When it comes to making labels for our home (which as you all know, is one of my very favorite things to do!), my go-to tool is my Cricut Joy. Not only does its compact size make it easy to lug around the the house; but thanks to its compatibility with Smart Materials, creating gorgeous, custom labels is just so darn quick and easy. Today, I am going to break down 4 different techniques for using Smart Materials to make labels with Cricut Joy. I can’t wait to show you all the different labels this little machine can make!

Labels with Cricut Joy

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

I often get asked what Cricut machine I think is best for professional organizers and interior designers who want to make custom labels for their clients. Hands down, without hesitation, my answer is always Cricut Joy. Both the machine itself and all its coordinating tools and materials are smaller, making it the ideal machine to take from home to home and room to room.

The 4 labels I’m making today are for our newly organized Master Closet. Instead of running back and forth to my craft room (which would be a total nuisance), I instead loaded up a basket with all my favorite labeling supplies and brought it up to our bedroom. Everything I’m doing today uses materials out of this set of supplies…right on top of our bed!

Here are all the materials I’ll be using today!

Notice my basket doesn’t include any sticky mats or measuring/cutting tools. That’s because using Smart Materials with Cricut Joy eliminates the need to measure and cut your materials OR use mats. While it may not seem like a big deal, this is actually a huge time-saving feature of Cricut Joy that comes in very handy when you’re trying to knock out lots of labels for lots of spaces.

Labels with Cricut Joy

What Are Smart Materials for Cricut Joy?

Smart Materials are products specifically created for Cricut Joy that don’t require a mat. Thanks to a more sturdy backing, you simply slide these materials right into the feeders on Cricut Joy without measuring or cutting. Cricut Joy will first measure the material for your project, and then cut your designs without a mat. Smart Materials are now available in Vinyl, Iron-On, Label, Paper Label, and Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock, all in a range of finishes and colors.

NOTE: There are some products for Cricut Joy that are NOT “Smart.” If you’re hoping to do matless cutting, make sure whatever you’re using says “Smart” on the packaging!

Today, we are going to use Smart Label, Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock, Smart Vinyl, and Smart Iron-On to make a variety of labels.

Labels with Cricut Joy

Designing Your Labels

Let me quickly chat about designing labels to make with your Cricut Joy. While you can most certainly use the Cricut Joy App (which I detail how to use HERE), I personally prefer to design my labels in Cricut Design Space (on my computer) first, and then cut/operate my Cricut Joy with the Cricut Design Space app. Using the full Design Space software provides more extensive design features than the Cricut Joy app itself; and it also allows better visibility and spacing functionality.

If you are creating labels for your own home or a client’s home, I suggest desinging them all in Cricut Design Space. When you’re ready to actually make the labels, pull the designs up in the Cricut Design Space app and use it to run Cricut Joy. I will be showing my Cricut Design Space app screenshots today to give you a sense for what this looks like.

If you’d like to use the exact labels I am showing today, please click HERE.

How to Use Smart Label to Make Labels with Cricut Joy

The quickest and easiest way to make labels with Cricut Joy is to use Smart Label, which is essentially writable vinyl. Just like standard vinyl, it can be cut into any shape and stuck directly onto your surfaces. And like paper, its surface can accept finely detailed words and drawings created with the Cricut Joy pens. Smart Label is best for smaller labels that have drawn/written words or designs. If you need help creating label designs specifically for Smart Label, see my detailed instructions HERE.

Here is what you need for this labeling project:

Labels with Cricut Joy

When your label designs are ready to be cut, send them to Cricut Joy by hitting the green “Make It Button.” Whenever you are working with Smart Materials, always choose “Without Mat” when prompted.

You will then need to select a certain type of Smart Material. Notice below left, I selected Smart Label from the options. From here, you can simply follow the app to load specific pens and tools into the clamps (below right).



When Cricut Design Space prompts you to load the Smart Label, simply unroll it and slide it under the feeders. Cricut Joy will automatically measure the Smart Label to ensure there is enough for your project. You can then continue to follow the on-app instructions to both draw and cut out your labels.

Labels with Cricut Joy

Once you unload your design, simply peel your labels off the Smart Label backing and stick them directly to any hard, clean surface.

Labels with Cricut Joy

In just a matter of minutes, you can have your entire shoe collection labeled and put back in your closet!

Labels with Cricut Joy

Need more help with Cricut’s writable vinyl? See more: Everything You Need to Know About Cricut Writable Vinyl

How to Use Smart Paper to Make Labels with Cricut Joy

The next labeling idea is very similar but uses Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock instead. This is a newer Cricut Joy product I am super excited about. Essentially, these sheets are sturdy lengths of cardstock with sticky backing (like thick sticker paper). They are available in a nice array of colors; and like other Smart Materials, they don’t require a mat to be cut with Cricut Joy. The Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock is also an ideal product for detailed label designs (like with words or small details) but provide an opaque, colored paper finish instead of the white vinyl look (like with Smart Label).

