DIY Dog Treat Bag with Cricut Iron-On

DIY Cricut iron on customised typography dog treat bag

Move over, Rihanna! Humphrey’s in the (dog)house! Apologies for the puppy potty mouth. This is currently a running joke in our house, so I couldn’t resist making a DIY Cricut dog treat bag using heat transfer vinyl. Since not everyone will share my twisted sense of humour for dog double entendre, this post will walk you through creating your own custom typographic design in Cricut Design Space.

DIY Drawstring Dog Treat Bags

To create your own drawstring treat bag like the one shown, check out our detailed DIY instructions for making treat bags. My blank treat bag was made from calico with a contrasting polka dot cotton trim. You know I can’t resist those spots and dots! Cotton is inexpensive, washable, and smooth tight-weave cotton fabrics are a good base for ironing on heat-transfer designs.

If you’d prefer to take a shortcut, you can buy small drawstring bags online, some craft supply stores, or in gift or favour sections of some bargain and department stores. 

How to make custom Cricut dog treat bags using heat transfer vinyl

Customising a Treat Bag Using Heat Transfer Vinyl

Creating and Applying the Design

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. The details are posted below so you can use them as an example to create your own custom typography designs. If you are using a different cutting machine, the design concepts can be adapted easily to your own software and tools. When creating and applying your iron-on, follow the directions of your specific machine and materials. 

Alternative Embellishments (No Cricut Required)

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. If using paint, remember to slip some cardboard inside whilst designing to avoid bleed through to the other side of the bag. You can also use a ready-made iron-on.

It used to drive me crazy when DIY posts only suited people with cutting machines. 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. Tiger on the other hand still feels that the Cricut box is the best part. He loves that thing so much, I’ve kept it for him. CriCAT! Humphrey is jealous that he can’t squeeze in there.

Cat in empty Cricut box being sniffed by a young Dalmatian dog

Creating Designs with Text in Cricut Design Space

To create a custom typography design in Cricut Design Space, start by creating a new project. Don’t be intimidated. It’s VERY easy to start making your own designs using text, shapes, or images in design space. This type of text base design is an easy way to get started with DIY designing. If you’re like me, it will probably take you longer to pick the font than it will to actually make your design. 

Tip: If you are new to Cricut and its 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.

Getting Started with Text

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.

Experimenting with Different Fonts

The current Design Space 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.  The free fonts within Design Space are currently rather limited. Since I normally do my design work in Adobe, I don’t subscribe to Cricut. Subscribers can access a wide range of premium font options.   

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. It’s reliable, has 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 fonts to suit your personal preferences. Experiment with different styles and designs to get a feeling for what you do and don’t like. Tweak the font size, placement, spacing, and other attributes to suit. You can also unlock to adjust individual properties, such as width or height.  

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 the font 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. You can then resize the group to fit your treat bag (or other project) layout while maintaining full editing flexibility if you need to revert.

Cutting the Custom Design for Use

Double check the measurements of your treat bag and your design before you finalise for cutting.

If welding, remember to 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.

DIY custom Cricut dog treat bags with iron on vinyl

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