by Louise

April 29, 2020

Have you ever wondered what kind of sticker paper you should use for your stickers? Yeah, me too. That’s why I chose to do some research and figure out what kind of paper sticker businesses are using to produce those pretty stickers.

And here is what I gathered. The most popular sticker paper is the one from online labels. Online labels have a bunch of options when it comes to choosing paper for your stickers. Some of the most popular options are on the matte/glossy white sticker paper and the premium white matte paper also referred to as unicorn paper. On their website that paper is called weatherproof paper.

But what paper should you use when? and what about matte versus glossy sticker paper? What is the right one for you? Is this all new to you? Maybe it’s even the first time you think about making your own stickers. This post is for people who want to make their own stickers, at home, with their cutting machine.

Let’s look at the different types of sticker paper you can choose from and then we can go about picking one that’s right for you.


What are the different types of sticker paper

There are many different types of sticker papers out there. Let’s look at some of the popular ones that we can get a better idea of what is the right one for different types of stickers and different types of planners.


Matte sticker paper

The paper comes in two different types. You can go with clear or white. Which one you choose depends on the kind of sticker and the purpose of that sticker. When you’re working with matte paper it’s really just like a normal copy paper but with adhesive backing. That means that you can write on it as you would on normal copy paper And you can use any type of pen. Depending on the type of paper and your printer the printout can be just as high quality and just as vibrant as glossy paper. 

Sometimes you might want to go with the clear type. This can work really well for stickers where you would want to see the background behind the sticker. Examples of this could be colored circles, icons, and stickers that you want to use in planners such as a bullet journal. 

The matte paper also offers the premium type that most shops use at the moment. This paper type will give you a high quality of stickers with vibrant colors. I have often heard this paper be referred to as unicorn paper because it is so smooth. 


Glossy sticker paper

Then there are the glossy types. Glossy sticker paper can produce stickers that resemble photo quality. Most often the glossy type is preferred when having a bunch of details that you would want to stand out and be as vibrant as possible. You can think of the difference between the matte and the glossy is printing on normal copy paper versus printing on photo paper. This, however, also applies to the amount of ink that your printer is using to print those stickers. 

Glossy sticker paper also comes in both a white and clear version. The white version is often used for the classical sticker kits that you see on Etsy. And the clear ones are used for things such as icons, foiled overlays, and other types of stickers where you would like to, as with the matte paper, see the background behind the sticker.

However, glossy paper can be quite difficult to write on, which means you need a special type of pen in order for it not to smear when you write on your stickers. Most planning girls who use glossy paper when they’re planning will use some kind of permanent pen. Also, you can experience some problems when cutting glossy stickers on a cutting machine. That is because some glossy papers will produce residue when it is being cut.

Of course, the end result always is dependent on your printer is well, but the right paper can give you a really really good starting point. 


Vinyl sticker paper

Finally, there’s the vinyl sticker paper. I know that there are a few shops that prefer to sell stickers printed on vinyl paper. For this type of paper, I do not have a clear recommendation, as I believe it is different from shop to shop what kind of paper they are using. However, if you would like to try some vinyl paper for your stickers I have tried this one and the results were beautiful. 


Other things you should look for before buying a sticker paper

So, I guess by now you have an idea of what kind of paper you’d like to get for your stickers. However, before you do buy some I would like to make you aware of another thing and that is the back of the paper. 

Some papers have a split down the back, and for some businesses, that is really great and can make it easier to peel the backing off of the actual adhesive paper. However, when you want to make stickers, that are kiss cut, a back split will work against you.

That is why you need to look at that factor as well. Most label manufacturers will write this in the description of the paper you are considering to buy. as an example have different SKU numbers and pictures that will help you to quickly see whether or not the label you are looking at has a split down the back.


Picking the right kind of sticker paper

All right, so now you know what kinds of types of paper there are. It’s time to choose the one that’s right for you.

First, you want to think about what kind of stickers you want to make. You also want to think about the function of that sticker in your planner. To run through the steps I am gonna go through an example to make it easier for you to see what kind of decisions you need to make when picking out the paper for your kind of stickers.

So this sticker I am using as an example is a habit tracker for my bullet journal. I am currently setting up the next month, and I want to make it easy for myself to design a page with habit trackers.

So in order to make these habit trackers and find the right kind of paper for them, I need to think about a few things. Firstly, it is important that I can write on these stickers. Therefore, I know I’m gonna go with a matte paper for the stickers. I, personally, do not like to use pens with the kind of ink that you need for glossy stickers. If you do, however, a habit tracker could also be made on glossy paper.

Now that I know I’m gonna go with the matte paper, I need to think about whether or not I want it to be clear or opaque. Also, I generally like to use a cheaper kind of paper, when it doesn’t really matter whether or not I use a clear or opaque sticker paper.

In this case, I am going with the matte sticker paper. The matte white sticker paper. I’m choosing this paper because it is the cheapest one And it will get me the result that I am wanting.

To sum up, these are the steps that I take to figure out what kind of paper money used for what time of stickers.

  1. Think about the sticker you want to make and the purpose of that sticker
  2. Then think about your planning style and your planner
  3. You also want to take into account the cost of the paper you are using. Some papers are more expensive than others, and in some cases, one type of paper works just as well as another type.

Lastly, here are the links for the papers I have found that most sticker businesses out there are using. I have linked to the items on Amazon. However, online labels also have their own website in both the US and UK. That means, that you can get these papers from almost anywhere in the world. 

I should also mention, that you can get free samples if you want to try the paper before making a bigger investment.

I will link to the papers that are meant to be used with an inkjet printer. However, if you are using a laser printer you should be able to find the equivalent paper for that type of printer. This link is an affiliate link. 

Here is the link for the paper on amazon

Now that you have your new paper on its way, you might want some sticker designs to cut for your planner. Head on over to my subscription, with more than 50 printable sticker sheets. It is really cool! You even get to choose your own colors.

I hope you found this useful, and know what kind of paper you want to buy for your stickers. If you have any other recommendations for sticker paper, please feel free to leave a comment below.


About the author

Louise is a graphic designer, a creative planner and a business owner. In her spare time, she likes to make all sorts of crafts and draw digitally. She likes to travel the world and spend time with family. She lives a wonderful life in the country of Denmark with her husband and their one-year-old little girl.

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