September 20, 2022  

How To Make Labels With Cricut – A Getting Started Guide


Curious about making labels with a Cricut? Wondering what kinds of labels are possible? Get answers to all of your Cricut label questions and learn tips and tricks to get you started creating beautiful DIY labels.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine. This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for details.

You can make so many types of projects with a Cricut, but I reach for my Cricut machine most often for making all sorts of labels. Almost every organization project I do around the house involves a Cricut because you can create custom labels that look amazing and work on just about any surface.

Today I’m breaking down everything you need to know to get started making labels with a Cricut machine. We’ll walk through the types of labels you can make, reasons to use a Cricut as a label maker, quick step-by-step instructions for the labels I make most often, and examples of the kinds of labels that are possible with Cricut.

Looking for more Cricut information? Take a look at these Cricut Basics blog posts:

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Table Of Contents

Here’s a preview of everything covered in this guide. Click the quick links below to jump to that specific section!

Cricut Labels 101

Can a Cricut be used as a label maker?

First, if you’re wondering if a Cricut can be used as a label maker, the answer is YES! Absolutely yes. I’m a bit of a labeling junkie and I make the majority of my labels with a Cricut machine.

I own a small label maker that works for quick, basic labels but it leaves a lot to be desired. Standard label makers are pretty limited by the sizes and colors of labels they can make. And they’re definitely not capable of the more intricate, cut-out designs that are possible with Cricut.

If I want a very basic label for something like adding my kid’s name to a water bottle quickly, I’ll use my label maker. But if I want fancier, custom labels then my Cricut machine is far superior.

clear-pantry-containers-with-white-labels
Pantry Labels Made With Cricut Vinyl

Reasons To Use A Cricut For Labeling

Aesthetics – You can make beautiful labels in pretty much any style, color, and design.

Design Flexibility – Customize every little detail of your label design including fonts, borders, images, sizing, and more.

Personalization – Personalize items with any name, monogram, initial, etc.

Durability – The Cricut materials and application processes typically result in a more durable, longer-lasting label than you can get with a basic label maker.

Which Cricut machine can make labels?

You can make DIY labels with any Cricut machine. The Cricut Maker, Cricut Explore, and Cricut Joy are all capable of making many types of labels.

Each machine has features that make it uniquely suited for certain labels, but in general, you can make all of the common labels with any Cricut machine. I own the Cricut Joy and Cricut Maker and use both for labeling projects!

Cricut Joy
Cricut Maker

Kinds Of Labels You Can Make With Cricut

As you’ll soon see, there are countless ways to create labels using a Cricut. Here’s a rundown of the main types of labels people use their Cricut machines for.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but I’ve covered the most common materials and application processes I see people using for organization projects. Once you have an understanding of the basic kinds of Cricut labels, you can apply these techniques to any kind of label you can dream up!

Vinyl Labels

When To Use:

Vinyl can be cut into pretty much any design and adhered to all sorts of surfaces so it’s a very common material for DIY labels and one of my very favorite ways to create labels. You’ll often see words or icons cut out of vinyl and used to label containers and other items. You’ll get the best results applying vinyl to smooth, flat surfaces like plastic, glass, and metal. You can also use it on materials like canvas and wood but it may not adhere quite as well.

Common Projects:

  • DIY Pantry Labels
  • Water Bottles
  • Soap Dispensers
  • Vases
  • Drinking Glasses
  • Wooden Signs

Supplies Needed:

To make vinyl labels on a Cricut machine, here’s what you need:

  • A Cricut Machine – You can use Cricut Maker, Cricut Explore or Cricut Joy
  • Premium Fine-Point Blade – this is the blade that comes with your machine
  • Vinyl – All types of vinyl will follow the same process including permanent vinyl, removable vinyl, glitter, foil, etc.
  • Transfer Tape – any size roll, just need a piece big enough to cover your full design
  • Standard Grip Mat – You do not need this if you’re using Smart Vinyl since that can be cut without a mat.
  • Scissors or Paper Trimmer
  • Weeding Tool
  • Scraper Tool
  • Tape Measure or Ruler

Iron-On Labels

When To Use:

Iron-on vinyl (also called heat transfer vinyl or HTV) is typically used to add labels and other designs to fabric. It can be used to make words or shapes for labels just like you can create with vinyl, the difference is in the application process–iron-on is applied to a surface with heat. Keep in mind that iron-on labels are meant to be permanent. You can apply heat and peel it up but it will typically leave a messy residue behind, so know that iron-on labels are not easy to change.

