This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cricut. All opinions are 100% mine.
If you’re a crafter, you’ve likely heard of Cricut’s newest machine, the Cricut Joy. It’s small but mighty, and if you follow me on Instagram, you might know that I’ve recently been spending way too much time playing with it! I had some skepticism about my personal use of the machine, which I’ll share more about below, but spoiler alert: it’s my new best crafting buddy. To show you just what the Cricut Joy is best at, I’m sharing 3 back to school Cricut Joy projects that are both quick and easy, meaning they can be made in 15 minutes or less!
I already have a Cricut Maker and Cricut Explore Air 2, which I both use regularly and love for different reasons and uses. Because I had both machines already, I thought I might not get much use out of the Joy, but boy have I been wrong!
Just like the Maker and Explore Air 2 have different strengths, the Cricut Joy comes with it’s own. While it’s size obviously limits the size of projects that can be made, it also makes it extremely easy to create wherever you are – the kitchen table, bedroom, or in my case, my sewing room floor ;). All three projects I’m sharing today were made with the Cricut app on my phone, a handful of supplies, and as I mentioned, my sewing room floor – I didn’t have to clear off my current projects from my sewing table and had three fun projects finished before I knew it!
So whether you already have a plethora of Cricut machines in your arsenal like I do, or don’t have the need or budget to invest in an Explore Air 2 or Maker, the Cricut Joy is perfect for those quick, easy, I have 15 minutes until I have to be out the door kind of projects. It makes it super easy to create DIY personalized gifts in no time!
Don’t get me wrong though, the Joy isn’t just the Maker and Explore Air 2‘s less powerful little sister. It has some unique tricks up it’s sleeve, like being able to cut without a mat (and it still can cut with a mat as well!) thanks to Smart Vinyl. And the beauty of no mat is that that leaves more room in the budget for more vinyl, right??
Another thing that makes the Cricut Joy unique is that it comes in 20′ long rolls. I’ve been dreaming how I could use it for the walls in my girls’ room, but that will have to wait for another day and a post of it’s own, because today is all about back to school. And if you’re looking for personalized DIY teacher gift ideas, I’ve got you covered in this post.
Back to today’s projects… As I mentioned, all three projects can be created in 15 minutes or less. From the DIY monogram backpack, to the personalized water bottle, to an encouraging card (which would be great for both your kids or a teacher), you’ll get a taste of a few different products you can use with the Cricut Joy and learn how to make them for yourself.
Cricut Joy Card Tutorial
First, go to the project in your Cricut app or Design Space (screenshots below are from the Cricut app). Click “Make It.”
Next, you’ll select “On Card Mat” and the correct size for your card. Click “Continue.”
Open the card and slide the back under the plastic sleeve on the mat (be sure to also take the plastic covering off the sticky side of the sleeve). Make sure the card is as far to the top of the mat as it can go, which won’t be totally aligned with the lines on the mat itself. Just be sure it’s at the top and the fold of the card is butted right up to the edge of the sleeve. Press the card front down on the sticky sleeve.
Select “Insert Card – Cardstock” as the material, and load the mat into the Cricut Joy. Click “Go.”
Once the Joy is done cutting, click “Unload” and carefully remove the card from the mat. Place the insert into each corner of the card front (in the end I decided I liked a black insert better than maroorn), and voila!
You’ve made a cute, unique DIY Cricut Joy card!
Cricut Joy Backpack Monogram Tutorial
To begin, open a new project in Design Space (I’ll be sharing screenshots of the Cricut app version). Click “Text” at the bottom, and then type your desired monogram letters. Use the “Edit” button to adjust the font and size as desired. Once you have everything as you’d like, click “Make It.”
Click on the mat number at the top left and then toggle the button to turn mirroring on as is needed with Iron-on. Select your material, place the Iron-on shiny side down on the mat, and load the mat into the machine.
Once the mat’s loaded, click “Go” and watch the Cricut Joy work it’s magic! Click “Unload” when it’s finished cutting.
Weed the negative vinyl.
Use the EasyPress Mini and recommended heat settings to fuse the iron on in place on the backpack where you’d like. The plastic wasn’t quite sticky enough to hold in place on the backpack fabric so I used a couple pieces of heat resistant tape that I often use with my Infusible Ink projects to keep it secure.
Peel the Iron-on backing and admire the cute DIY monogram backpack you made with your Cricut Joy!
Cricut Joy Personalized Water Bottle Tutorial
To begin, open a new project in Design Space (I’m using the Cricut app in the photos below). Design your image. I inserted a unicorn image that’s free with Cricut Access, and then typed Hattie’s name with the “Karley” font (my new fav!). After centering her name over the unicorn, I selected both and clicked “slice” under the “Actions” tab. Then I just deleted the extra “Hattie”‘s that the slice created until I was left with the unicorn with her name cutout.
When your image is ready, click “Make It.”
When prompted, click “Continue” and then select Smart Vinyl as the material. You’ll then be able to load the Smart Vinyl into the machine (with no mat!). Be sure to keep the vinyl side up when loading.
Start the cutting process by clicking “Go” and watch the Joy cut your design perfectly! When it’s done cutting, unload the vinyl and weed the negative vinyl from the design.
Cut a piece of transfer tape slightly larger than your design. Use the scraper to smoothly transfer it onto your vinyl design while slowly peeling the backing off.
Use the scraper to press the transfer tape onto the vinyl design. Carefully peel the vinyl backing away from the vinyl, checking that all the vinyl edges are sticking to the transfer tape.
Center your design on the water bottle and carefully press in place with the scraper, beginning from the center and working outward. Use the scraper to ensure vinyl is firmly attached to the water bottle.
Carefully peel the transfer tape from the vinyl, using the scraper again if any edges are not attaching properly.
Great job, you’ve created a custom and personalized DIY water bottle thanks to the Cricut Joy!
Now that you’ve seen how easy and fast it is to make back to school projects with the Cricut Joy, what will you create next?!