What is a Die Cut Sticker?


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Die cut stickers are pretty popular amongst crafters. But if you are new to the crafting world, it can be pretty confusing when something talks about a die cut sticker. What is a die cut sticker or why is it not just called a sticker?

Today we will have a look at what a die cut sticker means, and we will also have a look at how you can create your own die cut stickers using a die cutting machine.

We will also have a look at the difference is between a die cut and kiss cut sticker. It is all explained in easy terms right here in this post.

What Does Die Cut Sticker Mean

A die cut is essentially a custom-shaped sticker. They are single stickers that are cut to the contour of the image shape. So essentially there is no excess material around the sticker.

Back in the day you would use a die cut machine, load it with sticker material and use a die to cut the shape of the sticker. So it was pretty hard to do custom shapes.

These days, you can do the same thing but with electronic cutting machines or even laser cutters. This means that you can custom shape any image – nifty!

Here is a quick video for visual representation:

Now that you have a better understanding of what a die cut sticker is, let's have a look at how a die cut sticker compares with a standard sticker.

Die Cut Stickers vs Regular Stickers

Here is a quick look at what the difference is between a regular sticker and a die cut sticker.

1. Standard Shaped Stickers

Back in the “old days” stickers only came in standard shapes such as rectangles, squares, ovals or circles.

Custom Shaped Stickers

It was easier to cut stickers in this shape due to the fact that stickers were cut using a die together with a manual die cutting machine.

Wikipedia explains what dies are:

A die is a specialized tool used in manufacturing industries to cut or shape material mostly using a press. Like molds, dies are generally customized to the item they are used to create. Read more about it here.

2. Custom Die Cut Stickers

The newer and more modern way to create stickers is to die cut contours to the shape of your artwork.

These stickers are great for designs that are used to brand a product as they look a lot more professional. You will also often see these types of stickers used as wall decals and as logo stickers.

What is adhesive Vinyl

Not only are these stickers popular in the professional arena, but many crafters, specifically those interested in scrapbooking and cardmaking, also prefer to use die cut stickers above standard shapes stickers such as squares, squares, and ovals.

Other uses for these type of stickers includes magnets, car decals, iron-on, shop window stickers, and more. 

We personally prefer using die-cut stickers ourselves and fortunately, you can easily and quickly create your own custom die cut stickers in whatever size you want by using an electric die cutting machine.

What does die cut sticker mean

We explain how an electronic die cutting machine works here on our website:

Materials are cut similarly or closely in the way a printer prints. Ultimately while using this machine, your designs will be sent directly to the digital cutter from your computer or tablet, where your created designs are made.

You can read more about it in this post here.

Die Cut vs Kiss-Cut Stickers

Whilst die cut stickers are custom-shaped stickers that have no excess backing around the contours of the image, a kiss cut sticker only has light cuts within the border of your stickers.

So what is a kiss cut sticker? A kiss cut sticker can be peeled out of the backing material and the backing material remains.

You might recognize kiss cuts stickers better as a “sticker sheet” as kiss cut sticker typically comes as multiple stickers on one single sheeting in comparison to a die cut sticker that comes as a single sticker.

Here is an example of kiss-cut stickers:

Kiss Cut Stickers

So now that we totally and fully understand the different types of stickers, let's have a look at our recommendation for a die cut machine for stickers.

Recommended Die Cut Machine for Stickers

So let's have a quick chat about a recommended machine to cut stickers. Back in the day, I would have told you to buy a manual crank-operated machine such as a Sizzix BigShot with Dies.

But why be limited to dies when you can create stickers from any shape and any image found on the internet? To do that I highly recommend that you invest in either a Cricut Machine or a Silhouette Cameo 4.

Now my favorite machine is the Cricut Maker 3 (see our Cricut Maker 3 review here), but you can also browse through all the popular machines to help you find the best die cut machine for your budget and needs.

You can use these machines in combination with a printer to create stickers from any shape or image. You simply create your sticker sheet with all your images. Print it out on a printer on some sticker paper.

Transfer the printed pieces of sticker paper to your cutting machine and the cutting machine will be smart enough to know where to cut so that you end up with adorable die cut stickers. If you end up with a Cricut or Silhouette machine, this whole process is called Print then Cut.

So know you are the expert in all things stickers.

You know how a regular sticker compares to a die cut sticker. You know what a kiss cut sticker is and you also know where to start your research in order to buy your first die cutting machine for stickers.

Enjoy your sticker-making session – it really is pretty addictive once you get started. Any questions please just pop them in the comments section below.

What are Die Cut Stickers

Further Reading:

Hi, I’m Jolene! I have a whole career based on working with all different types of crafts. Some of my work has also been featured in craft magazines. I’m passionate about helping others to unlock their creative potential and turn it into something beautiful. I don’t just provide tutorials on my website, but also inspirational ideas and advice to help kickstart your creativity.

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