How to Make Custom Keyboard Stickers

    CRAFTS CLASSES
    TO INSPIRE CREATIVITY
    by Elizabeth Chaplin

    About the Author

    Elizabeth Chaplin has been writing professionally since 2005 and has published articles with various websites. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in illustration and works as a graphic designer. Her experience also includes crafting, interior design and photography. Chaplin also created a natural beauty business in 2011, hand-making and selling organic, cruelty-free products for hair, skin and face.

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    Add your own personal touch to your computer workstation. One way to modify your computer area is by designing custom keyboard stickers and printing them out onto vinyl sticker paper using an inkjet printer. Use fonts from your computer or hand-letter your own text using a Wacom tablet to create interesting letters, numbers and symbols to replace the factory-issued letters, numbers, and symbols already printed on your keyboard keys.

    Things You'll Need

    • Photoshop
    • Ruler
    • Wacom tablet (optional)
    • Inkjet white waterproof vinyl
    • Inkjet printer
    • Glossy over-laminate sheets (or sticky back laminate)
    • Scissors or X-acto knife

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    Setting up the stickers

    Measure the numbers, letters, symbols and command buttons on your computer keyboard using the ruler. Make a note of these measurements.

    Open a new 8 1/2-by-11 inch document in Photoshop at 300 pixels per inch.

    Change the background to the color of your keyboard using the Paint Bucket tool. You may need to experiment with colors by printing out sample swatches to compare for the closest match.

    Use ruler guides to lay out a grid on your document with about one-eighth inch gap between the squares. The grid squares should be the same size as your measurements. It is easiest to begin with the letter, number and symbol keys, since these are usually the same size.

    Choose a light gray swatch.

    Select the "Line" tool and trace along the grid to create reference outlines for cutting. Hold down the "Shift" key while tracing to make straight lines.

    Go to "View" then "Clear Guides."

    Right-click on the layer with the line shape and hit "Rasterize Layer Mask."

    Customizing the stickers

    If drawing your own characters, create your custom letters, numbers and symbols using the Wacom tablet and position them in the center of each grid square. You can also download free creative type fonts from various websites.

    Print out your custom key designs onto the vinyl sticker paper using your inkjet printer. Keep in mind that you will have to change the paper type settings on your printer. This will vary depending on what type of printer you have.

    Peel back about two inches of backing from the over-laminate and carefully stick it to the end of your sticker sheet, making sure the over-laminate is straight.

    Slowly slide the ruler along the top of the over-laminate while rolling the backing off until the vinyl sheet is completely covered. This will reduce air bubbles between the over-laminate and the vinyl sticker sheet.

    Slide the ruler over the over-laminate a few more times to remove any remaining air bubbles.

    Placing the stickers on the keyboard

    Cut out the stickers along the light gray guidelines using scissors or a ruler and X-acto knife.

    Remove the backing from each vinyl sticker and stick it onto the designated keyboard key.

    Repeat these steps for command buttons, such as the space bar, enter button and backspace button.