Monday, February 12, 2018

DIY Drawstring Dog Treat Bag with Cricut Iron-On Embellishment

A little treat for the year of the DOG! Move over, Rihanna! Humphrey's in the (dog)house!  Apologies for the puppy potty mouth, but this is a running joke in our house and I couldn't resist making it into a heat transfer iron-on for a treat bag. Since not everyone will share my twisted sense of humour for doggy double entendre, this post will walk you through creating your own custom typographic design in Cricut Design Space and some of it's functionality.

To create your own drawstring treat bag like the one shown, check out last year's post at Dalmatian DIY where we shared the detailed DIY instructions. If you'd prefer to take a shortcut,  you can buy small drawstring bags online, some craft supply stores, or in gift/favour sections of some bargain and department stores. Cotton is inexpensive, washable, and a smooth tight-weave cotton fabrics are good base for ironing-on heat-transfer designs.  My blank treat bag was made from calico with a contrasting cotton trim (with...of course...polka dots!)

The iron-on embellishment that I applied to the treat bag was created using my Cricut Explore Air 2 and heat transfer vinyl for fabric. To keep this project easy and accessible, I created the design in Cricut Design Space instead of using Adobe Illustrator or other specialised software. If you are using a different cutting machine, the design concepts can be adapted easily to your own software/tools. When creating and applying your iron-on, follow the directions of your specific machine and materials.  Stay tuned! I'm currently creating my own font design (yasss) and will be using them to customise future freebies for sharing here on the blog including fully layered SVG cut files.  

If you don't have a computer-controlled cutter or feel like doing something different, you can create a bag with fun patterned fabric, use fabric markers or fabric paint to create your own unique design (remember to slip some cardboard inside whilst designing to avoid bleed through to the other side of the bag), or use a ready-made iron-on.  It used to drive me crazy when DIY posts only suited people with cutting machines, so even though I am now a very happy Cricut owner, I will still try to ensure that the DIY posts we share here on our blog have variations that work for people crafting without cutters. 

To create a custom typography design in Cricut Design Space, start by creating a new projectTip: If you are new to Cricut and it's functionality, there are plenty of on-line help articles, introductory videos, and other resources; however, if you have used other digital design tools in the past, Cricut Design Space is intuitive and easy to navigate. Don't be intimidated! It's VERY easy to start making your own designs using text, shapes, or images in design space. This text base design is a great easy way to get started with DIY designing. If you're like me, it will probably take you longer to pick a font than it will to actually make your design! :)

Since we're working with typography only for this design, there are no images to upload or shapes to add, just hop straight into Text to add type. You can play with colour (or other layer attributes) as you go by clicking the coloured circle on the layer or adjust later.  The selected layer can be resized  using the lower left corner (or toolbar) and/or rotated using the upper left corner (or toolbar).  Background grid lines make manual adjustments and alignment very easy. Tip: At this stage, relative size and position matter but you can keep things big and then shrink down to itty treat bag size later.

The default font "Cricut Sans" is not bad for a default freebie, but for a little more character in our "TREATIES" I wanted to change things up a bit.  The free fonts are rather limited. Since I do my design work in Adobe, I don't subscribe to Cricut, but that opens up a whole lot of premium/paid font options if you're keen to sign up.   Cricut Design Space can also access the installed fonts on your computer system.  Cursive from system fonts is problematic for cut files, but system fonts work great for separate lettering styles. You can buy fonts or find free fonts for download online. Dafont is one of my favourites for freebies - reliable, clear categories, and decent advanced search parameters.  Pay attention to the terms of use and, if you are looking for a particular purpose, take advantage of preview functions.

Change your font(s) to suit your personal preferences. Experiment with different styles and designs if you'd like to get a feeling for what works or doesn't, appeals or doesn't, etc. Tweak the size, placement, spacing, and other attributes to suit. Tip: Don't choose anything too skinny or with overly detailed edges for cutting, especially with small iron-ons like this treat bag design. Keep it thick enough to cut, weed, and transfer.  Once you are satisfied, you can group your layers together -  this is optional, but a handy way to semi-lock your design together for resizing and positioning while maintaining full editing flexibility if you need to revert. 

Double check the measurements of your treat bag before you finalise for cutting. If welding, save your file BEFORE you weld.  Unlike grouping, attaching, or flattening, weld is not reversible. In this design, there are no overlapping bits that need to be cut as a single element, so weld or attach will serve much the same function (see links for Cricut Design Space manual details) to let you send your design to be cut "as is" instead of spreading the layer pieces out in what may perhaps be a more material efficient but painful to apply format. Since we're cutting to iron on, you must either reverse the image (flip horizontal) before sending to make or toggle mirror on within the making process. Ready to make!  From here, just follow the Cricut system prompts and instructions for your chosen vinyl.

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