How To Remove Solid Backgrounds from Redbubble Stickers

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How To Remove Solid Backgrounds from Redbubble Stickers
Why is there a big rectangle behind your sticker design? JessicaAmber shows you how to give your art a transparent background for print-on-demand...


Quick! What’s the difference between these two stickers?
Two Redbubble stickers, one with a transparent background, one with a solid grey rectangle background

The answer is, the sticker on the left has a transparent background. The one on the right is a sticker that was probably intended to have a transparent background, but instead it has a big grey rectangle background. Rectangular stickers can look good in some cases. But in my experience,  for cartoony objects and characters, it usually looks much better to have a transparent background.

In this blog post, I’ll help you get rid of that big solid background, and turn your sticker design into a transparent one.

Blog card that says 'how to remove semi-transparent pixels from your artwork,'

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Why Isn't My Sticker Transparent?

There are two main reasons you’re sticker doesn’t look transparent on Redbubble…

  1. You didn’t turn off/erase a background layer before saving your image
  2. You saved your image in the wrong file format. Only .PNG files with transparency enabled will come out transparent.

These problems can be easily solved, but the precise steps might differ based on what image editing software you use. I’ll try to cover the most popular software packages.

Adobe Photoshop

How to Disable Background Layer

For the following tutorial, I’m going to use the mermaid artwork Kawaii Māmeido, a collaboration between myself and PopQT.

  1. Open your layered .PSD file
  2. Open the Layers panel (Press F7 in Photoshop CC, or go to Window > Layers)
The bottom layer that’s filled with colour needs to be unlocked and then hidden or deleted.
If you now see a white and grey grid behind your artwork, that’s good! That indicates the background is transparent.

How to Save as Transparent .PNG

  1. Go to File > Save As
  2. In the dropdown menu of file types, select PNG, and then click Save
Photoshop dialog box asking you to choose a file size for a saved .PNG file

Procreate App

How to Disable Background Layer

  1. Open your artwork
  2. Go to the Layers panel
  3. On the bottom layer, labelled Background colour, uncheck the checkbox to the right of it. You should then see this dark grey checkerboard background, indicating a transparent background.

If it doesn’t look that way, ensure no other layers are enabled that are covering the background.

Screenshot of Procreate, with background layer disabled

How to Save as Transparent .PNG

  1. Go to the wrench icon at the top left of the screen
  2. Click the Share tab, and then the PNG button
  3. Save the image

Mediband Paint Pro 14.0

How to Disable Background Layer

  1. Open your layered artwork
  2. Open the Layers panel (If it’s not open, go to Window > Layer)
  3. Select the bottom layer that’s filled with colour and click the white dot to the left of it to disable it.

If the layer as a lock symbol on it, you’ll need to unlock it first. Do this by clicking the square next to the word Lock, above the list of layers.

If you’ve done this right, the background will have a white and light grey grid showing.

Screenshot of MediBang Paint, with Layers panel showing, and background layer disabled

How to Save as Transparent .PNG

  1. Go to File > Save As
  2. In the dropdown list of file types, select PNG, and click Save
  3. A warning may come up, saying ‘Layers cannot be saved with this format. Do you want to proceed?’ As long as you chose Save As, not just Save, it’s ok to click Ok.
  4. Three PNG formats will appear to select from.
Dialog box from MediBang Paint, asking what type of PNG you want: transparent, 24-bit or greyscale

The three options are Transparent PNG24-bit PNG, and Greyscale PNG. Make sure you pick ​Transparent PNG.


How to Disable Background Layer

  1. Look at the Layers panel on the right side of the screen
Screenshot of Pixlr X, with Layers panel circled

The bottom layer is the background. If this has a lock symbol on it, double-click the lock to remove it.

2. Click the three dots icon on this layer

You can delete the layer by clicking the trashcan icon. Or you can hide it by setting the transparency to 0 with the slider.

How to Save as Transparent .PNG

1. Click the big blue Save button at the bottom of the screen

2. In the next screen, choose PNG as the file type.
Screenshot of Pixlr X, with the Save dialog open and PNG selected

But My Image File Doesn't Have Separate Layers!

Well, if that’s not a regular part of your art process, please do it from now on! It gives you so much more freedom when adjusting your artwork for different products and scenarios.

If your image is a high enough resolution (I try to always work at a resolution of at least 4000px), AND if the background contrasts very strongly from your artwork, you might get away with manually erasing the background, using tools like Photoshop’s Magic Eraser tool, or use a magic selection to select the area and then delete it.

Then, save as a transparent .PNG.


Your artwork should now have a transparent background and be ready for selling on Redbubble stickers, and other products. Congratulations! 

If any parts of this tutorial were unclear, or you need more help, please leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to help you out!

Peace, love and sunshine, 

Handwritten calligraphy-style signature that says 'Jessica' with a heart dotting the i

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