Turning your Watercolor Art into Stickers with a Cricut | Amy Stoddard | Skillshare

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Turning your Watercolor Art into Stickers with a Cricut

teacher avatar Amy Stoddard, Amy Illustrates

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

9 Lessons (36m)
    • 1. Introduction to Watercolor Sticker Making

    • 2. Lesson 1 - Importing and Adjusting your File

    • 3. Lesson 2 - Isolating and Cleaning up your Images

    • 4. Lesson 3 - Creating your Cut Lines

    • 5. Lesson 4 - Formatting your Sticker Sheet

    • 6. Lesson 5 Creating a background image and preparing for rounded corner cuts

    • 7. Lesson 6 Saving and Exporting your files

    • 8. Lesson 7 - Setting up your files in Cricut Design Space

    • 9. Lesson 8 - Printing and Cutting your Stickers

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About This Class

In this class I will guide you through the process of easily turning your original watercolor artwork into a lovely sticker sheet to sell, keep or share!


To get the most out of this class you should have some artwork already prepared that you would like to turn into a sticker.  In addition you will need some digital imaging software and a cutting machine such as a cricut or silhouette.  You should also have a basic understanding on how digital imaging and cutting machines work.

Meet Your Teacher

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Amy Stoddard

Amy Illustrates


Hello, I'm Amy!  I'm an illustrator and comic artist living in the American midwest.  I enjoy creating bright, fun, and feminine artworks, and am currently working on building my art as a business.  I graduated from the Herron School of Art and Design with a degree in the Fine Arts as well as an Art Education degree.  I enjoy sharing my knowledge with others and strive to be compassionate and encouraging.

