Make Stickers with the Cricut Joy

Make Stickers with the Cricut Joy

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Stickers are just fun and who doesn’t want to make their own? Well, today I am teaching you how to make stickers with the Cricut Joy.

The Cricut Joy is the cutest little electronic cutter so it makes sense you’d want to make cute stickers with it, right? There are some limitations to what the Cricut Joy can make into stickers – basically just shapes and words. The Cricut Joy doesn’t support Print then Cut functions.

But, there is a work around for doing Print then Cut stickers with the Cricut Joy but that gets kind of complicated. In today’s tutorial, I am keeping things simple especially for those new to the Cricut Joy. If you want to learn the work around for print then cut, leave me a comment and I’ll do a post on that.

This tutorial walks through how to set up sticker designs you want to make in Cricut Design Space, how you can make your own patterned sticker paper for cutting stickers and then I show the entire cut and weeding process. Overall, it’s pretty easy so please join me and you too can make your own stickers with your Cricut Joy.

You may also want to check out my tutorial on How To Use Infusible Ink Pens with the Cricut Joy

Please check out the video tutorial below or scroll down for instructions with photos:

What Images Can You Make into Stickers with the Cricut Joy?

As I mentioned above, the Cricut Joy does not support Print Then Cut functions so unless you want to learn a complicated work around (let me know in the comments and I’ll do a post on it), you are limited to making stickers that are essentially outlines only. They can be outlines of shapes, words, glyphs, SVG files, image files, etc.

This may seem disappointing but really, you can do a lot with outlines as I will show you in this tutorial.

Cricut Joy Stickers
Stickers made from three different papers (Deluxe Adhesive Backed Paper, Printed Patterned Paper, Homemade Patterned Paper).

Matte or Glossy Sticker Paper?

The basic essential for making stickers is sticker paper. You will cut your designs out of it but which kind should you use?

Matte Sticker Paper
This can be used for printing images like patterns on it or making your own background patterns with things like inks and markers and then cutting into stickers. You will see both in this tutorial.

The matte finish of the paper has a porous surface so inks and markers can soak into the paper and become permanent. If the paper is thick enough you could use watercolor on it too. But, it does have a flat, matte surface which can be unappealing for some.

INCLUDE THE KIDS: Have your kids or grandkids create their own backgrounds using inks, markers, etc. on some sticker paper that they can then be cut into stickers.

Glossy Sticker Paper
This can be used for any printed image like patterns. Similar to photo paper, the sticker paper is coated in a glossy finish that turns the paper into essentially a non-porous surface (not entirely but close).

This kind of sticker paper is difficult to ink or draw on because the glossy surface won’t allow the normal inks used for stamping or writing to soak into the paper and stay put; they will just rub off. You’ll need specialty inks to do this (like Staz On, Archival, Sharpies, etc.) of which some can be pricey and sometimes these inks eventually wear off the paper anyway.

IDEA: Print fun SVG or JPG patterns on to it. Do you have any digital scrapbook papers you’ve purchased? Those would work. You can also search for patterns on SVG sites like Creative Fabrica, Design Bundles and more.

Pick the type of sticker paper that works best for your needs. I am using matte sticker paper for this tutorial (linked below).

Add Basic Shapes to a New Project in Cricut Design Space

Open a New Project in Cricut Design Space. Open the Shapes menu on the left toolbar and select the star and then the heart to add these to the canvas.

Cricut Design Space - Shapes Menu
Click to enlarge

The Cricut Joy has a maximum cutting width of 4.25″ so the shapes need to be smaller than that. They come in at a medium size but because I want to make several of each, I am going to resize them down.

To do this, click on the star to select it. Double check that the lock in the lower left corner handle is locked (closed). Go to the Size section on the upper toolbar and change the Width to .5″ W.

Cricut Design Space - Resize Star
Click to enlarge

Repeat these steps for the heart, changing its width to .75″ W.

Cricut Design Space - Resize heart
Click to enlarge

I like to change the color of the shapes to something lighter than the default black. It makes them easier to see on the mat when I go to ‘Make It’. To do this, click and drag to select both the heart and star. Then click on the black box next to ‘Cut’ in the Operation box on the left side of the upper toolbar and choose a different color.

