How to personalize Telegram’s stickers with your pictures
I started using telegram to communicate with a friend of mine. You know, one of those few people who resist Facebook, Whatsapp and every social network. One day he decided, for reasons still unknown, to install Telegram, and I immediately jumped on the bandwagon.
The true surprise came when I discovered that you could easily create your own set of stickers to use in chats with your friends. Last morning I played with this feature and I made a few stickers just to try.
The steps are quite easy to follow:
- Take a picture
- Retouch it with any photo retouching application you like
- Create stickers using Telegram
Take a picture
The first thing you need to do is take a picture of yourself. We live in the age of selfies, so I’m not going to teach you how to do that! However, I have a few tips for you:
- Use a solid color background – a white one would be great.
- Make funny faces or facial expressions that you can attach in your messages to your friends. Be humorous, don’t take it too seriously!
Retouch the picture
This might be the hardest part for those of you who have no experience with photo retouching software. You have to use a program; I use Gimp because it’s free, open source, and it’s available for Linux, Mac, and Windows. You can download it at this link.
After opening the picture with Gimp, you have to crop it using the “Scissors Select Tool" (I marked it on the picture). Click on the shape you want to crop, moving through a few centimeters each time you click, until all the little dots are placed along the border. The tool recognizes the borders automatically and it connects the dots with lines. If you’re not satisfied with the result, you can move the dots again and the tool will re-elaborate the layout.
Copy and create a new image by selecting the menu “Edit > Copy” and then “Edit > Paste As > New Image”.
The new image will appear on the screen on a transparent background. At this point, you can retouch it however you want: correcting the colors; adjusting the saturation; or applying the numerous effects that Gimp offers. I only applied grayscale; if you wish to do the same, select “Image > Mode > Grayscale”.
Once your image is ready, you have to scale it down: select “Image > Scale Image”. Make the bigger side of the image (either vertical or horizontal) 512 pixels. Click on “Scale”, then “File > Export As…” and save the image as a .png file. While you’re saving it, make sure to uncheck the “Aave background color” option.
Transfer the file on the SD Card on your smartphone.
Create stickers with Telegram
Launch Telegram, touch the menu and select “Settings”. Scroll down to the “Messages” voice and select “Stickers”. Touch the blue link “@stickers” and a chat will pop up with the “Stickers Bot.”
The Sticker Bot is a sort of automatic user: it’s not a real chat as much as it is a control terminal through which you’ll be able to create and edit a new set of stickers. In order to activate a key you have to write it down –including the “/” sign at the beginning of the key- and send it just like if it were a regular chat.
This is the list of the available keys:
- /newstickerpack – it creates a new set of stickers
- /addsticker – it adds one sticker to a set
- /delsticker – it removes a sticker from an existent set
- /cancel – it erases the previous key
- /publish – it allows publishing the set of stickers and it generates the link to install the stickers you created.
To create the stickers, follows the steps written down below and shown in the screenshots:
- Create a new set of stickers by writing and sending the key /newstickerpack;
- Choose a name for the sticker set;
- Choose the emoticon to associate to the sticker that you’re going to insert. The emoticon allows quick access to the sticker.
- Click on the button to select a photo, then choose the icon “file” – not the “photo” one – and look for the image you’ve previously retouched and saved on your smartphone.
- Repeat step 3 and 4 to insert more stickers.
- Once you’re done, select the key /publish and write down a name for the set of stickers. This name is going to be used for the creation of the installation link. You can choose a short name that is different than the one you chose in the step 2.
- Click on the link that pops up in order to install the set of stickers you just created. Share the link with your friends so that they’re able to use the new stickers as well.
You can see the stickers shown in this article by opening this link with Telegram. I’m sure you’re going to make even better and funny stickers, and I promise: your friends’ surprise in seeing them will pay off for the bit of time you spend creating them!
If you want to share your stickers, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org and send me the link. If they’re interesting, I’ll be happy to include them at the bottom of the article.
You can install Telegram for Android from TorrApk or from Google Play. If you didn’t know, Telegram has a version available for desktops as well: the steps are just the same, and they’re actually easier to follow.