Easily make a personalized back to school shirt and teacher gifts with a Cricut Explore Air 2 whether your child will be in person or distance learning!
The start of this school year is anything but normal, but one thing stays the same… using my Cricut to personalize whatever I can!
My kids are starting the school year with distance learning but that doesn’t mean they can’t wear a cute first day of school shirt for pictures and for their zoom meetings.
We also had a back to school parade where we got to pick up my youngest’s school supplies so giving his new teacher a little personalized gift made her smile. Which is always a good thing during these crazy times.
In the past when we have gone back to school I have used my Cricut to personalize lunch boxes and water bottles, make cute clipboards for teachers, a personalized teacher’s first aid kit, and so much more (see pictures at the end!). Having a Cricut means I can personalize pretty much anything I want without spending much money!
So today I thought I’d show you how I made this cute Zooming into 4th grade shirt and a few cute Cricut teacher gift ideas including a little personalized zipper pouch using Cricut Infusible Ink. The zipper pouch would also be perfect to give with a cute Infusible Ink mug made with the Cricut mug press.
Materials Needed for Back to School Projects
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- Cricut Explore Air 2
- Cricut Infusible Ink transfer sheets
- Cricut Infusible Ink compatible shirt
- Cricut Infusible Ink cosmetic bag
- Cricut EasyPress 2 and mat
- white cardstock, lint roller, heat resistance tape, Cricut mats
Designing in Design Space
The first thing you’ll need to do is design something in Cricut Design Space. If you are new and need help with CDS, make sure to check out my Cricut Design Space basics.
For the first day of 4th grade shirt, I found an image of a computer screen in Cricut Access and inserted onto my canvas.
It had two lines in it which I didn’t want, so after I inserted onto my canvas, I clicked on it and then clicked the Contour tool (lower right-hand corner). The following screen will pop up.
Click on the two lines on the panel and you will notice the box they are in turns light grey. That means they are hidden! Super easy to remove!
X out of the box and you will have a full computer screen image!
Then I found a font I liked and typed out “Zooming into 4th grade” in separate text boxes and aligned them how I wanted them. Then I selected all the words and welded them together. (You can not slice multiple words unless they are welded).
Then align the words to the center of your computer screen image.
Then I selected both the computer screen and the text and clicked on slice. Delete the sliced out image and text and you are left with just the computer screen with the words cut out.
I used the slice function to also slice out Morales of the rainbow I found in Cricut Access.
With Infusible Ink you’ll need to select the mirror setting to cut it out. Make sure the toggle switch is on and the green is showing.
I always turn the wheel on my Cricut Explore Air 2 to custom so I can use the setting menu in Cricut Design Space. Select Infusible Ink Transfer Sheet.
Cutting and Applying Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets
Lay the transfer sheet on a mat with the ink side up. I like to use a brayer to make sure it’s nice and flat.
Load it into your Cricut when prompted by CDS and let it cut. (This is from the watercolor rainbow pack)
Once it’s finished cutting, unload the mat and peel off the transfer sheet. Trim around the edges of the image so you can save the rest of the sheet!
Crack the sheet my folding it in your hands. Then start taking out all the extra pieces with your fingers trying not to scratch the ink!
Do this with all of your transfer sheets if you are using more than one.
Layering Infusible Ink??
You should never layer Infusible Ink! The colors will not come out how you want them.
You also don’t want to press the transfer sheets much more than once because some of the vibrancy can dissipate. So, you’ll need to peel off the smaller piece and stick it on where it will go.
I used two different color transfer sheets for the rainbow and sun. After they cut, I peeled off the excess of both. Then peeled the sun off the backing. The middle of the letters will stay stuck on the backing, so don’t lose it!
Then I stuck it on the backing of the rainbow. There wasn’t enough plastic backing to cover it all so I stuck the backing I just peeled off to cover the rest of the sun. So you’ll notice two different sizes.
Then I picked up the middle of the R with my fingers and stuck it in place.
Now it’s ready to infuse!
Applying Infusible Ink
Prep the shirt by placing a white piece of cardstock in side and laying it on an EasyPress mat. Lint roll to make sure nothing will get in the way of the infusing magic!
Once it was preheated, I laid a piece of butcher paper on the shirt and pressed it for 15 seconds.
Then I centered the design and taped it down with heat resistant tape (this is optional) because I want to make sure it doesn’t move.
Then I put a piece of butcher paper on and pressed for 40 seconds. Lift the EasyPress off gently.
Then remove the transfer sheet and check out the vibrant shirt!
My son is Zooming into 4th grade now!
For the Cricut teacher gift, I went through the same steps except the heat guide setting told me to press for 60 seconds.
Make sure your mat is on a flat surface and that the image is not too close to the zipper so that you get an even press.
Place cardstock in the cosmetic bag, lint roll it, and then place a piece of butcher paper on it and preheat it for 15 seconds.
Remove the butcher paper, center your design so the ink is facing the cosmetic bag and tape in place. Place butcher paper over image and press it for 60 seconds.
Then remove the transfer sheets!
Add a few goodies (chocolates, Sharpies, gift cards, alcohol!) inside the bag if you want and give it to your teacher!
More Cricut Teacher Gift Ideas
These are a few Cricut teacher gifts I made a few years ago before I was craft blogging, so the images are not great, sorry!
A cute teacher pencil vase is cheap and easy. All you need is an inexpensive vase (I got mine from Dollar Store), pencils, and hot glue.
Just hot glue all the pencils onto the glass vase. Then I put a ribbon around and used my Cricut Explore Air to cut out the Thank you phrase out of cardstock and hot glued that on top of the ribbon.
That’s it! Add some flowers and you’re done!
Another one I made for all 20 teachers at our school is a personalized clipboard. I had emailed all the teachers asking them a few simple questions, like favorite color, hobby, flower, etc.
I then tried to find some cardstock that went with one of their themes, usually colors. I wanted to do two different colors so I made 2-inch strips for the bottom and then found a cute piece of cardstock for the top portion.
I cut out all the names with my Cricut out of cardstock.
- First glue down the top piece and bottom strip with glue – I used a glue stick but you can also use mod podge. Make sure you get the whole paper covered so bubbles don’t form underneath. Glue names on the bottom strip. Let it dry for about a day.
- Then mod podge over the whole thing. I kept the top clip open with a zip tie to get underneath it. Try to smooth out bubbles as you go. Let it completely dry.
- You can add some ribbon or embellishments to the top. I added a little puzzle piece with a note about being an important piece of our puzzle since that was what our theme was that week.
Here’s one I made for my daughter.
Another fun first day of school teacher gift is a teacher’s survival kit.
I got a small plastic box at Joann’s (with a 40% off coupon!) and cut out adhesive vinyl with my Cricut.
I filled the container with paper clips, pens, chocolates!, glue sticks, alcohol pads, band-aids, tacks, erasers, and highlighters.
Then I made a cute card and added it with twine to the front. My kids hand it to their teachers when they walk into school the first day! Win win for the teacher and my kiddo!
I hope that gives you some inspiration for back to school projects and teacher gift ideas you can make with your Cricut! There really are endless possibilities of personalizing anything, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start, right??!!
Thanks so much for stopping by and have a creative day!