Making Stickers: Adding White Outline to Text in Adobe Illustrator | Stacy Mitchell | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Making Stickers: Adding White Outline to Text in Adobe Illustrator

teacher avatar Stacy Mitchell, Artist, Author, Entrepreneur

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (47m)
    • 1. Text Sticker Introduction

    • 2. Document Setup

    • 3. Preparing Text

    • 4. Offsetting Text

    • 5. Cleaning Up Offset

    • 6. Exporting as a PNG

    • 7. Using Cricut Design Space

    • 8. Printing the Stickers

    • 9. Cutting the Stickers

    • 10. Class Project

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Have you wanted to create fun stickers for your laptop, notebook, or water bottle but have been a bit frustrated understanding the process? This class focuses on taking words and making them into stickers, complete with that nice white offset around the words.

In this class, we'll start with a single word, create an offset (that's the white padding around the pretty part of the sticker), and cut it out with a Cricut die cut machine. 

I'll show you how to bring your sticker file into Cricut Design Space and prepare it for cutting. Your file will work with other die cutting machines as well (like Silhouette), and of course you could hand cut your sticker if you don't have a machine. 

By the end of this class, you'll have mastered creating a simple one-word sticker file to cut on a Cricut machine (or other die cut machine).

The other classes (coming soon!) in this series will tackle more complicated layouts involving multi-word text, shadows, and background shapes. By the end of the series you'll be able to tackle complex layouts like a pro! 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Stacy Mitchell

