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How do I apply my stickers and labels?

Applying custom-printed stickers and labels can sound more complicated than it actually is. In fact, with a few simple tricks, you will apply labels and stickers like a pro in no time. Our top tips are:

Step 1: Prepare your surface Step 2: Peel and position your stickers and labels Step 3: Apply pressure outwards Step 4: Use a squeegee or credit card Step 5: Let the adhesive bond

Each step will make applying your sticky labels a breeze. Find out more about each step below.

If you are having trouble with applying your stickers and labels or want to learn how to make them last, our article "How do you make stickers and labels permanently stick?" is just for you.

Step 1: Prepare your surface

The ideal place to stick your custom stickers and labels to is a flat and clean surface. Clean, flat surfaces are an absolute game-changer when applying labels.

Why? Because air bubbles usually form around tiny dust particles that get caught underneath the adhesive. So your surface does not have to be obviously dirty. A few small particles can be enough to interfere with your application.

For the best possible result, use brake cleaner or rubbing alcohol and an anti-static cloth to clean your jar, laptop, glass or other surfaces. Wait until the surface has fully dried before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: Peel and position your sticker or label

When your surface is ready, you can get started. Peel the sticker or label from the backing paper (a rather obvious step) and position your sticker on your surface.

If you are unsure where to put your stickers or labels, do not press down yet. We use a pressure-sensitive adhesive. That means it starts bonding with your surface as soon as you press down.

Avoiding putting pressure on your sticky labels will make them much easier to lift and reposition time and time again until you have found that sweet spot. Learn more about stickiness by reading our ultimate guide to sticker and label adhesives.

Step 3: Apply pressure outwards

Once you are happy with their positing, press down on your label firmly. Start applying pressure from the centre outwards. This allows you to control how quickly the adhesive bonds with the surface.

Starting from the centre is also a great way to apply larger labels. They can often feel a little floppy. But if you start at the centre, the label is much easier to control.

Step 4: Use a squeegee or a credit card

When you see air bubbles beginning to form, use a squeegee, a credit card or any other plastic card. Apply consistent tension and push the bubbles towards the edge of your labels. Repeat this process until all air bubbles, even minor bubbles, are gone.

Be sure not to apply too much pressure when doing this, as you could tear the film. Instead, go steady and patiently for the best possible result.

Step 5: Let the adhesive bond

And then your work is done! We recommend letting your stickers and labels sit on the surface for at least 24 hours without being touched. This will allow the adhesive to fully bond with your surface, and give you optimum stickiness.

If you are working with a curved surface, now it is time to apply heat to "mould" the adhesive in line with your surface. A simple hairdryer can do the job brilliantly.

How to apply a transfer sticker

Transfer stickers are a little different. They are cut from a single piece of vinyl. The waste is 'weeded' away, leaving your design. We then apply a semi-clear transfer tape which is a temporary layer that holds all the pieces together for the application.

This is why the application of transfer stickers is slightly different, but we've got you covered.

  1. To effectively apply your transfer sticker, flip it over on a clean, flat surface, so you're looking at the backing paper (your design is facing down).

  2. Starting at a corner, peel the backing paper away, keeping it close to the surface of the table to get the maximum angle.

  3. Once all the backing is removed, pick up your transfer sticker by the corners and position it very lightly in the correct place. When you're happy with the positioning, working from the centre of your sticker, using a squeegee, a credit card, or just your thumb, press down firmly to create a small circle. You don't need to use extreme pressure; that will risk stretching & distorting the sticker.

  4. Working from your circle out, slowly apply pressure across the whole sticker, being careful to work from the centre out to remove all bubbles.

  5. Top tip: if you're applying your transfer sticker to glass, especially if it's large, we recommend using hot soapy water. Put some in a spray bottle and spray the glass before applying.

  6. Once you've worked all the bubbles and water out (if you applied to glass) leave your sticker for up to 24 hours if possible. This will give time for the adhesive to gain strength & make it easier for you to remove the backing paper.

  7. The final step is to remove the transfer paper. Starting at one corner, peel away slowly, keeping the transfer paper close to the surface you've applied to. It'll ensure the individual pieces of your transfer sticker don't lift.

Can I put stickers on my car?

Absolutely. Stickers are a great way to generate exposure for your brand. You can use them as car stickers or on your windows without worrying about their durability. Simply choose a waterproof material that will withstand water, sunlight and scratches.

Can stickers go on windows?

They sure can. You can either apply them to the outside of your window or use a front adhesive sticker to brand your windows from the inside.

Glass is one of the best surfaces to apply stickers to as it is naturally smooth. Clear stickers look their best on a see-through surface, so check them out.

Your turn!

And this is everything you need to know about applying stickers and labels like a pro. Are you ready to get sticking? Then have a look at our range and get your order in.

If you are unsure how to find the best stickers and labels, you can get custom samples here, take our quiz to find your ideal match or get in touch with our experts. You can also stay a little longer and check out our blog for all things stickers and labels.