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Let me tell you about one of my biggest flaws as a human being.
I have this ridiculous need to be original all the time. Can any fellow INTPs/Enneagram 5s relate? 🙋
On the surface being original sounds like a good thing. But really the need comes from a desire to be *unique* and *special* and *cool* and *likeable*.. and.. *worthy of love*?.. Hah! Never mind, we’re not going that deep. This is a graphic design blog. 😅
But seriously. I find it to be one of my most obnoxious qualities. Mostly because it makes things so much harder than they should ever be! 😠
Anyway, originality is my motivation for many things in life, and I don’t think I’d be a designer at all if I didn’t feel that on some deeper level. But for today’s blog post- it explains why I need to know how to create my own stickers for Instagram.
You do, too? Great! You’re in the right place.
Nothing screams original like custom stickers *that no one else will have* on your Instagram stories. #amiright!?
So here’s the deal. I’m going to show you two ways to create your own stickers for Instagram today. You can use:
- Adobe Illustrator – Free Trial available, Student Discounts, most powerful, and my favorite.
- Procreate – $10 for iPad, but you need an Apple Pencil for best results.
No matter which one of these softwares you use, the superpower here is the ability to convert an image to a .PNG file.
PNG stands for portable network graphic, but you don’t really need a dissertation on file types. PNG is convenient simply because it doesn’t have a background.
Have you ever tried to copy/paste a graphic you found online only to discover a horrifying black or white bounding box? That’s because you most likely tried to paste a JPEG, my friend. But no worries – after today you’ll never make that rookie mistake again.
1. Make Instagram Stickers in Adobe Illustrator
Just to quickly reiterate: Adobe Illustrator isn’t free, but it’s easily the most powerful software on this list, and well worth learning if you have any interest in a career in graphic design and/or creating digital art.
In fact, I have an entire FREE Illustrator Course for Beginners if you want to learn it.
In this example, I’m using some hand-lettered artwork I created in Illustrator to demonstrate. You can actually grab this file as part of a larger set of Free Hand-Lettered Graphics by signing up for my Free Resource Library.
Step 1 – Create Your Sticker Art in Illustrator
I used a tablet to hand-letter the word “thankful” in Illustrator, and then I applied a leopard-pattern to make it more unique.
Step 2 – Export Your Artwork as .PNG
In order to save your artwork as a .PNG file with a transparent background in Illustrator, you must go to File > Export > Export As. Then choose PNG from the Format drop-down menu. Save your file somewhere you can navigate back to.
Bonus: For more control over the final quality/file size, you can choose File > Export > Save for Web (Legacy)…
Step 3 – Send Your New Sticker to Your Phone
If you have all Apple products, you’ll definitely want to use handy-dandy Airdrop to send the new .PNG file from your computer to your phone. Since I don’t have an Android, I have no idea if there is an equivalent option for non-iPhone users.
BUT – here’s my old-fashioned method: e-mail the file to yourself and then open the email on your phone to download the attachment/save to your Photos!
Step 4 – Copy & Paste the Sticker to Instagram
Now that the sticker is in your phone Photos, open up Instagram and make your new story. Once you’ve done that, navigate back to your Photos and copy your new sticker. All that’s left to do is paste it to Instagram!
Instagram knows what we’re up to here. It will automatically suggest the picture for you to paste. But if you somehow screw it up, don’t worry. You can also paste the image by adding text on top of your image and selecting “Paste”.
2. Make Instagram Stickers in Procreate
Procreate is an app created specifically to work with iPad/Apple Pencil, and it can be yours for the one time fee of $10. I think that’s a worthy investment, and it’s a staple for hand-letterers who want to make digital art.
And best of all, we can easily export our Procreate art as a .PNG file.
Step 1 – Create your Custom Sticker in Procreate
Go ahead and create some custom artwork in Procreate. I made a Slytherin crest because.. obviously I need one.
Step 2 – Export your Sticker to PNG
The most critical step with Procreate is to make sure you turn the Background Layer OFF before Exporting as a PNG.
Step 3 – Send the Sticker to your Phone
Apple just makes sharing files between devices so easy. Whatever I save to my iPad automatically gets saved to Photos on my iPhone because of the Cloud, but there are many sharing options to get the job done.
Remember: my old-fashioned method is to email it to yourself and open it on your phone, then save to your photo library.
Step 4 – Copy & Paste the Sticker to Instagram
The last step is to copy the file and paste it into Instagram. This time I’m showing the version of copy/pasting through text.
And there you have it – custom stickers for Instagram. Let me know if you give this a try, and tag me @makerlex on Instagram so I can see!
Also feel free to pin this image so you can come back to this tutorial later, or share it with friends (which I would totally appreciate!)
If you need some ideas for what to create as your custom Instagram sticker, why not check out one of my Illustrator Tutorials?
- Heart in Illustrator
- Chevron in Illustrator
- Zig Zag in Illustrator
- Watermelon in Illustrator
- Wavy Psychedelic Text in Illustrator