The thing that really sets the Brother ScanNCut machines apart from any other electronic cutter on the market is the built-in scanner (obvious from the name maybe?). It is the main reason I purchased one; I do a lot of rubber stamping and the ScanNCut makes it really easy to scan stamped images and cut them out just like the matching die sets for stamps do but for a lot less money in the end ($25 – $30 per set of dies x hundreds of sets vs. $399.00 for the machine). Plus, you can also make stickers with the ScanNCut DX (or any ScanNCut) super fast.
Making custom stickers is something almost every crafter wants to do and if you own a ScanNCut, the scanner makes doing this very, very easy. In today’s tutorial, I show step-by-step how to do it with the ScanNCut DX and you will be amazed at just how simple it is.
Please check out the video tutorial below or scroll down for instructions with photos:
What Images Do You Want to Make into Stickers?
The first step in making custom stickers is deciding what images you want to turn into stickers. With the ScanNCut, anything you can print can be made into a sticker.
Depending on the type of sticker paper you use, you can also turn stamped images into stickers as well as handwriting and drawings.
In this tutorial I am using a photo of my dog and a .PNG file (image file) of some envelope seals I have designed (FREE to download below through February 14, 20201). If you want to use images stored on your computer, then proceed to the next step to see how I put the images into a Word document to turn them into stickers.
Insert Images for Stickers Into a Word Document
To turn images stored on your computer into stickers, you need to get them into a word processing type of program where you can then print them out and scan them with your ScanNCut. I am using Microsoft Word for this but other programs like Powerpoint, Pages and more would work as well. I suggest you use the one you are most comfortable with, but hopefully these steps will give you the idea of what you need to do if you don’t use Word.
NOTE: I am using the 2016 Professional Plus version of Word. Depending on the version you are using, the instructions could vary somewhat but this should give you a good outline for adding images to a Word document.
In Word, open a new blank 8.5″ x 11″ document and go to the Insert tab on the the top tool bar. On the Insert tab, click on the Pictures icon (a small mountain) and then choose This Device from the dropdown menu.
A file directory window for your computer will open. Navigate to the location where the images you want to turn into stickers are located, select them (click the first image, hold down the Ctrl key and then click on any other images you want to use to choose multiple images) and click Open. The image or images will be placed into the document in the upper left corner. They will go behind any other images you may have already added, but we will move them in a second.
Format Inserted Images in Word
Click on the image to select it (if it’s not already) and you will see a small square appear by the upper right corner of the image; it looks like a setting sun with horizontal lines around it). Click on this square to bring up the Insert Options dropdown menu.
Click See More at the bottom of the menu. On the next menu, click on the Text Wrapping tab along the top and then choose the In Front of Text option.
Now you should be able to move the image anywhere on the page by clicking and dragging on it. Pull the image into the upper left corner (or to the left below other images), giving it enough space around it that you could add a cut border without causing the border to overlap any adjacent images.
If you need to resize the image, click and drag in (smaller) or out (larger) on any of the square handles on the corners of the image to resize it.
If you want to make multiples stickers of the same image, hold down Ctrl + C (Cmd +C on Mac) to copy it and then type Ctrl +V (Cmd + V on Mac) to paste the copy and drag it to another free area.
Repeat this step until ail desired images are inserted into the document and correctly positioned as future stickers.
Important Tips for Using Images from Your Computer
There are a couple of things you should know before using inserted images from your computer to make stickers:
Sometimes the image is too small when inserted and when you resize it, it’s blurry/pixelated.
This happens because the image is not at a high enough resolution to print clearly in a larger size. This can happen if you download an image from the Internet and the image is too small, say under about 800 x 800 pixels (sometimes less, sometimes more). Web resolution is 72 dpi (dots per inch) which is very low resolution; print resolution is 300 dpi (sometimes 600 dpi) which is a lot higher. The way around this is to only download larger (aka higher resolution) images from the Internet. My advice is that they need to be at least 800 – 1000 pixels x the same amount or higher. The higher the better if you plan to print the image.
The image is licensed like a Disney character, a corporate logo (eg Starbucks or Nike), or a cute design from an Etsy store or someone’s website.
You can use these images to make stickers but FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. That means you can make the stickers and put them on gifts, tags, cards, etc. that you are going to use yourself or give to others. But, you cannot print stickers using these kinds of images and then sell them. That is a violation of copyright law not to mention, a violation of an artist’s intellectual property rights. Please DO NOT do this. It is a large problem within the craft industry. If you don’t think it’s that big a deal, please check out this great post from an artist in the Netherlands whose craft designs were illegally used. I’ll get off my high horse now…
Matte or Glossy Sticker Paper?
You are about to print the images you want to use as stickers but should you print them on matte or glossy sticker paper? Here’s my advice on each:
Matte Sticker Paper
This can be used for printing images, stamping images on to it and hand writing or drawing on and then cutting into stickers. This is because the matte finish of the paper leaves it a porous surface and ink from stamps or pens need a porous surface to soak in to to stay as stamped/written/drawn. But, it does have a flat, matte surface which can be unappealing for some.
Glossy Sticker Paper
This can be used for any printed image. Like photo paper, the sticker paper is coated in a glossy finish that turns the paper into essentially, a non-porous surface (not entirely but close). This sticker paper is going to be difficult to stamp on or write and draw on because the glossy surface won’t allow the normal inks used for stamping or writing to soak into the paper and stay put; they will just rub off right away. You’ll need specialty inks to do this (like Staz On, Archival, Sharpies, etc.) of which some can be pricey and sometimes these inks eventually wear off the paper.
