This article is part of my “How to Make Planner Stickers to Sell on Etsy” guide.

As previously mentioned, there are only two factors that determine the final quality of your product:  the print quality and the sticker paper.  I’ve already covered how to choose a printer to make planner stickers in my last post, so today I will be explaining the different types of sticker papers and where you can buy them.

Let’s start with some basic information.

Most printers in the US are designed to print on 8.5” x 11” paper, also known as “letter” sized paper.  United States based Etsy sellers typically buy sticker paper in this size, use their cutting machine to “kiss cut” around each sticker, and slice the pages down to their final correct dimensions.  Thus, it is important to buy sticker paper that does not have any pre-cut shapes or designs.  Likewise, sticker papers sold as single sheets sometimes have slices in the backing material designed to make peeling the stickers off the sheet easier.  You will want to make sure that the backing on your final sheets do not contain any of these slices, as they can make the final product flimsy and prone to bending.  Since sticker paper suppliers offer a wide range of products and cuts, you should always double check that you are purchasing the correct SKU before placing your order.

If you have ever purchased planner stickers from an Etsy seller, then you will know there are two main types of sticker papers:  matte and glossy.  

matte and glossy paper comparison

Matte paper is the equivalent of standard printer paper that has an adhesive backing.  This type of sticker paper is very easy to write on with almost any pen or pencil.  However, these stickers will not be as smooth or bright as stickers printed on glossy paper, especially when printing lighter colors.  Think about printing a photo on regular paper vs printing it on glossy photo paper; while the photo prints fine on the standard printer paper, it may look a little grainy and tend to be duller than had it been printed on photo paper.

Glossy paper, on the other hand, is the equivalent of photo paper with an adhesive backing.  It is shiny and has a lustrous glossy coating that definitely creates brilliant prints.  However, glossy paper can be very difficult to write on, especially if you have a laser printer.

Many Etsy sticker shops offer both matte and glossy papers due to their fundamental differences.  While some customers will only buy glossy stickers, many shop owners (including myself) have found that matte stickers are generally the more popular option among consumers.

Despite matte and glossy being the two most popular types of sticker papers, there are actually many more options available!  Some examples of less common materials include vinyl, polyester, and latex.  There are several shops that use specialty papers such as these under the term “Premium Matte” or “Satin”.  These terms are sometimes used ambiguously to refer to any material that falls between the matte and glossy spectrum.

Sticker papers are also often offered in a variety of colors, such as white, clear, colored, and metallic foiled; as well as with a variety of adhesive options, such as removable (repositionable), permanent, and aggressive.  Removable adhesives are generally preferable, as they allow users to lift stickers off the page and reposition them if desired.  However, not all types of papers are offered with removable adhesive, so it is not uncommon for shops to use papers with permanent adhesives.

With so many options available, I highly recommend that you take advantage of the free sample option that many online bulk suppliers offer.  You should always try to print, cut, and fully test any material you would like to use before you commit to purchasing a bulk quantity.  Likewise, I have found that the glossy paper that one company offers can be quite different than the glossy paper that another provides, so it may be beneficial to compare the products from several retailers and determine the brands that you like best.

Here are a few websites that sell bulk sticker papers:

If you are only looking for a small quantity of sticker paper to play around with immediately, you can usually find a few paper options in office supply stores.  The brand Avery offers high quality papers at higher prices than online bulk retailers.  Office supply stores also typically offer their own generic, low quality sticker paper for a budget price.  I would not recommend using these retail options for your long term Etsy shop, however they may be good options for experimenting with new designs, or if you are in a pinch.

There is no right or wrong paper when it comes to making stickers.  Each material has its pros and cons, so it is entirely up to you to decide what qualities you want in your final products.  Experiment, play around, and choose the best option for your Etsy shop!

I hope this article was helpful to anyone that was wondering where to buy sticker paper or curious about the different types of papers available!