How to Make Skateboard Stickers

By William Hall
World Industries mascot Flameboy

Skaters have been using stickers to personalize their boards ever since the first skateboard was rolled out more than 30 years ago. Creating skate stickers is a fun hobby and a fun way to make your board truly your own. Who knows? You might even come up with the next Flameboy.

Create your design or logo. You can do this with marker and paper or a stencil, or you can use your computer's graphics program, whether it's InDesign, Illustrator or even Paint.

Scan your design into your computer (if you used the hand-drawn method).

Save your design on your computer, then open it up in your chosen graphics program.

Modify your design by playing with the graphics program's coloring and visual effects.

Print your design on either basic sticker paper (which is standard material) or printable vinyl (which is a bit more durable and weather resistant). If you have your vinyl in a roll (and not in individual sheets) you'll have to cut a section that will fit in your printer.

Wait for your ink to dry, then spray some matte finish on your printout for extra adherence. It will require at least two coats.

Cut out the stickers, peel off the back and place them on your board.

Tip

If you want your stickers to have a glossier finish, you have two options. One would be to cut out your design and then carefully cover it with a piece (or pieces) of packing tape. Another (and more resilient) option would be to cut out your design and then carefully cover it with a piece of glossy over-laminate. Both means act as a substitute for the matte spray, which doesn't give your sticker a shiny finish. These methods also will keep your stickers from fading as quickly.

Warning

The best kind of printer for making vinyl stickers is either an ink-jet or a laser printer. A standard desktop printer (like an HP DeskJet) will work, but the results will not last long, even after applying a finish. Good ink cartridges for printing on vinyl using a standard printer are hard to come by. Standard sticker paper works well with desktop printers, however. If you are creating your design or logo with paper and markers, make sure to get strong, waterproof markers. Your average Sharpie or permanent marker will fade quickly. Use poster paint and/or oil paint markers for the best results.

About the Author

Writing out of Hamilton, NC, William Jason Hall has had his work published in The Enterprise newspaper, The East Carolinian newspaper and AmishOtaku.com. Since 2004, his subjects have ranged from artisitic tutorials to press conference reports. Mr. Hall holds a Bachelor of Arts from East Carolina University.