I love stickers! If you know me, sort of know me, think you know someone who knows me, or happen to walk past me on the street, chances are I’ll give you stickers. My collection numbers in the thousands and my childhood sticker books are among my most prized possessions. An envelope isn’t an envelope until it’s sealed with a glittery teddy bear and I wouldn’t even think about using a computer that isn’t covered inch-by-inch with unicorns and pegasuses (pegasi?). The day I decorate my new planner each year is, well, a very big deal. Stickers are like your most fun friend: their cheeriness is contagious. Attach them to anything – a stapler, a phone bill, a break-up letter – and feel an immediate boost of happiness. For those of you who might be new to the world of stickers, there’s much to be learned:
These are your normal, everyday stickers. The ones pictured above happen to be made by Mrs. Grossman, a very popular brand of stickers that originally came only in rolls but now can be found in regular packs as well. Classic stickers are wonderful and versatile: they come in every shape, size and color and they lie perfectly flat. This makes them ideal for decorating envelopes (less fear that they’ll fall off in transit) or tricking out your notebook. I also use them to decorate lighters as a cute gift to give along with a scented candle.
These stickers are just what they sound like: puffy! They’re awesome because they’re three-dimensional, giving them an added pop when you stick them to something. They’re also fun to touch. Much less flexible than classic stickers, these are better for decorating within your home (i.e. something you aren’t transporting a lot) or giving away to friends.
More commonly known by their brand name, Oilies, these stickers were extremely popular in the ’80s and are much harder to find now. They look like regular stickers with a special shimmery sheen until you press down on them, and the colors swirl under your finger. SO EFFING COOL. I’m not totally sure how they work – something to do with “liquid crystals in oil” – but who cares, they are beautiful and really fun to touch.
Another sticker that is exactly what it sounds like. Often but not exclusively shaped like animals, these stickers are almost as flat as classics but furry to the touch. The fuzz doesn’t last forever, so be careful if you’re using these on something like a planner that’s going to rub up against other books in your bag.
These amazing stickers were shiny and shimmery and when you turned them one way or the other, the design looked like it was moving. Sometimes the image even changed completely, from a robot to a dinosaur or a pony to a flower. The Lazer Blazer brand of holographic stickers seen above was a double whammy: all the qualities of holographic stickers PLUS, when you held it under direct light, different colors would appear. I’m not sure there’s been an invention as emotionally significant ever since.
Scratch ‘n’ Sniff
Yum! Stickers that, when scratched, smelled like whatever they looked like. The smell lasted a long time – I still have some from elementary school that can be scratched and sniffed. The biggest tragedy I can think of is to give someone a scratch-n-sniff sticker and forget to tell them about its powers. These stickers were made to be enjoyed!
Okay, so they’re not technically stickers, but I like to think of temporary tattoos as the sticker’s rebellious cousin. Unlike stickers, temporary tattoos do not last forever. You’re usually lucky if you can get them to stay on for three days without peeling or fading. But for those of us who enjoy sticking stickers to our faces and limbs, tattoos are a more durable option. You can shower and wear makeup without taking them off and you may even get mistaken for someone who has an actual tattoo, with none of the OMG-my-mom’s-gonna-kill-me regret.
The most important thing to remember about stickers is that while they are meant to be fun and cute and decorative, above all they want to be shared. Give them away freely, stick them to windows and thank-you notes and other people’s hands, and trust that there will be many more where those came from.