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1. Introduction to Watercolor Sticker Making: Hello and welcome. I am Amy Stoddard, an independent artist and illustrator working and living in the American Midwest by passion is for illustration, whether it's with watercolor, digital, or other media. Have you ever wanted to make stickers out of your original watercolor artwork? Then this is the class for you. In this class we will take your original watercolor illustrations from this and turn them into lovely functional sticker sheets that you can sell or simply perhaps hoard them and use them for yourself. Though, for this class, come prepared with some artwork already made. You will also need access to some digital imaging software, such as Photoshop or clicked studio, anything that has an adjustments area. For this class, however, I will be using an old version of Photoshop, CS F4. And last but not least, you will also need access to a cutting machine. For me, I will be using the cricket maker, but you can use whatever cutting machine you have on hand. So let's get started making some beautiful stickers. 2. Lesson 1 - Importing and Adjusting your File: Alright, so to start today you're going to want a good scan or a good photograph of your artwork. I'm gonna be working from a photograph because my scanner is currently too old to compete with the phone. That's the camera that's on my iPhone. Next up you're gonna want to crop out any, any unnecessary bits you have, like I'm doing here. If you don't need current, then you can just ignore this part. Now with your image ready to go, what I like to do is create a copy of this layer and place it on top of the background layer. This is just to protect the original. So when I do edits, if I screw something up, I can always go back and find my original. Now the key here in Photoshop is to open up the adjustments tab and find the section for levels. So once you find the levels tab, you're gonna click on it. And it should open up a menu that looks something like this. And you are in levels, you're going to go down to the third dropper, which is for white point. And you're going to want to click on that there. And you're gonna wanna go touch any part of the white of your paper. And you will see that all of a sudden it really hacking clears everything up. This is the easy miracle of Photoshop. Now, if you don't have Photoshop and you have another program, you're going to have to do things the old-fashioned way and fiddle with the levels. So here using clips, studio paint, I will show you how to adjust the levels if you have to do it the old-fashioned way. So you want to option, click and choose new correction layer. And you're gonna go down there and find level correction, and you're going to create the layer. Now, as you can see, this little graph shows up and you're gonna wanna pull the white point in past the, the high peaks. And you're going to want to drag the black point in just enough to give it a little more contrast. Maybe not to contrasty. But there you have it. It is still pretty easy to adjust the levels and get the same sort of effect as you would with Photoshop. It just takes less effort. So stay tuned for the next class where we're actually going to get into the nitty-gritty of turning these into stickers. Now. 3. Lesson 2 - Isolating and Cleaning up your Images: Okay, here next in this short lesson, what we need to do is isolate the actual images from the white of the paper. So what you're going to want to do is to go up to your toolbar and select the magic wand. And you're going to select all of the white of the paper on your copied image. Like so. And next you're just gonna wanna bravely deleted. Of course you won't notice any change immediately because the background layer of the original document is still visible. So what you're going to do is to go down into your layers and just turn off the little eyeball icon on the background, which will give you the blank checkerboard background that you will see here in a second. Now we don't want to just keep the background transparent like this because it'll get a little bit confusing. So we're gonna go ahead and make another layer and pop another layer of white underneath our gemstones or whatever it is you're working with. This will just make things a little less confusing for the time being. Now the next thing we're gonna wanna do is clean up this image. So we're going to do, set up a stroke around the images you're working with. Now you're gonna notice that it's a really dirty and the edges are very irregular. So while we have the stroke in black against the white, we're going to go in and just start cleaning up and erasing all the little black bits and all of the little tidbits here. The reason why I stroke the sticker outlines and black and put them over white is just so that the very visible to me and I'm not likely to miss something because any little mistake after you bring it into your print and cut program is just gonna be a huge hassle. So you really want to double and triple check everything and make sure that you get everything properly cleaned up and deleted. Anyway, since this process does take awhile and probably going to fast-forward through a lot of this erasing. And this is pretty much what you are also going to need to do, is just do a lot of clean up and erasing right now. Okay. After you're satisfied with your cleanup job, you're gonna wanna go back to your layer with your images on it and turn the stroke layer from black to white. But we're not going to adjust the thickness of this yet. We're gonna save that for the next lesson. This point, things are going to start getting a little more complex. So if you have any questions, just feel free to ask. See you next time. Bye. 4. Lesson 3 - Creating your Cut Lines: Okay, welcome back to class, everyone. A quick reminder. Be sure to save your work. You don't want to lose all of your progress. I'm actually gonna save here real quick. So we have saved, and now it's time to change that white background image to something else. Another color that will allow the white borders on your images show up. I am choosing just like an off blue color because that's appealing to me. You should choose whatever colors going to be most appealing to you to look at for quite a while after you've chosen your background color, we're gonna go and back to the layer with the imagery on it. And we're going to adjust the amount of stroke around the image. So now here's the interesting part here. You can't just plop on a big stroke border on these images because you're watercolor, is era has irregular edges just from the nature of the texture of the paper. So what you're going to have to do is make another layer underneath the imagery layer and before your background layer. And you're actually going to need to fill in with white. The little spaces in between the like for me, it's in these little crystal areas. And then you're actually going to need to start drawing the rest of the line around the outside. And that's going to be your cut edge there. That's what's gonna tell