Printing labels on a roll makes many commercial functions a whole lot easier and are a cost-effective way to order in bulk – but how exactly do you make a roll of stickers? Whether you want to create your own reeled sale stickers, product packaging labels or good behaviour stickers for your classroom, online printing has opened up the opportunity for all to be able to make rolls of stickers from the comfort of their homes. Here’s exactly how to make a sticker roll.
What is roll label printing?
Roll label printing involves printing stickers on a long reel which is wound into a cylinder to fit a range of sticker reel holders for commercial purposes or to make storing stickers easier as the rolls can be hung on a hook in a craft room, for example. Stickers can then either be manually peeled and applied straight from the roll or applied mechanically using the sticker holder.
How are sticker rolls made?
At instantprint, our stickers are made using a process known as flexographic printing, otherwise referred to as ‘flexo printing’. As the name suggests, flexographic printing involves using flexible photopolymer printing plates to print designs onto a variety of materials, including plastic, paper and cellophane.
These flexible rubber plates are imprinted with the ink, then wrapped around cylinders in a printing press. The cylinders rotate at high speeds, transferring the ink to the desired material. This is repeated with each CMYK colour – cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black).
This printing technique works in the same way as the letterpress, which dates back to the end of the 19th century. However, presses during this time would not have been as precise as they are today, especially on more complex materials.
Nowadays, flexographic printing is highly advanced, with today’s presses printing 500ft to 2000ft per minute on a range of materials, including packaging labels and stickers on a reel.
Once printed onto a long strip of backing material, we use a die-cutting machine to cut out the sticker shapes meaning you can choose between circle, square and rectangle label roll printing. The strip is then reeled up into a cylinder.
Can I make sticker rolls at home?
The availability of online sticker roll printing with commercial printers like instantprint means it’s never been easier to make sticker rolls at home.
Setting up your artwork for sticker printing should be the first thing you do before starting your design. It’s a lot easier to start off ready for print than to convert your artwork into a print-ready format.
How to set up square and rectangle stickers on a roll
Square and rectangle stickers are really simple to set up because of their straight edges. To set up your design:
- Open the design tool of your choice
- Set the dimensions to the sticker size you want to print and add 3mm on each side for bleed
- If possible, change the colour mode to CMYK to show exactly how the colours will print
- If you’re adding any images or logos, make sure they have a resolution of at least 300dpi
- Save the document as a PDF of JPEG – this flattens the layers of artwork to make sure text and images won’t move when we open it up to check before printing
How do you print round stickers on a roll?
The easiest way to set up circle sticker artwork is to actually set it up as a square. For example, a 30mm circle should be set up as a 30mm x 30mm square – you don’t even need to add bleed as the square’s corners will be used for that.
Then follow the same instructions for square and rectangle stickers.
Using free sticker templates
Need a little more help setting up the size and specs for your design? We’ve got you covered. Simply choose your sticker size and shape and click on the type of template you’d like to use – we have free PDF, Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign templates to choose from.
Ways to use stickers on a roll
Highlight sale items with red ‘sale’ or discount stickers to communicate clearly which products customers can get a bargain on. Reeled stickers is a perfect option for this as you can buy the same design in bulk to save money and whip out your reel whenever you’ve got a sale on.
Looking for a cheap and easy way to brand your packaging? Just add a sticker with your logo straight to the box or parcel! Add labels showing your USPs, for example if you packaging is recyclable, or add a sticker that says thank you for a personal touch.
Logo stickers are one of the most affordable merchandising tools for handing out at events and exhibitions. Include them as part of an information pack about your business and encourage attendees to use your stickers – this also acts as advertising if other potential customers see your branding being used!
Jar & bottle labels
A key element of product packaging, create a premium branded label for jars and bottled goods such as homemade jams, wine and beer. Add your logo, ingredients and a product description to give customers all the information they need about your product.
With new allergen label laws that came into force on the 1st of October 2021, making sure you’re providing the correct information has never been more important. Adding stickers to your products showing allergens is an easy way to keep compliant with these laws.
Pricing & bar code labels
Bar codes offer automatic product identification which can help retailers with security tracking as well as provide inventory and pricing information quickly. Similarly, adding a QR code to a sticker allows people to scan and receive information through their phones, which can allow you to direct people to your website or social media accounts.
What are the different kinds of reeled stickers and labels?
There are lots of different sizes, shapes and materials available when you print reeled stickers online, giving you full customisation over how your stickers look and feel. Along with square, round and rectangle shapes in a choice of sizes to suit the area you wish to cover, we offer the following three sticker materials:
80gsm semi-gloss permanent label
This is classic sticker paper with a strong adhesive back. Because it’s a paper-based option, it’s very affordable and has a generic, silky feel. This sticker stock is best suited for single-use functions, like sale stickers and school achievement stickers.
45gsm polypropylene permanent label
For waterproof stickers, look no further than our polypropylene option. Ideal for products that are exposed to humidity, condensation and water, such as bottle labels, this is a durable sticker option that will stay stuck no matter the elements.
45gsm clear stickers
Another waterproof option, but completely transparent, our clear stickers are great for showing off your products in glass jars and bottles. Any part of the sticker design left blank will be transparent when printed, meaning your product will shine through the background. Here are some extra artwork tips to help you make the most of clear stickers.
Ready to make your own roll of stickers at home? Get started now by picking your sticker shape and size, and we’ll sort out the rest.