How to Use Clipart as a Digital Sticker
A lot of you have been using stickers for a long time, it can be for writing, journaling, planning, you can even see it in some packaging, gifts, car stickers, invitations, advertisements – almost everywhere, you see stickers.
But have you heard of digital stickers?
From the word itself, digital means electronic or computerized tools or resources that can be accessed by everyone. Digital stickers are image files that you can copy and paste on your digital notebooks, planners, and journals. The most common image file formats are PNG and JPG/JPEG. To give you a better understanding of how digital stickers work, think of memoji or emoji in your phones, those are sticker-like graphics that you can send to everyone without any limits.
It is somewhat similar to clipart or graphics which are simple images, drawings, decorative texts, dividers, banners, pictures, or symbols made available to computer users to add to their documents or any web pages decoration.
This article will show you how to use clip arts as a digital sticker. After reading this, you will learn how to:
- Add clip arts to your digital documents as it is.
- Create digital washi tape using the paper patterns in Goodnotes or any note-taking app in 2 easy ways.
- Bonus Lesson: Learn how to create a digital washi tape with a ripped effect on the edges in Procreate.
Let’s get crafting!
Disclaimer: I am using an iPad Pro (iPadOS 14) for demonstration. 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
- An app that supports annotation in PDF documents (examples are Goodnotes, Noteshelf, Notability, and others)
- A drawing app, I prefer using Procreate to create digital stickers
- Clip arts and paper patterns from Creative Fabrica (there are tons of Free Graphics on their website!)
A. Add clip arts to your digital documents as it is
Once you download your favorite clipart in your iPad or cloud, you can import it directly to your document using your preferred note-taking app.
1. Open any note-taking app (I’m using GoodNotes for demonstration)
2. Open your digital journal or create a new document. In GoodNotes, tap on + to create new, then click Notebook
3. Once you’ve chosen your journal, tap on the Image icon to add your clipart.
4. Depending on where you store your cliparts, you can add images from the photo gallery or your cloud storage (iCloud, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc.)
5. Once you find your clipart, just add it to your document as it is. I’m using the free Flower Pink Watercolor Clipart from Creative Fabrica.
B. Create digital washi tape using the paper patterns in Goodnotes or any note-taking app in 2 easy ways
Now that you can add as many cliparts in your document, you can also make use of the paper patterns to create a digital washi tape.
1. On your note-taking app, import the pattern image file on your digital journal (follow the steps above how to import images)
2. Click the sides of the image, then Crop
3. There are 2 modes of Crop in Goodnotes,
- Rectangle lets you adjust the slider to crop an image in a square or rectangular shape.
- Freehand lets you draw an organic shape
C. Learn how to create a digital washi tape with a ripped effect on the edges in Procreate
Procreate app is a raster graphics editor app for digital painting or drawing. Currently, Procreate is only available for iPadOS and iOS. It is a one-time payment app (without subscription or renewal) perfect for digital illustrations.
1. Install Procreate on your iPad
2. Click the + icon to create a new canvas, there are several pre-made canvas sizes available and you can also create your own.
3. As for this article, choose Screen Size, but if you want to create your canvas make sure to set your color profile to sRGB and DPI should be 300.
4. You will see a blank white page. To import the clipart,
- Tap on the Wrench icon
- Ensure that you are on the Add section
- Click on Insert a file **
** It depends on where you store your clipart,
Insert a file is for when you store your images through cloud storage such as iCloud, OneDrive, Dropbox, and so on.
Insert a photo is for when you have your images saved on the photo gallery
5. Select the clipart you want to add. Currently, you can only import one file or image at a time. Each clipart will have its own layer. To resize and reposition each clipart:
- Click Layers icon
- To select multiple layers, using an apple pencil or a finger, swipe to the right to select the layers
- Once all cliparts are selected, tap on the Move tool to resize the clipart, make sure that you are using Uniform so you’ll have proportional size
6. Once you have repositioned all cliparts, add a background color.
- Tap the Layers panel > Tap on + icon to add a new layer
- Tap on the Colors icon to select your preferred background-color
- Make sure the newly created layer is selected, tap and hold the color icon to drag it to the canvas
- Since it’s on the top layer, you need to drag it at the most bottom part of the Layers or just above the “Background color” layer. To do that, tap and hold on the newly created layer, then drag it below
NOTE: To change the color, just follow steps B and C above.
7. Crop the canvas to make a washi strip
- Tap the newly created layer (the one you created in #6), tap on the Selection tool
- Ensure that you are using Rectangle
- Draw a rectangle around the cliparts, you will see lines around the cliparts that show there is a selection made
- Tap Invert, the lines will cover the cliparts
- Tap on Wrench icon > Cut (or use 3 fingers to swipe down and choose Cut)
8. Group layers
Before you can add a ripped effect or texture, make sure you group your layers to create a flattened image.
- Swipe to right each layer to select
- Tap Group
- Tap the New Group layer, then swipe to left > Duplicate
- Tap the duplicated New Group > Select Flatten
- Tap on the new flattened layer
9. Add ripped effect
- Tap on Eraser twice to open the Brush Library > Look for Charcoals on sidebar > Select Carbon Stick
- Depending on your canvas and graphics, choose the appropriate brush size. In this article, I’m using a Brush size is 4% and Brush Opacity 80%
- Make sure you are on the flatten image layer (the one you created on #8) then draw on the edges unevenly to create that ripped effect
- Clean the edges by disabling the “Background Color” layer to preview how it looks like when it has a transparent background
10. Optional: Add texture
To create that realistic look, you can add texture, but it’s optional.
- Tap on the flattened image layer > Tap Alpha Lock
- Tap on Eraser twice to open Brush Library, look for Charcoals in the sidebar then select Carbon Stick
- Set the Brush Size to 100% and Brush Opacity to 15%
- Apply the brush depending on the pressure you want, since you have enabled Alpha Lock, the changes made will only apply to the washi tape and will not go beyond it.
11. Save your digital sticker as PNG to your camera roll
You can now use your newly-created digital washi strip!
Enjoy your digital sticker and happy creating!