I am all about Harry Potter projects in July. I love celebrating the hero of my favorite book series around his birthday by creating some fun shirts, totes and decor. Hands down the easiest way to create customized Harry Potter projects is with my Cricut. This fun machine lets me cut heat transfer (iron-on) for shirts, bags, blankets and more. It lets me cut vinyl for walls, ornaments, decor and it even lets me cut leather. A Cricut machine is an electronic die cutting machine that connects to your computer to cut designs and sayings that you create. It is incredibly easy to use, even my non-tech savvy family uses a Cricut machine regularly. Today I am going to walk you through step by step how to make a simple Harry Potter tote bag with the New Cricut Design space, so you can get a feel for what a Cricut machine is and what it can do!
This darling Harry Potter library back uses one of my very favorite quotes from the entire series. It is the perfect beginning Cricut project and should come together in less than 30 minutes.
For this project you will need:
- a blank tote bag
- red glitter heat transfer
- gold glitter heat transfer
- a Cricut
When you open the new Cricut Design Space, it will look like the photo above. The top banner will be followed by projects that you have created. You can see some of my latest projects like the Soccer Shirt I just made for my daughter. Below your projects will be Make It Now Projects, a fun variety of predesigned projects that are great when you are looking for something cute and fast to make. To get started in the New Cricut Design Space, hit the plus sign on the left hand side of your projects or the green New Project button in the top right corner.
After you select New Project, a blank canvas will open up for you. The canvas is a grid, so you will be able to see exactly how big your project is. Each of the little squares is an inch. For this simple and easy project, we will being added some of our own words and using an image of books. You have a couple of choices when it comes to adding an image, you can use one of Cricut’s predesigned images most of which are available with Cricut’s subscription program or you can upload your own design. I will walk you through both, so you can use what works for you.
Select the image button on the left hand menu bar. It will bring up a screen like the one above. It will list the price of using each individual image and if the image is included in the Access subscription. If a image is included in the subscription, you will see a little green A right by the image.
In the top left corner, you will see a search bar. Use that search bar to type what you are looking for. For this project, we are looking for a book. You will see a variety of different options, find one you like, click on the image and then hit the green Insert Images button in the bottom right corner. Once you have inserted the image into your project you can resize it and move it around. Resize the image by clicking and dragging on the double arrow symbol that appears when you have the image selected.
To upload your own photo to Cricut Design space instead, hit the upload button at the bottom of the left hand menu. The following screen will pop up, hit the upload image button.
You can either drag and drop your file on the next screen or search for it on your computer by hitting the browse button.
Once you have selected your image, it will pop up in the box on the left hand part of your screen. Select what kind of image it is, a simple image is a image with high contrast colors and a transparent or blank background. A moderately complex image is one with simple details and color. A complex image is one with lost of details and low contrast. For instance the lighting bolt below is a simple image because of the white background and the dark, simple lines.
The next screen will pop up, wanting your to erase any parts of your image that you don’t want in the final product. This is when you erase backgrounds and other objects. There are a couple of ways to do this. You can do it the magic wand (it looks like a plus sign on your screen) will try and select the parts you want selected and erased or you can use the eraser (it looks like a circle on your screen) which functions the same way the eraser tool in old school paint did.
Save your image as a cut file and then insert it into your design. Resize your books the same way you did with Cricut Images.
Add text by hitting the text button in the far left menu. A text box will pop up and you can type what you want the project to say. For this project, I typed When In, Doubt, Go To The, Library in four different text boxes so I could change the fonts on them. One of my favorite thing about Cricut Design Space is that it will pull up all of the fonts on your computer plus all of the Cricut fonts so you can take your pick of what you want to use.
Select the text box that you want to change the font on and a font box will appear at the top of the page so you can change the font.
One of my favorite features of Cricut Design Space is that when you change the colors of elements in the layers pallet, the program will assume that you want to cut those items out of a different kind of material. To change the colors of something, go over to the far right side and find the element you want to change. For text boxes, they are usually represented by the first letter in the line of text. For images, if will show a small version of the image. Click on the colored black dot and a color menu will pop up and you can change it to another color.
When your project looks the way you want it, it the Make It button in the top right corner of the screen. Hit the mirror image button on the right hand side, your project will flip on the screen and look backwards. If you are making a project using heat transfer, you always need to mirror the image. Place the iron-on shiny side down onto your Cricut mat and then load your mat into your machine, spin the dial to iron-on and hit the flashing Cricut button. For this project you will cut two different times because we are using a couple different colors of heat transfer.
Peel the heat transfer off of your mat and then weed (peel apart) the heat transfer until just your design remains on the sticky backing. Stick the iron on face down onto your bag. You will be able to see through the plastic backing so you can put your project together just the way you want it. Just make sure that none of the letters or images are touching the plastic backing of another element or it will fuse to that instead of your tote bag. Heat your iron up to the hottest setting and then iron on straight onto the plastic, making sure each element of the design gets 30 seconds of pressure and hit. Start pulling up the plastic backing and if any of the elements pull up at all, put the plastic back down and iron that area again. Peel the plastic sheet off and your tote bag is ready to go!
What kinds of things have you made with a Cricut?