What Material Are Bumper Stickers Made Of?

Bumper stickers are a way for many people to express their likes or opinions. They are commonplace now, found on cars throughout the world. Their origins trace back to a screen printer in Kansas City, MO, Forrest P. Gill in the 1940s. He used adhesive-backed paper and fluorescent paint. Fast forward a few decades, and things have changed. So, what material are bumper stickers made of now?

Bumper Stickers—More Applications Than Just the Bumper

Before discussing what material bumper stickers are made of, it’s important to note that the bumper isn’t the only spot for application. Now, people put them all over a car, including the trunk and rear window. After all, a bumper is only so big, and many love the idea of lots of stickers that demonstrate their passion or support.

The Materials and Process of Making Bumper Stickers

The highest quality bumper stickers are made from vinyl. In our case, we use 3M vinyl, a material that has the attributes to withstand exterior conditions. Using anything but vinyl on bumper stickers results in an end product that won’t last very long.

The material bumper stickers are made of goes beyond standard vinyl. It has multiple layers to ensure its durability.


Bumper stickers include a laminate layer. That’s where much of the protection comes from regarding the elements. They have a UV layer that’s 3.2-mil. thick. You can choose from gloss or matte. The laminate protects the sticker from fading and makes it scratch-resistant. Those characteristics are critical for bumper sticker longevity.

The Vinyl

The vinyl layer is 3.2-mil. thick and is block and bubble free. Having this feature enables the sticker to go onto surfaces smoothly. In addition, it has a permanent adhesive, so it stays stuck. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t remove the bumper sticker.

Removal with this type of vinyl is easy. In just a few seconds, you can peel the sticker off. After you do, you’ll find no remaining residue!

The vinyl is waterproof as well and won’t react to moisture like other materials will.

The Backing Liner

The next aspect of bumper sticker materials is the backing liner. It’s silicon-coated and allows for easy installation. The sticker removes smoothly from the liner and onto the bumper.


The ink is just as important as the vinyl. The ink has to stand up to the elements, as well. If it’s not ink that’s for exterior applications, the design will soon fade. We use Epson 3M UltraChrome GS3 ink. It’s a co-branded solution, especially for printing on 3M vinyl. It stays vivid and clear even after exposure to the sun and wet weather.

The Adhesive

As noted, the adhesive is permanent, but you can actually remove them without too much effort. The adhesive is also waterproof. When the stickers encounter moisture, which they will regularly, it doesn’t affect the hold of the bond. Cheaper versions can begin to peel at the edges if water gets between the sticker and the surface. The 3M vinyl has a five-year expectancy.

Can Bumper Stickers Be Made of Other Materials?

There are other options other than self-adhesive vinyl for bumper stickers. Let’s look at some of the alternatives.

PVC (Polyvinylchloride)

PVC is a plastic derivative. Typically, PVC bumper stickers are clear or translucent. That limits the design and color scheme.


Some consumers have moved from stickers on their vehicles to car magnets. A magnet adheres much differently than vinyl. It will stick to the metal parts of a car and generally have the same type of coating as vinyl. You can request these in many shapes and sizes. The drawback is that they can fall off.

Self-Cling Vinyl

Self-cling vinyl is another option. It’s specific for glass or window applications. It clings to the window, so there is no adhesive. That makes them easy to remove and reapply. In most cases, the cling adheres to the interior, as it would likely lose its cling if it were on the exterior.

What’s the Best Material for Bumper Stickers?

The material that best suits your needs will depend on application—glass versus metal. If you only want to stick these on a bumper, self-adhesive, weatherproof vinyl is the best option. If considering glass, then a cling will do.

What Type of Material Are Custom Bumper Stickers Made Of?

Custom bumper stickers describe those in which you create the design and choose the shape and size. You can order bumper stickers that say or include images of just about anything. Bumper stickers are a great promotional idea for businesses and organizations. They often represent political and social ideologies.

In most scenarios, self-adhesive vinyl will be the best material for custom bumper stickers since you can print anything on them. PVC or clings have limitations here. Vinyl is also affordable, and you can purchase them in bulk.

How to Order Custom Vinyl Bumper Stickers

Ordering your vinyl bumper stickers is easy with Stickerbeat. First, you choose your size. There are several standard ones, or you can customize them. Next, select the quantity.

After that, you’ll upload your design. Post checkout, our graphic designers receive your art. They’ll review it and create a proof sent to you electronically. You then approve it or request changes. Once you give it the okay, the printing begins. We offer free three-day shipping, so it will arrive fast.

In considering what bumpers stickers are made of, now you know your options. Start shopping with Stickerbeat today.