Vinyl vs Sticker Paper: Which One Should You Choose?
When it comes to making stickers, crafters are left with two options — vinyl stickers or paper stickers. But which one should you choose? Both have its major differences, in which the material is the primary factor. Let’s get straight to the point, vinyl is made of plastic-like material, while sticker paper is of course made of paper.
With that being said, plastic vinyl is more durable as compared to sticker paper. Let’s not beat around the bush and learn the difference between vinyl and sticker paper so you’ll know which one to choose.
Highly durable vinyl at TeckWrap Craft (Candy Color)
What to Know about Stickers Made of Vinyl
Adhesive craft vinyl is made of vinyl polymer and methacrylic polymer, which mimics a plastic-like material. In a nutshell, vinyl stickers are more durable, can be used for indoor or outdoor applications, waterproof, oil-proof, long-lasting, and the design options are limitless. Here’s what you need to know about vinyl stickers.
Vinyl Are Highly Durable
Since adhesive craft vinyl is made of plastic-like materials, you can expect its durability to be top-notch. Vinyl won’t tear easily, won’t fade when used outdoors, and its adhesive is expected to last longer as compared to paper stickers.
Permanent vinyl may last upto three years outdoors. But it may last for up to seven years when used indoors. That’s why advertising businesses prefer to use vinyl for outdoor signages as it lasts for years.
A paper sticker is only durable enough for indoor use and won’t last half as much compared to vinyl stickers. When it comes to durability, no question, vinyl stickers surpass paper stickers way much.
TeckWrap Craft’s Glow-in-the-dark vinyl on mugs
Vinyl is Best Used for Outdoor Applications
There are two kinds of adhesive craft vinyl — removable vinyl and permanent vinyl. Permanent vinyl is the best type of vinyl used for outdoor applications. As for paper stickers for outdoor use? It’s highly frowned upon.
With a sticker paper printed using inkjet or laser printers, you can’t expect its print to last long outdoors. With consistent exposure to rain and sunlight, vinyl is the better choice compared to sticker papers. Business establishments like malls, coffee shops or restaurants use vinyl for their outdoor signage because it adheres well and lasts longer.
Vinyl is Waterproof
Adhesive craft vinyl, especially permanent vinyl, is waterproof. Removable vinyl is water-resistant, however is not waterproof. Vinyl stickers being waterproof can be printed on mugs, tumblers and any glassware. So if you want waterproof stickers, make sure to use vinyl.
As you may know, there are paper stickers that may claim it’s waterproof, but the truth is, it’s only water-resistant. Keyword is resistant, not proof. Here’s the thing, is paper waterproof? You know the answer to that. Sticker paper tears easily when it gets wet, even just moisture.
Sticker papers can only be waterproof when it’s laminated. Additionally, the ink on paper stickers gets smudged when it gets wet, or even with minimal exposure to moisture. Just a little coffee spill can ruin a whole sticker, and you can surely relate to this.
You Can Create Large Vinyl Stickers
Another advantage of using vinyl as stickers, is you can create any size you want. Vinyl comes in rolls of 5, 10 or 82 feet long, and you can create super large stickers with that. Furthermore, in your cutting machine, you can cut it one design or one letter at a time.
Cutting and weeding one letter at a time can create one large decal. This isn’t something you can’t do with a sticker paper. As you may know, paper stickers are mostly available in A4 sizes. If you’re using a regular-sized inkjet printer or laser printer at home, A4 sticker papers is the maximum size you can print on.
Unless you're willing to invest on A3-size inkjet printers and use A3 sticker papers, which honestly is a bit costly. So if you intend to create large stickers for business signages, wall decals or if you just want to create large vinyl labels, adhesive craft vinyl is the way to go.
Large vinyl stickers using TeckWrap Craft’s Diagonal Rainbow Stripes Adhesive Craft Vinyl
Vinyl Comes in Different Designs and Patterns
Another thing you’ll love about vinyls is it comes in different designs, colors and patterns. Here at TeckWrap Craft, you’ll find a vast selection of adhesive craft vinyl. From color-changing vinyl, glitter, galaxy-themed, Christmas-themed, glow-in-the-dark and many more. You name it, we have it!
