Last week, I spent some time getting the closet in my craft room/office a little more organized! In addition to getting a better grip on my fabric stash, I finally labeled (or re-labeled in some cases!) all the various baskets and boxes I use for storage. It’s no secret that I turn to my Cricut Explore over and over again to accomplish a variety of projects all over the home (you can read about why I am on Team Cricut here). Not only does it make complicated projects truly quick and easy, but I end up with far more professional looking results…and that couldn’t be more true than when it comes to labeling! Whenever I want an eye-popping, easy-to-read, and pretty label, I turn to my Cricut Explore every single time. Here on the blog, I try to showcase ways to do things that don’t require special equipment or machines, but today I wanted to share 3 quick and easy ways to make some unique labels using a Cricut Explore. This post not at all sponsored, but for those of you with machines and/or debating buying one, I thought it would be fun to show you some fun, creative, and EASY ways to use it for labeling anything! Let’s get to it!
Before I got to work last week, my craft closet was functioning pretty well. A combination of storage solutions, including bins, baskets, 12×12 flat boxes, and Tupperware, all kept everything sorted and contained. While I did spend some time purging down my baskets and re-wrapping a lot of my fabric, my main priority was to label everything so I knew where everything was with a quick glance.
I actually shopped a few office and craft supply stores before setting to work on this project, looking for fun and unique ways to label all the different containers. Underwhelmed by my options, I came home and decided to use what I already had, but in new ways! I ultimately came up with three different labeling solutions all using a combination of paper, tape, wallpaper and vinyl.
Because my containers are different sizes (square versus horizontal) and textures (plastic versus fabric), I had to come up with different ways to label each type. Although all different, I unified the labels by using the same fonts, papers and tapes across all three!
Large Vinyl Labels
The first boxes I labeled were the fabric-covered DRÖNA bins from IKEA. I’ve had good success using large labels made from contact paper in our playroom, so I knew I could go down a similar path. This time, pictures weren’t going to be descriptive enough, so I added words to help me better know what’s in each identical box.
I started by designing the labels in Cricut Design Space (the online design software for the Cricut Explore). I organized my fabric into 3 main categories (print font) and then categorized them even more by color (script font).
At the last minute, I decided to use some leftover adhesive flowered wallpaper to give the labels a little more color and personality. After cutting the circles from wallpaper and the words from gold vinyl, I used transfer tape to layer the images and secure them neatly to the boxes.
As I said, the DRÖNA bins are fabric, so the vinyl sometimes has trouble releasing from the transfer tape and sticking to the fabric. Just rub the vinyl letters really, really, really well, and peel away your transfer tape VERY slowly. With some patience, you’ll be able to get everything transferred just right without too much trouble!
I was originally concerned about all the words looking too busy. But honestly, I’m just so pleased to have everything labeled in a truly helpful way. The circles keep everything looking more streamlined and consistent!
When it came time to re-label the Target Y-Weave baskets, I wanted to do something different than before. After spending too much time coming up with nothing, I ultimately decided #ifitaintbroke there is no need to fix it, right?!? So I re-made the same Dry-Erase Labels I made for these baskets years ago, only changing them a bit!
Last time, I made these labels, they were blank and I could write on them with a dry-erase marker. This actually worked out wonderfully for me because I was always swapping out the basket contents. However, I hate my handwriting AND the contents in these baskets have remained pretty consistent for a year now, so I figured I was safe to make more permanent labels. As before, I created my designs in Design Space, essentially replicating the dimensions from the previous labels, only adding a pink layer in the middle. This time around, instead of adding the text in more vinyl, I used the Write feature of the Cricut Explore. By typing in text and attaching it to my shapes, the Cricut Explore cut everything AND wrote the labels for me! I know I say “quick and easy” a lot, but this really was quick and easy!
After all my circles came out of the machine, I added some washi tape borders (like last time) to frame out the words and mimic the look of the floral labels.
I then stacked and glued all the circles together with roller adhesive…
…and ran them through my laminator for extra durability. A note about getting a really good seal on these since they’re a bit thick: start by running the labels through the laminator in a single sheet. AFTER you cut them apart, run them through the machine a few more times to really seal up the edges. Also, if you don’t have a laminator, a reader recently suggested you can get the same durability using clear contact paper – brilliant!
To secure these labels to the baskets, I used adhesive-backed Velcro! It’s worked so well for years, I just stuck to it (ha!)
Admittedly, I’m so glad I stayed with my previous label design for these baskets. They pop and contrast nicely with the bigger, floral labels!
Washi Tape Labels
The last boxes I needed to label were my 12×12 flat plastic boxes. While they are designed for paper, I use them for all sorts of things. I now have about 10, so I wanted a quick and easy way to tell them apart. Using washi tape worked pretty well in the past, but I hated my handwriting and had a hard time reading it. So I let the Cricut Explore do the writing again, this time on tape!
Like before, I started in Design Space and added the names of all my boxes to the mat. (Yes, I know there is a typo. I ALWAYS have a typo.) However, there is a quick and easy trick to getting the text to print correctly on your tape. After you send the design to Cut, you will get a preview screen. Here, you can move images around to specific places on your mat. I lined up all my words just under a grid line and noted how long they extended.
I then placed my washi tape, directly onto my mat, in a configuration that matched exactly where I placed the words in the preview screen.
Once I hit Go, the Cricut Explore added the text to all my washi tape!
Once it’s done, just peel them off carefully and add them to whatever you’re labeling. A note here on the pens and dry time. I couldn’t get the metallic markers to write on the slick surface of the washi tape, but the black pen worked great. Also, I was a little too quick to apply them to my boxes, and they smudged a bit. Within an hour, they were completely dry and didn’t smudge when rubbed, so I suggest letting them fully dry before applying them!
And with that, I had all my different boxes and bins labeled and looking pretty! By using my Cricut Explore, I was able to come up with a new look for all these containers by using old ideas in different ways…all using items I already had on hand. I’ll call that a win, win win!
I’d love to hear if you have a Cricut Explore. Have you used it to help with organizing and label making? Have you tried the Write feature yet?
I hope you guys have a great rest of your week! This Saturday, I’ll be checking in with my monthly round-up of projects around the web! See you then!
Cricut Explore for Home Decor Series!
I realize there are so many great Cricut Explore tutorials and resources available on the web…many of which I use. However, I’ve picked up some useful tips, tricks, and shortcuts by using my machine so much, and this series is all about sharing and explaining these skills! If there is something you want me to cover, be sure to leave me a comment! Otherwise, be sure to check out all the posts in this series by clicking on the images below and check out my Cricut Project Gallery for even more ideas!