the program where to cut. And if you're going to have to do it manually is just because the nature watercolor means that it's going to be so irregular and so bumpy that you aren't gonna get smooth lines out of just like turning up the stroke to 20. It just isn't going to happen. So yes, there is going to be a little bit of tedium here. So you're gonna notice that I have a few crystals are too close together to be on the same sticker sheet. So right now before I do they're cut lines. I draw their cut lines. I'm just gonna take the lasso tool and gently nudge them into positions before I draw on the layer below it. It just, it's easier this way. Otherwise I'm going to have to move two layers instead of one. And yada, yada. So yeah, now is the best time to move your art around if you need to. So I don't want to bore you with the tedium of placement and outlining. So I'm just gonna super speed through this. And then we'll get to the next bit that I want to talk about. So naturally, when you're working with scans of natural media artwork, you are going to find some little 2p C's and I found a pet hair in one of my crystals. Now, rather than scrap this whole all this work that I did, we're going to have to correct this. And to do that, we are going to use the clone stamp tool. Also notice I missed a few areas of white, so I'm gonna go ahead and clean those up a little bit and clean up those edges just a touch before I go in with the clone stamp tool. So it's always a good idea to zoom in on your work to find these little boo-boos. So with the clone stamp tool, I just choose a very small brush and I tried to select an area of color that's very similar to what I want to cover up. And I just I do a lot of like gentle tapping and it gives you like a little preview in that circle. So you can kind of tell what you're headed into is just a lot of massaging and funneling things. I prefer to use the clone tool rather than just simply airbrushing over it because I feel that it's still keeps a bit of the integrity of the original artwork. So that's pretty much it for this lesson. I'm going to stop it here and we'll pick it up in the next one. See you next time. Bye bye. 5. Lesson 4 - Formatting your Sticker Sheet: Hello everyone and welcome back to the class. Just a short refresher we discussed last time how to clean up any little mistakes in your watercolor like a pet hair that you scanned in by accident. And we also discussed how to outline your individual artworks. I am going to assume that you went ahead and continued outlining all of your individual shapes. And we're going to move on to the next phase. So the next phase, we want to collect this finished artwork and put it into your sticker sheet format. I prefer to use a four by six format. You can choose whatever format you want to work with. So what you're going to need to do is you're going to need to merge your watercolor artwork layer with your outline layer. And you're going to need to select it, then paste it into your new document that is going to be the size of your sticker sheet. And now just to reiterate, you are going to want to merge your outline layer with your watercolor artwork layer together so you can just copy and paste those two, those layers alone. You do not want any of the background image from your original piece. Once you have that pasted into your sticker sheet document, you're going to want to scale it just so it fits a little nicely. I did scan my stuff at 600 DPI or something. So it takes a little bit of funneling to fit it on the four by six sheet, but that's fine because in order to cut out the sticker edges, I am going to need to move with the crystals a little farther away from each other. So and I also like to put in a little bit of verbage on like what the theme is for the sticker sheet and just make it look attractive to sell. Once I have my artwork sized appropriately, then I go ahead and I fill in a another layer below the artwork with just a flat gray colors so I can see where my outlines are and what I'm going to be working with. So at this point I am ready to start designing my sticker sheet. And what I'm going to do is I'm just going to take the lasso tool and start selecting individual crystals and start moving them around and trying to organize them into a sticker sheet design that I am going to be happy with. There's no hard and fast rules for doing this. You should just eyeball it and see what looks best to you. Because chances are, if something looks really nice to you, it's going to look really nice to other people as well. So I'm just going to ultra high-speed this little funneling part here real quick. Now you're going to notice that I left a little bit of a space on this particular sticker sheet. And that's because I wanted to actually have a little title for this sticker sheet. I personally find that it's a little more professional looking if you at least put your maker name on there or your business name, or have, you know, like a little title for your sticker sheet. But obviously you don't have to. If you don't want to, It's all up to you, but this is just what I do. So before I start adding the text, I'm gonna go ahead and save and then start another layer to add the text. And so here I've jumped ahead to where I already have the text I want to use in hate find that the text you have chosen doesn't quite fit the area you need. But the good thing is, is that since, and each thing is on its own layer, you can just select the individual artworks and you can massage things around and make it look nice. So at this point, you're just going to want to continue working on your sticker sheet design however you see fit. And in the next class we will pick up and I will show you how to make a separate background design that will work with the cricket. So see you next time. Bye bye. 6. Lesson 5 Creating a background image and preparing for rounded corner cuts: Hello everyone, welcome back to class. In this class we are going to be discussing creating a little bit of flair for your backgrounds and how you can get rounded corners on your sticker sheets if you so desire. So this section is going to be pretty much completely optional. And so if you don't want to fuss around with your backgrounds, you can just skip ahead to the next class. So basically what I'm going to be doing here is on a separate layer, above the background gray layer. I'm going to be drawing in a few little sparkles and stuff just to kind of pull the design together. And then when, when I print this on a completely white background, it will just make things look a little more put together on a little more professional. Of course, it's always your choice of what you want to do with your backgrounds. If you would prefer yours to be playing, That's awesome. You should do what feels right for you. Oh right. We're just gonna go ahead and super speed through this part real quick and get to the next important step. Alright, so I have my little sparkles in the background about done. And I'm going to turn off the gray layer just to see that everything looks okay. And then I am ready to move on to the next step which is adding rounded corners if you want to. So I'm just going to roll it back here real quick and explain the rounded rectangle tool. You're going to find it to the left. And there's a little pop-up menu. There's other options, but you're going to want to just select rounded rectangle tool. Up towards the top there's an area that has radius. I have mindset to about a 100 pixels. You're going to want to adjust yours for your specific project, though. A 100 pixels may not work for you. Then you're going to draw on a separate layer. You are rounded rectangle tool. And it is going to fill in with your top swatch color. And wallah, there we have it. But I'm going to redraw this one real quick because I didn't quite get it, just perfect. So let's fast forward through that bit. Now the important part is that the corners that appear after you draw your rectangle, you're going to want to fill those with your cut color. So in this instance, for this example, I'm using black and I'm just going to drop the black color in those little gray dividends. Each corner. There we go. And then that is going to let the cricket know where to cut and that is going to create your rounded corners. Now we're going to go ahead back to the original piece and apply it there. So jumping back to the piece here I am using the rounded rectangle tool. I'm on its own layer and I'm lining it up and I'm going to use the fill. And of course, I accidentally filled with the wrong colors. So I'm just going to skip past my color jockeying here and get to the next meaty part. All right, and here I fixed it. The background is white again, and my cut areas are that blue gray color that I've been using all along. All right, I think I'm going to stop this lesson here. And in the next class, I will show you how to save your background and your print and cut image to import it into the cricket. And then we'll be almost done. See you next time. Bye bye. 7. Lesson 6 Saving and Exporting your files: Hello everyone, Welcome back to the class. So for this little snippet, and we are going to need to isolate our foreground artwork from our background artwork. And you're gonna do this by just simply turning off the visibility of the foreground artwork. Now here I have all of my background artwork setup. And what I'm going to do now is choose Save for web and devices, which is going to result in it being saved as a flat JPEG image. And then it will print them, cut out my little rounded corners and everything. And we will link it with the foreground artwork, the cricket program. So here I'm saving the background and I'm being sure to label it so I know that it is the background from the foreground artwork. After I complete my Save, As I'm going to go ahead and turn off all of the background image information and just have my crystals with the gray background information there. You definitely need that gray background for this. So the cricket knows where to print and cut. So I'm gonna do another Save As. And it's going to create yet another flat JPEG image and with no consequences to the original layered Photoshop piece. So just to be extra clear here, when you're done, you're going to have two separate images, JPEG images. You're going to have your background. Your background is going to have your rounded corner cut areas visible. If you made them, if you did not make them and you want to go with straight edges, that's totally fine too. Then you are also going to have your image file is going to include your color, which in my case is this gray color. And all of your artwork perfectly aligned exactly how it should be. You're going to have these two separate images. And then we are going to load them up into the cricket program in the next class. So that is pretty much it for this class. And I will see you next time. Bye bye. 8. Lesson 7 - Setting up your files in Cricut Design Space: Hello everyone and welcome back to the class. Today we are going to start by loading our Cricket Design space and importing our files that we saved in the last lesson into design space. I apologize at this point if you happen to have a silhouette as I don't have one yet. So I can't offer you any specific tips on using your program, but hopefully, you know your program and your device well enough that you can follow along and get some really nice stickers out of it anyway. So the first thing we're gonna do here is click Upload on the left. And we're going to go ahead and upload the two images that we saved previously, that being the background and also the print and cut for the images of the stickers. Okay, so once we have our file selected, we are going to choose complex to upload. So everything comes out nice and detailed. And then we will click Continue. The next step is to select the cut area. And I like to use a higher number than what trick it default sets at about 15. Just because I've noticed, if I don't try to get a little bit of a higher number out of it. I end up with a little bit of scatter in my print. And I just want to try to avoid that at all costs. So here's the after you approve your your file on how it looks, you're just going to go ahead and save it. And then I'm going to go ahead and upload the background image as well and do the exact same thing for the background image. Again, for the background image, we are also going to choose complex, even though it's fairly simple. And I'm going to go ahead to click Advanced Options and tried to turn up the edge to 20, But see that was too much. So I'm going to have to dial it back down again. And I ended up getting by with just 16. So sometimes when you dial that number up a little too much, it gets rid of too much. So then you have to just fiddle around and try to find the right number for you. All right, now, I am going to go ahead and save that. And you can see the cut file is nice and rounded as it's supposed to be. All right, after you save this document, you're going to go back to the little gallery that you have that's building from uploading stuff. And you're gonna go ahead and select the last two images you uploaded. And we are going to insert them into our project. And they're going to show up really like giant. And we're going to have to Jackie them around a bit. Alright, so the first thing I like to do is reorganize my images. So the The thing that should be on top is on top and the file that should be on the bottom is on the bottom. The next thing I'm going to do is grab the background image, since it's the larger of the two images. And I'm going to cosy it up right into the top, upper left corner so it hits the 0000. And then what I plan to do is to grab it and shrink it down to the four by six size that it should be. I don't know why cricket does this. It just expands everything. But yeah, so I shrink it down to four by six, which is of course the file size that I use. You'll want to shrink yours down to the file size that you prefer to use. Okay, now here's the super big trick about getting your backgrounds to cut out on cricket with also getting a kiss cut inside. So you're