Artist, Author, Entrepreneur


Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Text Sticker Introduction: have you wanted to create fund stickers for your laptop, notebook or water bottle, but have been a bit frustrated? Understanding the process. This class focuses on taking words and making them into stickers, complete with that nice white offset around. The words in this class will start with a single word creating offset. That's that white padding around the pretty part of the sticker and cut it out with a cricket die cut machine. I'll show you how to bring your sticker file into cricket design space and prepare it for cutting. Your file will work with other die cutting machines, a swell like the silhouette. And, of course, you could hand cut your sticker if you don't have a machine at all. By the end of this class, you'll have mastered creating a simple one word sticker file to cut on a cricket or other die cutting machine. 2. Document Setup: we're going to get started by creating a new document and setting it up in Adobe Illustrator. So by opening illustrator, I'm going to go ahead and click on Create New. This will bring up the new document dialog box. I tend to create my stickers on a small art board because it gives me a good reference size wise. So I typically create mine on an art board that is three and 1/4 inches by 4.5 inches, and this one that we're doing today. I'm setting the width to be 4.5 inches and the height to be 3.5 inches so that it is in landscape mode. You can also change the title and I'm going to call this one text sticker and then click create, All right. Now that we are in Adobe Illustrator, we're going to go ahead and set up a few layers here that will make our creating the sticker a lot easier. So course by default, you have layer one. I'm going to double click on that to change the name to Original. Then I'm going to go up to It's a little triple line button here in the corner. And if I click on that Aiken, create a new layer. I'm going to call this one working and click, OK? And I'm gonna go ahead and create one more layer, this one I am going to call Final sticker and click. OK, now I have three layers and I'm gonna make sure that I click on that original layer because that is where I'm going to start work. 3. Preparing Text: All right. So let's get started by entering in some simple text to walking through the basics of creating s text sticker with offset. So currently, my color shows that my fill is white and my stroke is black and I'm going to go ahead and change that. Gonna go to the color menu. Now, you may have a different set up here for your screen. I have a bunch of different menus that I use quite frequently set up in this small menu bar . And then I have my layers menus over here. I've clicked on the color. You can also get to that by going to window and choosing color. I am currently working in C M. Y Que But you could work in RGB as well. So with the fill selected, I'm gonna change that to Black, and I'm gonna click on the stroke color and I don't want any stroke. And then I'm gonna go ahead and click back on my fill layer so that that is the dominant one. And fly that back in. All right, so let's add some text now to add text. You can hit the letter T on your keyboard, which will change your cursor to the text cursor, or you can also go up and click on the type tool in your tools menu. So once your cursor is in the text tool mode, you can simply click on your art board and type in your text. I'm gonna type in hello world and then go up and click on the selection tool. Now one of the things that I like to do is to center my text, and I do that in a couple of ways. You could simply just center the text as it is on the art board, but I like to go to the paragraph and a line to the center so that anything I text will always stay centered. And then, in addition, I could go up and making sure that I'm aligning to the art board. I can align my object horizontally. It was pretty close, all right, so that Texas pretty small. So I'm also going to go to the character menu, and the default for Adobe Illustrator on A Mac is myriad pro at 12 points, so I could increase that considerably. I'll go to 48 points. That seems pretty good and I'm going to change the text to scroll down here. I'm going to change it to Ariel. Rounded Mt. Bold. Now I have a reason for doing that. That will become clearer a little bit later. You could choose a different font. That's perfectly fine. I'm choosing this one because I like the roundness of the letters, which we're starting out, is just going to make our lives a little simpler toe walk you through the initial process. All right, now we have our text. Hello, world. That's what we want to make into a sticker. But before we continue on to the offset process, we're going to make a copy of this original text. And to do that with it selected as it currently is, I'm going to on my Mac hit command. See, on a PC, you could hit control C. You can also go up to at it and choose copy. Once I've done that on my Mac, I'm going to hit command F control F on a PC or again, you can go up to edit and paste in front. It's a little different than just regular pasting. Paced in front will put whatever you have copied directly on top of itself, so you can't easily see that there are two. But I'll just slide this off for a moment and you can see that there are two All right now going back over to our layers menu. I'm going to expand the original menu here and you'll see I have to Hello worlds, and I'm just going to select one of those and move it to working. So now if I expand that I have one hello world here in the original. And I have one in the working and you can see because Red is the Marquis color that the one currently selected is the one in the working file, and that is great. So I'm gonna go ahead and just hide the original. So now if I move that one, there's only one that's showing 4. Offsetting Text: that way. The reason