Use your craft skills and learn how to make vinyl decals at home as a hobby or a business.
Remember that cutting machine that you got for Christmas and swore you would use everyday, but now it’s just sitting in the back of your craft closet gathering dust? Well, take it out of the closet and dust it off and put it to work for you. I’ll explain ways that you can make vinyl decals at home and make money from these crafts.
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Imagine being able to spend all of your time making vinyl decals and actually getting paid for them. Yeah, I know you love making shirts for your kids, and family members but what if you could do that and much more.
What if you could make those same crafts and share them with a wider group of people that paid you for your craft?
You could use the extra money for a treat, a night out, a vacation and maybe even turn it into a full time business. Wouldn’t it be awesome to make vinyl decals at home and make some money while doing it?
Uses for vinyl decals
Vinyl decals have so many uses. So many of my customers have come back to me to show me how they use their vinyl decals to make products.
Many of them use digital images, cut those images into vinyl pieces and make them into all sorts of crafts.
Then they can turn around and sell these products to their own customers.
You can see some of these examples below. Use these ideas to inspire you to make your own crafts! Here are some of the reviews and products that my customers have made.
Source: Paper Flo Design
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As you can see from the pictures above, you can make make custom bullet journals like Malynda or custom t-shirts like Claire.
If you are stuck for ideas, here is a list of a few more diy crafts that you can make with vinyl print and cut designs.
- Coffee mugs or cups
- Greeting cards
- Baseball caps
- Vinyl stickers
- Wine glasses
- Wall art
- Buttons, pins and badges
These are just a few of the things that you can make with vinyl. Your imagination is your only limit.
I’m sure there are things that crafters have made that I haven’t mentioned here.
What you need to make vinyl decals
Now that you know what you can make with vinyl decals, let’s talk about the supplies that you will need to make them.
There are a few supplies that you will need to start making decals.
If you are just starting out, you don’t need to run out and buy every high end gadget under the sun but you definitely want to do your research and get quality supplies.
A basic starter set should include
- A cutting machine
- Iron or heat press
- Sheets of heat transfer vinyl
- Blank products (a white mug or white t-shirt)
The most popular machines are from Cricut and Silhouette.
Many crafters swear by these two brands and with good reason. They are well designed and easy to use.
You can also find lots of helpful tutorials and guides on their websites, in forums and on Youtube.
The easiest heat press machine from Cricut is the Cricut Easy Press. It’s good for beginners because it’s small and lightweight.
Although you could probably print on vinyl with a laser printer, it’s not recommended. The reason is that the average laser printer will heat up to a temperature that is too hot for vinyl.
You could use a really good iron but the Easy Press lets you set the heat to the exact temperature needed for each project.
This way, you don’t end up wasting your shirt or your heat transfer vinyl because the temperature was not hot enough or too hot.
The Best Vinyl Printer
Like I mentioned before, there are usually two camps when it comes to the best vinyl printer, Cricut or Silhouette.
Of course there are several other brands like Brother ScanNcut, Sizzix and US Cutter but you’ll find that most home crafters will say that either Silhouette or Cricut is the best vinyl cutter for a beginner.
They are user friendly and the learning curve is not as steep as with some other machines.
Popular Vinyl Printers
If you don’t own a cutting machine, you can still make diy crafts like t-shirts with iron-on transfer sheets.
- Load the iron-on transfer sheets in your printer ( check the instructions to make sure they are compatible with your printer first)
- Print the design onto the transfer sheets
- Iron the design onto your t-shirt.
You can even make personalized shirts using this method. Add names or sayings to a design before you print it.
In the tutorial video, I show you 3 ways to add text to an image using Canva.
Canva is an online graphic design editor.
The good thing is that you don’t have to be a graphic designer to use Canva. It’s easy to use and since it’s online, you don’t need to download any software to your computer.
So now that you know what you need, let’s talk about how to start making your vinyl decals.
Make Vinyl Decals
The easiest way to get started with vinyl is to make a graphic t-shirt.
It’s a good starter project for beginners because you only need a few items
- Cutting machine
- Cutting mat
- Cut design or font design
- Iron or heat press
- Iron-on heat transfer vinyl
It will take only 4 steps from start to finish to complete the project.
- Upload the design to your machine
- Use your cutting machine to cut the design into the vinyl
- Weed the vinyl decal
- Press or iron it onto your t-shirt
Check out this tutorial from Cricut that will walk you through the steps.
In less than 30 minutes, you will have finished your first vinyl craft project!
After making the t-shirt, you can make more or challenge yourself to make other projects.
Try making a wooden sign to hang on your door. Here are a few other craft project ideas to try.
- Vinyl stickers
- Tote bags
- Car decals
- Wall decals for a child’s room
You now know how to make your first project and maybe you’re eager to try a few more. Go ahead and practice making a few more crafts.
Ask your friends and family to test out your new crafts so that you can get some feedback.
Ask them what they like about it and if they have any suggestions for improvements. You’ll want to get some real life use on anything you make before trying to sell it to the public.
So now that you have made your first vinyl items and you have gotten some feedback, you are ready to start making money with your vinyl decals.
Make Money with Vinyl Decals
To start making money with your vinyl items, you could use the same method that you used to test your crafts, which was to start with your family and friends.
Since they already tried and tested your product, they are a great source for reviews and referrals. They can refer other people to you that might like your product.
Sell your crafts locally
Your friends and family could refer you to local groups and associations like schools, churches and volunteer organizations that organize flea markets, craft fairs and fundraisers throughout the year.
Register for a booth at one of these local events in your area or maybe, see if you can share a booth space with another crafter if you just want to test the waters in the beginning before making a big investment.
Read up on these craft fair tips so that you know what to expect and how to prepare your stand.
Sell your crafts online
There are also lots of opportunities to sell your crafts online.
Online craft market platforms like Etsy and Amazon Handmade allow you to open your own craft shop and sell your DIY products to millions of customers that are looking for the very thing that you make.
Creating an online boutique on these platforms are great because they already have potential buyers browsing and shopping on the website every day.
It’s also a good idea to have your own website to talk about and sell your products.
The easiest way to do this is to start your own blog.
With a blog, you can build an audience that likes products similar to what you make. They can get to know you through your blog posts.
You can use these blog post to teach them about how to use your product and the benefits of it. For example if you make custom t-shirts you can write a blog post round up about five easy ways to style a t-shirt for a vacation.
Your blog will also help drive traffic to your shop and eventually sales will increase.
The best part about the blog is that it’s yours and no matter what happens with algorithm changes on market platforms you will still be in control of the traffic and sales that you get.
By starting small with an online shop you have the opportunity to grow as you get more sales and maybe even eventually hire a team of people to help you if needed.
I hope you see that there are so many ways that you can use your cutting machine to make money right from your own home.
Use the tips that I gave you to get started.
What are you going to make with your cutting machine?