What is a transfer sticker & how is it made?

A transfer sticker – what is it? Ever wondered what’s so good about them? Their limitations, or how to get the best results?

In the next few minutes, we’ll answer these and other essential questions you’ve got on transfer stickers.

Here we go…


A transfer sticker is cut from a single piece of vinyl. The excess is ‘weeded’ away (removed) leaving just the image. Clear transfer tape is then applied over the top. This temporary layer holds all the pieces together whilst you apply the transfer sticker.


They look like this:

Black cut-out transfer sticker applied to a laptop sitting on a wooden desk

What’s so good about transfer stickers?

Being cut from a single piece of coloured vinyl means you’ll get a really deep, solid colour.

There is also no sticker around your design, as you would get on a clear sticker. So, you can see the background around your design creating beautiful, minimalist effects.

See what we mean?

Circular transfer sticker on a clear plastic water bottle

What are the limitations?

Transfer stickers can be expensive because they’re time-consuming to make.

A human needs to manually remove all of the excess vinyl after it’s been cut. It’s not the most fun job we can tell you.

You also cannot get super fine detail because each cut piece has to be large enough to stay in place once stuck. We recommend a minimum of 3mm or more in any direction.

Smaller pieces can pick up over time if they get knocked or rubbed.

They’re usually only available in a single colour as they are cut from single coloured vinyl.

So what are transfer stickers best used for?

Here are some of the best uses of transfer stickers we’ve seen over the years. Enjoy.

How you can get the best results

When creating your design try some options to see what works best for your design. Simplify some of your shapes or increase the size of lettering if it’s to small to be made into a transfer sticker.

We find that trying both a postive & negative versions of your design can create some really awesome results.

If you can’t edit you artwork get the professionals to do it. Here is some examples of how we’ve taken designs and changed them to create some beautiful designs for our customers:

How are transfer stickers made?

Transfer stickers are some of the simplest stickers to make. They’re cut from a single piece of vinyl using a machine called a vinyl plotter (or cutter).

Summa cutter cutting a transfer sticker

Once your sticker has been cut, the excess (the bit of your design you don’t want) is removed to just leave your design.

Weeding black vinyl transfer stickers on a green cutting mat

We then apply a transfer tape. What is transfer tape? It’s a clear layer that gets applied to your sticker. It holds each part of your sticker together for easy application.

Application tape being applied to transfer stickers

Finally, they’re trimmed into individual pieces so they can be easily applied.

Here’s a quick video that shows you the whole process:

If you have any questions or want help finding your perfect custom sticker please contact us.