Sunday, April 7

Make Something Monday: TMC Guest Post on Adventures in Sticker Making

First off, I put a big thank you out there to my friends who have helped me out with guest posts!  I have a lot going on in my personnel life and appreciate the help.  Please thank TMC at Return to Rural for this post.

Now a word from TMC:

One Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago, I got out my notebook and a collection of ingredients and tried my hand at making my own stickers. I thought I’d share with you the recipes I used and the results that I achieved.

I started off with two recipes... one with gelatin and one without. I wanted to be able to offer a vegetarian option for folks who’d rather avoid the gelatin. I also wondered if the glue version would produce a finer mucilage that would stick better. The recipes are from the Internet though I could not tell you where. Things get all jumbled in my notebook. I took notes as I searched and these are what I came up with.

Both recipes make mucilage, that is, moisture-reliant stickiness. Once you have applied the mucilage to the paper, you let it dry completely. When you’re ready to stick your sticker, you wet it using spray bottle, sponge, or tongue.

Recipe 1:

6 tbsp white vinegar
1 oz (4 packets) unflavored gelatin
1 tbsp pure lemon extract

Bring vinegar to a boil. Turn heat to low. Add gelatin and stir til completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add extract.

Pro tip: leave the mucilage in the small pot as you use it. It sets up VERY quickly and becomes un-paintable before you know it if you transfer it to a bowl. This would be especially tricky if you were working on painting multiple sheets of stickers at one time.

This recipe makes a bunch of mucilage so you’ll want to have all your to-be stickers nearby, ready to be painted. I’d venture to guess that this recipe would make a LOT of 8 x 11 sheets.


Recipe 2:

1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp white glue

Mix well.

This recipe easily does 2 coats on one 8 x 11 sheet of paper with just a little bit left over.

The end result tastes very vinegary so I’d say if you plan on licking it to stick it, you might want to add just a drop or two of some kind of taste extract (lemon, peppermint, whatever you have). 

For both recipes I used a single sheet of plain printer paper, a foam brush, and a sheet of newspaper. I placed the paper on the newspaper and used the brush to paint on the mucilage on the back of the sheet of paper. I’d recommend applying at least 2 coats to the back of each sheet, but try to let each coat dry before applying the next. If you use plain printer paper, you’ll quickly learn that it will curl up on you as it dries. Once your mucilage is totally dry, you can put the paper between the pages of a heavy book and it will straighten your paper out again.

Pro Tip:  Though the plain printer paper worked ok, if I were to try this project again, I would try it with a higher grade of paper, maybe even something with linen in it. I also saw a few places online that suggested putting clear packing tape on the front of your sticker, to add some stability to it, and some shine! I made two sheets of logos from my favorite charity to include on my correspondence. I think that both the recipes stick well and should you find yourself with all the ingredients, I’d encourage you to give making your own stickers a try!


  1. It sounds simple and easy. It's on my list of new things to try.

    Nice post.

  2. That's awesome! I have a Xyron sticker maker, but this is good to know in case I run out of the rolls!