that we make a copy is so that we will have the original in its text form, because what we're about to do with our working copy is converted to a PATH said. That will no longer be text that you can edit. They'll be paths that are just shapes. So at this point, if I wanted to change anything, I would need to do that. And I am going to just change it to the word. Hello. So now that I'm happy with that again, I have it selected. I'm going to go to object expand that will bring out the expand menu. It's wanting me to verify that I'm expanding both the object in the Phil. I have no stroke on my text, so that isn't even an option. And then I'm going to click, OK, and you see the Marquis changed from being a frame around the letters to account for the height and death, the true height of all the letters possible in that alphabet to now Illustrator is thinking of this as text, and if you look over here in the layers menu, it went from saying Hello world or pelo once I took the world out to being a group. And if I expand that group, you can see that each of the letters and the exclamation point our its own compound path. Now I'm gonna go ahead and make this even larger. And of course now, to do that, there is no character. I can't If I double click to try to change this, it's putting me into the isolation mode. Go back there because this is not text in illustrators mind anymore. It is shapes. So if I click on that and holding down the shift key and then dragging in the corner, I've got a nice big hello. And of course I can come and align that centred. If I so desire, it really makes no difference in our sticker because they're stickers are going to be have a clear background. And when we go to cut them out on the cricket, the cricket doesn't care if this was centered on the art board or not. All right? So before I do the offset, I'm gonna go ahead and change the color of my letters. So I'm going to go up to my swatches and just choose this lovely c n y que blue. That looks great all right, now to make our offset so that we have some nice padding around our sticker for our cricket to cut because at this point sending it to our cricket machine, it would cut out each letter individually. So let's go to object, go down to path, come over to offset path and click on that. The offset past menu will appear and it has put in a default offset here, which isn't too bad. It's a little too much for May. So I'm going to go ahead and just do it at 0.1 inches now, depending on the size of your text. And that's why I have my art board at a size that mimics about what the size of the sticker and product will be. I can kind of judge pretty well if the offset is too much or too little. So when I hit Tab, you can see that it decreased some, and that looks pretty good to me. I'm pretty happy with that. You can see it happening live if you have the preview checked here, and I'm gonna go ahead and click. Okay? and now it looks like they are big balloon blobs for my hello. And if we go over here and look in our layers panel, we can see that about every other letter or path is selected. And it's currently I haven't clicked anywhere on my screen. So my selection is still holding, and that is just the offset that is selected. So I'm gonna go ahead and group that offset together right now to do that on my Mac with the keyboard, I'm gonna hit command G. It would be controlled G on a PC, and you can also go up to object and choose group. It's not a selection here because I've already done it on my keyboard. Now, looking over here in the menu, you can see that this has all become one group here, and I'm going to change the color of that so you can see what happens with that offset. And I'm just going to make it a shade of gray for the time being, so that it stands out on that white art board. So when I've done that, the only original blue that you can see is the exclamation point, and that's simply because this offset group is in front of the h e l, l and O. So I'm going to go ahead and take this group, move it out of my blue Hello, group. I'm gonna zip that up there and then select the offset group and move it below. All right, so now we'll expand that, and I'll expand that one. So you can see I have the blue letters, and then I have the offset of those letters. Now, one of the things that I like to do is go ahead and make this offset group become one path , because again, you can see the red outline around each of these pads here. If I were to send this to the cricket machine, it would cut the age shape and the E shape, including overlapping. So you get this little wedge here and so forth. So I want cricket to just cut around the very outline of my entire word. So again, while that whole group is selected as it is, I haven't clicked anywhere on my yeah canvas area. I'm going to go to pass finder and click on the Unite button. And when I do that I now is this particular case have ended up with to separate shapes or paths in this group. And that is because my exclamation point offset. I'm assuming here is separate from my O and I'm gonna show you how you can fix that. Just a moment here. 5. Cleaning Up Offset: all right. So we need to move over the exclamation point either closer to the O or create a shape that combines thes two together. There's also one other thing we need to be careful of and take into consideration, and that is not gonna zoom in just a little bit. We'll start here with Theo. So as I mentioned where this red outline is, that is the path along which the cricket is going to cut. Which also means that it will cut out the inside of the O, which is fine, if that's what you want. But you probably don't want and I'll zoom in really far. Here is the cricket to attempt to take out this teeny tiny little triangle and this little wedge shape here. So we need to get those absorbed into the background. And we also need to connect the exclamation point. So first things first, I'm going to I'm going to go ahead and hide