Common Projects:

  • Fabric Bins
  • Tote Bags
  • Makeup Bags
  • Clothing
  • Backpacks
  • Towels
  • Napkins/Placemats
  • Canvas Bags/Pouches

Supplies Needed:

Here are the supplies you’ll need to make iron-on labels with a Cricut:

Labels Made With Cricut Pens + Paper/Cardstock/Smart Label Materials

When To Use:

Complex designs, intricate shapes, and tiny fonts are some of the reasons you might choose these kinds of labels. It’s also a matter of aesthetics and what type of label makes the most sense for your project. For this type of label, you’ll use Cricut pens or markers to draw words or illustrations and then cut out the label shape. Cricut pens cannot color in shapes like if you were coloring with a marker freehand, but they can create the look of handwritten labels and draw things like borders and flourishes. This is generally a much faster process to create these than it would be to cut out each individual letter from vinyl and apply them with transfer tape.

Common Projects:

  • Spice Jars
  • Bookplate Labels
  • Gift Tags
  • Kitchen Pantry Labels
  • Paper Labels
  • File Folder Labels

Supplies Needed:

  • A Cricut Machine – You can use Cricut Maker, Cricut Explore or a Cricut Joy machine
  • Premium Fine-Point Blade – This is the blade that comes with your machine
  • Cricut Paper, Smart Label Writable Vinyl, and any other material that can be written on with pens and cut with your Cricut
  • Cricut Pens – Any color and weight of pens and markers will work, just double check that you have pens that are compatible with your Cricut machine because Cricut Joy uses a different size then the Maker and Explore do
  • Standard Grip Mat – You do not need this if you’re using one of Cricut’s Smart Materials since these can be cut without a mat
  • Scissors or Paper Trimmer
  • Weeding Tool
  • Scraper Tool
  • Tape Measure or Ruler

Print Then Cut Labels

When To Use:

Many colors, intricate details, delicate fonts, and complicated designs are great candidates for the Cricut Print Then Cut feature. This technique means you’ll print the label design using your home printer and then cut out the label shape with your Cricut. Because you’re using a printer, you can achieve very detailed and multi-colored labels that would be either impossible or incredibly tedious to create with vinyl.

Your printer can print any color you’d like so there’s no need to purchase a roll of vinyl in each color. You’ll also get crisper, clear words and designs with your printer then you’d get using Cricut pens or markers. If you’re making multiple labels, you can create really nice labels fairly quickly with this method as opposed to cutting out vinyl lettering or using Cricut pens.

Common Projects:

  • Colorful picture labels for toys
  • Paper/cardstock labels with fancy details (script fonts, flourishes, detailed borders) that you can slide into the label holder of shoe boxes and similar storage boxes
  • Text-heavy labels for spice jars and pantry containers
  • Any kind of project where you want a full-color label that looks like a sticker

Supplies Needed:

  • Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore (Cricut Joy does not have the Print Then Cut capability)
  • Premium Fine-Point Blade – This is the blade that comes with your machine
  • Printable Material – anything your home printer can handle will work including basic paper, cardstock, photo paper, sticker paper, printable vinyl, etc.
  • Home Printer – any laser printer or inkjet printer capable of handling your material
  • Weeding Tool
  • Scraper Tool
  • Tape Measure or Ruler

Designing Cricut Labeling Projects

One of the main reasons I love using my Cricut as a label maker is because I have complete flexibility over the design. That said, there are a few different ways to create your label designs ranging from pre-designed templates to designing your own labels from scratch.

You’ll design your labels using Cricut Design Space or the Cricut Joy app. The Cricut Joy app was created to make projects extremely easy and fast. There are several pre-made label templates in the app so you can quickly choose the style you like, make a few customizations, and you’re all set. This makes the whole process fast and beginner-friendly.

I typically prefer designing labels in Cricut Design Space because the software gives you total control over your design. You can choose a ready-to-make design from the large project library and modify it or you can start a new design from scratch.

