I’ve longtime been a fan of stickers. They’re fun, personal, creative, and decorative. I remember growing up and watching all my peers put their quarters in the vending machine in order to get a small plastic top, a super mega bouncy ball, or even candy. But I didn’t put my quarters in those machines; I saved mine for the sticker machine.
Most kids my age had also loved stickers, but the problem with stickers is that they’re mostly… permanent. As a result, most of the stickers we would purchase would adorn a small subset of your things:
- The dresser
- A school binder
- (And nowadays) a phone or laptop
I HATED doing this. I knew that if I put it on my binder, it would be thrown away within a year. I thought that putting it on my dresser made it look tacky, and also made it unlikely to last. As a result, I would keep my stickers unadorned and unused. I had a stack of stickers throughout most of my youth that represented my interests, but, perhaps more importantly, it represented possibility.
A stack of stickers, to me, meant that I retained the ability to adorn them on any item I found worthy (even though I chose not to). There were occasions (but only a few) where I would deem something worthy of sticker-hood, and pull that so honored sticker out of the pile to be attached (my Gameboy is the only thing that comes to mind). The rest of the unchosen masses remained in their piles, ready to be reviewed and examined atop my dresser.
As I grew older (I was a 90s kid), I started to collect more things: pogs, sports cards, and Star Wars cards, to name a few. As I recall, there were even sports cards packs that included stickers. Double win! While I do still have the vast majority of my sports and Star Wars cards, I do not have the pogs or stickers of my youth.
Fast-forward: I am now a developer in world where stickers are swag given out at conferences, trade events, or even available for purchase online! Every framework, start-up, or vague collection of thoughts has a sticker these days. As a result, I must have (most of) them. One of the most notable stickers (to me, anyway) in recent years was from NeonMob, a site to collect VIRTUAL STICKER CARDS!!! But they also send out real stickers on occasion. And there was an occasion on which I got a set of stickers from them. And I, being a person whom my younger self would be ashamed, decided to adorn said stickers on my company laptop. A company for which I no longer work. Ugh.
Since that time, I’ve vowed to never again adorn a sticker on something that I couldn’t keep indefinitely. This ruled out practically everything. But then I had an idea: What if I used a picture frame as a sort of living art piece displaying my sticker collection. There were a number of issues that arose:
- What if I didn’t like the layout of the stickers?
- What if the glass broke?
- What if I had so many stickers that they started overlapping and now I can’t see the ones behind but they can’t be moved because they’re permanently stuck to the glass in a frame that I now hate?
Velcro. Velcro was the solution.
I can now move the stickers whenever I need to, add more, rearrange, expand, contract, etc. all without wrecking the stickers, and preserving possibilities. My 8-year old self would be proud.
Do you enjoy stickers as much as I do? Sticker Mule makes some of the best stickers on the web, and you can choose from hundreds (thousands!) on their web store from designers all over the world. You’ll get $10 to spend on the site if you use my link.