A few weeks ago I got a (pink!) Cricut and since then I’ve been dreaming up all the things to do with one! Just for home decor, the options are endless! It’s like I opened up another way to create custom stuff for my house!!! If you don’t know what a Cricut is, it’s a home die-cutting machine that you program with a computer or phone to cut paper, felt, vinyl, fabric, and a ton of other things! I thought I would use it to make DIY Halloween Window Clings and matching sweatshirts for my son and I. The pink Cricut I got is exclusively available at Joann Fabric! It’s beautiful! Although I was excited, I was also a little timid to get started. There’s a bit of a learning curve with using the Cricut! I thought I would share my first project and what I learned along the way.
diy let’s get spooky halloween sweatshirts
First up, I wanted to work on the Halloween sweatshirts. First of all, I bought the cheapest sweatshirts I could find that were matching on Amazon. I paid $16- my sweatshirt was $6 and Don’s was $10. To design the words for the sweatshirt, I began by opening up my computer and going to design.cricut.com and selecting “New Project.” That gave me a blank canvas to work with. Exciting and scary!
step 1- find a template
Since I knew I wanted to do a sweatshirt, I looked through the templates until I found a shirt that would help me envision the size I wanted my wording to be. Hint, you can search for the item you want in the templates. Once I had the shirt template on the grid, I customized the color of it and the size at the top of the toolbar so that it would be as exact as possible.
step 2- add words
For this project, I just wanted a basic font for my “let’s get spooky” sweatshirts. I typed out my words and then changed the font to “Impact.” Hint, under fonts you can click on “system” at the top and it will show only the free fonts if you don’t want to pay for using a font. If you love a font and know you’ll use it over and over, it’s probably worth the money!
step 3- mirror the words
Now that I had the design I wanted, I clicked the “make it” button on the bottom right hand corner. This takes you to a print preview screen. Here is an important note, if you’re making a shirt or bag with iron-on vinyl, you need to mirror your image so that when it goes on the fabric, it’s facing the right side! To do this, just hit the toggle button next to mirror.
step 4- connect the computer and choose vinyl
Once it is correct, hit the continue button. This screen is where you connect your Cricut to your computer- you can do that with the included cord or over bluetooth. On the machine, move the dial to the vinyl option. Next, you need to prep your vinyl. For this project, I used Everyday Iron-on Vinyl in bright teal from the Coastal Sampler.
step 5- prep vinyl
I took the sheet of vinyl and put it on my light grip mat, with the color facing up. The mat is a little sticky to hold the vinyl on. Line it up on the grid.
step 6- cut vinyl
Next, feed it into the machine by pushing the arrow button on the Cricut. When you’re ready to print, hit the “C” button on the machine and it’ll start cutting! Once it’s all cut, use scissors to cut out the piece of vinyl with the words on it. Then take off the excess vinyl by pulling it off the plastic backing.
step 7- iron on the vinyl
For the sweatshirts, I used the Easy Press to iron on the vinyl. I used it on my dining table since it’s a steady surface. I laid down a towel (although that probably wasn’t necessary since I have the Cricut Easy Press Mat). To heat the Easy Press to the right temperature for my project, I went to Cricut’s Heat Guide where you put in information to figure out the perfect setting. Here’s what I put in: And then it gave me the perfect setting! Once my Easy Press was the correct heat, I warmed up my Easy Press Mat and then I warmed up my sweatshirt. Last, I placed my vinyl on the sweatshirt and put the Easy Press on and pressed it down firmly until the timer was completed. I repeated this process for both sweatshirts. Now that that was done, I was ready to move on to the window clings for my Little Library!
diy halloween window clings
step 1- find a template
step 2- import images
For this project, I had an image (a spider and a web) that I wanted to import and use on this project. I did the import wrong at first, so let me show you how to do it right so you can avoid the confusion I had! First up, save the image you want to use (if possible, as a png). You can buy images off of Etsy or maybe you have clip art you want to use. You could also draw something, take a picture and use that too! I got an image off of PicMonkey to use. On Cricut Design Space, go to “upload” and select “upload image” Click on “browse” and find your image.
If it’s a plain black and white clipart like mine, select the “simple” import. Next, click on anything you don’t want printed and it’ll turn into a checkerboard pattern. I only want the spider, so I clicked outside the spider and it was ready to go! Finally, select that it is imported to “save as a cut image.” It is the gray version on the right. If you select the “save as a print then cut image,” you have to print the image and then cut it and it’ll only work on 8 1/2″x 11″ paper (not the 12″x12″ vinyl). So always save as a cut image!!! Make sure to name your image so you can easily find it later. To put the images on the template, go to upload, and click on the images you just imported. P.s. if you want to use the spider and web image to make your own clings, you can download them for free as SVG files here!
step 3- print the cling
Now that I had the design I wanted, I clicked the “make it” button on the bottom right hand corner. This takes you to a print preview screen. For this project, I used Premium Vinyl that is removable in black. You could also use the window cling option too! Again, I took the sheet of vinyl and put it on my light grip mat, with the color facing up. The mat is a little sticky to hold the vinyl on. Line it up on the grid. Next, feed it into the machine by pushing the arrow button on the Cricut. When you’re ready to print, hit the “C” button on the machine and it’ll start cutting! Once it’s all cut, pull off the cling and put it on your window!
I thought it would be fun to decorate my Little Library for Halloween! I love that I can make custom clings and use them over and over again every season! When I was little, decorating for the holidays was a highlight for me. My mom bought window clings for each season and I loved putting them up. She had a special book for holding them. Maybe I’ll get one too! Don and I kind of love having matching sweatshirts! I’m thinking about doing this for Christmas too! Now that my first Cricut project is complete and I’m feeling a little more confident, what should I make next?!
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