Cricut Design Space has a large assortment of fonts, shapes, and images available to use in your projects. Many of these are free for anyone to use, but you can get access to an even larger library of fonts and images with a Cricut Access subscription. It is also possible to import an svg file or upload an image.

How To Make Vinyl Labels With Cricut

Okay, now that we’ve run through the basics of creating labels with Cricut, let’s dive into a quick label project tutorial so you can see how these labels are actually made!

Today I’m going to show you how I make simple labels with vinyl. These are my very favorite type of labels and what I make most often for my home organization projects.

These are pretty straightforward to create which makes them an awesome first project if you’re new to Cricut!

DIY Cleaning Bottle Labels With Cricut Vinyl

DIY Cleaning Bottle Labels With Cricut Vinyl

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Beginner

Learn how to make pretty vinyl labels for your home organization projects with a Cricut machine. These are my favorite kinds of labels for clear storage containers, glass jars, and cleaning spray bottles.

Materials

Tools

Instructions

Step 1: Determine The Size Of The Labels

The first thing you'll want to do is use a measuring tape or ruler to determine what size you'd like your label. Labels are often wider than they are tall, so for most labeling projects I pay attention to the maximum width I'd want the label to be. Then, if you're creating a set of multiple labels with different lengths of words, you can make your longest label that maximum size and use that font size for the shorter labels so they are consistent.

Step 2: Design Your Labels

Open the Design Space app and either choose a pre-made label design from the project library or design a new label from scratch. If you're using a cursive font for your vinyl label, make sure you use the text tool to adjust the letter spacing and then weld the letters together before cutting so your Cricut cuts the word as one piece instead of each letter individually. Before cutting, attach all of the label elements together.


Step 3: Cut Out Labels With Your Cricut

Click "make it" and your Cricut will walk you through a few settings for your material type, mat or no mat, etc. If you are using Smart Vinyl, you do not need a cutting mat and can load the vinyl roll directly into your Cricut. If your vinyl does not say "Smart" on the package, then you'll need to put your piece of vinyl on a cutting mat. Following the on-screen prompts, load your vinyl into the machine and let your Cricut cut away!

Step 4: Weed Your Labels

The next step is to use a paper trimmer or scissors to cut apart each label. Then use your fingers and the weeding tool as needed to remove the excess vinyl so your label is all that's left on the white backing paper. I'm able to weed most labels with my fingers and use the weeding tool to get all the little pieces out of the middle of letters like the middle of B's and O's.

Step 5: Apply Transfer Tape

If you have a very simple label that's all one piece with no small details, like a circle label with a symbol cut out from the middle of it, then you may be able to skip the transfer tape and user your fingers to pull up your label like a sticker.

For most labels, you'll need transfer tape to transfer your label over to your container. To do this, cut a piece of transfer tape slightly larger than your label, peel it off the backing, and press the clear transfer tape down on top of your vinyl label. Use the scraper tool to firmly press the transfer tape onto the vinyl. You'll probably need to rub the scraper back and forth a few different directions to get it to adhere really well.

Step 6: Apply Your Labels

Now for the fun part! Carefully pull up a corner of the transfer tape and slowly lift the tape, making sure all of your letters and other labels elements are lifted up with the tape. If they remain stuck to the white backing sheet, put your transfer tape back down and rub the scraper tool over it a few more times. Then align your label on your container, stick it in place, rub the scraper over top a bit, and slowly lift up the transfer tape. You'll be left with a beautiful vinyl label adhered to your container!

Expanding Into Other Kinds Of Label Materials

If you’re just starting out with Cricut labels, I recommend getting your feet wet with vinyl labels as I showed above. Following that step-by-step process will give your gorgeous Cricut labels and is a great way to learn some basic Cricut techniques that you can use for all sorts of projects.

Once you have a good handle on the basics, you can branch out to all sorts of different materials for your labeling projects! Iron-on labels are pretty similar but introduce an additional step of using a heat press (learn more about Cricut heat presses here). And as I outlined above, a Cricut makes it possible to make several kinds of labels using various materials.


I hope this blog post was helpful and the tips I shared here get you started creating labels. There are so many labeling possibilities with Cricut which makes my organizing-loving self so happy. I can’t wait to see what you create!

Looking for more Cricut information? Take a look at these Cricut Basics blog posts:

Have a fantastic day!

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