With the availability of different colors, designs and patterns of vinyl, the designs you can create are unlimited. Sure, with a glossy sticker paper, you can print any vector you want. But can it achieve the same glittery or glow-in-the-dark look a vinyl can offer? Surely not!
You Can Create Many Projects Using Vinyl
If you use vinyl to create stickers, you can personalize many projects as you like. Vinyl adheres well to almost any kind of surface. From glass, ceramic, paper, wall, acrylic, windows, and you can seal it in wood as well. Whether it be for indoor or outdoor application, you can never go wrong with vinyl stickers.
Unlike for a printable sticker paper where you can’t place it on mugs because it’ll get wet. Or you can’t create bumper stickers out of it because the ink will just fade overtime. The bottomline is, what you can create with a regular sticker paper is limited. While with vinyl, there are plenty of projects you can create.
Stickers using Holographic Glossy Rainbow Craft Vinyl at TeckWrap Craft
Working On Vinyl Is More Tedious
While vinyl is the best choice of stickers for outdoor use, large format printing, or custom-printing glasswares, there’s one downside to working with vinyl, it sure is a tedious work. As compared to working with a printable sticker paper where you just upload, print, and cut.
With vinyl, especially with multi-colored sticker designs, you have to ungroup in the software, cut, weed, work with a transfer tape, and layer. Seems like a lot of work, but hey, don’t great works of art take time?
Also, working on something tedious means you’re pouring your heart into your work, which is what every crafter is made of — the love for art.
What You Need to Know about Printable Sticker Paper
The next thing you need to learn about are sticker papers. As mentioned, sticker papers are made of, well, paper. There are two types of paper stickers — glossy finish and matte finish. It’s always important to choose and use the right sticker paper depending on the desired outcome you want.
There are also printable vinyl stickers with a transparent background, but in this blog post, we’ll focus on stickers made of paper. The use of sticker papers is pretty straight forward. All you need is a printer (laser or inkjet), and a sticker paper. If you want to create die cut stickers, you can use a cutting machine or scissors will do.
All you have to do is print the design, cut then stick it. That's simple. But here lies the question — is sticker paper the right option for you? Read further to know more about paper stickers.
Image of paper stickers from Flickr by Blake Patterson
Printing on Paper Stickers Is Faster
It’s undeniable that creating sticker papers is faster. All you have to do is print the design and cut it through the cutting machine for precision cutting. Or not, scissors will do. Printing one A4 paper, in high quality settings will take less than a minute.
Right then, you just have to let the ink settle before cutting and sticking it into a merchandise. If you want to make it waterproof, you can laminate it. The laminating process may take about 1 to 2 minutes per A4 paper. Aside from faster printing time, paper stickers are generally cheaper.
Sticker Paper Is Best Used Indoors
Sticker papers are best used indoors since they're made of paper. It can’t get wet because it will get ruined because we all know paper is made of thin sheets. It can’t be exposed outdoors because it will fade overtime. If you want to use it outdoors, it’s best to turn it into laminating stickers.
It’s advisable to use paper stickers for labels, packaging, scrapbooking or craft papers. Sticker papers are not waterproof plus its ink will get smudged. You can’t use it to custom-print mugs, tumblers or any glassware that will get wet.
Image from Wikimedia Commons by Julie Anne Workman
Vinyl vs Sticker Paper: What Do You Use?
To sum it all up, if you want long-lasting stickers and used for outdoor applications, vinyl stickers are the way to go. If you need to print stickers fast, for temporary application and indoor use, then paper stickers are your best option.
If you want to create artsy vinyl stickers, make sure to check out the adhesive vinyl collection of TeckWrap Craft. Aside from adhesive vinyl, here at TeckWrap Craft, we also have the accessories you need to create vinyl stickers. Happy crafting!