the blue letters there, and just so that I can focus on the offset grouping. Now you can come over to this button, which is the shape builder tool, or you can hit shift em and now you were cursor is the arrow with or the pointer with a little plus sign. And if I click on the background and swoop over that little wedge that was in the E, you'll notice it disappears. So I have merged those areas together and I could do the same thing here along with us. Zoom in a little bit. There we go. Now it's up to you. If you want Theo to the inside of the ode to be cut, you don't have to do anything. I want my inside of my, oh, to be part of the sticker And so I'm just going to drag across that And now that is gone as well. Now it does nothing if I just drag across and try to include the exclamation point. So I'm gonna get out of the shape building tool by clicking on the selection tool. And this part is a little tricky if you're not terribly familiar with Adobe Illustrator. But I promise it's not overly difficult either. I'm gonna turn back on the visibility of my blue letters and I'm going to over in the layers panel here. I'm gonna click on the DOT next to the exclamation point and you can see that it was selected on the art board and holding down the shift key. I'm going to come down here in the offset group and also click on the exclamation point offset. Now that I have those two things so selected, I'm going to click and begin dragging that closer once I start dragging. If I hold the shift key, then it will stay perfectly in lie. And I just need to scoot it over enough so that some of the two gray areas overlap, and I'm happy with that. So I'm gonna click off there and again, I'm going to go back. What's hide our blue letters so we can just focus on the offset area. I'm gonna just click on that. You can see where they've overlapped and again using the shape builder tool or shift em on your keyboard. I can go ahead and drag across, which unites those. And let's see if I got close enough here. I did not. That's okay. Gonna go ahead and hit my selection tools. I'm back in that area. I really don't want my cricket tohave toe cut out this area, especially since I guess if we get really close there, those edges just kiss. And so the cricket would probably try to cut in and come back out of that. So what we're going to do is using the shape tool, the rectangle tool. Also, you could just hit the letter M on your keyboard. I'm going to go ahead and draw a rectangle that covers up that area. Now it's a separate shape, and it is actually in front of my blue letters, which I'll turn on. You can see these little bits of of that make, um, a little bigger. So you can see which when I would go to print would not be very appealing. So I'm going to take that rectangle by clicking on it over here in the layers panel and dragging it down. I can go ahead and put it in that offset group. And then if I select that entire offset group, he hide the blue again. I could go to my shape builder, drag across all of that, and now I just have one path good, my selection tool and indeed looking over here in the group, it's really a group of one, and I can go ahead and ungroomed that, and it's just a path. Turn on the visibility of my blue letters and voila! I am ready almost to send this out to be cut into a sticker. Of course, one of things I need to do is to change this light grey toe white. Now, when I do that, you will not be able to see it against the art board. But I'll show you that it's really there. So clicking on either just clicking on the offset area so that that's the only thing selected. I can go to swatches and shoes white again when I click off that you really can't tell it's there. But just as proof that it is, I'm going to go ahead and draw a rectangle. See ghosts watches make a nice red rectangle. Now, of course, it is in front of everything. And if I move it to behind there you go. You can see it clearly now, and I'm just gonna go ahead and delete that rectangle before we export our sticker. We are going to go ahead and select our entire sticker here. So as you can see both our group of blue letters and are offset path are selected and I'm going to copy command, see or control C on the PC and then command f to paste it in front. And you can see now that there are two groups there. One of the tricks I have picked up in trying to move something from one layer to another is when I pasted in front that entire thing is still selected. If I group it by hitting command G on my keyboard or control G on a PC, then everything that I have selected that is now been pasted is group together. And then I can come over here and take that group and move it to the layer that I wanted to be on. So I'm gonna move that to the final sticker layer and hide the visibility of my working layer. And now my final sticker has a lovely green border. I like to think of green is go ready and set and everything is good. And now we can go ahead and export 6. Exporting as a PNG: waken Go ahead and export. So we're going to go to file export export as it's remembered from the previous times that it might just come up with whatever you've named your file. I'm going to go ahead and type Hello Sticker. We wanted to be a PNG. So if it is not coming up is a PNG. You can change the format down here from the menu. I like to use art boards so that it's only exporting precisely what I want, and I have said it to do a range of just the first art board course. In this particular case, we only have one art board so you could do all. But I like to get in the habit of always using a range. Because there are many instances where I am working with multiple art boards. Click on export. We want to make sure the resolution is high because we'll be printing this sticker first and then cutting it, and that the background color is set to transparent and you can see that the art board has disappeared. But the white of the offset is still visible around the hello