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If you were born in the 90s like I was, then glittery, rainbow-colored stickers were probably a major part of your childhood. I never had a sticker album as a kid, but I remember begging my mom to buy me Lisa Frank stationery. Even then, I was hooked!
As an adult, my stationery collection only continues to grow. Thanks to my addiction, I often find myself with more stickers than I know what to do with. I am always looking for cute and unique ways to make use of my massive collection. That’s how I started my first sticker album.
In the 80s and 90s, it was popular for kids to collect stickers. They would put them on three-hole paper and stick them in a binder to admire later. Inspired by this trend, and by some vintage Mrs. Grossman’s scrapbook stickers I was gifted by my grandma, I decided to start my own modern sticker collection.
If you, like me, have a growing stash of stickers that you don’t know what to do with, but that you just love to look at, then you’ve come to the right place. Starting a sticker collection might just be the perfect way to engage your inner sticker fiend.
How to Organize Your Sticker Collection
The first thing you need to decide when starting a sticker collection is how you are going to organize it. In my opinion, it’s easier to do this before you start accumulating stickers — but it never hurts to use what you already have, if you’ve already been amassing a collection.
There are a few ways you could organize your sticker collection. Some people choose to use a binder with page protectors. The way I see it, this works best if you are planning to collect sticker flakes or leave your stickers on the sheet.
If you want to peel and stick your sticker collection (which is half the fun, if we’re being honest here), I would recommend using a six-ring binder like I do. Six-ring binders are popular in Korea. They are miniature binders — mine is A5 size — that hold six-ring paper. I bought mine on Amazon for $8 and a stack of 100 sheets of paper for $10.
So, to stick or not to stick? Personally, I stick my stickers directly on the page. But, I think it’s important to note that if you’re going to collect vintage stickers, they aren’t quite as sticky and might fall off. I learned this the hard way and decided to stick the sheets I received from my grandma in the front pocket on the inside cover of my six-ring binder.
For whole sheets, you can buy specially designed sticker albums with protectors that are perfectly sized for your sticker sheets. Or, if you’re looking for an alternative method, you could stick whole sticker sheets in an accordian folder and organize them by years, styles, brands, or anything else you like. You could even use a binder with pocket dividers to house your collection.
Ultimately, it’s up to you how you choose to organize your sticker collection — just make it sustainable, and make it personal to you.
Where to Buy Stickers for Your Collection
The next step in starting a sticker collection is actually growing your collection. Where to buy stickers for your collection depends largely on your goals as a collector:
If your goal is to collect rare and vintage finds, I recommend a few options. Firstly, Etsy is a great place to find vintage stickers. They have a vintage tag that you can use to search for brands like Mrs. Grossman’s and Sandylion. Pipsticks also sells Mrs. Grossman’s and Sandylion stickers, including vintage. Lastly, you should always check local thrift and consignment stores for interesting stationery finds. Often, you can discover hidden treasures on the cheap!
If your goal is volume, then you’re going to want to go for cheap stickers so you can easily amass a large collection. Aliexpress is a great place to buy Japanese and Korean stickers. But, if shimmery rainbow stickers are more your thing, you can buy entire books of kids’ stickers for under $5 at places like Amazon and Target. I’m also a fan of the brand Stick-O, which you can get at craft stores: they have cute animal motifs as well as foiled options for collecting.
Are you specifically a fan of vinyl stickers, and perhaps want to collect stickers related to a certain brand or fandom? Try sites like Redbubble and Etsy for stickers made by independent artists, or check out pop culture shops like Hot Topic for merchandise from your favorite fandom.
Stickers to Get You Started
Sticker books are your best friend when starting a brand-new sticker collection. This is a fast way to grow your collection, without shelling out a ton of cash. Here are some of my picks:
Remember Scratch ‘n’ Sniff? Ooly still makes those! These kawaii cat cafe scratch stickers are scented like chocolate. Get them on Amazon for $9.
Love kawaii? For $4, this book of 120 Hello Kitty stickers could be all yours. Jump start your collection today — get them on Amazon.
If you want to really throw it back to the 90s, you can get a book full of over 600 Lisa Frank stickers. Yes, they still make those! Get it on Amazon for $5.