How to Make Decals: The Complete Guide to Make Your Own Decals

Making your own decals is a great way to add a bit of personality to your decor and the items you use every day, from your phone or computer to your car. In making your decals, however, there are several vital things you need to take into consideration--and the right software is an important start.

What is a Decal?

A decal is a large sticker, usually vinyl, placed on any solid, flat object. Often, decals are used to showcase an individual's specific style or hobbies or highlight the things they enjoy. In other cases, a decal can be used to identify a particular object's owner or to show off loyalty to a specific company. Some companies choose to produce decals to help customers show their loyalty. Other companies might create unique decals to draw attention to their brand. Whatever their purpose, well-designed decals can help catch the eye, show off a specific affiliation, and show your unique style.

How to Make a Decal

Ready to start making decals? Follow these steps.

1. Make sure you have the right equipment.

If you are producing just one or two decals, you might want to use standard image editing software and a regular printer with heavy vinyl. On the other hand, if you're planning to make multiple decals or produce them commercially, you might want decal-specific image software and a machine designed to produce images specifically for decals.

2. Create your design.

In some cases, you may want to hand-draw your design. However, most of the time, you will create your decal on image editing software or drawing software. You may choose to work from a preset design or create your own from scratch, depending on what you're trying to create. Make sure you consider all the decal elements carefully, from the font you choose for your design to the background. If you're using text or line drawings, you may want to make sure that it stands out. Remember that some of your colors may look different in print than they do on the screen.

3. Edit.

Take a look at your decal from a distance and close up. Make sure it has the high-quality resolution you need, based on where you plan to view your decal.

4. Print.

Print out a prototype of your design. If you have a large design, you may want to print it out on plain paper first to check it for any problems or inconsistencies and then make adjustments as needed. If you're planning to produce multiple copies of your decal, print one or two first to be sure that you like the final look of your product once it's printed on vinyl.

5. Trim, if needed.

If you're using a standard printer for your decals, you may need to trim your decals down to size or trim them into the shape you want. Many traditional printers cannot handle oddly-shaped paper, so you may need to start with a rectangular background. On the other hand, if you're using a specific vinyl printer, you may be able to produce your desired shapes more easily.

6. Apply.

Take a look at your decal on your preferred surface and make sure that it still looks like you intended. Then, apply it and enjoy!


Creating stunning decals is a great way to add a pop of personality to all of your creations. Using the right software, you can create those decals precisely as you imagine, allowing your creativity to shine through. Check out CorelDRAW to learn more about the software options we have available for producing stunning decals.

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