and then just click OK, and now we can head over to cricket and see how to covet 7. Using Cricut Design Space: Now we're ready to bring our hello PNG into our cricket design space. So I have opened up cricket design space and we're going to begin by clicking on new project. And that brings us to a blank designed space area where we can then upload our hello PNG sticker. So I'm going to go down here to the upload button. Now you can click on upload Image to upload the PNG we made from our word. Hello. You can either drag and drop the file here where you can click on browse to look through your files. So I clicked on browse, and now I am going to click on my hello sticker and then click on open on this screen, you select the image type. If there is a high contrast, you can do simple or moderately complex or complex so that the cricket design space can hone in on what is actually part of the design and what is part of a background. Now we actually have a fairly simple high contrast image, but even so, I usually choose complex just to eliminate any extra little bits that may have appeared there. Although we really shouldn't have any. So I'm gonna go click OK is very quick. When our design is this simple, it may take a little longer if you have a much more complex image to work with. Uh, now the images pretty big here. So I'm going to zoom out just a little so we can see the whole thing. This is where we could erase if there was extraneous things here in the background. But I know that we don't have any, so there's no need to erase anything. And I'm just going to click on continue. Then we want to make sure that he save as a print than cut Image is the one that is selected. If we just choose this one save is a cut image. Then there is nothing to print. This is just the instructions on cutting. So this 1st 1 here, where we can actually see the word hello is what we want to make sure is selected. And it will have that green outline around this box. Then you can give your image a better name than perhaps what you named it over there. So I don't need a lot of all that stuff there. I'm just gonna type hello, sticker and then you can use tags. If you caught a lot of things on your cricket, especially things that you upload, then it's a good idea to add some tags so that you can find it more easily. You'd be surprised when she get really using your quick it quite a bit. And you accumulate more and more files that having tags makes it much easier to find. So I'm going to type in Hello and a comma sticker. And then once you're done that click on safe, it might take a moment or two, but then it'll come up here. Now, you see, I have to hellos. And that's just because I was testing to make sure that I have the right. Hello? Uh, because I've done this several times now, but this one here in the front is the one that I most recently uploaded, and I'm gonna go ahead and click on that one, and then click insert images. Now it brings it in and you may notice if you look at the size is right here that are sticker is just over eight inches. Why we designed this on a 4.5 by three and 1/4 aren't board. And so it didn't start out life more than eight inches wide. But that's just something lost in the translation between illustrator and cricket design space. But no worries. We're gonna size it down. On the plus side, If you wanted to make a really big sticker, you're all set to go. So to change the size, we can go up to the size panel here across the toolbar. And it is by default locked. Which means if I change the wicks, the height will scale too the correct size to keep those same proportions. So I don't have to worry about having some sort of weird squished hello or disproportion to what I created an illustrator. So we're gonna make the width four inches, just gonna type in the four. And if I hit tab, then you'll notice that it changed it to be just over one and 1/4 inches tall. And as such, it's now displayed at the size that we're going to cut it out and you can make multiple stickers of the same Hello just by duplicating them. And I'm also going to show you another way that you can create multiples once you get into the cutting section or the making it section off cricket design space. But right now, let me just show you how you can duplicate what you already have. So I'm selecting the hello sticker, and I'm just gonna come over here on the right and click on Duplicate, and it duplicates it. And then I can just move it. Well, it doesn't really matter where I move it to weaken. Still be overtop because when I hit, make it. And I'm going to do that by clicking on the green button in the upper right corner. Cricket will separate them out. As you can see, here is my 8.5 by 11 sheet of paper because it knows it's a print and cut. And it draws this black bounding box because that is what the cricket maker and the cricket explorers use to figure out where on that sheet of paper your stickers are. But as I mentioned a moment ago, I wanted to show you how you can duplicate here what you already have, so we have to hello and we can right do project copies I've upped it to two. And if I hit apply now I'm gonna have four hellos, which is great, because now I'm using much more of the real estate. Now, before I go ahead and actually make thes, I'm gonna cancel this for a moment and I'm going to take one of my hellos and I'm going to make that just a little bit smaller. So let's say three inches and I'm going to duplicate that one. So while it's selected, I just come over here to duplicate, and then I'm gonna make this one just two inches wide. And now we have a whole Siris of different sized hellos, and when I click on Make It, it has space them out here on the board and again I could make multiple copies. And why not? I don't want to waste a whole sheet of sticker paper. Let's see if we can fit three on there. Oh, excellent. We can And these air all spaced by cricket so that none of them overlap. You'll be able to peel them all away. Let's see for the heck of it, why not see if we can get four? We can now cricket does have a limit on the size that it will cut, which is not the full 8.5 by 11. And I'm going to display on this video what those limitations are. And so when you exceed that, then cricket will begin to cut on a second page. But we are pretty close to reaching that limit, so I'm gonna leave it at four and click on continue. 