There are an endless number of designs you could carve into tangible items using your Cricut machine.
One way to produce these designs is using Cricut’s free software, Design Space. This cloud-based software is very easy to use and can be used on a wide range of devices.
One design you could create for your Cricut using Design Space is a vinyl car decal. So, how would you go about that?
The following article will break down all you’ll need to know to make your very own vinyl car decals from scratch, using Cricut Design Space.
Materials And Equipment Needed
All you’re going to need to create a vinyl car decal is the Cricut Maker itself, a standard grip mat, a permanent vinyl (which can be whichever color you’d prefer), circuit transfer paper, and a basic toolset.
Permanent vinyl is the most common kind of vinyl for car decals and bumper stickers because it’s designed to last longer, regardless of the elements that your car may be exposed to.
Some boat owners even stick permanent vinyl decals on their vessels, despite how wet they must get regularly.
You don’t need to go with permanent vinyl, though. Regular vinyl would also work- it’s just less likely to last as long as permanent vinyl.
You could also use window cling, which would stick to the windows of your car without actually adhering to them, meaning they’re easy to take off.
You’d probably want to keep window cling vinyl stickers on the inside of your car because on the outside they’re at risk of falling off.
The safest option for car decals, when it comes to reducing the risk of damage to your car, is probably a combination of permanent vinyl and car magnet blanks.
This will allow you to move the vinyl around now and then so it’s not only in one place, which would eventually cause that spot of the car to fade.
The downside to magnet car blanks is that it’s very easy for someone to steal them. They can also be at risk of falling off, depending on where you’ve put them in the car.
How To Create A Vinyl Car Decal For Cricut
So, how do you create a car decal on Cricut Design Space? The first step will be to take all the required measurements, to ensure that your design will fit on the grip mat, and your car.
If you’ve already got an SVG file in mind that you want to make into a car decal, then you’ll be skipping a few of these steps. But if you’re starting fresh, you’re going to need to create an SVG file.
A JPG or PNG file isn’t going to cut it (for lack of a better phrase). Cricut will require an SVG file so that the blade of the machine knows which directions it should be cutting in.
How To Create An SVG File
If you have an image in mind that you’d like to turn into a vinyl car decal, then you should open up Design Space, start a project, and open the image within said project.
If you’re using text, though, start a project and click on Text. Type out whatever you’d like your decal to say.
Making each word its text box will mean you won’t have to deal with line spacing later on; instead of needing to input numbers to space your words in the way you’d like, you can simply move the words yourself.
At this point, you can choose the font for your decal. If none of the fonts are offered within Cricut appeal, you can download a wide range of other fonts online.
You might want to combine two different fonts for your decal- perhaps one standard font, and one cursive font.
If you need ideas for how you want your car decal to look, there should be plenty of examples you can sift through online.
Next, adjust the spacing between each word until the design looks how you’d like it to look on your car.
You’ll next want to select all of the text in the document and click on the Weld option, which you’ll find at the bottom right hand of the interface.
It may be that you’ll want to add some extra icons or small images to the design as well. If you do, add them now.
Click Attach, which can also be found at the bottom right hand of the screen. You’ll now be able to save the project as an SVG file, and then you’ll have an SVG file that you can turn into a vinyl car decal.
Creating Your Car Decal
Now that you have a design that you can turn into a car decal, you can either cut your vinyl to size or attach all of your vinyl to your grip mat.
If you’re cutting the vinyl before you attach it to your mat, remember to ensure that you’ve made the right measurements beforehand.
The process of actually making the vinyl car decal with your Cricut machine is the simplest stage.
On whichever device you’re using (whether it’s your computer or your phone), click Make It, and Design Space will talk you through the rest of the process.
Put your mat into the Cricut, and press the button that should be blinking. The design will then be cut into your vinyl, at which point you can put transfer tape on top of the decal.
With your scraper, ensure all of your design is sticking correctly.
Applying The Vinyl Decal To Your Car
To apply the decal to your car, you’re going to need to use either rubbing alcohol or a glass cleaner to make sure that your chosen surface on the vehicle is both dry and clean.
Apply the decal carefully, as you would any large sticker. Rub it once you’ve applied the decal to make sure that every part of the design has thoroughly adhered to the vehicle.
Once you’re sure it’s suitably stuck, remove the transfer tape by carefully peeling it from the vinyl.
Should You Mirror Your Vinyl Car Decals?
Whether you should mirror your decals depends on where you’re going to be putting it on your vehicle, and the purpose you intend the decal to serve.
If it’s going on the body of your vehicle, then you probably won’t want to mirror the design.
But if you’re going to be putting it on the inside of your car’s window so that those who are outside your car will be able to read what it says, then you should be mirroring the design.
Of course, if it’s going on the inside of your car window and you want the people inside to be able to read what it says, then you shouldn’t mirror it.
The step where you make the vinyl decal for your vehicle is the easiest part because your Cricut machine will talk you through each step. But to get to that stage, you’re going to need to create an SVG file.
Decide what you want your decal to look like, and then either make an existing image into an SVG file or create a design from scratch, using text boxes.
Whichever sort of design you go with, you can make the required SVG files in Cricut’s Design Space.
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