Learn how to to use this small machine to make your own Cricut Joy stickers at home.
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Making stickers at home is a 2 step process, you need a way to print the designs, followed by a method to cut them out.
There are all kinds of tools to help with this process and many methods that work. I wouldn’t say there is one right way to make stickers.
Today I’m using the budget friendly and space saving Cricut Joy to make stickers. This little machine doesn’t have a built in function for this craft but I’ve found a way to make it work.
Why make stickers with a Cricut Joy?
The Joy is the smallest and most budget friendly machine in the Cricut family. It’s compact, portable and super easy to use. Check out these back to school projects with this little machine.
The machine can cut and write like its larger counterparts and with a variety of cutting mats it can create quite a few different projects.
Traditionally the Joy is best used for smaller projects, but I’ve put it to work to make large scale vinyl signs.
If you have a Cricut Joy, or are thinking of getting started with an electronic cutting machine, you know that they can be really expensive. The joy retails around $179 but is often on sale. This is a great machine to have as a crafter.
Let’s get the most for our money and learn how to make stickers with Cricut Joy.
Sticker Supplies and Tools
Making stickers is a wonderful way to show off your art. If you create graphics from scratch a sticker enables you to print, cut and display your creation. It’s also a great way to sell your art.
There are many options for purchasing digital sticker files to use for your own personal decorating, I love these from Design Bundles.
In the project demonstration below I’m using sticker graphics from Canva, you can access these with a pro subscription.
You will need a printer to print the art in color. I recently upgraded to a Canon Pixma TS6420 and love it’s capabilities. The color is long lasting and the prints are bright. I like the rear feeder for thicker materials like sticker paper or card stock. This printer also fits nicely in my craft room.
Next, you’ll need some sticker paper. I’m sharing 2 types of sticker paper in this project, a glossy waterproof version and a basic matte finish type. There are loads of options out there but I highly recommend checking out Neato labels.
Neato labels Super Glossy Waterproof Vinyl Labels comes in a pack of 25. The color shows up smooth and vibrant and it dries without smudging. Check out this apper and their other options.
The basic matte finish sticker paper from Avery is relatively inexpensive and can be ordered anywhere. These are actually full sheets of shipping labels. The color isn’t as bright but this type of paper would be ideal for a black and white sticker.
Another option is the new Cricut Waterproof sticker sets which include a laminate cover sheet that protects your stickers from water, use and UV light even more.
Finally, you need a machine to cut the stickers. A Cricut Maker or Explore can read your printed sheet and know exactly where to cut. These machines have an “eye” that reads the printed box around the stickers.
The Joy doesn’t have this capability, but there is a work around. Let’s jump into the whole process.
Note: I use Canva to create a sheet of stickers. If you design your own you can skip down to the part where I upload the sticker sheet into Cricut Design Space.
Be sure to watch the video for a detailed visual walk through of this whole process.
- Ink Jet Printer
- Cricut Joy
- Joy cutting mat
- Cricut Joy pen
- Paper trimmer
Preparing the cutting mat
- Open Cricut Design Space. On a blank canvas create a box that is 4x8 inches. Do this using the shape tool.
- Change the shape settings to draw with a pen.
- Connect your Joy and click make it.
- In the settings screen you will choose a material, this ultimately does not matter as there will not be a material on the mat. I chose cardstock as my option.
- Swap out the blade on the Joy for a pen.
- Click Go and load a mat into the Joy. I recommend using a mat you can dedicate to stickers.
- The Joy will draw a box directly onto the mat. When complete, unload and set this aside.
Designing stickers in Canva
- Open Canva and create a custom size design that measures 4x8 inches.
- Draw a 4x8 rectangle on the canvas, add a border and color the background.
- Add your stickers! These can be designs that you create or use options available with Canva Pro. Make sure there is an offset, or whitespace, around each sticker.
- When the canvas is filled with stickers, export the design as a PNG.
Creating stickers in Design Space
- Back in Design Space, upload the PNG sticker file.
- Remove the background
- Add the sticker sheet to the canvas and resize it to 4x8 inches.
- Delete the original box on the canvas.
- In the machine selection choose Maker or Maker 3, even if you don't have this machine.
- Click make it.
- You will be prompted to print the sticker sheet. Be sure to select no bleed. I like to use my printer dialogue box to tweak the settings for my Canon printer.
- For Neato Super Glossy Waterproof vinyl I choose standard print on glossy photo paper and print from the rear tray. For Avery matte finish labels I choose standard print on matte photo paper.
- Once the sheet has printed you will cancel the cut and go back to the canvas.
- Change the machine selection back to Joy.
- Click on the sticker sheet and change the setting to cut. The images will be grayed out.
- Click make it.
Cutting stickers with Cricut Joy
- Use a paper trimmer to cut the sticker sheet just inside the smaller rectangle.
- Place the sticker sheet onto the mat inside the box that was drawn on in the first step.
- Back in Cricut Design Space, you will need to create a custom material setting to achieve a kiss cut, or a sheet of stickers where each one pulls off individually.
- Browse all materials and scroll to the bottom, choose custom material
- Name it after your sticker paper. For Neato stickers I used a pressure of 80 and for Avery a pressure of 70.
- Save and select this material to cut. Then proceed with the cut.
- After the last sticker is cut, stop the process or the machine will cut the rectangle and that is just the shape you drew on the mat.
Once you practice this process a few times it becomes much easier and you will be making stickers in no time!
To conserve sticker paper, try making the box a little smaller, 4x6 works well. This will allow you to print 2 copies per sticker sheet.
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Cricut Joy stickers are possible! Once you practice this method a few times it will go quickly and you’ll be making all kinds of stickers.
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