8. Printing the Stickers: So once you make sure that you were cricket machine is connected than it should show you which machine you're connected to. And the first step is going to be to send the image to your printer. So I'm going to click on Send to Printer. The prints set up dialog box comes up. My printer's name is Snowball. I'm only gonna make one copy. Adding, Bleed is something we don't need to do because we've already added that little white space that offset around all the letters. And, of course, the printer won't print white. It just knows that that space is there so that the cutting line is away from the blue letters. It gives that little extra padding, So I typically turned that off when I have used an offset for what it is that I'm cutting. Then I do like to use the system dialog box, so I'm going to go ahead and click on that. Now you'll notice there's a little message that pops up. It's as important after clicking print, your print dialog may appear behind your design space application, and for me, I find that that is the case and I'll show you what that looks like in just a moment. So let's go ahead and print. Now. You may notice that nothing seems to be happening, and that is because the dialog box is popping up behind my cricket design space. So if I just click on that and drag it down, then I can see there's a little print dialog box from my printer that has come up. So I again using Snowball. That's the name of my printer. Um, I haven't HP Laser Jet Pro, and I am going to print that Teoh. I'm going to use my label setting. I'm just gonna print my stickers onto a mat sticker paper. I'm making just one copy. It's only one page, and I'm ready to go ahead and print. Now, when I've come back to the cricket design space, I'm just gonna move it back up on my screen. Next is to select your material, and you have a choice between your favorites and popular ones. If I click on popular, you can see there's various once that have come up here. I only have one favorite at the moment because I've just got my cricket maker and I've been using a cricket explore one for a long time. So we're gonna go ahead and browse all materials. I'm gonna go ahead and type in sticker in the search box and press enter. Then I can see that several different sticker papers come up. You have to experiment a little bit with your particular sticker paper and the settings, and I'm choosing a setting that is going to cut all the way through the sticker paper and the backing paper so that I have what's called a die cut sticker. If you wanted to do what's called a kiss cut sticker where you just be able to peel the sticker off of the backing, but the backing is intact, you would have essentially a sheet of stickers. Then I would choose the copy paper setting. But I'm gonna go ahead and shoes, sticker paper and shoes done, and you can see that it has chosen the sticker paper as my material. And then, depending on your blade, you can have either more or less pressure to cut. I'm going to just leave mine at the default again because my machine is pretty new and I've been cutting some stickers. So my blade is been working just fine, as is, and now we're ready to load our materials and watch it cut. 9. Cutting the Stickers: wait. Now that we have printed are sticker sheet, we are going to go ahead and set it up to be cut by the cricket machine. So the first thing is to remove the mat protector sheet. I'm using a light grip, Matt, but you could use a medium grip Matt as well. And then I'm going to align the paper along the guide at the top and side of the mat and just smooth the paper so that it sticks really well. Then I'm gonna go ahead and place it into the machine when pressed the flashing arrow button that feeds the mat into the cricket machine. Once it's all situated, the cricket button will flash and you're ready to press that, and it's time to cut. - Now that the cricket is done, go ahead and press the flashing arrow button to eject the max, and we're ready to peel the paper off the mat. I like to flip my mat over and peel the mat away from the paper that prevents the paper from curling, and you can see when I peeled off the sicker paper that one of my hellos stuck to the mat, which is great it would been great of all of them had, but that's okay. Ah, some of them just need a little help coming out, but they are cut all the way through. There's just a few little spots that need a little tug to get them from the paper. There we go to get the sticker that's still on the match. You can use the spatula, or you could just turn the matter over and peel them at back. And a lot of times a nice big sticker like this will come right off. Or, of course, you can use the spatula. So there is a four inch sticker and I'll pop out three inch sticker. And here is a two inch sticker, and they all look great. Once you have finished cutting, you can then click on the finish button, and cricket design space will take you back to your canvas. At this point, if you want to save the project for future use, you can do that by clicking save, or you can just go ahead and click to start a whole new project. If you so desire, I can't wait to see what you all are going to make 10. Class Project: the class project is to create at least one text sticker. Start simply how about a sticker of your name? Or maybe you'll choose your favorite word. I can't wait to see what you'll come up with. Please be sure to share your project in the class project section. We're all looking forward to seeing what you can come up with.