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How to create Sticker Sheets in Adobe Illustrator
(with Video)

Sticker sheets are a fun and creative way to print a variety of your favourite illustrations on a single sheet. This tutorial will help you set up your sticker sheet file perfectly using Adobe Illustrator. We’ll be demonstrating the popular size of 5.5” x 8.5” and go through the creation process step-by-step. Whether you have vector illustrations or raster images, we cover both of these file types in this tutorial. Click here to watch the video and follow along!

Step 1. Setting Up Your File

Create a new document with the size of 5.7” x 8.7” and make sure the  color mode is selected to CMYK and the resolution 300 DPI.

 

Create a rectangle in the same size of your document, set the corner radius to 0.8", and rename the layer as “ARTWORK”. Create a new layer and name it “THRU-CUT”. (The Thru-Cut is the outside cut of the sticker sheet) Place it above the Artwork layer. Create another rounded rectangle in the size 5.5” x 8.5" and apply a white stroke to it.

Step 2. Creating the Thru-Cut  (Outside Cut)

The Thru-cut is the outside cut of the sticker sheet. The overall shape your sheet will have.

Create a new layer and name it THRU-CUT. Place it above the Artwork layer.

With this layer selected, create another rounded rectangle, this time the size will be 5.5” x 8.5” and again, set the curve radius to 0.8”. Remove the fill from the rectangle and add a white stroke of at least 0.25pt. That is the Thru-cut.

 Step 3. Creating the Easy Peel

Paste your vector artwork into your new document, duplicate it and hide the copy.

Duplicate your vector artwork and hide it using Ctrl + 3 and then on the Pathfinder panel, select Unite. This will give you a solid shape.

Remove the fill of the shape and add a white stroke. The stroke width can be anything above 0.25pt.


With the shape selected, go to Object > Path > Offset Path.

On the Offset Path window, set the offset distance to 0.1”. This offset will be the white space between your vector artwork and the edge. To put it simple, this will be the shape of your sticker once it is peeled of the sheet. Set the joints to Round for a smoother shape and the Miter limit as default.

 

Now it’s time to bring our vector artwork back so press Ctrl + Alt + 3 to unhide it. Create a new layer above all and rename it as Easy Peel. Now place your new stroke shape there. Now you have an Easy Peel.

Step 4. Completing the sticker sheet

Repeat the same process with every artwork you want to add to your sheet. Make sure everything is in their proper layer.

 Step 5. Exporting your file as a PDF


Save your file type as ‘Adobe PDF’. Set the Compression to ‘Do Not Downsample’, and Output to ‘Convert to Destination’ and ‘Adobe RGB (1998)’.

 

 

Have a raster image instead of a vector artwork? Follow these next steps.

Copy the raster image into your new document, duplicate it and hide the copy.

Now we need to create an Easy Peel for this so we need a vector shape. Duplicate your image and hide it with Ctrl + 3. Select the duplicate and go to Object > Image Trace > Make

On the Image Trace window, set the mode to Black and White and play around with the Treshold number. This part depends on your image and the details, but usually 254 is a good number. The most important thing is that the black shape is the same shape as your image.

Click on expand so you have a vector shape and remove the white areas.

Remove the fill of your new shape and add a white stroke to it.

 

Just like before, go to Object > Path > Offset Path and set an offset of 0.1”.

Unhide the image with Ctrl + Alt + 3 and make sure the Easy Peel is in the Easy Peel layer.

Repeat the process for the other images you want to add to your sheet and make sure everything is in the right layer.

Since these are images, unless you send them along with the sheet, they will appear missing when other people open the file. So go to Window > Links and on the expand menu click on Embed Image so everything is embedded to the file.

When everything is ready, save your file as a PDF following the same process from Step 5.
And now you know how to create a sticker sheet with both vector and raster images!