Sticker Production (Part Two)

BTS Jin Sticker Set

After my frustrating experience of cutting stickers with the Silhouette machine, I wasn’t expecting to make another sticker set. But then I got invited to a dinner with fellow BTS ARMY friends, and Jin will be released from the military on June 13th. It feels like the BTS members have been in the miliary for an ETERNITY. So, Jin being the first one to be done with his military obligations is a BIG DEAL. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, the men in Korea have to serve in the miliary for 18 months. There are some exceptions, and unfortunately BTS was not part of that. But that’s it in a nutshell. We are going to celebrate his discharge!! Woohoo!

Anyhow, I always bring a special gift whenever I meet up with ARMY. It’s become a fun tradition to trade photo cards, bracelets, stickers and candies with other fans. I have a small drawer of the various things I’ve gotten from other BTS ARMY. My mind started to think about making another sticker set, but there was no way I was going to use my Silhouette for that!

I decided to have them printed professionally. I found Sticker Mule and could order just a set of 10 for $34. They usually include extras, so we’re talking a dozen or so stickers. Not bad at all.

So I started on the designs. What images would I include in the sticker set? I ended up whittling it down to these items:

  • WWH (Worldwide Handsome)
  • Super Tuna (based on the iconic song)
  • Llama (a reference to BT21)
  • Game controller (because he loves video games)
  • Guitar (which he plays)
  • Purple heart (Borahae!)
  • Chef’s hat (he’s known for his cooking)
  • Jin Ramen (he ended up being a brand sponsor)
  • Makgeolli (on one of the BTS shows he learned how to make this)
  • Pink microphone (the color he uses on stage)
  • Astronaut (reference to his song)

Once I have the sticker designs ready, I uploaded to Sticker Mule to place my order. They edit the design before sending it to production. So a couple hours later they sent back the design, saying that each image had to be at least two inches wide. And there had to be a certain space between each image.

Well shoot. I had so many elements in the design, and if I made each one at least two inches wide I wouldn’t have enough space for everything. I invested so much time on the layout of the designs, I didn’t want to change it.

So I replied to Sticker Mule and asked them to cancel the order. I also suggested they put their design specs on the order page. I didn’t see the requirements (they weren’t listed). Then the sample photos show what looks to be small images close together! How misleading.

Anyhow, back to Square One. What to do? I already designed the sticker set. I consulted Google on how to make sticker sheets without a Cricut or Silhouette. I found some “sticker machines”, which looked like smaller versions of the vinyl cutters. And they only cut one sticker at a time. I needed something that would cut a sticker sheet.

Finally, I stumbled across a Youtube video, where an artist showed how to cut stickers with an xacto knife! I watched and decided to try it. Surely it can’t be worse than struggling with a vinyl cutter that won’t align with the images?

The artist recommended practicing on paper before cutting the sticker sheet. Once I did that, I went to town on my sticker sheets. Is it tedious? Yes. Can I mass produce stickers this way? No. But this feels like my best option now.

It took some trial and error with the angle of the xacto knife, and by the second sheet I had it figured out. I used my right hand as the cutter, then my left hand to turn the sheet as I cut along the image.

BTS Jin Sticker Sheet manually cut with xacto knife


That wasn’t so bad. Some cuts were crude but no big deal. Now my freebies are ready for the ARMY dinner! Please forgive my middle-age wrinkled hands 🙂


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