This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cricut. All opinions are 100% mine.
I have such a cute Cricut project idea to share with you today! I tried canning for the first time this summer and was so proud of my first creation (orange and rhubarb jam) that I made some really pretty jam jar labels with my Cricut Joy. I originally made these labels so I can gift this jam to friends and family, but the labels are turquoise and cute, and the jam is delicious, so I might have a hard time letting any of these jars go…
While I had my Cricut Joy out to make these labels, I tackled a few other Cricut projects at the same time – and Handy Hubby got in on the fun too. We ended up spending six hours just chatting and making things – we were having so much fun, we accidentally crafted right through dinner. I didn’t mind, but skipping dinner caught up with Hubby because at one point he was helping me attach a rogue “b” to a rhubarb label and I heard him quietly mutter to himself, “b is for belly, which is empty”.
I knew I’d love the Cricut Joy, but it really surprised me how fun and practical it’s been for Hubby too. Surprisingly, it’s become a relaxing hobby we look forward to doing together! Today I wanted to share five things I love about the Cricut Joy, give you a sneak peek at some upcoming Cricut project tutorials I’ll be sharing, and show you how to make my cute DIY jam jar labels.
If you haven’t heard of it before, the Cricut Joy is a cutting machine that does the kind of cool cutting and drawing Cricut is known for – in a small and portable package. It connects with a smart phone or computer through Bluetooth so you can whip up a design (or choose one from Cricut Design Space) in minutes. Cricut makes many different cutting machines, but here’s why I love the Cricut Joy.
1. The Cricut Joy Can Cut So Many Materials!
The photo below is just a tiny sampling of the kinds of materials you can get for the Cricut Joy. From vinyl (permanent and removable) to note cards and infusible ink sheets, there is a wide variety of materials available, designed to be used with the Cricut Joy. You’ll also find a lot of different color selections for each type of material so even though the Cricut Joy is smaller and newer than other Cricut cutting machines, you’ll always find what you want/need when it comes to selection of materials. The best thing is that most of these can be used without a mat, which makes the Cricut Joy even easier and faster to use.
2. The Cricut Joy Can Make Practical Items – and the Quality is Excellent
One of the things I love about the Cricut Joy is that you can quickly and easily make practical things. For example, we quickly churned out a ton of large and durable vinyl labels for garage storage bins we recently purchased. The Cricut Joy is a narrow cutting machine, but you can buy really long lengths of vinyl so it’s easy to get into the groove making something like labels. The Cricut Joy can actually cut a continuous shape up to 20 feet long! The labels we made are nice and big – easy to read across the garage and far superior to anything a simple label maker could print.
We also made a label for our mooring ball, out on the lake. Around here a mooring ball needs to have an address and other personal info, so we used permanent vinyl and it is holding strong, despite the fact that the mooring ball bobs up and down in the water – and gets baked in the sun – all day long. Again, the narrow size was perfect for this application and made it super easy to whip up a nice, long label with all of our pertinent information on it.
3. The Cricut Joy Makes Creating Crafts and Personalizing Items Simple
Although we’ve used the Cricut Joy for all kinds of practical projects, the variety of colors and styles of materials – like glitter and holographic and tie dye-inspired finishes – means we can make some really cool and unique crafts and projects. Hubby and I have made a few really funny Smart Iron-On vinyl sweatshirts (like my chicken sweatshirt!) and t-shirts for ourselves – and we have had a blast designing them together. I couldn’t even photograph all of his ideas because he absconded with them immediately to wear to work, lol (he was super excited). We also made a cool welcome wreath, which you saw, and some beautiful coastal coasters. The possibilities are endless and we’re just getting started (you can always see the latest Cricut project by clicking this link).
