This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.
I have mentioned several times before how much I love saving money by using my local library. I wanted to make a cute DIY personalized library tote bag to carry all of the books that we check out every couple of weeks.
I was sent some amazing supplies from Cricut to make this fun project that is perfect for beginners.
I don’t consider myself to be very crafty, I wish I was! When Cricut asked me to try out their Explore Air 2 along with some other great supplies, I figured I would give it a go. I thought that if I can do a project and not completely ruin it, then you should be able to as well.
The Cricut Explore Air 2 is one of their most recent machines. I was sent the mint color (my favorite) but they come in a wide range of colors to fit your decor.
I love how simple it was to set up and that it doesn’t take up much space at all in my room. It even came with some materials so that you could do a practice project.
I love this! I was nervous about just starting right away on a project that I could easily mess up. With the practice project, it walked me through step by step on exactly what to do so that I could get comfortable using the machine.
I made this really cute card. It gave me a lot more confidence to start on my DIY personalized library tote bag.
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DIY Personalized Library Tote Bag Tutorial
I chose the to make a DIY personalized library tote bag not only because I loved the design and thought it was really cute but because it was classified as an easy project on Cricut’s Design Space.
Here are the materials you will need for this project:
- Cricut Explore Air 2
- Cricut Tool Kit (mainly the weeder and scraper)
- Glitter Iron on Vinyl
- Everyday Iron on Vinyl in Bright Teal
- Cricut EasyPress or an iron
- Cricut EasyPress Mat or a towel
- 2 Standard Grip Mats
- Blank Tote Bag
You can choose any size of tote bag or colors for your vinyl. I preferred these colors and think they look really great together. I also used the Large tote bag size.
The first thing you will want to do is to go into your Cricut Design Space and click on the project. It will tell you all of the materials you need and how long it should take to do this project, it says about 30 minutes.
Since this was my very first project, this took me about 2 hours. I was still learning my way around the machine and how to use the tools. I also made sure to watch the videos on Cricut’s website and Youtube channel when I was confused on a step.
Once you have opened the project in Design Space, simply click on each individual book title to change the text. Add your own personal favorite titles for your tote bag.
Make sure that you have the image mirrored so that it will cut correctly to be placed face down on the tote bag. Once everything is lined up and sized correctly, hit the green Make It button in the right hand corner.
It will say that your material is larger than 11.5 inches, hit OK. This is the part where I got a little confused and had to improvise.
I used two mats and overlapped the bottom edges so that they made a larger mat. I then placed the glitter vinyl with the shiny side down at the top of the first mat and rolled it down four inches over the second mat and then cut the vinyl. I’m not sure if that is the proper way to do it, but it worked! All of the words where cut correctly.
Once the first cut is finished, hit continue. It is time to do the bright teal vinyl. Cut a 12 x 6 inch piece of vinyl and place it on the Standard grip mat as shown in Design space. Place it in the Explore Air 2 and hit Start.
All of your vinyl should now be cut. Now it is time to pull back the edges of the glitter vinyl to reveal your words.
I had to peel back the glitter vinyl before I started weeding, because it was very difficult to see the cut words. Once I peeled back all of the vinyl, then it was much easier to weed the spaces in between the letters. Then peel back the teal vinyl to reveal your books.
Then cut each individual saying out so that they will be easy to place on your teal books.
Next is the fun part! Since Cricut was nice enough to send me the EasyPress 2 and EasyPress 2 mat, I used these to heat my vinyl to the tote bag. If you don’t have those, you can always just use a regular iron and thick fluffy towel.
Take the tote bag and clean it with a lint roller or tape to get rid or any dust or debris. Heat the area where you are going to be placing the images for 5 seconds.
Since I am using the EasyPress, I used the Cricut Heat Guide to find the right temperature setting and time for the material I was using. Base material is cotton canvas and Heat Transfer material is Glitter, so 270 degrees for 30 seconds.
I placed the saying in the top center of the tote bag, sticky side down. Then heated the vinyl for 30 seconds. Let it cool for a little bit but peel back the vinyl while it is still warm.
Start at a corner and slowly peel back. If the vinyl isn’t adhering to the tote bag, add more heat until it does.
I changed my heat setting for the teal vinyl to 340 degrees according to the Heat Guide and then placed the teal vinyl right under the glitter vinyl and heated for 30 seconds. Let cool until warm and then peel back the adhesive.
Then change your heat setting back to 270 degrees to layer on the book titles. Do the same thing you did to put on the first glitter vinyl.
Once all of the book titles are on, you are finished. Check out your beautiful new DIY personalized library tote bag!
This makes a perfect gift for a book lover like myself.
I can’t believe that I actually made this! It turned out so well and I now have the confidence to do even more fun craft projects with my Cricut Explore Air 2.
I will be going more in depth on the Cricut EasyPress in my next post when I make some fun coasters with Infusible Ink.
It really was easy to use and I do recommend checking out their website for even more fun project ideas, especially if you are a beginner like me.
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