cutting out your page and also getting a kiss cut because cricket doesn't just let you do this naturally. What I'm doing is I'm copying exactly the background image. And I'm going to set it up, I believe about four times. Depending upon the sharpness of your blade, you may need to add an extra one. But basically you're going to duplicate your background image about four times and then line them all up perfectly, make them, make sure they're all perfectly lined up. And then you're going to group those all together and attach them. So you can see here that I've got a couple of duplicates already, so I'm up to three. I'm going to duplicate one more time. And then really the key is making sure that they're, all of these together are lined up perfectly. If one gets off by a little bit, it's going to mess up your cut. So definitely double-check that. Now, once you get them all linked, you can select them all, and then you can group them. And this way, they'll stay together forever until you ungroup them anyway. Okay, now what I like to do at this point, because I like to cut two sheets per page that I'm printing. I'm going to go ahead and copy the entire group that I just made. And then I'm going to move that down below the first, the first cut. And then that should fit on my, my paper. So the next step after getting my Grouped cut five background cut files, it's time to adjust the crystals to fit the backgrounds. So I'm just gonna do that here real quick. It can be a little bit fidgety, but it's really easy, very doable. Ok, once you finagle it around and get it exactly how you want it, the next step is going to be to go ahead and group that you're crystals with its respective background layer. After you have grouped them altogether, There's one more step you need to do in order to get all the cuts to come out correctly. You are also going to need to attach all of those files together. This is just four, the top section. So you can click and get a little pop-up menu or down at the bottom there, there's also an attach icon. So you're going to want to attach these together. This is necessary in order to get both the kiss cuts and the to cut get the sheet to cut all in one go. I know it sounds a little bit finicky, but it's just how you have to do it in the cricket design space. All right, so at this point, if you're making two identical sheets of stickers on the same paper, you can just go ahead and copy paste your, your sticker images or you can go ahead and import them from your gallery. For me, I ended up going the difficult route and I made a completely different set of crystal stickers for the second sheet. And I don't need to show all that happening, but we'll go ahead and we will pick this up in the very last class and hopefully get are really awesome stickers done. So with that said, I will see you next time. Bye bye. 9. Lesson 8 - Printing and Cutting your Stickers: Hello everyone and welcome back to the class. We are going to start off today's class by reviewing the key points from the last lesson, as it's crucial to have everything perfectly set up for these cuts to come out. Perfectly. Key. Point number 1, you are going to have your background image copied at least four times, possibly five, depending upon how sharp your blade is currently. And you're going to have those all stacked on top of each other perfectly. And they are going to be grouped just to make it easy for you to move them around. And then they are all going to be attached together. And then you are going to attach that to the top sticker layer, the part that's going to be kiss cut. So ultimately, each sticker sheet that you have laid out on your cut page is going to be all attached. It's going to be important that it is attached. Otherwise, the cricket design space is going to treat it like a two different cut files. And they're going to spread it out over multiple pages. You to separate sticker sheets, two different designs you have or the two identical designs. Those two do not need to be attached together. Is just that all of your groupings with your backgrounds and your stickers, each little segment needs to be attached. So now that we've gone over that one more time, Let's get to the cutting action. Once you have everything together, you're going to click that bright green, make it button in the upper right-hand corner and you're gonna get a page that looks like that. If your page does not look like this and there's something wrong, then there's a good chance you forgot to attach something. You should have one single sheet that has everything that's going to be cut on it. If everything looks good, you're going to go ahead and hit the Continue button in the lower portion. And you are going to go ahead and send it to your printer. For me, I have the cannon pro 100. I'm going to take off the bleed because I feel like that makes some scatter. And I always prefer to use the system dialogue. The reason why I always like to use this system dialogue is because it gives me full control over the print quality that my printer is going to be producing. So after you have everything to your liking, you are going to go ahead and press that print button down there in the lower right. Now here's the goofy thing. If you choose US system dialogue, this US system dialogue is going to pop up behind all of your Windows. I don't know why it does this. It's kind of a pain, but you're just going to need to move your window and then you'll find your system dialog window. All right, so we're going to find my dialog window here. And if you're using the Canon pro 100, this information might be a little more valuable to you. I'm gonna go ahead to quality and media. And with the type of sticker paper I'm working with, you actually want to print, like you're printing on plain paper to get the brightest colors out of it. I know this seems a little bit counter-intuitive, like why wouldn't you use the best possible printing method? But it winds up with this paper turning out way too dark and a little bit muddy. I don't know why but, you know, we're just gonna go with what works. I should also tell you the type of paper that I'm using and that is online labels, matt weather proof, and these same settings will work for the plane sticker paper from there as well. Okay, The next step is to select your material and your cuts. Because online labels matter whether proof is very close to map vinyl ion selecting map vinyl for this project, you will need to adjust for whatever type of material you're working on. After you select your material, you're going to need to choose your pressure. I move it down to less. For my specific type of sticker paper less works well to get a nice kiss cut. And also when it's cutting the background four times around, it, it works out well. It's not digging into my mat too much. And at this point you're just going to load your machine as you normally would then go ahead and get these things cut. At this point now, hopefully you will have some nice stickers to share. And if you have any questions, just feel free to ask. Thank you for participating. Bye-bye.