We recently experimented with infusible ink and made some very professional-looking lake-inspired t-shirts. Here’s a little sneak peek:
4. The Cricut Joy is Super Easy to Use
I hadn’t used any Cricut cutting machines prior to getting my Cricut Joy and at first I was worried it would be difficult to use because I see so many “tutorials” on Pinterest – not for projects, but for specific features or tricks. I’ve even seen bloggers sell courses for learning Cricut cutting machines, which made me think these must be difficult to use. Once I unboxed my Cricut Joy, I realized those tutorials are not needed. At all. In my experience, the Cricut Joy is incredibly user-friendly. Someone asked me if it’s like a sewing machine, which is scary when you unbox it (ask my Mom – who bought a new sewing machine years ago, gave me her old one, then took it back because she is just more comfortable using it and never fully got the hang of her new machine). To answer that question, I know exactly what you mean but my Cricut Joy was not like that at all – within minutes of unboxing, I was making things!
When I want to create something, it just takes a few seconds to plug in my Cricut Joy and start creating. Honestly the hardest part is deciding what to make first! And because the cutting machine is narrow, if you’re new to Cricut it’s really easy to get the hang of it because you’re working with cut outs in a really manageable size. I have not yet wished for a larger cutting machine, despite the wide variety of items we’ve made so far.
Because it’s so easy to use, it’s fun to use with other people. It was a pleasant surprise that the Cricut Joy became a hobby Hubby and I share – but I can also see this being a super fun cutting machine to use with kids, who will love personalizing school supplies and clothes of their own.
5. The Cricut Joy is Portable and Small
And because the Cricut Joy is so small and portable, you can take it with you! Bring it into the classroom, the office, the cottage, the craft show – wherever! You can easily bring this with you anywhere you want to create something beautiful or personal. Because I store my crafts in the redecorated “Fish Room” in my house, which can’t be accessed from inside, I appreciate the small size because it’s easy to carry over into the dining room where I craft – or I could even set it on a shelf in that narrow room and quickly whip up some designs over there. If you’re short on space – especially lacking room for craft supplies (which is something not everyone can devote storage space to) – this little cutting machine tucks easily into a drawer or on a shelf.
Basically the Cricut Joy has tons of cutting/drawing functionality and versatility, all rolled into a small, easy to use machine you can take anywhere.
Easy DIY Jam Jar Labels
So speaking of creating, take a peek at these jam labels! I used the removable vinyl so the labels aren’t permanent. I had so much fun I even made a large label for my jam pot so everyone (cough*hubby*cough) knows this is my designated jam pot.
With Cricut Joy, you don’t even need a mat for the Smart Vinyl, so the supply list is super small.
Supplies for Easy Jam Labels:
- Cricut Removable Smart Vinyl (I used the Hydrangea Sampler pack)
- Canning jars (smooth sides – no raised design works best)
How to Make Jam Labels with Cricut Joy:
I made my labels in Cricut Design Space – you can click here to access my exact designs. But it’s super easy to get creative and design your own jam jar labels. For the “Rhubarb is My Jam” labels, I searched images until I found the word “jam” in that pretty script font (I just literally searched “jam”) and then I added my text above it. For the “Superior Rhubarb Jam” label (get the joke? Because I live on Lake Superior and that’s where the rhubarb grew and the jam was made…) I searched “waves” in images and found this label style graphic and added my own text inside. Easy-peasy!
You can click over to my vinyl welcome sign wreath to see a super in depth tutorial for creating and applying vinyl designs – the how-to is the same! The Cricut Joy cut out my designs and I used my weeding tool to remove the excess vinyl.
Then I used the transfer tape to keep the label design together while I moved it from the vinyl backing onto my jars – using my scraper tool to burnish the transfer tape so it sticks and releases when I want it to. That’s it!
All that was left was to admire my handiwork! If I already knew who was receiving my jam, it would be so easy to whip up custom labels.
Hopefully you liked this cute little project. I mistakenly bought a lot of canning jars with a raised design but now I know to buy smooth so I can make some more labels! Let me know if you have any questions for me about using the Cricut Joy. I have so many more Cricut tutorials for you, so stay tuned!