Organizing always puts my mind at ease. There’s something about the crisp look of a tidy drawer or the practical use of space in a closet that just makes me feel calm and oddly satisfied. I know I’m not alone in this. What is it about home organization that just really revs things up? Crisp, clean lines and practical storage solutions are everything, especially to this busy mama.
I also love to craft. Recently, my sister-in-law and I invested in the life-changing Cricut Maker machine. I’ve had my eye on a Cricut cutting machine for quite some time, and I am just thrilled that I can finally call one mine (well, partly). Kristyn, my sister-in-law, is also a fellow organization junkie who is planning her wedding, so it seemed like a no-brainer for us to go in on this purchase together. It’s truly become a great outlet for all that built-up creative energy!
Naturally, I wanted to try my hand at cutting just about anything I could get my hands on. Learning the software and the ins-and-outs of the machine takes time, and I was eager. I made some cups, tote bags, stickers, signs, and well, you get it. Then, I realized I had to do something productive with all this.
So, I took to my cluttered kitchen pantry for a much-needed makeover. This is where two things I love – crafting and organizing – can become one. And, boy, what a result!
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Here’s a breakdown of what I did.
I went to our local Dollar Tree and searched for some bins that would work great for our pantry. These locker bins were the perfect size and shape to maximize storage solutions for our little pantry. I even already had a few white ones in there. This time, I found pretty blue ones. These cost me under $20!
Then, I opened up Cricut Design Space and got to work on creating the labels.
First, I created a 4 in x 4 in circle. After the first one, I simply selected the image and hit “Duplicate.” This way, they would be all the exact same size.
After I created the circles, I added the text. This took me a little time, cause I’m particular about fonts. Plus, it’s fun to mess around with them and see what looks best. Yes, I know it’s the pantry, but it’s mainly for me anyways, so why not go wild?
I landed on a handlettering font called Great Wishes that I downloaded from Dafont.com. If you’re looking for free fonts for personal use, I highly recommend this site. If you intend to use them for business or commercial use, you can buy a license from the creator.
After I chose my font and typed my label, I had to do a few small things:
- Align the text in the center
- Decrease the spacing. The font I chose had a large gap between words so I had to adjust the spacing significantly down to -6.8 (standard is 1.2)
- Highlight both the text and the circle, then Center Vertically. This will ensure that your text is centered on the circle, which essentially becomes your label.
After you finish the first label, you’ll want to select both the circle and the text, then click Attach. This will keep both the circle and the text united as one, which will help in case you get click happy (or frustrated) as you work on the rest of the labels. DO NOT CLICK WELD in case you need to make any adjustments later.
To make it easier, here are a few tips:
- Duplicate the circles so they are all the same size (as previously mentioned)
- Duplicate the text, then edit it accordingly. This prevents you from having to change the spacing, alignment, and text in each individual label, which will save you time.
- Attach each individual label as you go. It will save you from a lot of frustration when you click around and accidentally move something (this happened to me a lot until I got smart and just attached them).
- Save your project as you go. Always a good rule of thumb.
- When you want to use an “&” sign, add a separate text box and them move it to fit in between your words. This helps avoid major spacing issues and makes it look a little whimsical in design.
After you create all your labels, it’s almost time to start cutting. Load your preferred vinyl on your Cricut cutting mat. My go-to permanent vinyl is Oracal 651. You can usually get it on sale at local craft stores like Michaels, or you can get it on Amazon Prime if you need it ASAP. Cricut is also running a great deal on their vinyl right now as well. It’s worth checking out, especially if you are looking for particular styles or patterns (unlike Oracal, Cricut has endless options!).
I also used the 12×24 StandardGrip cutting mat to get more cut the first time through. If you don’t have a large mat, I highly recommend getting one. It makes larger projects a breeze.
BEFORE PRINTING: Highlight and Select All of your labels, and Attach them. I shy away from clicking Weld so that I can easily change out my labels as I continue organizing my kitchen. Once you hit Weld, you can never go back.
Then, load your mat into your Cricut, and get started. Be sure to select “Vinyl” as your material of choice for this project.
Sit back, and enjoy watching the Cricut do its thing.
Once the material is cut, the fun begins.
The first thing I do is cut off any excess vinyl that I can salvage as scraps for another project. This helps maximize my money, so I highly recommend creating a scraps basket to keep on hand for these smaller pieces.
After that, it’s time to start weeding. We have this tool kit that includes a weeder that works great and is very affordable. Plus, it’s available on Amazon Prime, and that always just gets me. I also recently got a set of these Cricut tools during a sale, and they work great too!
When you weed your vinyl:
- Take it slow. Sometimes I end up pulling up small pieces, like the inside of an “A” because I move to hastily. Don’t be me.
- Use the weeder tool to help you. It’s the best invention ever.
- Once I weed excess vinyl, I use it to create a sticky ball that I can just keep sticking the other pieces to as I go. This helps keep things from sticking to other parts of the vinyl. Some people suggest using a lint brush or a “weed eater” accessory.
- Always take a step back and look at your labels before you use the transfer paper. Sometimes I notice a mistake that I can correct if I was moving too fast.
Now, it’s time to add the transfer paper. This transfer paper works great and it’s super affordable for a huge roll. It’s also clear which is extremely helpful visually when you create products.
The transfer paper will ensure that your labels do not move as you take the rest of the vinyl backing off, and you, well, transfer your labels to the bins. I love it.
Typically, I try to align the top line of my transfer paper with the top of the circles. This helps me keep things level as I move them onto the bins. However, I’m eyeballing this, so I don’t know if it’s perfectly straight anyways. It looks good to me.
Once you stick your transfer paper on all the labels, and scrape it with the XL scraper tool, you can peel them off their vinyl backing. Oh, this part is so satisfying.
Next, you just have to cut each individual label as you go. Then, stick the label on the bin as you want it to appear. The transfer paper will allow you to guide it to the exact spot you want it so you can see how it will appear on the bin.
This next part is important!
Before you remove the transfer paper, take the scraper tool and apply pressure to the entire label. I go over it multiple times to ensure that everything is sticking to its new surface.
Then, peel off the transfer tape SLOWLY as you watch to make sure each part of the label is stuck on the bin. The slower you go, the less mistakes you’ll make (trust me!).
Wa la! You’ve made your first labelled bin!
Continue this strategy with each bin until you are finished.
Be sure to save your Cricut Design Space file so you can easily make any labels in the future.
Now, it’s time to load your bins full of all the food that’s probably littering your countertops, and enjoy your refreshed, organized, and clean pantry!
It’s so satisfying, isn’t it?
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What have you been using your Cricut for? I’d love to hear in the comments below!