First Ever Vinyl Project With Cricut: Advice or Suggestions?

I’ve made lots of paper projects with my Cricut Explore, including a few freezer paper stencils, but I have never made anything with vinyl. I am getting ready to make some small spice jar labels with self-adhesive (but not heat-set) vinyl; Oracal 651. I have my transfer tape-stuff, my vinyl, and my files. I looked at buying spice label files at a few Etsy shops, but even with 175 in the set, they didn’t have a few that I needed, so I made them. They look like this and are about 1.5" (3.8 cm) wide at the most:

I will be adhering to clear glass spice jars that fit into a spice rack. They have square bottoms so I won’t be dealing with a curve.

Mostly I’m concerned that I’m going to mess up the cutting. Any suggestions on blade, setting, mat type? I do have experience with self-adhesive stencils made by others, but of course those aren’t “permanent” adhesive and the ones I used were pretty big - up 10’ long - and pre-weeded by the maker.

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone’s help and encouragment I finally did it! With a few modificiations. The finished project is here.


I am interested in these answers also. I’ve also haven’t used vinyl in my cricut. Only paper, card stock, and Mylar sheets.


I’ve done some vinyl, and honestly found it mildly annoying. The first ever cut I did with my Silhouette was a recycling triangle symbol for our recycling can that is a regular trash can. People kept forgetting which was which and trying to throw trash in the recycling. I went with a cut file that was as clean and clear as possible. No fiddly little tiny bits to get nudged out of place. And thankfully it worked great. But I’ve had a few problems with transfer tape, and smaller fiddlyer bits on other vinyl projects. Abbeeroad made awesome custom stickers for our Asheville meetup, and whatever the combo of transfer tape and my water bottle was, it didn’t go on great. Most of the image was fine, but the head of the little person she designed stuck more to the transfer tape than the water bottle, so it was pulled & stretched out of shape a bit during the transfer. Same with the plastic canister I decorated for holding rulers in my studio. The ‘Makers Gonna Make’ text transfered fine, but the tiny stars that surrounded the letters did NOT want to stick to the canister, and wanted to stay on the transfer tape instead, so I ended up just ditching the stars since they were such a pain in the bum.

My best advice is to test one of your spice jars, and then decide if you want a less fiddly/stringy font, that might get caught on your tape, and not stick to the jars. I’m worried that things like the tail off the end of the final o in oregano will drive you nuts.


I watch videos of people who take their transfer tape off more quickly than I do. I really go slow, make sure things stick where they should. I usually have an exacto knife handy to help deal with stubborn bits coming off of transfer tape. Again, I move pretty slowly. I’ve had a lot of success with vinyl on my silhouette, following manufacturers instructions for knife settings. You don’t want to cut through the backing- it’s a real pain if you do!

I wish I lived around the corner and could come help you! :heart:


I just did a batch of vinyl transfers, actually, lol. The problem Jennie is referring to in her post above is that I accidentally used STRONG BOND transfer tape, which works more for glittery-type vinyl, but is too much for regular old run-of-the-mill stuff.

Actually, for one of the projects I just did I used glittery vinyl and had the opposite problem to the one Jennie mentions…the vinyl wasn’t sticking to the tape! Then when I unwound the whole roll from the tube, I realized there was strong bond tape included. Whoops. So matching the correct transfer tape to your vinyl type is important. As long as you’re using regular vinyl, standard transfer tape should be fine.

One tool that I would definitely recommend having is a scraper. You want to scrape the vinyl onto the tape really well and then, if you have trouble getting it to adhere to your piece, you can lift the tape and scrape behind it to encourage the design to come off the tape. This trick has been really helpful in getting the vinyl to stick where you want it to and not to the tape. (Hard to explain without a visual…hope that made sense, haha.)

Regarding mat, blade, and cutting settings…I just use the standard green cricut mat and whatever blade came with the machine. I set the dial to vinyl and don’t really think about it much. I think the trickier part is definitely the transfer.


Here’s a video I just quickly found that gives the basic idea of the trick with the scraper tool:

I’ve also used the pick-like thing to get the vinyl to go/stay where I want for smaller, more detailed things.

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I have a Maker so the settings might be slightly different but the main thing I want to say is, it’s SO easy! Nothing to be intimidated by! I’ve actually cut vinyl (permanent, removable, glitter) with my cricut more than anything else. Thinking back, my first project the day I got my cricut was actually glitter vinyl so I guess I jumped right in the deep end :joy:

I usually use the fine point blade, light grip mat, and standard transfer tape (except for glitter vinyl). Echoing the recommendations above to watch a couple youtube videos and you’ll definitely want a scraper.

I like to weed off the mat - cut, remove from mat, weed, adhere transfer tape, scrape both sides thoroughly - but some people find it easier to weed on the mat. With it off the mat, I find I can hold it up to the light (or use a lightbox if you have one) to better see the parts that need to be weeded (this is really helpful with glitter vinyl).

There is also a technique called “reverse weeding” where you apply the transfer tape, remove the backing, then weed but I wouldn’t recommend starting with that (I’ve never found the need for it).

After weeding and applying the transfer tape, if when you go to remove the backing you find the vinyl isn’t sticking to the transfer tape, put the backing back on and use your scraper more on the front and back. I usually scrape for a few seconds, pushing fairly hard, on both sides. Same thing when you’re applying to the surface. Take off the backing, stick to your jars, then use your scraper to get it adhered securely before pulling back the transfer tape. One thing to be careful of if you have small letters is to not accidentally push them out of place when scraping. Once the excess vinyl is removed it can be easy to push them out of place.

Good luck! You’ll be surprised by how easy it is once you try it!


THANKS EVERYONE! Cross your fingers for me, please, and I’ll share what happens… hopefully in a completed projects thread. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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THANKS SO MUCH EVERYONE! I finally did my spice jars and because of your advice and another little trial project I did, I decided to make new labels with a different font and in a larger size - the white space is about 1.5"H x 2.75"W. I might be totally hooked on vinyl projects! YIKES!

You can see them all in the ombre spiciness here.

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