So… You use Adobe Illustrator and Wanna make easy Die-Cut Custom Shapes for your stickers… Who doesn’t !?
This is a mini tutorial for those of you that may not be Illustrator experts – but are versed enough to be dangerous…
Below you will find the historic first Sticker Robot video tutorial!. We suggest watching the video (and subscribing to get more) and then diving into the text below, which compliments with some additional snarky explanation (but not too much…)
For this tut we will be creating a gigantic 11″ tall die cut sticker.
First things first… group all of your sticker art into one layer. This will be our target to get our die cut shaping from, so ignore background elements, etc.
You can simply select all and “Object > Group” or in the layers menu with layers highlighted select ‘Collect In New Layer’. The choice is yours.
NOTE: Moving layers with clipping masks is like crossing the streams. It would be bad. Soooooo – to avoid this, expand those layers before this step, silly.
Go over to your layers menu & select the layer with the grouped art. Drag that punk down to the ‘new layer’ icon to create a duplicate.
Take a break and stretch. Go surf the net for funny pics or play some candy crush.
Now select the duplicate layer only. Click the little circle icon to the left of the layer to make sure all is selected.
NOTE: Step 5 may not be necessary if you haven’t applied any effects (or live paint, etc) to the artwork. If ‘Expand Appearance’ is not available – skip this step and move to Step 6.
With the layer contents selected- go under ‘Objects > Expand Appearance‘. This is a ‘for good measure’ step in case you have strokes that are important to the shape.
Reselect with that little circle icon in the layer menu and go to ‘Object > Expand‘ as a secondary ‘for good measure’ step.
Now reselect again with the circle icon and locate the Pathfinder tool. (Window>Pathfinder) And use the ‘Merge‘ command.
Now with the result selected, use the pathfinder ‘Unite‘ command.
Now to get the die cut shaping you simple use the selected shape and go to ‘Object > Path > Offset Path‘ and make your offset ‘.125’(that’s the 1/8″ we need) and click OK.
NOTE: If you set the ‘joins’ to round you can avoid some of the sharp extrusions. I, however, am a rebel and forgo such simplifications to send a message to the powers that be to show they can’t control me!
Now, reselect the layer with the circle icon and Repeat Step 7 & 8.
You should now have a pretty decent die cut shape so remove the fill and stroke it with the appropriate color (which I did not) – but depending on the artwork it may need some tweaking. You can fine tune it point by point or use the pencil tool from here just to soften some areas up to your liking.
So what do you think of this mini tutorial? Something else you want to learn in a minified tutorial? Leave a comment below and we’ll make all of your dreams come true!*
*Dreams may not actually be fulfilled.
If you’ve made it this far and are ready to order some of your own custom die cut stickers based on your own work of art, click here to order now. And remember, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, there’s plenty more where this came from!