How to Make Your Own Stickers App

The concept of online communication is evolving with each day. We have such amazing instruments to express ourselves with that weren’t even a dream ten years ago. But the most popular stuff these days is a texting stickers app where a wide range of funny or sad small pictures could be used instead of whole sentences. And the fever didn’t bypass the Apple’s iMessage – not so long ago they implemented this feature too. Are you an artist who like to draw cool little pictures? Then, it’s time to let the world know about your talents by creating stickers for apps. Below, we’ll tell you how!

Own Stickers App Now

Make Your Own Stickers App Now

You can earn money with this thing, you know? iMessage’s App Store allows you to sell your work! And all you need to start is a couple of days and a good idea for new unique application extension. No coding skills, just an Apple developer account ($99 per year), the latest installed version Xcode 8, and the prepared sketches. Are you ready? Go on, follow the next steps!

1. Drawing Your Designs

The messaging app stickers suggest fun look, vibrant colors, and transparency (no white background is allowed). To ease your task, we recommend creating your sticker pack with Adobe Illustrator. And follow these requirements:  

  1. The images shouldn't exceed 500KB.
  2. Pictures must be appropriate for kids audience.
  3. Acceptable formats are: .png, .jpeg, .gif, .apng (read the iOS Human Interface Guidelines!).
  4. Available sizes: small – 300х300 pixels, medium – 408х408 pixels, large – 618x618 pixels.
  5. Name: special characters or underscores are forbidden, and the title must reflect your main idea.

Finish your drawings, crop them properly, and save a pack in one of the supported formats – each sticker as a separate file.

Uploading Stickers to Xcode 8

2. Uploading Stickers to Xcode 8

Maybe, before you start this stage, check out Apple’s thorough video tutorial for dealing with Xcode when it comes to apps for stickers. After this, go on and set up your working environment:

  • Open up the Xcode 8 and tap to create a ‘New Project’. You’ll see a couple of templates Messages extensions. Follow the path – iOS > Application > Sticker Pack Application.
  • Next, the important step – name your creation. Then, choose your team or account in a shown menu. In the ‘organization name’ field, type in your own or your company’s name. Xcode will automatically fill the Bundle Identifier field. Save it, you’ll need an exact copy of it to set up your application ID later.
  • After it’s done, you’ll get a blue Stickers.xcstickers folder in the navigation area. Select there a Sticker Pack folder. Then, put all your image files here – select and drag them. Now, you can organize the stickers as you like them to be displayed.


3. Icon

It’s time to make various sizes of your stickers app icon for the iMessage’s App Store. Xcode kindly provides templates for this, or you can make your own designs. The sizes you might have to prepare could be: 1024×768, 74×55, 67×50, 60×45, 32×24, 29×29, 27×20 (in points).

4. iOS certificates & App ID

To distribute your sticker packs and other applications, you’ll need to set up iOS certificates – for development and distribution (they last for a year). To do this, go to your Account and tap on ‘Certificates’, then follow the next instruction.  

For development:

  • Click the ‘+’ button and choose ‘iOS App development’ option.
  • Generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) via Keychain Access.
  • Upload your CSR.
  • Make the certificate, download, and install it.

For distribution:

  • Again, the ‘+’ button, but this time pick ‘App Store and Ad Hoc’.
  • Use the same CSR that you’ve made above.
  • Create the certificate, download, and install it.

Okay, mission accomplished! Now, you’ll need an ID for your sticker application:

  • Your Account > Identifiers > App ID > The ‘+’ button.
  • Copy and paste your Bundle Identifier that was generated by Xcode.
  • Confirm the details and register.


iTunes Connect

5. iTunes Connect

If you desire to get paid for your work, you must sign into iTunes Connect and fill out all administrative details (and the credentials, if you plan to sell stuff). Then, write the application description, upload the preview icons & screenshots, and establish the price for your stickers. All your images and the info will be reviewed to confirm that everything is appropriate and working as expected.

6. Uploading to iTunes Connect and Submitting for the Store

Take some time and study the Guidelines about sticker-submissions to iTunes Connect (iTC). This is where publish, test, check analytics of your apps, and gather thousands of users around the world by putting your fun stickers app on the App Store for iMessage. After you get your first approval from iTunes, upload your creation (just don’t forget to choose ‘generic iOS device’ in Set the Active Scheme).

Also, run the application on Apple’s Simulator for iMessage app extensions to see if there are some bugs – if so, Xcode will notify you. Then, once the uploading is finished, your app will appear on your iTC account after some time. Then you can tap on ‘Upload to App Store’. There you’ll be able to check the status of your application – preparing for submission, waiting for review, etc.

7. TestFlight

High five, mate, you’re almost there! Time for a test flight – while you wait for your review, you can send out test invitations to registered users in order to gather first valuable feedback about your stickers. All you need to do is add testers' iTunes email to iTC and they'll receive an invitation to try out your app for sixty days. That’s it, good luck!


Designing an iOS stickers app is, actually, pretty easy and fun process that doesn’t require much time or coding skills. And in the end, you’ll be able to generate a nice revenue. There are endless possibilities to grow and succeed with digital stickers for iMessage! Just find yourself some inspiration for a marvelous idea, and our team we’ll help you do the rest. Have any questions? Our email address is right below!   


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