How to Make Custom Vinyl Decals with Cricut Explore!

How to Make Custom Vinyl Decals with Cricut Explore!
Authored By Michael Soltis 0 Comment(s)

Have you even been driving down the road minding your own business when out of the corner of your eye you spot a cool vinyl cut out sticker? Odds are they made it themselves, and its easier than you would like. 

Whether its your favorite sports team, a cartoon character, or a political joke, you can make a vinyl car decal with your Cricut Explore Air or Cricut Maker!

What you’ll need: 

Learn how to use your Cricut Explore Air 2 (or Cricut Maker) machine to create your own adhesive vinyl bumper stickers! You will need to go to and download their Design Space software in order to get started.


OPEN Cricut Design Space

Head over to and sign up for Design Space. This will allow you to design your customized adhesive vinyl decal in their free software on your web browser.


Click on Images

On the left hand side you will have a variety of options to create your vinyl design. Click oin the images tab to browse Cricut’s collection of images.


Find an image That You Want to USE

Scroll through their collection of images or type in the image you want to use. You will also have the option to upload your own image, pay for some premium designs, and filter by a variety of options.


Add Image to Design Space and Click Continue

Add the image(s) that you want to cut out on your Cricut Explore Air 2 or Cricut Maker machine. Adjust the size and positioning as needed.

cricut explore air 2 go button


Load Your Adhesive Vinyl Into the Cricut Explore Air 2

Load the adhesive vinyl color of your choice on your cutting mat and into the Cricut machine. You can do this by pressing the up arrow on your Cricut machine. Be sure to select “vinyl” on the options of material type and thicknesses.


OPTIONAL: Toggle on "Fast Mode." Then Press Go!

You can have your Cricut machine cut out the vinyl more quickly by toggling “Fast Mode.” Then you press the Cricut button on the machine to start the cutting process.


Watch You Cricut Cut the Vinyl!

Watch your Cricut cut the vinyl and show the progress on the Design Space software. Don’t exit the software or press any buttons on the machine during the cutting process.


Make Sure the Vinyl is Being Cut Properly

Watch your Cricut cut the adhesive vinyl to make sure the cutting mat is being fed in properly and the machine is cutting the design out.

circut explore air 2 with cutting mat


Remove Cut Vinyl From Cricut Machine

Unload the cut vinyl from your Cricut machine and turn off your Cricut machine. Keep the vinyl on the cutting mat to make the weeding process easier.


Weed Your Vinyl with a Weeding Tool or Your Hand

Weed (remove the excess vinyl that is not part of the design) either with your hands or with a weeding tool. Keep the weeded vinyl on the backing sheet.

transfer tape paper for adhesive vinyl


Apply Transfer Tape to Weeded Vinyl

Cut out a piece of medium tack transfer tape and place it over the weeded vinyl. Clear transfer tape with a grid alignment makes it easier to line up your design.

transfer tape paper for adhesive vinyl


Squeegee Transfer Tape to Weeded Vinyl and Remove from Silicone Backing Sheet

Use a squeegee to press down the transfer tape to the weeded vinyl. Peel up the transfer tape with weeded adhesive vinyl.

transfer tape paper for adhesive vinyl


Transfer Weeded Vinyl To Any Smooth, Hard Surface

Transfer the weeded design to and smooth nonporous design of your choice, including custom tumblers, car windows and bumpers, laptops, equipment and much more!


Finish Your Design and Move on to Your Next!

Your design is now finished! Repeat this process for any vinyl design that you need to have cut out.


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