Making a Personalised Car Tote Bag or Cushion on the Cricut or Silhouette
I wanted to create a personalisable, customisable file – I mean it could have been people on a train, or plane or car or anything (I’m open to adding vehicles to the range, so drop me a line if you have any suggestions you’d like to see!) I really love my car (a Nissan Figaro) because it’s…well, shaped like a toy, so I thought it’d be a good shape to work with!
To make a Personalised Car Tote or Cushion on your Cricut or Silhouette you will need:
- Plain tote bag or cushion
- Black heat transfer vinyl (a sheet of approximately 11 x 9” or 28 x 23cm)
- Light blue heat transfer vinyl (though whatever colour you want the body of the car to be, will work – but you’ll need a sheet of about 11×8” or 28cmx20cm)
- Small amount of white heat transfer vinyl
- Small amount of holographic silver heat transfer vinyl
- Really tiny amount (I mean, REALLY tiny amount!) orange heat transfer vinyl
- Inkjet iron-on transfer paper for dark fabrics
Equipment Required to Make Your Customised Car:
- Cutting Machine with Fine Point Blade (we used a Cricut Maker)
- Cutting Mat
- Inkjet printer (mine is an HP Envy 4527 and it worked perfectly for this task!)
- Heat press (I use the Cricut EasyPress and mat)
- Jpg images of the people you want to be the ‘passengers’ in your car. Please note – they will ideally be pictures against a plain dark background, as we need to ‘clean them up’ in Print and Cut.
- Our cut file – available in our Etsy shop.
Preparing the Cut File for your Customised Tote Bag or Cushion Design:
- Open a New Project and click on ‘Import Images’.
- Choose the file you’ve downloaded – it’ll be ‘personalisedcar.svg’ (or whatever format your machine uses). Your canvas will show the design.
- Click on the design on the canvas and choose ‘Ungroup’ from the top of the right-hand margin (we’ve put a red square around it in the screenshot below to make it easier to find!).
- Click ‘T’ (the Text box) in the left hand margin and a text box will appear. Type your surname into the box…it will start to appear on the canvas. As a default, your font will be Cricut Sans (a free Cricut font) which I think works really well), but if you want to change the font or the style by clicking on the arrows in the Font and Style boxes at the top of the screen (again, we’ve put a red square around that to show where it is!) I changed it to Bold.
- Click on the text and move it so it is directly above the white rectangle (or car registration plate!) Using the button to the bottom-right of the text, resize the text until it is the right size. Move your text so it is at the centre of the rectangle.
- In the right-hand margin (or layers panel), you’ll see all the elements of your design. With your Shift key pressed down, click on the white rectangle and the name you typed in that layers panel. You’ll see that they are selected in grey (we’ve put a red box around them in the screengrab below to show what you should be looking for!). While you’ve got two pieces selected, you’ll see that the Slice option (which we’ve also put a red box around in our screengrab!) at the bottom of the layers panel is available as an option. Click on it:
- Click on the text on your canvas and move it away. you’ll see that your registration plate has now got outlines of your text on it!
- Click on that white text and drag it away too. Delete both of the pieces you dragged away. Congratulations! You have now personalised your car number plate! Though it looks exactly the same as earlier, it will now cut the name OUT OF the white rectangle. This means that the black layer of your car can be applied in one. (If we hadn’t sliced, we’d have had to have another black layer on top!)
- In the left-hand margin, click on Upload, and then select ‘Upload Image’ and then Browse to find the image from your computer of the person you want to be a passenger in your car! Click on ‘Complex’ and then ‘Continue’ (the green button at the bottom right). We need to delete the background, so click on that and you’ll see the background has ‘disappeared’ – or rather is just showing as a checked background. This is why it was important we had a plain-coloured background in our photo.If there are any areas remaining in your background, then click on the ‘Eraser’ icon at the top left and a small circle will appear. Click and drag this over any of the unwanted areas, and it’ll clean them up for you.
- Click on ‘Continue’ and you’ll be asked if you want to save the image as a Print and Cut image or a Cut Image. Choose ‘Print and Cut’ (the option on the left) and click ‘Continue.’ You’ll now be taking to a page showing your recently-imported images. Choose your image and click on ‘Insert Images’ (the green button at the bottom-right).
- Using the button to the bottom right of the image, resize the image til the head looks the right size in relation to the car (we also used the rotate button at the top right to change the position!)
- At this point, we found a bug in Design Space! What we tried to do was to cut the excess off the image of the man by selecting the car’s body (the green piece) and the head image…but Design Space did this to it!So we came up with a hack to work around it. We copied the green piece and the man’s head piece. We made a rectangle (clicking on the shapes icon in the left-hand margin) and positioned it to the top of the green piece. We selected both and clicked on slice. For some reason, this worked.We could now delete this spare piece and put our man’s head in the car!
- He was looking a bit lonely, so we repeated the process to give him a companion!
- Finally, using the layers panel on the right-hand side, group all of the pieces that are the same colour together. For example, with the shift key pressed down, choose all of the grey pieces in the layers panel (as shown below) and click on them one at a time until they are all selected. Then, click on Attach. Repeat for all the white pieces and the orange pieces.
Now, we’re ready to send this to the machine to be cut. Click ‘Make It!’ and the process will begin!
Cutting out the pieces for your Customised Tote Bag or Cushion Design:
- This next piece of advice is so important and NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES I do this I am guaranteed to forget it! BEFORE YOU PROCEED DO NOT FORGET TO MIRROR! Otherwise, your lettering will be reversed, your htv will have been wasted, and you will cry. Below, you can see what you’re meant to do – click on that green button next to where it says ‘Mirror.’ This’ll flip what you can see on the mock-up of the cutting mat on the right.
- This is the Print and Cut piece (as you can see by the border around the edge) and needs to be cut from the inkjet iron-on transfer paper.
- The rest of the pieces are to cut from htv vinyl – the computer will indicate
- Before you cut, check on the mat that all of the pieces are in the correct place. If not, you need to go back to step 15 above and attach them!
Assembling your Customised Tote Bag or Cushion Design:
Apply your pieces to the fabric in the following order, ironing a piece at a time:
Once you’ve got your car, peel the backing sheet (if appropriate – make sure you follow the instructions on the packet of your paper!) from your passengers (!) and put them on top of the black section of the car. Apply with your heat press or whatever you use. And here we have it – a fully customised car – put it on a tote bag, cushion, or anything you like! 😀
Want to make this yourself? Get the file from CraftAGoGoStudio, our Etsy shop.
And don’t forget to let us know how you get on making this or our other projects in the CraftAGoGo Crucial Crafting Facebook group!
This is fabulous! I am new to a Cricut and I was wondering if we could do photos and viola! You show me now! Thank you!
Janice!!! Thank you SO much for your message – I am thrilled to hear this! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can help! And congratulations on your WISE purchase…it’s so exciting isn’t it? Happy crafting!! 😀
This looks like such a fun project! I will have to purchase the file once I get more familiar with using Design Space! As I will, once I get going on your courses. Thanks. I love the detailed directions you have for this.
Hello Shirl! Aw thank you, I can’t wait! I was just going to say though…looking at your email address; have you thought about using the Cricut to cut the pieces for sewing as well? I find it amazing for cutting things out that I used to find really dull (like lining!) and it even draws seam lines! 😀 We can cover how to do that as well if you’d like.