Vinyl is the common name for polyvinyl chloride, a type of plastic with a wide range of uses. You can find vinyl in fences, siding, retro records, t-shirts, or even spandex-looking jackets. Vinyl craft projects are popular too, especially for stay-at-home businesses or home schools.
These DIY projects often involve commercial cutting and pressing machines like USCutter, Cricut, Brother ScannCut, or Silhouette. You may also need vinyl crafting tools like scorers, weeders, or spatulas. But first, let’s explore some vinyl craft projects you can try at home.
1. Color me Vinyl!
One of vinyl’s key selling points is that it comes in thousands of colors. But even if you’re ordering online, you’re restricted to the colors available at your chosen craft store. So if you want something they don’t have, you can always buy some vinyl-friendly paint like this Martha Stewart multi-surface paint. The vinyl is later cut and pressed onto a driftwood sign.
2. Lanterns are Lit!
Traditional lanterns used kerosene or oil as their light source. But in contemporary couture, we often use distressed lanterns as candle holders, or connect them to a power source and fit a bulb inside. For this vinyl craft project, you can use iron-on vinyl to ass letters, designs, or numbers to the surface of your lantern. You can find lanterns online or at local junkyards.
3. Teresa’s Sherlock
Are you more into AC (Agatha Christie) or ACD (Arthur Conan Doyle)? And if you’re not leaning towards Poirot, who’s your favorite Sherlock? If you happen to be a Cumberbitch, you’ll love this vinyl craft project. It’s a silhouette of Sherlock’s head with a snazzy thought bubble quote. But it’s heat-pressed on canvas, so add some Mod Podge to help it stick better.
4. Fancy Party Cups
If you’re expecting a large group of guests, you may be tempted to rush for disposable cups in paper, plastic, or Styrofoam. But you can customize their experience and make memorable party favors too. Buy plastic tumblers from the local dollar store and decorate them with vinyl cut-outs of the party’s theme or the guest’s nickname. They can watch as you Cricut!
5. Clear the Clutter
Whether you’re spring cleaning, sorting the attic, or going through a loved one’s things after they’re gone, Rubbermaid tubs and storage bins are your best friend. And you can make the process easier by labeling each bin. It’s a simple vinyl craft project. And if you go to Cricut, Silhouette, or any vinyl cutter website, you’ll find free fonts, letters, and icons you can use.
6. Quickie Kids Labels
The vinyl craft project described in this article is iffy. In the sense it shows you how to make paper stickers. But if you have a vinyl cutter that works with different materials (e.g. the Cricut Maker) then you can use the same stencil. Just use the dial on your Cricut to change the material to fabric or vinyl and voila! Now you can make your kids’ name tags en masse.
7. Terrific Tailgating
If you’re a football family, you probably spend much of the season tailgating. So here’s a vinyl craft project for your family’s football table. It’s a simple project – cover a table with green felt, duct tape, crepe paper, wrapping paper, or any suitable cover. Add white stripes and numbers made of vinyl. You can make football-themed buntings in your team colors too.
8. Step Right Up!
Stepping stones are like pavers, but they’re set a foot apart and don’t necessarily touch each other. They’re commonly used as practical décor in gardens and water features. The idea is to walk by stepping from one stone to the other without touching the grass or water between. To make this vinyl craft project, use the vinyl as a stencil screen to paint your paving stone.
9. Hand-Painted Rudolph
This vinyl craft project is similar to the previous one. Except instead of painting stone pavers, you’re painting a wooden sign. The vinyl serves as a stencil to block out the sections without paint. You could try adding a margin of Mod Podge to the edges of the image after placing the stencil. It will stop ink or paint from slipping between the stencil and the wood below.
10. Vinyl Jars and Jellies
Maybe you’re refreshing the jars in your pantry, workshop, or crafting studio. Making labels is an easy vinyl craft project that only takes minutes. You can download free SVG files that have labels for common kitchen ingredients like spices, condiments, herbs, or even fruity flavors. Get a premade label file or a lettering font file so you can spell out what you want.
11. Funky Nonna!
While you weren’t looking, the eldest millennials turned 40 and many Gen X’ers turned 50. So there’s a whole generation of grandmas that prefer nicknames that prevent them from feeling old. They don’t want their grandbabies calling them by name, so they develop workarounds. That kind of gran will love this cheeky knotted tee, so grab this free stencil and start crafting!
12. Gimme the Wraparound!
If you want a vinyl craft project that’s a little more complex, try this vinyl wrap. It’s very hands-on because you have to press the vinyl all around the item without forming air bubbles. But you also have to keep the vinyl on the external surfaces to avoid it getting in direct contact with your beverage. Outdoor-grade vinyl is the safest option to use here.
13. Headbanging Headboards
Between cottage core and cyclic nostalgia, vintage furniture is becoming increasingly popular. Whether it’s a canopy bed or a dramatic headboard, you can take your bedroom back in time for a deeper, more relaxing sleep. You can stick the vinyl patterns permanently onto the headboard. Or use removable vinyl as a stencil to paint patterns on the headboard.
14. Halloween and Vinyl
Glow-in-the-dark signs are cool any night of the year, but they’re especially appropriate for Halloween. You’ll want different neon colors for the best results, so this vinyl craft project will have several stages – one for each color. Again, you can use a vinyl stencil to paint the different colors. Or you can cut out letters on different neon vinyl sheets then stick them on.
15. Accented Acrylic
Do you love the idea of professional canvas wall hangings? You might not have the budget for classic paintings. And you may not be interested in imitations. So why not use acrylic paint and a vinyl stencil to make your own? The marbled pour-canvas backdrop is high art and the wording can be anything you like. This free SVG file shows a Harry Potter quote.