Cricut Design Space - Change Color
Click to enlarge

Duplicate Sticker Shapes if Desired in Cricut Design Space

To make multiple stickers from each shape, first click on the star to select it. Then navigate to the Duplicate button on the top of the right-hand Layers panel. Click Duplicate four times so you will have a total of five stars (or whatever number you want).

Cricut Design Space - Duplicate Star
Click to enlarge

Click and drag the stars into a rough horizontal line. Click and drag to select them all and check that the dimension of the line is less than 4.25″ W. If it isn’t, move the stars closer together until the total width of the line is less than 4.25″.

With all the stars selected, navigate to the Align button on the upper toolbar. Click on it and select Align Top. The stars will all align along their top edge.

Cricut Design Space - Align Stars
Click to enlarge

Repeat this again but this time select Distribute Horizontally and the stars will become evenly spaced along the horizontal line.

Cricut Design Space - Distribute Stars
Click to enlarge

Click and drag to select all of the stars again and then click either Group (on the top of the right hand Layers panel) or Attach (at the bottom of the Layers panel. This will keep the stars arranged as you see them now if you move them.

Repeat this process for the Heart to make five of them.

Cricut Design Space - Hearts Distributed
Click to enlarge

Using Words as Stickers

To make words into stickers my advice is to use either cursive fonts and then Weld the letters together or bold print letters that are large enough to easily piece together into a word later when they are cut as separate letter stickers.

If you don’t know how to use Weld on letters, please check out this tutorial: Weld, Group & Attach in Cricut Design Space.

Cricut Design Space - Words for Stickers
Click to enlarge

Add whatever words you like by clicking on the Text icon on the left hand toolbar and typing the word into the box. Change the font by clicking on the font menu on the upper toolbar; the size can be changed here too. For a detailed tutorial on text, again please see my Weld, Group & Attach in Cricut Design Space tutorial.

Change the words to the same color as the star and heart if you want them to all print on one mat.

Attach Shapes in Cricut Design Space

Move the row of stars, row of hearts, and any words you’ve added into a close grouping again making sure the group isn’t wider than 4.25″. Click and drag to select all of the elements and then click Attach on the bottom of the right hand Layers panel.

Cricut Design Space - Attach
Click to enlarge

Attaching them together will leave them in the arrangement you see on the Canvas when you go to ‘Make It’. If you skip this step, the program will rearrange them into a configuration that the program thinks will conserve material. It’s up to you if you want to do this, but personally, I like to have it cut the way I arranged it (I might have some control issues – lol).

Now click on Make It in the upper right of the screen.

Cricut Design Space - Make It
Click to enlarge

Make It Options

You will now be asked how you want to load the materials. Choose On Mat.

Cricut Design Space - Choose How to Load Materials
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The screen will now display the mat (or mats depending on how many stickers you’re making). If it looks good, click Continue in the lower right. If not, click Cancel and make needed changes to the shapes on the canvas (probably need to Attach everything) and click Make It again.

Cricut Design Space - Continue from Mat Screen
click to enlarge

Create a Custom Material for Your Joy in Cricut Design Space

Make sure your Cricut Joy is plugged in as the program will now connect to it. Then it will ask you to Set Base Material. Click on the Browse All Materials link on the right.

Cricut Design Space - Browse All Materials
Click to enlarge

This will bring up a list of all Joy materials. Navigate to the bottom of the window and click on Material Settings.

Cricut Design Space - Material Settings
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Scroll to the bottom of this list and click on the green Add New Material button.

Cricut Design Space - Add New Material
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This will open a new section on the screen that asks you to name the new material. Enter a name in the text box and click Save.

Cricut Design Space - Name New Material
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Now a green slider bar will appear with a couple of dropdown menu boxes above it. The sider bar is asking you to set the Pressure setting for the material. For my thin sticker paper, I slid the bar down to 85. You can also use the + and – buttons to change the number if easier. The other two boxes should remain at their default settings: off (for multi-cut) and Fine Point Blade (for Blade-Type). Click Save.

Cricut Design Space - Set Custom Material Settings
Click to enlarge

The new custom material will now be added alphabetically to the list shown. Click the Done button at the bottom of the window. You will return back to the Set Base Material screen.

Set the Base Material

Click the Browse All Materials link again and scroll down to the My Materials section and click on the custom material you just added OR type the name into the Search box at the top to find it quickly and then click on it to select it.

Cricut Design Space - Search Materials
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Click the Done button to return to the main screen. The Base Material should now be set to your custom material. I named mine Matte Sticker Paper.