Here is what you need for this labeling project:

Labels with Cricut Joy

Just like with the Smart Label designs, you can create labels in any size, shape, and style and add pen-drawn words and details as needed. Once you are ready to make your labels, hit the green “Make It” button. After selecting “Without Mat,” you will need to look for “Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock” under All Materials. Then like before, simply follow the in-app prompts to load the correct pens and blades to complete your labels.


Being able to load paper (and other Smart Materials) without a mat is such a serious time saver. There is no need to measure, cut, or affix your label material to a mat. Simply slide it in and watch Cricut Joy go!

Labels with Cricut Joy

When using the “Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock” setting, Cricut Joy will “kiss cut” the label designs. This means it will cut through the top sticker paper layer but not the backing material. As such, you can easily peel up the labels (like you would any sticker off a liner) and affix them to any clean, solid, smooth surface.

Labels with Cricut Joy

If you don’t need your labels to have a sticky backing (for example, if you’re going to load them into label holders as I’m showing), simply re-run the entire project without pens to double-cut the outline all the way through the liner backing.

Not to sound redundant, but by running my Cricut Joy with the Smart Paper Sticker Carstock loaded, I had labels for all our new storage boxes ready to go in minutes!

Canvas Storage Boxes

The last two labeling methods are still quite easy but take a bit more time because they require detailed weeding and unique application methods. That said, using both Smart Vinyl and Smart Iron-On are great options for larger labels or designs that don’t require fine pen details.

How to Use Smart Vinyl to Make Labels with Cricut Joy

Using vinyl is the most popular method for making labels with a Cricut machine. Since it comes in a wide range of colors and can be cut into practically any word, shape, or design, its one of the best option for creating large, long-lasting, custom designs for many different surfaces. If you’re just getting started with making vinyl labels, check out my comprehensive guide HERE.

Here is what you need for this labeling project:

Labels with Cricut Joy

Once you have your vinyl labels designed, send them to Cricut Joy by hitting the green “Make It” button. Click “Without Mat”; and then on the materials menu, select the type of Smart Vinyl you are using.


Cutting vinyl is usually the quickest and easiest of all the Smart Materials because pens are not involved. As such, you can literally load it in and watch it go!

Labels with Cricut Joy

However, it’s after cutting that the longer work begins. I break down the basic steps of weeding and transferring vinyl labels below; but if you need even more help, click HERE.

How to Use Smart Iron-On to Make Labels with Cricut Joy

The final labeling method I want to share today is using Smart Iron-On. Like vinyl, Smart Iron-On can be cut into any size, shape, and design; and is a great solution when you want to label fabric items such as pouches, tote bags, laundry bags, travel bags, etc.

Here is what you need for this labeling project:

Labels with Cricut Joy

Once you have your iron-on labels designed, send them to Cricut Joy by hitting the green “Make It” button. Click “Without Mat”; and then on the materials menu, select Smart Iron-On. When using iron-on material, it’s also imperative that you “Mirror” your design before cutting. If you’re new to working with iron-on, see my full tutorial HERE.


Like all the other Smart Materials, no cutting or loading onto a mat is required…just feed it straight into Cricut Joy. After measuring the length for your project, it will cut out your designs from the iron-on material.

Labels with Cricut Joy

Like vinyl labels, iron-on labels require a few extra steps to get them ready for application. I break down the basic steps of weeding and transferring iron-on labels below; but if you need even more help, click HERE.


Next, refer to this Cricut EasyPress Heating Guide to figure out what setting and for how long to heat your labels.

TIP! Just like using the Cricut Design Space app, this is an easy site to access from your phone so you can iron on your designs anywhere!

Labels with Cricut Joy

Once fully cool, your labeled items will be ready for use!

Labels with Cricut Joy

Canvas Clothespin Bags

More Great Cricut Labeling Projects

Ready to label even more with your Cricut machine? Check out these other awesome projects:

My craft room is certainly my happy place…but I love that I could make 100% of these labels without even leaving my bedroom. With the labels pre-designed, I just needed to pull up each set in the Cricut Design Space app, load in my Smart Materials, and let Cricut Joy do its thing. In no time, our entire Master Closet had fresh beautiful labels; and now my husband can stop asking where I put everything!

Working with Smart Materials is a serious time and sanity saver, especially for labeling projects. I hope this post not only explains the possibilities and steps for using each one, but encourages you to try new materials you maybe haven’t yet! Have a question about one of the techniques I have here? Leave questions in the comments and I’ll get back to you.

Now…who’s ready to see how my whole Master Closet came together!?!

See You Soon!