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Make a Die-Cut Sticker with Adobe Illustrator

You can use this techinque to create custom-shaped stickers that are a great way to showcase your artwork. Start from scratch, or download practice files—the 60-second video shows the process, and all the steps are outlined below. 

1. Open your drawing, or use ours (sticker-art.ai).

2. Create space around your design: Choose the Selection Tool. Click and drag to select the artwork. Choose Object > Path > Offset Path.

3. Modify the offset angle: Enter an Offset value, select Joins > Round, and select the Preview option. Click on OK.

Tip: The sample uses an Offset value of 12 points, and Joins is set to Round to create a rounded corner (use Miter for pointed corners, or Bevel for squared corners). The Miter limit is set to 4. You may want to choose a higher limit for shapes with acute angles.

4. With the object selected, go to the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder); then choose Unite (the first icon in the Shape Modes section).

5. Reverse the Fill and Stroke color: If the default Fill color (in the Toolbar) is set to black and the default Stroke color is set to none (indicated by a red slash), click on the double arrow between the boxes to reverse the settings.

Tip: If the default Fill and Stroke colors are different, click once on the Fill box and click on the white icon with the red slash in the Color panel to set it to none. Then click once on the Stroke box and click on the black icon in the Color panel.

6. Move the outline to a new layer: In the Layers panel (Window > Layers), create a new layer, double-click on the layer name, and call it Cut Line. With the artwork still selected, choose Object > Arrange > Send to Current Layer.

Tip: When you're finished with your sticker design, you can send it to a printer who can print and die-cut your sticker—so you can share it as a decal, branding, or decoration.

And that’s it! For more projects and information, visit our Illustrator Tutorials page.