design your sticker.

If you're made of money, you could also ask someone else to design your custom bumper stickers. Or, you can use one of the many free bumper sticker templates out there.

Bumper sticker sizes

The standard bumper sticker size is about 3″ x 11″, but the truth is, any large sticker can be considered a bumper sticker. I frequently sell 5″x5″ square (or die cut down from that size) as “car” / “bumper” stickers and people love them. Car bumper stickers are pretty flexible, and people will know exactly what your custom bumper stickers are meant to do.

Reminders about designing bumper stickers

There's a lot to think about when designing your own bumper sticker. You want it to look good, of course, but you also want it to be effective. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you design your next bumper sticker:

  1. Keep it simple. You only have a limited amount of space to work with, so resist the temptation to cram too much information onto the sticker. A few well-chosen words or a catchy phrase will be more effective than a long list of facts or a detailed description.
  2. Use strong imagery. A visually striking design will capture people's attention and make them more likely to remember your message.
  3. Make it easy to read. Use clear, concise language and large, easy-to-read font. Avoid using abbreviations or jargon that not everyone will understand.
  4. Stick to one message. Trying to convey too many ideas on one bumper sticker will only confuse people and dilute your message. Choose one thing you want people to remember, and make that your focus.
  5. Keep it positive. People are more likely to respond positively to a upbeat, positive message than they are to a negative or confrontational one. That being said, political bumper stickers can be a great way to break into the personalized bumper stickers business.

Step Two: Decide where/how to print your bumper sticker(s)

After you've got a design, you'll need to figure out where or how you're going to print your bumper stickers. There are two stages: printing and cutting. And, there are a few options for you.

Print your bumper stickers on precut paper

Avery produces a great paper for custom bumper stickers. Avery has great templates too, which makes cutting your own bumper sticker really easy. You can also use OnlineLabel's inkjet vinyl or laser polyester paper.

If you're not sticking to a rectangular shape, consider a circle sticker design instead! These are great for windows AND bumpers.

Print and cut your bumper stickers

If you're not using pre-cut paper, you'll also need to cut your bumper stickers. There are a lot of solutions for that, but the most common is to use either a Cricut machine or a Silhouette Cameo machine to cut your custom bumper stickers. Of the two, Cricut's software is more user friendly, but Silhouette is more powerful.

Order bumper stickers from a third party service

A bumper sticker maker is a great way to get your feet wet in the custom bumper sticker business without investing a lot of money in equipment. You will need to order more stickers to make it cost effective, but most sticker producers offer free shipping and provide a proof shortly after ordering before they ship out to you.

The most popular sticker manufactures are Sticker Mule, Sticker App, and StickerYou. I've also found success on Vistaprint and PrintRunner. Vistaprint often offers exclusive discounts.

Step Three: Test your bumper stickers

Any time you have a new custom sticker product, you'll want to make sure that your own design looks appropriate, and also test the material for longevity. Are the stickers you made or purchased waterproof? That's important for car bumper stickers! So spend some time screwing with your stickers and making sure they're not going to run, drip, or rub off with some light use.

Step Four: Sell your bumper stickers

Offering free shipping on stickers is almost standard practice at this point, so be sure to account for that in the price that you set. You can tell your customers about your stickers with a great product description: are they durable? Will they display well on your car car? Who IS your customer? What popular sizes do you have?

Final Thoughts

Are you ready to sell your first bumper sticker? Why not try this free bumper sticker template! Simply sign up for our emails below, and you'll be given access to a FREE Canva template for your next bumper sticker design. Until next time!

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Download your free Canva Bumper Sticker Template Here


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