Cricut Design Space - Base Material Selected
Click to enlarge

Step 2 on the screen shows that you should load the fine point blade and the mat into the Cricut Joy, so go to your machine to do that.

Load Up the Mat & Into the Cricut joy

Trim your sticker paper down to 4.25″ W x however long you want it but not greater than 12″ if using the longer mat. Using a Standard Grip Mat, place the the sticker paper down on to it in the upper left corner and rub so you know it sticks well to the mat.

Add Sticker Material to Cricut Joy Mat
Click to enalrge

Line up the edges of the mat under the feeder brackets on your Cricut Joy and push toward the wheels. The machine will grab the mat and run it through to align it properly.

Cricut Joy Loads Mat to Make Stickers
Click to enlarge

Cut the Stickers with Your Cricut Joy

Return to the Design Space software and click to Go button to have the Cricut Joy cut out your stickers. Yay!

Cricut Design Space - Click Go to Cut Stickers
Click to enlarge

Unload & Weed the Stickers

When the machine stops cutting and Design Space says it is complete, click Unload in Design Space. The Cricut Joy will unload the mat.

NOTE: If desired, check the cut BEFORE unloading the mat and if necessary click Rerun to have the Joy cut the stickers again.

Flip the mat over and carefully remove the sticker paper from the mat by peeling the mat away from the paper while keeping the paper as flat as possible.

Peel Stickers from Cricut Joy Mat
Click to enlarge. Sorry it’s blurry.

Like weeding vinyl, remove the excess sticker paper from around the now-cut stickers by carefully peeling it away from the backing paper. The goal is to have your stickers remain on the backing paper while removing the excess sticker paper from around them. Enjoy!!

Weed Excess Paper from Cricut joy Stickers
Click to enlarge

Other Materials for Stickers

In addition to sticker paper, you can also use adhesive vinyl to make stickers – usually called decals. You can use permanent adhesive vinyl to stick things to mugs, bottles, plates, etc. or removeable vinyl to add decals to walls, phones, etc.

Cricut also offers a couple of materials for sticker making – Deluxe Adhesive Backed Paper and Smart Paper – Sticker Cardstock.

Deluxe Adhesive Backed Paper comes in sets of five designs, patterned and plain, with 2 pieces of each that are 4.25″ W x 12″ L. There are several style choices. This is very thick, sturdy sticker paper and works well for die cut type stickers where the backing paper is cut through.

Stickers Cut with Deluxe Adhesive Backed Paper
Stickers on green mat are cut with Deluxe Adhesive Backed Paper. They are thick and work well as die cut stickers.

Smart Paper – Sticker Cardstock is cut without a mat. I haven’t used it but would guess it is thicker than the sticker paper I used in this tutorial.

Questions or Comments?

If you have any questions, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you soon. Want to just tell me how much you loved this tutorial? Please leave me a comment below – lol!

Cricut Joy Stickers
Closeup of the different stickers cut from patterned papers (printed and homemade).


I would also appreciate any ideas you may have for topics to cover related to the software for Cricut (Design Space), Silhouette (Studio) or Brother (Canvas) and any suggestions you may have on projects to create with the Cricut Maker, Cricut Joy, Silhouette Cameo 4 or the Brother Scan N Cut DX. Please leave any requests you have in the comments. I appreciate you taking the time to visit and read my blog. Thanks!


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  1. Sabine says:

    You mentioned a work around for print and cut stickers with the Cricut joy. Could you share that method?

    1. elenaa3 says:

      Hi Sabine,
      Thanks for letting me know you would like to see that too. It is on my to-do list so hopefully I will get that tutorial done in the next few weeks.

      – Elena

  2. Esther says:

    Hi. I too, would like to see the work around for print then cut stickers please.

    1. elenaa3 says:

      Great! It’s on my to-do list. Thanks for letting me know Esther.

      1. Karen Q says:

        I would like to know how to do the print then cut work around for the cricut joy!

        1. elenaa3 says:
  3. Great page! You helped me out after hours of frustration messing my sticker paper with the cricut joy presettings…

    1. elenaa3 says:

      I am very glad to hear that. You made my day! Thanks.

  4. Robin Phares says:

    WOW! How cool is this? I would have never thought of just adding a piece of paper on top of my sticker paper. You are a genius!

    1. elenaa3 says:

      Thanks so much! I’m really glad I could help.

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