How to Kiss Cut Stickers Without A Machine

Adding a personal touch to your projects or possessions can be made easier with kiss cut stickers. Kiss cut stickers are specially designed to have an adhesive backing that sticks onto surfaces while the top layer is removable, leaving behind only the design.

You don't need special equipment to get these unique stickers - just some basic tools and techniques will do! In this article, we'll discuss how to kiss cut your own stickers without a machine. You'll learn about all the tools you need and how to use them effectively to create beautiful designs for all your projects!

What is a kiss cut sticker?

A kiss cut sticker is a custom-cut sticker with a twist; it is only cut through the material and adhesive layer, leaving the backing paper intact.

This divides your sticker into two parts: a border and a peelable sticker to stick to laptops, phones, water bottles and much more.

The image below shows you exactly what that can look like:

Peeled white vinyl kiss cut sticker with hamster design applied to a cardboard food box

You can get your kiss cuts printed onto any material you want. After all, the term only describes how your sticker is cut, not what it is made from.

Do you need a cutting machine?

Fortunately, you don't need an expensive or complicated cutting machine to get the job done! With the right tools and techniques, you can kiss cut your own stickers at home.

All you need is a Xacto knife, a cutting mat and a ruler for measuring. For best results, make sure your knife is sharp, and factor in a few practice runs so you get a feeling for how much pressure you can apply to the material.

Why can I not use scissors to kiss cut?

We do not recommend using scissors to kiss cut your stickers because you need to control your cutting tool to only cut through the top material layer.

Scissors can be great for die cut stickers, but when it comes to kiss cut stickers, we want to adjust the pressure and not cut through the entire sticker.

If this sounds confusing, you can check out our article kiss cut vs classic cut stickers to learn more.

How to cut kiss cut stickers without a machine

Print your design on your sticker paper of choice. We have some design tips and tricks for you in our article on how to make kiss cut stickers.

But to sump it up: kiss cut stickers have two cutlines a) the thru-cut which marks the edge of your sticker and d) the kiss-cut where you only cut through the material layer.

You can see both cutlines in the image below.

Example of what a clear kiss cut sticker will look like on a design proof showing different cut lines

For cutting your own kiss cut stickers, we recommend keeping the thru-cut line simple. Opt for a rectangle or square so you can simply cut that using your knife and rules.

The actually kiss cutting requires a steady hand, patience and the right amount of pressure. Remember, the goal is to only cut through the material layer and the adhesive without impacting the backing paper.

This might take some trial and error, but you will get the hang of it!

Tips before your start

Before you begin kiss cutting your stickers, it's essential to plan out all the details. These include:

  • Familiarising yourself with your sticker material of choice. Consider its thickness, adhesive strength and how easy it will be the cut.
  • Opting for simply cutlines to make the process as streamlined as possible.
  • Taking some time to test your cutting technique before you start.
  • Being patient. Especially if this is your first time, do not rush the cutting process.

Kiss cutting stickers without a machine may take some practice, but you can create beautiful results with the right tools and techniques.

However, if this sound like too much hassle, you can simply let us do that work and create stunning kiss cut stickers for you.

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