Pick the type of sticker paper that works best for your needs. I am using matte sticker paper for this tutorial (linked below).
Print Your Images to Make Stickers
Once you have the images formatted as you like them in Word, it’s time to load some sticker paper into your printer and print the images. After loading sticker paper, go to File > Print in Word to bring up the Print screen.
Click on the Printer Properties link just under the Printer drop down menu.
Every printer will have a different choices in the property box that appears but you want to make sure you are choosing High print quality rather than Standard which will be the default setting. If you are using a glossy sticker paper, I would also change the paper to Photo Paper, Glossy if you have the choice.
Once you’ve made the appropriate printer properties changes, choose Ok and then click on Print to print the images. Retrieve the page from your printer and head over to your ScanNCut machine.
Load the Mat into the ScanNCut DX
Press the printed sticker paper on to a Standard Tack Mat into whichever corner you like (I chose the stickiest area). Load the mat into the ScanNCut by hitting the Load Mat button.
Scan the Images for Stickers with the ScanNCut DX
On the main Pattern and Scan screen on you ScanNCut DX, select Scan.
On the next screen, choose Direct Cut.
On the next screen choose the image of the machine as the location to save the images.
The next screen gives you the option to change the Recognition Mode (how the scanner will recognize the images) by clicking on the wrench. I set mine to Black and White but each machine varies, so change it to Color if that is what works better for you. This is also the setting you should change if the images do not scan properly the first time through. Click on start and the machine will scan the mat.
Outline Settings to Make Stickers with the ScanNCut DX
Once the mat is scanned, the screen will bring up the initial scanned image with arrows showing on either side of the image. Drag n the arrows to select only the portion of the mat that has the images showing on it.
Click on the Preview button. The next screen shows you the scanned objects and the outlines the machine has placed around them. If the scan picked up everything, hit OK. If not, hit the back arrow and return to the Recognition Mode screen, change the Recognition Mode type and rescan. Hopefully this will allow the machine to scan every image and you will be able to now hit OK at this step.
If you want to add a white border around your stickers, click on the Outline icon on the next screen. If you don’t want a border, just choose OK and skip to the step.
The next screen will ask what outline distance you want. I normally click on the + sign and choose either .04 or .08. For this project, I choose .08.
Cut Settings to Make Stickers with the ScanNCut DX
The next screen will show the mat with the outlines on it and a large Please Select button. Click on it and choose Cut from the list.
On the next screen click on the wrench icon to set the important cut settings.
Arrow down on the next screen to get to the second screen that shows the Half Cut setting at the top. Make sure Half Cut is turned On (the On box will be blue) and then set your Half Cut Pressure setting to Auto if this is your first time cutting stickers or click on the + symbol to turn up the Half Cut Pressure according to what your machine needs. From experience, I know I need a Half Cut Pressure setting of 3.
Those are the only settings you need to change for stickers, so click on OK to return to the main Cut screen.
Do a Test Cut
Select the large Test button and a small red box will appear on the mat screen. If necessary, select it with your stylus and move it on the mat to an area that has sticker paper on it but away from the images, so you are just cutting plain sticker paper. You can also move the test cut box by clicking on the arrows icon and then moving it with the individual arrows on the next screen (sometimes easier).
Once the test cut box is positioned correctly, select Start to perform the Test Cut.
WITHOUT UNLOADING THE MAT, use a tweezers or weeding tool to remove the small test triangle that has been cut into the paper. If it removes easily and hasn’t cut through the backing paper, you are good to go with the sticker cut. If not, return to the Settings menu and increase the Half Cut Pressure by 1 and repeat the test cut, making sure to reposition the test cut box in a new place on the mat. Repeat this process, increasing the pressure by 1 each time, until the test cut can be easily removed from the sticker sheet without cutting through the backing paper.
If the test cut, cuts through the backing paper, return to teh Settings screen and decrease the Half Cut Pressure by 1 until the test cut cuts through only the top layer of the sticker paper.
Cut Out the Stickers
Once your Test Cut is successful, select the Start button on the DX screen to cut out your stickers.
My machine cut out my stickers in about two minutes, but yours may take longer if you have more images than I did.
Check the Sticker Cut
The DX screen will say “Finished Cutting”. Select OK to return to the main cut screen.
WITHOUT UNLOADING THE MAT, use a tweezers or weeding tool to check the cut of the stickers. If it is good, unload the mat. If not, hit Start on the cut screen to cut the stickers again. Repeat until the sticker cut is good.
After unloading the mat, remove the sticker paper from the mat by flipping the mat over and peeling it away from the paper, keeping the paper as flat as possible.
Congratulations, you’ve learned how to make stickers with the ScanNCut DX! Use the stickers to decorate whatever surface, items, etc. that you like. I used some of mine to decorate Valentine’s envelopes shown below.
Questions or Comments?
If you have any questions, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you soon. Want to just tell me how much you loved this tutorial? Please leave me a comment below – lol!
I would also appreciate any ideas you may have for topics to cover related to the software for Cricut (Design Space), Silhouette (Studio) or Brother (Canvas) and any suggestions you may have on projects to make with the Cricut Maker, Cricut Joy, Silhouette Cameo 4 or the Brother Scan N Cut DX. Please leave any requests you have in the comments. I appreciate you taking the time to visit and read my blog. Thanks!
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ENVELOPE SEALS DESIGN FILES in .PNG, .SVG and Silhouette Studio formats – No Longer Available