Small-quantity vinyl cut stickers?
July 8, 2009 11:01 AM   Subscribe

I want to get a couple (or 4?) of vinyl stickers made (about 3"x3") that are white with a negative background to decorate my girlfriend's fleet of bikes. Obviously, this isn't a bulk order... Has anyone had experience with this? Any recommendations? Similar questions HAVE been asked, but i'm looking for vinyl cut stickers, not printed ones. I can only find sites that do bulk orders, or JUMBO decals.
posted by nitor to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The problem is the cost of the die to cut them, with most places charging about $100 to $300 (depending on size).

My recommendation? Buy the decals with whatever design you want (I recommend VG Kids as an awesome screen shop), then cut them yourself. Since it's only four, that will be infinitely cheaper than having a custom die made.
posted by klangklangston at 11:10 AM on July 8, 2009

Response by poster: I'm looking for something more like this. Nothing printed... I think it's vinyl. But it's not the customary printed sticker stuff -- i'm looking for something more weatherproof.

Any other suggestions for who makes these in custom orders? I might just have to look for sticker sheets and cut em out myself, but I'd like to be able to give them to her so she can put em on her stuff...

posted by nitor at 11:19 AM on July 8, 2009

Best answer: I may be making this up, but I think there's some kind of special vinyl sticker paper that shops can print that cuts out the background without needing to make a metal die.

Those stickers on people's cars where it's white and says "Bobby #34 Middle School Football Team" are made that way, once at a time. You may want to find someone on eBay that is selling something like these: stickers
and ask them if they do custom ones.
posted by andrewzipp at 11:23 AM on July 8, 2009

Ha ha there are places that do those custom stickers in the mall hear in austin, you could try that. does 2.75" x 2.75" 250 stickers for $25 postage paid. I know this gives you more than you are looking for, but if these are for business (you said fleet, is it a "business" fleet?) you could use the rest for promotion.

Or you could use the extra stickers just for fun. give them to friends. start a club.

We did that with "club boy" which was like a frat but not really we had back in the day.

Just suggestions.
posted by djduckie at 11:27 AM on July 8, 2009

here, not hear. So embarrased.
posted by djduckie at 11:27 AM on July 8, 2009

Best answer: A search for Vinyl Sticker on etsy returns many people who will do custom, low quantity work. I recently saw this seller featured on a blog. She does laptop and car decals that may be along the lines of what you're looking for.
posted by BlooPen at 11:35 AM on July 8, 2009

Contact your local sign shop. Even franchises like "Next Day Signs" can do this for you.
posted by Ostara at 11:37 AM on July 8, 2009

Cafe Press? There are examples of weatherproof stickers there, and you can create and have printed any number you want.
posted by mmw at 12:20 PM on July 8, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks all!

(btw, i wasn't just looking for weatherproof stickers-- i wanted CUT stickers not PRINTED stickers)...anyway, your suggestions have helped loads.
posted by nitor at 12:22 PM on July 8, 2009

You might try putting a request on etsy. I know there are sellers who make cut vinyl stickers on there, and one of them might be able to do a few custom stickers.
posted by dizziest at 12:26 PM on July 8, 2009

I have ordered cut stickers from sign shops in the past - they have to cut out logos and such for vehicles, banners, etc. It's never been a problem.
posted by Ostara at 1:25 PM on July 8, 2009

look for sign shops in your area, visit, ask for a quote and advice on the design, on the file format they'll need (probably vector, if you can't provide them with a vector file, they'll vectorize your input for a fee) etc. Choose your colour, give them the file, get the cut vinyl. It's a trivial thing to do with a cutting plotter.

I can't stress this general advice for the creative person enough: before running to a web service the other side of the world, look for shops in your area. Brick and mortar still works, and oftentimes it works better.
posted by _dario at 1:56 PM on July 8, 2009

Seconding Ostara. A sign shop is what you are after. Should be able to take Corel Draw or Illustrator files.
posted by bz at 3:50 PM on July 8, 2009

As _dario mentioned above, you're looking for a sign shop with a vinyl cutter, which is basically a pen plotter that uses a knife instead of a pen. Generally you can feed it a paths-only AI or EPS file and it'll cut your design out.

In most cases, these are billed by linear dimension on the roll— ie it's cheaper to lay things out to the maximum roll width if possible. Doing it locally lets you pick a colour and material from a real swatch book instead of an online approximation, and the shop will usually place the decals for free.
posted by a halcyon day at 10:30 PM on July 8, 2009

Your local trophy shop can do this with a laser engraving machine, if you're happy with a two-color sticker which is probably going to be black on gold or black on silver, unless they have other colors in stock.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:26 AM on July 9, 2009

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