There’s something special about receiving a personalized gift, isn’t there? It always makes me feel special to know that someone took the time and effort to create something just for me, and I think that’s why I’ve always loved creating personalized gifts those those that are important to me. As the holiday season approaches, so does our gift giving lists, and today I want to help you find a way to let the special teachers in your life know just how much you appreciate them. I’m sharing this DIY Monogram Tote Bag for Teachers that I created with my Cricut Explore Air 2 and Infusible Ink, and will teach you all the details so you can get started making them for the perfect DIY teacher gift!
This post is sponsored by Cricut.
Have you jumped on the Infusible Ink train yet? You can learn more about it, and all the things I learned in my first project with it, in this DIY camp themed tshirt post. I also included a video tutorial so it’s a great start if you’re new to Infusible Ink.
When my oldest, Wyatt (now in 6th grade, gasp!) started Kindergarten, his teacher was also new to the school that year, and we were so grateful for her and all the work she put into the classroom and into Wyatt’s education.
Fast forwarding through the years, Weston and Lola were also lucky enough to be in her classroom, and now my baby, Hattie, is in her class as well! 4/4 with such a great teacher has been such a blessing, and as it will be our last year with her, I wanted to make her something special that makes her feel special and appreciated for all of her efforts. Enter today’s DIY teacher gift and this fun DIY Cricut monogram project!
I created this DIY Monogram Tote Bag design in Design Space using Cricut’s fonts and apple image, and then added the monogram cutout in the apple. Read on to learn exactly how to do it and personalize it with your own teachers’ initials!
Add in a cute mug (tutorial coming soon for this fun “best teacher ever” monogram mug!) and monogram wood coaster, or maybe even a DIY Be Kind Iron-on T-shirt, and you’ll have the perfect DIY tote bag gift for your favorite teachers.
How to Make a DIY Cricut Monogram Tote Bag
Cricut Explore Air 2 or Maker
Cricut Tote Bag
Cricut Infusible Ink – I used this amazing leopard pattern
Cricut EasyPress 2 and mat
Standard grip mat
Disposable gloves (optional, but I like to use them when handling Infusible Ink)
Get the Design Space project HERE, and I’ll walk you through the steps to add in your own DIY Cricut monogram to the design!
First open the Design Space project. Click “customize.” We’re going to make use of the weld and slice tools to allow you to replace the current initials and add in the initials of your choosing.
Click the “shapes” button on the left and move the circle created to cover part of the current initials. Copy and paste the circle again to cover the rest of the initials. Highlight the apple shape and both circles and click “weld” on the bottom right corner. You’ll see all three shapes blend into one, with just the outer apple shape now remaining.
Next, use the type tool to type the initials you’d like to use. Adjust the spacing so the letters are closer together, and slightly overlapping (if you’re not using a script font, you likely won’t need/want to do this).
Move the initials onto the apple shape, centering. Highlight the initials and apple, and click “slice” on the bottom right corner. This will separate all outlines into new shapes, leaving us an apple with the initials as a cutout.
Click and drag the initials (there will be two layers) to the right, revealing the apple with cutout. Delete the extra initials you moved to the right and your apple is ready!
Before we send the design to be cut, highlight the entire design and click “attach” on the bottom right corner. This will keep everything in place as it currently is when sent to the cutting mat. If you’d like to use different colors/materials for the “educator of tiny humans” texts, you can of course do that and in that case wouldn’t need to attach them to the apple.
Click “make” in the upper right corner to be taken to the cut screen. Click on “mirror” – if you forget to do this, the text will all be backwards in the finished tote (so don’t forget).
Next we’ll place the Infusible Ink on the mat. I always like to wear gloves when I do this, as any moisture or oils from your hands can alter the ink in your finished project. Carefully cut the package open and unroll the design you’re using. Also remove one piece of butcher paper from the roll as we’ll use that when transferring the ink to the tote bag.
Use a brayer to attach the ink transfer sheet to the mat. I like to start with the upper corners and then work down from there, being careful to not over handle the transfer sheet.
To cut Infusible Ink with a Cricut Explore Air 2, select “custom” on the dial on top of the machine. That will allow you to alter the material being cut within Design Space. Select “Infusible Ink Transfer Sheet.”
You’ll now load your mat into the machine, and then press “C” to begin cutting! Be sure to use a fine-point blade in the machine.
When the cut is done, unload the mat and carefully peel the transfer sheet from the mat and cut around the design. Use your fingers to carefully weed the negative paper. Bending the sheet slightly will pop most of the corners out for easy removal. If a letter accidentally pops off, you can gently put it back in place on the protective plastic sheet.
We’re ready to transfer our Infusible Ink and soon your DIY tote bag for teachers will be done!
Place your EasyPress mat inside the tote bag. My small mat was too small, and my large on was too big, so I folded the large mat in half and it worked great. Place white cardstock between the mat and tote bag (this will prevent any bleed through of ink onto your mat!).
Use a lint roller to roll the design area on the tote bag. Any small fibers or lint will interfere with the finished design.
Heat the EasyPress 2 to 385degrees, as instructed in the Cricut Heat Guide. Place the butcher paper (at least as large as the EasyPress plate area) on the tote, and place the EasyPress on top with light pressure to pre-heat the tote fabric for 15 seconds.
Remove the butcher paper and place the design ink side down, centered on bag. If found it helpful to make sure the cardstock was centered under the tote, and then I used the cardstock edges to help center the design.
Place the butcher paper on top of the design and place the EasyPress on top of the butcher paper for 40 seconds, using light pressure.
Remove the butcher paper and carefully peel back the Infusible Ink transfer sheet while warm. It’s so satisfying to see the ink all transferred from the sheet to the tote bag, isn’t it?!
For a gift that will make any teacher feel appreciated and loved, fill the tote with some of her favorite things – either for cozy nights at home like I did, or even school supplies that she can use in the classroom!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.