What different stock types are used for custom stickers?


Are you looking for custom stickers or labels and are unsure what stock is best to print on?

Or are you looking to print stickers at home and wanting to know more about which stock is best for you?

Whatever the reason, we’re going to share with you the main types of materials used to print custom stickers and when you should use each of them.

Firstly, we want to say choosing the ideal stock is very important. Getting it right is the difference between enjoying years of happy sticking and looking great vs. disintegrating at the first drop of water. But no need to worry – it’s easy to make the best decision with the information in this short article. 

When we talk about label stock (also known as material), we mean the layer your design is printed on.

So let’s get stuck in!

Fundamentally, there are two main categories of material; plastic and paper. Each has its benefits and uses, and we’ll share them with you a little later.

To start with, here are the main features of each material:

Plastic material

Choose a plastic-based stock if you need the following:

  • Suitable for outdoor use
  • Durable and hard-wearing
  • Tear-resistant
  • Waterproof
  • Some plastics are flexible so that they can go on curved surfaces
  • Some can be recycled, and some are even compostable!
  • Available in many color options


Choose a paper-based stock if you need the following:

  • Low cost
  • A short-term or indoor use only – see ideas below.
  • Easily recyclable
  • Great textured finishes available
  • Most papers are not waterproof, and if they are, they tend not to be as resistant as plastic.

A mistake people make is that both papers and plastic are available in many colors, for example, metallic, holographic, and neon. However, it will be much easier to find plastic stickers in these colors. If you need a particular color, contact your supplier, and they will be able to help. For example, you can see a list of materials for stickers here with lots of information about each.

Which stock should I pick?

If the list of attributes about each material above isn’t helping you make a decision. Seeing examples of other uses of each material can give you the confidence to make the right decision.

These biodegradable paper labels used for 100% compostable custom packaging.

This matte die-cut sticker is printed on waterproof plastic and can withstand the rigors of the gym. 

Sheet labels are perfect for magazine inserts or personalizing your home products. A thick, laminated plastic material makes them perfect for multiple different uses. 

We hope you’ve enjoyed this article on the different materials used to print custom stickers and custom labels.

 If you need any more information, please comment below.

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