One of the first things I did when I got my Cricut was to go on a labeling frenzy! The pantry, toiletries, storage jars, closets… after learning how to make Cricut labels they’ve all reached a new level of organization and it looks awesome as well! I wanted to share my step by step guide on how to make vinyl Cricut labels which you can use to make your own Cricut labels!
The Project: Cricut Labels for Ikea Trofast Toy Storage Boxes
I recently set to work on redesigning the playroom and decided to make Cricut labels for the toy storage boxes. Cricut Labels work really well for toy organization: my kids love having a fixed place for their various toys, it helps us manage toy rotation and the Cricut labels are a really cute addition to the overall design of the playroom.
Here’s my step to step guide detailing how to make vinyl Cricut Labels. You can follow the same process to make labels for a range of items such as storage jars, craft supplies, and toiletries.
Step 1: Cricut Labels Essentials
- Cricut Machine: I use the Cricut Maker 2 for my projects although I’m so tempted to upgrade to the Cricut Maker 3 for future projects!
- Mat: a StandardGrip (green) mat is ideal for vinyl. A new LightGrip (blue) mat also works great.
- Vinyl: both permanent vinyl and removeable vinyl work great for this project.
- Tools: a weeding tool and a scraper from this Cricut Basic Tool Set
- Transfer tape: Cricut transfer tape to place the label
- Portable trimmer: I always have a portable trimmer to hand for Cricut projects
- Ruler or measuring tape: I used a regular ruler for this project
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Step 2: Take some measurements!
The first thing you need to do is measure the item you want to label.
Cricut Labels tip: Remember, you only want to allow for the actual space where the text will be placed – I find that visualizing how I want the Cricut label to look helps me to define where I need to measure.
Step 3: Choose a font
Next, you will need to choose a font. I usually start this process by deciding if I want a cursive or non cursive font for the project at hand.
Cursive or Non-Cursive Font
Cursive fonts: cursive fonts have a handwritten appearance and the letters are arranged so they are all touching. I love the aesthetic of a cursive font although they can be a little more time-consuming to weed as you’ll find lots of little loops!
Non-Cursive Fonts: non-cursive fonts are cut as single letters. They can be easier to read and can give a ‘cleaner’ look depending on the aesthetic you are going for.
I have a few favorite fonts I go to time and time again when I want to make Cricut Labels. You’ll likely find your own favorite fonts but, if you need some inspiration, mine are:
- Autumn in November (cursive)
- Kid Candy (non cursive)
- Grobold (non cursive)
Cricut Labels tip: I download most of my fonts from DaFont. Remember to check the usage rules on each individual font – many are free for personal use but require the purchase of a commercial license for commercial use.
Step 4: Design your Cricut Labels in Design Space
Start a new project in Design Space and save it with a relevant name. I, rather imaginatively, called mine ‘Trofast Cricut Labels’ as my Cricut labels are for the Ikea Trofast Toy Storage system we use in the kids’ playroom!
Now for the label design:
Click on the text icon and select your font: Click on text icon to start typing and then click on the Font menu and search for the font you want to use. Any fonts you have downloaded will be stored under ‘System Fonts’.
Position the letters: Design Space automatically groups the letters of the word typed in a text box. If you want to move the letters closer together you can reduce the letter space or, if you want to reposition the letters then you will need to ungroup and drag and drop each letter you want to move individually. Remember to group again if you want to make edits, move around the entire word or have the word cut as a single world rather than individual letters.
Font Size: you need to decide on a font size for your project. For these Cricut labels, I opted to cut everything in the same font size. To do this, type in the longest single word or phrase that you want to apply on a single line when you are labeling your item – for my toy storage labels I settled on Construction as the longest word I wanted to apply on a single line. Resize the word so that it fits within your project measurements and use the font size from this word as the font size for all the text.
Cricut Labels tip: I measured my maximum label size at 15cm x 4cm so I set my ‘Construction’ label at 15cm – this resulted in a font size of 58 which I used as the font size on all the other labels.
Attach: when you send a design to cut on your Cricut machine the components of the design are reordered so that the minimum amount of material is required. You’ll see it happen when you click the ‘Make it’ button and your design appears jumbled up on the mat preview. This often gives Cricut users a fright when cutting their first project! To avoid this, you will need to highlight the entire design and click ‘Attach’ – this holds the cut in the same position that you have set on Design Space.
Weld (cursive text): If you are using a cursive text you will need to highlight each word and weld – this creates a single word and removes any overlapping cut lines – only the exterior cut line will remain. Make sure the letters are touching/overlapping and that you have made all your edits prior to hitting ‘Weld’.
For this project, it’s fine to group but skip the attach instruction unless you prefer to have your labels cut in the same position you set in Design Space.
Cutting your Cricut Labels
Make it: If you are happy with your design, hit the ‘Make it’ button in Design space. You can set your vinyl size and see a preview of the cut. If everything looks good then continue.
Choose the material: Both permanent and removable vinyl work for this project. I used removable vinyl as I like to switch up the toys in the playroom and I can easily remove and replace the removable vinyl labels.
Cricut Labels tip: a LightGrip (blue) mat is recommended for vinyl. I tend to cut vinyl on a blue mat if I am starting a new blue mat. Otherwise, I pick a StandardGrip (green) mat.
How to choose between permanent and removable Vinyl
Removable vinyl: removable vinyl will hold fast to the surface and it can be easily peeled away without leaving a residue.
Permanent vinyl: the adhesive is much stronger in permanent vinyl and it cannot be peeled away as easily. It leaves a residue when removed.
Load tools and material: use your portable trimmer or scissors to cut off a piece of vinyl to fit your project (you can check the length of the vinyl on your Design Space ruler – mine was 20cm in the above example) and place it on a StandardGrip (green colored) mat. Load this into your Cricut ready to cut and check that your blade matches the blade listed in Design Space.
Hit the load/unload button: hit the up/down arrow on your Cricut Maker and then press the Cricut Go button which will be flashing. You can also hit go from Design Space.
Once the cut is finished, hit the up/down arrow on your Cricut and remove the mat.
Step 5: Applying your Cricut Labels
After peeling your vinyl from the mat it’s time to prepare the labels for application.
Weeding: the first step is to weed your text. Use your Cricut weeding tool to remove all the filler vinyl making sure to keep each letter/word in tact.
Apply transfer tape: transfer tape is a sticky tape used to transfer and apply the labels. Start by cutting a piece of transfer tape which is big enough to cover the text fully and place it over the text. Rub the scraper tool over the text and slowly peel the transfer tape from the backing paper.
Cricut Labels tip: I rub the scraper tool over the transfer tape a few times to ensure it adheres – focus on applying pressure to the text with the scraper to make it work best.
Apply the labels: place the tape in the desired position on your item to be labelled. I do some checks to ensure it is in the correct position: the checks are dependent on how you want to position your label but they might include:
- horizontal base line is straight/parallel to base of item being labelled. You might need to use a ruler for this one.
- label is in center of item both horizontally and vertically
After applying the transfer tape, rub your scraper back and forth over the text to help it adhere to the item being labeled.
Finally, peel the transfer tape away to leave the label text on your item.
Repeat the process until all the items are labelled and then sit back and admire your work!