How to create decals

Matchbox LabelsDo you restore old Matchbox?  If you do then you will want to add some re-created decals or labels or some newly designed ones if you are customizing the Matchbox car you dug up in the backyard for restoration.  If you have not done this before, dont panic; it is actually easier than you would think.

Before we get started though you need to make sure you have all the required tools, and they are

  1. A computer, well if you are reading this I guess you have that already so we just need to make sure you have the rest.
  2. A good colour printer, a black and white printer will work just as good but of course you want to add colour to your creation for that added realism so colour would be best, laser or inkjet is of course up to you and your budget.
  3. A decent image program, I use Photoshop but some of the other programs on the market like MGI PhotoSuite will do just as good a job; there are even some really good free programs you can use as well like Krita
  4. Probably the most important one and that is the decal paper itself, you should be able to get this from most computer stores and if like me you live in a rural area online sources are easier enough to find.

Now that you have everything, lets get started.

The first step in creating your decal is to create your design in the image editing program you have. You can get images and other such things from the internet but you should be aware of the
copyright of those images as you may get yourself into some trouble if you plan on selling the decals, so probably best to just make your own.

When you are designing your decal it is worth knowing that your computer monitor may display the colours differently to what will actually print out, so you may need to tweak the colours a bit before the final print. For all the finer points on the design process you should check the instructions that came with your image program to edit your image, add text or whatever it is you are trying to achieve on your decal.

Matchbox Greyhound decals

Matchbox Greyhound decals

Once you have finalized your design, I think its best to print it out on a plain piece of paper, just to check the colour and sizing are correct for your model. Once you have done that and you are
completely happy with your design, and then go for it, print it onto the decal paper and you are done.

And yes it really is that simple, now you can go and create decals for all of your model projects, from cars and trucks to trains and planes.

Good luck with your modelling projects.


Collector of Matchbox cars for many years

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: