What is a transfer sticker & how is it made?

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

We’ll answer these and other essential questions you’ve got on transfer stickers in the next few minutes.

Here we go.


Transfer stickers get cut from a single piece of vinyl. The excess is removed, leaving only the image. A clear transfer tape is applied over the top to temporarily hold all the pieces together while applying the transfer sticker.


They look like this:

Black transfer sticker applied to a laptop on a wooden desk

What is so good about transfer stickers?

Being cut from a single piece of colored vinyl means they have a deep, solid color.

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

See what we mean?

Transfer sticker on a clear plastic bottle on a marble surface

What are the limitations?

  1. Here are the main limitations of transfer stickers:
  2. Transfer stickers can be expensive because they’re time-consuming to make. A real person manually removes all of the excess vinyl after it’s been cut. It’s not the most fun job we can tell you.
  3. You can’t get fine detail as each cut part has to be large enough to stay in place once stuck. We recommend a minimum of 0.12″ or more in any direction.
  4. Small pieces can pick up over time if they get knocked or scraped.
  5. They’re usually only available in a single color as they are cut from a single piece of colored vinyl.

What are transfer stickers best used for?

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

How to get the best results

When creating your design, try these options we suggest below to see what works best.

Simplify your shapes or increase the lettering size if they’re too small for transfer stickers.
Try both positive & negative versions of your design to create some incredible results.

If you can’t edit your artwork, get the professionals (us) to do it. Here are 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 get cut from a single piece of vinyl using a machine called a vinyl plotter (or cutter).

Summa plotter cutting transfer stickers from a piece of black vinyl

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

A person weeding transfer stickers that have been cut from a sheet of vinyl

We then apply a transfer tape. Which is 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 cut into individual stickers so you can easily apply each one.

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

If you have any questions or want help finding your perfect transfer stickers please contact us.