16. Kiddie Couture
If your kids are unhappy about school or daycare, this vinyl craft project is a handy tool. By working on it together, you create a bonding session where they might relax enough to open up and tell you what the real issue is. And even if they don’t, they’ll get a sense of pride, ownership, and confidence as they personalize their school items with these vinyl name tags.
17. Cake Toppers
You could spend hours finding customized cake toppers. You might want a quirky quote that’s specific to your relationship. Or maybe you want a cake-top couple that matches your identity (e.g. same-sex, interracial, non-binary, transgender, mixed-height, or even plus-sized). Make your own vinyl cake topper with a stiff backing sheet – it only takes a minute!
18. Rainbows and Butterflies
This vinyl craft project uses a butterfly stencil on iridescent holographic vinyl as a door sign. But you can use this design on anything – a t-shirt, a pencil case, or even a mug. If you’re pressing the vinyl onto an outdoor item, use vinyl that’s graded for external conditions. These vinyls are generally waterproof, weatherproof, and coated with UV fade protection.
19. Family Favourite
One way to avoid middle-child syndrome is to routinely acknowledge all your children. Yes, you probably have a favorite (though you should really try to hide it!) but you could also make this family nameplate. Just don’t leave out anybody’s name! And since it’s a quickie project, be sure to make a new one every time there’s a new addition to the household …
20. Pretty Purse
Clutch bags are stylish, elegant … and small. So if you want a little extra storage room and a personalized purse, try this vinyl craft project. You’ll need a chip wood basket in your chosen size and style. You could practice with a hatbox or shoebox to build confidence. Paint the purse and decorate it with heat-transfer vinyl lettering or cute personalized vinyl designs.
21. Layered Vinyl Decals
Sometimes, you want a vinyl craft project that has thin, intricate lines and multiple colors. But you don’t want them to bleed into each other. This tutorial shows you how you can make layered vinyl items using a Silhouette cutting machine and its accompanying software. If the weeding process is a pain, use your Silhouette software to create convenient weeding boxes.
22. Personalise Your Gadgets
It could be a smartphone, a Macbook, a printer, an iPod, or even your vinyl cutter. And you want to brand it so you can smile every time you see it. The branding you choose could be your logo, a phrase that you love, or a nickname. Use your vinyl software to cut out the shapes or letters you want. Use a compact heat press e.g. EasyPress Mini for small spaces.
23. Lake House Signage
This vinyl craft project is a wooden nameplate for the Morgan family lake house. But you can use the same concept to label your mailbox or to put up a house number or door sign. It can be especially helpful for small-town areas where the houses are far apart and the streets have no names – makes it easier for guests (and ambulances) to find you. And it takes 20 minutes!
24. Powerful Pallets
When you’re working with wood, you can’t always get the size you want. Especially if you’re salvaging pieces from the forest or reclaiming old bits of furniture from junkyards and demolished homes. But we can all find wood pallets – often for free! This vinyl craft project uses wooden pallets nailed or glued together, then decorated with outdoor vinyl and/or paint.
25. Festive T-shirts
As you design your vinyl t-shirts, you don’t have to stick with clichéd quotations and boring fonts. With a bit of creative thinking, you can deliver your message with symbolic visuals and fewer words. Plus, blocky images are easier to weed. Granted the dots and slits on this Christmas shirt need intricate weeding, but the elf hat and elf shoes add character and style.
26. Colorful Koozies
Canned drinks are a joy, but they soon get unpleasantly warm in your palm. Condensation makes your fingers wet and muggy. And those chilly droplets could even trigger a sneezing fit! So if you have a vinyl cutting machine, you can use it to make these thermal koozies out of fabric, pleather, or leather for hot or cold drinks. Then you can heat-press vinyl name tags.
27. Holiday Ornaments
This vinyl craft project focuses on Christmas. But you can use the same process to make ornaments for Easter, Hannukah, Eid, Kwanzaa, Quinceañera, or any celebration. Use vinyl to make themed decals that are suitable for the ceremony. You can stick these decals on Christmas baubles, cheap stuffed animals from the dollar store, mugs, or party favors.
28. Unconventional Framing
You’ve probably seen that playful studio sign that says, ‘We’ll shoot your spouse, frame your in-laws, and hang them too!’ But as family portraits fall out of fashion, you can still make pretty wall art using picture frames and vinyl. Use any photo frame and put a decorative sheet inside the frame – it could be paper or fabric. Then add some vinyl motifs to the glass.
29. Light Up With Vinyl
Candle making is a popular cottage industry for city dwellers and stay-at-home-folk. And you can customize your candles as a vinyl craft project. Most crafters prefer to use heat transfer vinyl to place designs on the glass or metal jar that holds these homemade candles. But you can also place adhesive vinyl directly on the candle. It’ll melt harmlessly as the candle burns.
30. Makeover Dresser
The quickest way to revamp a room is to paint the walls or change the wallpaper. But did you know you can upgrade your furniture too? You can use the existing pieces in the room or reclaim older pieces from demolished homes or yard sales. Sand down the items, do any repairs it needs and apply a fresh coat of paint. Then customize it with vinyl messaging.
31. Lovely Luggage
We’ll close this list of vinyl craft projects with a seasonal tote bag. The article shows how to make a Halloween tote bag with glow-in-the-dark neon HTV. But you could customize the bags for any season or occasion – bridal showers, birthday parties, or flea market visits, or dollar store shopping hauls. The idea is to make a massive bag that you can toss stuff into.
What’s your favorite vinyl craft project? Show us how you make it in the comments!