via Kramer Company
I’ve always wanted to open a creative small business that sells cute stickers and paper products. However, I had two dilemmas.
One, I’ve always struggled with the fact that I cannot afford a friggin’ Cricut Explore Air 2. Plus, it’s not available in the Philippines and if I were to order one, I had to add in an extra few for the shipping. Aw hell no.
Another problem I had is with Photoshop. Stickers need to have this white thing around its perimeter called a “Bleed”. If I had the Cricut, it had a software that automatically creates those bleeds prior to die-cutting or kiss-cutting. I tried to use the pen tool and in a few hours I got bored and distracted. It was tedious and even with a Wacom Intuos tablet, my hands got tired easily. How am I supposed to make endless stickers and paper products for my shop if creating the bleed takes the fun out of making stickers?
If you’re a fellow creative who’s as obsessed with making cute planner stickers and paper products, and is currently suffering the same dilemma as I did, here’s a tutorial for you. In this post, I’m going to show you a step by step tutorial on how to prep your stickers by creating a bleed in your images using Photoshop. I swear this is the fastest, no-hassle way to do it without the Cricut software and without even touching the pen tool.
To start off, you need a vector image in .png file format. This type of image opens without a background. If you only have a .jpeg of your sticker, here’s what you do:
1. Open your image file in Photoshop
2. Using the Wand Tool, click on the background to select all the areas outside your image.
3. Once selected, choose the Magic Eraser tool. This will delete the background of your image.
4. Go to File, then Save for Web and Devices.
5. At the top right, change JPEG to PNG-24. Click Save.
There you go. The next time you open that image file in Photoshop, it will show without a background.
Okay, so I have this vector image of Santa Claus open in Photoshop. I got this for free from Freepik.
I already removed the background and turned it to a PNG file. However, I wanted to see the thickness of the bleed I plan on making so I added this gray background. Note that the image and background are in two separate layers.
Creating the Bleed
Click on the image layer.
On the Menu bar, click on Layer > Layer Style > Drop Shadow.
Blend Mode: Normal | Color: #ffffff
Opacity: 100% | Distance: 0px | Spread: 100px | Size: 20px
You can change the Size into your own desired kind of thickness.
Next, right-click on the image layer.
Choose Convert to Smart Object.
I don’t really know the logic behind converting anything to a smart object. My only objective at this point was to remove the layer effect so that I could proceed to the next step.
Creating the Trim Line
On the Menu tab, click again on Layer > Layer Style > Dropshadow.
This time, we’re creating the line outside the bleed indicating where you’re supposed to cut the sticker.
Blend Mode: Multiply or Normal (doesn’t matter) | Color: Any color except white.
Opacity: 100% | Distance: 0px | Spread: 100px | Size: 3px
I chose 3px for the thickness because I want it thick enough to see, and thin enough to disappear as soon as I manually cut around my image.
That’s it. It’s fucking easy!
You can even record that into an Action so it can automatically do all those steps for you in just a click. With this trick, you can prep hundreds of stickers effortlessly within a day.
As you can see, I changed the background to white here so I can see how it looks like when I print it.
With that said, I hope you’ll be able to create your own stickers using this simple trick.
By the way, this also serves as an inclusive invite to the soft opening of my new Instagram Shop: DokiDokiPH. It’s an avenue for cute planner stickers and stationery products. I hope you guys check it out and follow me. I’m planning to upload more creative designs soon so stay tuned!