Create Your Own Digital Stickers in Procreate

Create Your Own Digital Stickers in Procreate main article image
Posted on May 4, 2021 by Kymmie J.

As we all know, stickers are any design usually printed in an adhesive or sticker sheet in which you can apply to any surfaces. It’s a type of label used for decoration or functional purposes. Almost everywhere you look, stickers are attached to an object, from companies using brand stickers to label their products to cute decorative stickers you use for planning and journaling.

In this article, we will discuss how you can turn your simple illustrations into digital stickers or even print them on a sticker sheet for your planning and journaling needs.

You don’t have to be an expert in drawing or have a degree in graphics design to create your own digital stickers, you can draw basic shapes or banners and turn them into functional stickers.

If you don’t want to create your own, you can always learn how to use clipart as a digital sticker.

Digital stickers can be any images or clipart that you add or import into your digital planner and journal. You don’t need to have a printer to produce a digital sticker, just a drawing app and you are good to go!

This article will show you how to turn your simple illustrations into digital stickers or printable files. After reading this, you will learn how to:

  1. Learn 2 types of stickers and it’s purposes
  2. How to create functional stickers using basic shapes
  3. How to create decorative stickers using free-form shapes
  4. Bonus Lesson: Create a digital sticker out of real images for inspiration

Let’s get crafting!

Disclaimer: I am using an iPad Pro (iPadOS14) for a demo, please check with the app developer if you have further questions.

To create digital stickers, you will need:

  • A tablet, stylus, or any iPad version that is compatible with Apple Pencil
  • A drawing app, I prefer using Procreate to create digital stickers
  • Optional: If you have a Pinterest account which we will use to look for inspiration but if not, a simple Google search is okay.

A. Planner Sticker Types

There are different types of planner stickers, functional and decorative are the most popular in the planning world.

Functional – mostly comprised of basic shapes that are perfect for making lists, tracking important activities, goals, and tasks. It serves the purpose for which it was designed. It comes in any color which you can use for each day of the week.

Decorative – these are illustrations or any free-form shapes that add a personality to your design or page. It is better known as “Deco Sticker”, which provides style and accentuates your planner, journal, notebook, or any stationery.

B. Create functional stickers using basic shapes

Basic shapes are geometric shapes and probably the easiest to draw. It is the foundation of all illustrations. Examples of which are circle, square, triangle, rectangle, and more.

1. Download and Install the paid app, Procreate

2. Open a new canvas, for this tutorial use the Screen Size

3. You can either draw everything in 1 layer or separate each shape by layer. To add layers, click on the Layer Panel > + icon

4. Click the brush tool and choose any brush you want, I’m using Monoline from the Calligraphy collection (which is free and already included in Procreate)

5. Choose the color you want by clicking the Color Panel > Disc. There are a lot of Color interfaces, you can also add your own Palettes if you want to stick to a theme.

6. Once you have chosen your brush and color, you are now ready to draw your shapes

TIP: If you want to have the perfect shape, hold down your pencil after drawing while placing your second finger on the screen to create a QuickShape.

7. Drop in the colors to add in a base color by tapping the Color panel, choose a color and drag and drop it on the shape   

TIP: For a perfectly rectangular or square shape, you can click on Select tool > Rectangle, then drop the color to add a base color

8. Once you are ready to save, ensure that the Background layer is disabled

9. You can export the whole page as PNG or if you want separate image files, save them as PNG Files

NOTE: Using PNG Files will also include the space of the whole canvas.

C. Create beautiful decorative stickers using free-form shapes

You can go crazy with deco stickers. Generally, decorative stickers are used to add personality or style to your planner and journal pages. Use different colors and tones to add depth to your illustrations.

Following the same instructions above, draw your decorative stickers by combining all the basic shapes and arrange them into a composition. You can draw your favorite flower, beverage, food, or even places! You can also doodle your favorite event such as birthdays, holidays, or even your favorite season (winter, spring, summer, and fall) to create your collection.

Bonus Lesson: Create a digital sticker collection out of real images for inspiration

The idea is for you to think of a collection and from there, you can start drawing the things that make the collection. For example, the collection would be all about “Birthday”, you can draw a cake, candles, party hats, a slice of cake, wine, ribbons, flowers, gifts, streamers or banners, even texts that say “Let’s Celebrate” or “It’s your special day!”, you can draw whatever floats your boat as long as it’s related to your collection.

Use Pinterest to search for inspiration, creating an account is free but if you don’t have an account you can search in Google or in any royalty-free images website.

If you have access to a printer, you can totally print your own illustrations on a sticker sheet and use it in your planning and journaling. Keep practicing as you will learn lots of techniques such as applying texture to your stickers, shadow and highlights to create dimension and you might just open your very own digital sticker business!

Enjoy creating digital stickers!

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