Sunday, 25 November 2007

Crafting with peel off stickers - a few hints and tips

Peel off stickers are a staple item for the crafter, and very versatile. Use them in many ways, from popping on a quick greeting or embellishment, or really go to town to produce more special effects.

Basic 'how to' instructions

To apply peel off stickers, bend the sheet and gently pull up part of the edge of the sticker (on delicate designs it may be necessary to loosen more edges).

Peel the entire sticker off the sheet and allow it to relax in the air, and regain its shape. Use tweezers, or a 'pokey tool' to hold the sticker if you prefer. Gently place the sticker onto your project (so that you can reposition if necessary). When you are happy with the placement, press down to adhere it.

If you are working with a greetings sticker, or individual letters, it can be a little tricky to get the wording straight. One way to do this is to use a post-it note as a straight edge against which you can align the message, then remove the post-it note when you are done.

If you are working with a very large peel off design, it can be sometimes be difficult to get it to lay it flat on your project, without getting any lumps or crinkles in the design. A tip here is to lay the peel off on your work surface, adhesive facing upwards, then lay your card or paper over the peel off and adhere it in that way.

How to get more out of your peel off stickers

Here are just a few ideas for using peel off stickers:

- colour in the sticker using a variety of materials - watercolour or gel pens, paints, chalks etc;

- use the sticker as a stencil - first remove some of the stickiness, by sticking to your clothes a couple of times, then place on your project and chalk over, then lift the sticker away (and repeat the process if you wish to make a background design, for example);

- apply the sticker to adhesive film (or use a glue pen), and colour it in using ultra fine glitter, rub on foil or coloured sand;

- apply the sticker to your choice of decorative background, then cut around it before applying to your project, either flat or using foam pads or silicone adhesive to achieve a 3D effect - either will emphasise the design very effectively. Transparent peel offs suit this technique particularly well. For background, you could use plain, decorative or holographic paper or card. Gold peel offs on a gold background or silver peel offs on silver look great too;

- bored with the basic colours? - change the colour of your stickers (while still on the backing sheet) using overhead projector or special peel off colouring pens;

- use the stickers as an outline for glass painting projects;

- use the 'negative' left behind after using a peel off sticker. To do this, you will need to cover the negative design with overlapping strips of Scotch magic tape, or peel off transfer sheets. Press down very firmly, then lift off the design. Place the tape / transfer sheet over where you wish to apply the negative image, then rub over very firmly (e.g. with the back of a spoon) and the design will transfer. You will need to apply a lot of pressure to achieve this successfully!

- another way to use the 'negative' if you have the same design of sticker in different colours, is to use the 'negative' from one or more different colours to fill in a design, use tweezers or a pokey tool to get the pieces in position.

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