Friday, July 13, 2018

New video: How to make custom decals for scale models using plain paper (not decal paper)

In my newest video I show you how to make your own custom decals using plain white printer paper - no expensive decal paper for me! It's a great technique to have up your sleeve for when you only have one or two little decals and don't want to waste an entire sheet of decal paper, or for when you want a particularly weathered looking decal.

How to make custom decals for scale models using normal paper (not decal paper)

Now I'll say up front: there is a trade-off involved. There are pros and cons.


  • Cheap - almost free!
  • Less waste if you only need a couple of decals
  • Fast and easy
  • Gives a pre-weathered effect
  • Kinda fun to experiment with


  • Not as perfect as a waterslide decal
  • Some fading, less vibrant colours
  • Method #2 will have a raised edge, so only use that when you can hide the edge of the decal/sticker

The results are not perfect like a normal waterslide decal. But it's a good trick to have up your sleeve and it might be just the thing to get you across the line some day. Plus it's just cool to know and play around with.

It does assume you are able to design your own decal and then reverse it - I recommend Photoshop, but I'm sure there are many free design programmes out there if you don't have access to Photoshop.

I also show you a second technique in the video, which is much more like producing your own thick stickers rather than fine decals. Again, there are pros and cons involved, but it's good to have in your repertoire.

Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
How to make custom decals for scale models using normal paper (not decal paper)




  1. Thanks for the video. I found an another alternative method which is cheap and easy. And use it for labels for models. I get a print out of the label or picture on a LASER printer. (I go to Officeworks with a USB memory key). About 70c. The laser paper/print is waterproof.
    Then using vallejo matt varnish on the paper and plastic card join them together. Now the plastic label can be painted and weathered as you like.

  2. That's a clever idea. Do the labels conform to the surface you apply them to? Are they very thick?