Make Stickers with the ScanNCut DX

Make Stickers with the ScanNCut DX

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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.

You may also want to check out my tutorial on How To Engrave with the ScanNCut

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.

Insert Tab in Word
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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.

Image Inserted in Word
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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.

Format Inserted Photo in Word
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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.

Format Image In Front of Text
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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.

Copied Image in Word
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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:

Low Resolution Sticker Example
Pixelating image example. Click to enlarge.

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.

Change Printer Properties in Word to make Stickers with the ScanNCut DX
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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.

Change to High Quality Print in Word to make Stickers with the ScanNCut DX
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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.

Load Mat into ScanNCut DX
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Scan the Images for Stickers with the ScanNCut DX

On the main Pattern and Scan screen on you ScanNCut DX, select Scan.

Scan Screen for making stickers with the ScanNCut DX
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On the next screen, choose Direct Cut.

Choose Direct Cut to make stickers with the ScanNCut DX
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On the next screen choose the image of the machine as the location to save the images.

Save Scan to Machine
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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.

Recognition Mode
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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.

Frame Image
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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.

Initial Cut Lines from Scan
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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.

Add Outline when Making Stickers with the ScanNCut DX
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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.

Choose Outline Distance
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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.

Select Cut from Menu
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On the next screen click on the wrench icon to set the important cut settings.

Change Cut Settings to Make Stickers with the ScanNCut DX
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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.

Change Half Cut Settings
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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).

Move the Test Cut
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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.

Do a Test Cut when Making Stickers with the ScanNCut DX
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Cut Out the Stickers

Once your Test Cut is successful, select the Start button on the DX screen to cut out your stickers.

Start Sticker Cut
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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.

Checking the Sticker Cut
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The Results?

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.

Remove Paper from the Mat
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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.

The Final Sticker Results
Click to enlarge

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!

Stickers Used on Envelopes
I put the stickers on some Valentine’s Day card envelopes.


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!


Supply List

The links below are compensated affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase using one of these links, I receive a small commission that adds no cost to you. This helps me run this blog and YouTube channel. I truly appreciate your support!! Please see Terms & Conditions for more details. Thanks!

ENVELOPE SEALS DESIGN FILES  in .PNG, .SVG and Silhouette Studio formats – No Longer Available

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  1. Excellent, straight-forward tutorial on exactly what I needed to know. Outstanding. Thank you

    1. elenaa3 says:

      Thanks Carey! I’m glad I could help.

  2. Susan M says:

    I loved the tutorial and was excited to try for a volunteer project I am working on. However, my jpg and png files had words in the image. When added to Word, I followed your instructions and everything moved together well. The scan appeared to work but actually saw the letters in the logos as separate cut images. It did not get “scanned” as a single entity. Any suggestions? I really wanted this to work. Thanks!

    1. elenaa3 says:

      What is probably happening is that the words need to have some kind of border around them that connects them all into one shape, like a circle, rectangle, etc. The draw back with the ScanNCut is that when it scans, it sees each piece of an image separately unless they are all connected around the outside edge with a border/line. If the image has that border/line around it, the machine should just scan that as the cut line and not the words inside it if you are using Direct Cut as the scanning option. You can add that border, if you need to, a couple of ways – add a shape behind the words in Word or hand draw a light border line with a pencil around everything you want cut as a single sticker before scanning them with the machine. Then erase the pencil line after cutting. If you are kind of advanced, you can do an outset in Inkscape too (that’s pretty complicated if you don’t know Inkscape).

      If you already have a border around everything, are you doing a Direct Cut or a Scan To Cut Data? If you do a Direct Cut, it should just scan the outside edge of the image. With Scan To Cut Data you will get 3 icons in a vertical row after the scan that give you a choice of scanning the outside only (looks like a circle and square welded together), the inside and outside (looks like a circle and square attached but with the inside parts cut out) or all the lines (looks like the circle and square drawn as overlapping shapes). You want to pick the top choice which is the outside only option so the machine won’t scan the inside words. I hope that makes sense. Good luck and let me know if those suggestions don’t work or you need clarification. Thanks!!

  3. Will you be offering the envelope designs again. I just found your page. Ordered the sticker labels. Thank you.

    1. elenaa3 says:

      Hi Cathy,
      My goal is to open a shop by March 1, 2022. Those designs will be available there and as a digital download, will be pretty inexpensive. My email subscribers will definitely get an announcement when the store opens and a coupon, so you might consider joining (info at the very top of each page). Thanks for asking!
      – Elena

  4. Thank you for this detailed tutorial. ScanNCut has quite a learning curve and you’ve helped immensely.

    1. elenaa3 says:

      Thanks so much for letting me know, Deena! I agree there is quite a learning curve so I am very, very happy to hear I have helped you. That’s why I do this. Happy Holidays! – Elena

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