I know it is still summer and I am so sorry to burst your bubble, but we are one month away from school starting! My daughter is starting Kindergarten this year…I honestly am having a hard time believing it! I wanted to make her first year special so I made this fun DIY Cricut backpack with a mermaid theme.
If you have never used the Cricut holographic iron on material you will appreciate this detailed tutorial. I found the online instructions were lacking for a beginner like me. But, I did figure it out and had success. Let me walk you through how you can make your very own DIY Cricut backpack in this adorable mermaid theme.
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting me.
- Backpack (I can’t find the one I purchased online anymore, sorry!)
- Cricut (I have the Air Explore 2. They have a newer model now too, linked here.)
- Green standard grip mat (you only need one, they are reusable until no longer sticky)
- Holographic Iron On in Blue (You will need two 12 x 12 sheets, one for the seashells and one for the text. This comes as one roll that is 12 x 24 so you could probably just cut it in half.)
- Two design files (Seashell Backpack & Mer-mazing Text)
- Weeding Tool
- Cricut heat press (I have the mini one)
- Cricut heat pad and a rolled up small towel
- Cricut heat tape
- Mermaid tail keychain in light pink
Open up my “seashell backpack” design project in the Cricut Design Space program.
I did not end up using all of them, so there will be extra.
Click “Make It”.
The seashells will be way too close together so drag them around to space them out. You will need some room in between them. (Later after you weed you will cut each one out and need some space around the design to tape it to the backpack)
Hit “Mirror” and Continue.
Set your Cricut dial to “Custom”.
Select “Holographic Iron On” from the Iron On section.
I left the pressure on the default setting.
Take off the clear sheet protector from your green standard grip mat.
Lay the holographic iron on sheet with the shiny side down (i.e. shiny side is sticking to the green mat). Basically this holographic sheet has two layers that you can’t see at the moment (the shiny holographic layer and a clear plastic layer). The instructions online say “liner side down”. The shiny side is the liner side. I did it wrong the first time, don’t make this mistake!
Press the flashing load arrow button. Make sure it actually loads, sometimes mine does not.
Click the flashing C button.
It will take a little while until it is finished, there is a lot to cut.
Yay! You made it here, phew. Ok, now peel off the entire holographic sheet from the green mat. Nothing should remain on the mat.
Remove everything except the seashells with a weeding tool. You should be left with a clear plastic sheet with all the holographic shells on it when you are done.
You will probably have to spend some time weeding tiny pieces where the shell lines are, I did.
Cut out each seashell leaving space around each one. I just cut a bunch of squares (see below pic).
Using the heat tape, tape them onto the backpack and play around with where you want them. Take a quick picture you can refer back to or use my pictures for reference.
Set your mini heat press (if you have a different heat press or different backpack material follow the instructions at https://cricut.com/heatguide) to Medium (2 bars). Once it is ready, heat the backpack where you are going to put your first seashell for 5 seconds. Use a rolled up towel or the heat pad underneath (You will need to use a rolled up towel for the front pocket and water bottle pocket and the heat mat for the backpack body.).
Note: These heat settings are what worked for me with this particular backpack. If your backpack is different and made of a different material please factor that in and refer to the Cricut heat guide for their instructions.
Tape down a seashell to the area you just heated (the clear plastic side is up and you can see the front of the holographic seashell). With the heat pad or rolled towel underneath, press with light pressure. Despite the online instructions, 50 seconds worked for me. Also, I tried using cardstock in between the heat press and the seashell and it did not work for me. I just put my heat press right onto the seashell.
Flip the backpack over, place the heat pad or towel underneath and do 15 more seconds with the heat press directly onto the backpack behind where you put the seashell.
Let it cool and keep repeating this process until you are done. Once each one feels cool to the touch, you can slowly remove the plastic part and your holographic seashell should be attached to the backpack.
Open up my “mer-mazing text” design project in the Cricut Design Space program.
Repeat Steps 1-3. Make sure to mirror this one as well!
Cut out each word leaving space for the heat tape. I did not have success leaving it as one large sheet.
Heat the back of the backpack for 5 seconds (do each word separately) and tape the first word down.
I had to do each word several times. I don’t even know how long it took exactly but it was awhile, 50 seconds was not enough. I also flipped the pack over several times and did the 15 second thing as well. Be careful to not burn it.
Continue until all three words are done, meaning you can remove the plastic and the words stay on the backpack.
Add another seashell or two and you are done!! Now you have your very own DIY Cricut backpack to show off!
I hope this holds up. I will keep you posted on how it does throughout the year.
Please reach out if you have any questions! Thank you so much for stopping by!
If you liked this DIY Cricut backpack project, you may also like: