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Personalized water bottles are must for our back-to-school supply list. I mean have you SEEN how kids use drinking fountains!? So gross. I have used this easy craft technique to label all sorts of water bottles from plastic ones to our new favorite metal ones!
And make sure you get to the bottle to see lots of other awesome DIY back to school projects!
I used to think if I just got a cute design water bottle and sharpie his name on it my kid would know for sure which was his. That was until we brought home what looked like his bottle but wasn’t. Ewww nasty. That’s right he and his kindergarten classmate had the exact same bottle.
It was gross then to mix up water bottles but even now as we’re still dealing with different bugs were we often need face mask I don’t want to risk the kids mixing up their drinks!
What We Love About Custom Water Bottles
There are a lot of things we love making water bottles personalized.
- Makes your bottle unique and quickly identifiable.
- Kids love things with their names on them. You can be picky about your water bottle style AND have your name exactly how you spell it!
- Add special interests. Teddy’s water bottles for 2nd grade all had koalas on them along with his name!
- Vinyl stays visible much longer than sharpie and is still able to be washed.
How to Make a Personalized Water Bottle
While my big focus is to put a name large on the bottle so it is easy to recognize, you can definitely personalize water bottles with pretty much any graphics and logos you like. Here are some fun Harry Potter imagines you may like.
More Back to School Projects You’ll Love
While you’re getting your stuff ready for the new school year here are other awesome diy back to school crafts and ideas.
- Personalized Pencil Case – sew a super fun custom pencil pouch
- DIY Harry Potter Wand Pencils – turning your pencils into magical wands makes doing school work more fun
- School Lunch Ideas – lots of great ideas for packing fun and nutritious school lunches
- Back-to-School Harry Potter Projects – a great collection of Harry Potter crafts and recipes great for getting back to school.
What You Need to Personalize a Water Bottle
Whether you’re using a plastic, metal, or glass water bottle, the basic technique and supplies are the same. Once you get the hang of this technique you can use it to personalize so much more than water bottles.
Supplies for Making Customized Water Bottles
- Water Bottle – the material doesn’t matter, I have used both plastic and metal water bottles but you do want to make sure the surface is smooth. The vinyl needs to be able to adhere and if it’s bumpy or textured it will have a harder time.
- Outdoor or Permanent Vinyl – I prefer Oracle 631 for these kind of projects. I know Cricut makes some outdoor vinyl but I have had better lasting power with the oracle permanent vinyl.
- Transfer Tape –
- Cutting Machine – I use my Cricut Maker but it works the same way on the Cricut explore machines. You can use other cutting machines too with this basic technique.
- Weeding Tools (optional) – this isn’t a necessity but it does make the task of prepping the vinyl design go much faster and easier. I have this set.
If you want to hand cut vinyl it is possible with an exacto knife but I’m a bit tedious and annoying. When you use a cutting machine it can do what is called kiss cut where you just the vinyl but the carrier paper stays in tact. This way it becomes more like one big sticker instead of a bunch of individual stickers.
How to Make Personalized Water Bottles for Kids
It is easy to make name water bottles in just a few simple steps. I will give speficis for how to do these with a Cricut brand cutter using the free Cricut Design Space program.
- Measure Your Space. Figure out what size your design needs to be. Measure the maximum height and width that you have to work with.
- Make Your Design. Go into Cricut Design Space and type the name you want to use and size it. More on this below.
- Cut Out Your Vinyl. Place your vinyl shiny (right side) side up on your cutting mat and cut out your vinyl.
- Weed Your Design. Remove any pieces that are not a part of your design. For example negative space, the holes in the letters A and O.
- Transfer Your Design to Transfer Tape. Basically you are pulling the design off in one piece so that the sticky side is exposed. This allows you to place your design on the water bottle while maintaining the spacing and layout.
- Place Your Design on the Water Bottle. Position and smooth out the vinyl sticky side down on the water bottle. Smooth and press it down through the transfer tape and carefully remove the transfer tape.
- Allow to rest. Make sure you allow for time for the design to fully set before you use or wash the water bottle 24-48 should be fine.
Those are the basic steps for putting a name on a water bottle but below you’ll find my tips and trouble shooting some of the steps.
How to Prepare a Design in Cricut Design Space
Once you have the max dimensions for you design, you can make your personalized water bottle labels. Start by typing it out in Cricut design space. Change the font. It’s awesome since you can see how the difference styles look. Click the lock image so that proportions are unlocked and you can edit the height and width to match or be just under your working space.
You can toy around with the size as long as you dont go over your max measurements. Some fonts will be distorted and look off when stretched out of proportion. Another thing to try is adjusting the letter spacing.
If you want to add an image or another line of text that is separate from your first you want to select all the elements for the design and “attach” them. You can do this before or after you adjust the sizing. If doing it before you may find that you don’t love how one element resizes proportionally. So just detach, resize, select both and reattach.
How to Cut Vinyl with a Cricut
When you load your vinyl you want to make sure to place it RIGHT side up, this is the part that will be shown on your design. This is the opposite of when you cut with iron on vinyl. You will be cutting the side that will be seen. You DO NOT have to mirror the design.
Select “outdoor” vinyl for your material and you follow the prompts to cut your vinyl out.
How to Weed Vinyl
You know how weeding in the garden is pulling out the weeds, that is the stuff that doesn’t belong in the garden? Well that’s what you’re going to do with the vinyl. So this is where you remove the negative space in the design. Remove the holes in “O’s” and “A’s” and any other space that doesn’t belong.
I love my Cricut tools for this but you can weed most designs with careful fingers and folding the vinyl or even using a pin. Make sure to double check it. Take a break, go walk away and recheck it.
How to Use Transfer Tape
Make sure to use a light stick transfer tape or what I like using is contact paper. It’s cheap and it does that job. I have some strong Cricut transfer tape and it’s much too strong for outdoor vinyl. It will not release the vinyl.
The whole point of using transfer tape is to maintain the position of each piece of the design. Instead of peeling and sticking a bunch of individual stickers you will be transferring them as a whole to the transfer tape so that the sticky side is up and each piece is in it’s proper place. That will then help you lay it onto the surface you want it on.
Start by cutting a piece of transfer tape or contact paper the same size as your design. Peel the paper backing off and lay the sticky size down on top of your image. Next rub the transfer tape to the design. Do it from the front and back. Peel the paper backing off of the vinyl and transfer tape. It tends to help if you take it at a sharp angle and slow. Depending on your design you may find it helpful to use a scraper or old gift card to add pressure.
This is kind of a learned skill. Give yourself some grace and patience the first couple times you do it. You will get the hang of it and it will get easier.
How to Add a Name to a Water Bottle
Now that you have your vinyl design on the transfer tape with the sticky side exposed you will place it on the water bottle. Most vinyl doesn’t like to be repositioned so go slow and aim well. Do your best to keep the design flat.
If you do get a fold in the design try to immediately reposition and stretch it out. If it’s already really stuck sometimes you can rub it to stretch it out.
Once the design is on rub it firmly through the transfer tape. Then pull back the transfer tape. I find it helpful to go at a diagonal and have the transfer table folded all the way back on itself. If you need to you can help the vinyl pull away and stick to the bottle with your finger or a pin.
Free free to give it one last pat and smash down to make sure air bubbles are pushed out and all the edges of the vinyl are pressed down.
Finally, and this step is very important. Let it sit. Do not use it. Do not wash it. Do not handle it for 48 hours. This allows the vinyl to full adhere.
More Back to School Projects
I’m sharing this water bottle as a part of team creative crafts. Check out all the other awesome back-to-school tutorials my friends are sharing this month!
Laura from Me and My INKlings has created a set of hand drawn and water coloredBack-to-School Lunchbox Notesthat are available to download for FREE!
Create the cutestDIY Pencil Casemade with felt and embellished with a strawberry.Smitha from Smiling Colorshas the full tutorial on her blog.
Shani from Sunshine and Munchkinsis sharing the CUTESTBack-to-School Pencil Wreathcreated from yarn. Fun for the classroom door!
Download and print a set ofLunchbox Notesto inspire the kiddos during back-to-school time. Head over toLaura’s blog Laura’s Crafty Lifeto get the Free Printable.
Justine from Little Dovehas created the cutestDIY Apple Garlandfrom book paper. What a cute way to decorate the classroom for back-to-school.
Make a funFriendship Bracelet Style Bookmarkfor your bestie with this step-by-step tutorial fromErica of 5 Little Monsters.
Kelsey of Poofy Cheeksis sharing a funDIY Pencil Sign with the FREE SVG Cut File. The perfect back-to-school teacher gift.
Make sure to keep all the kids school supplies organized withPersonalized Notebooks. Get the editable sublimation files fromKatie over on the Crafty Blog Stalker.
Chelly from We Can Make Thatis sharing the cutest SVG Cut File to create aHome Sweet Classroom Clipboardfor that special teacher.
Create a fabulous back-to-school gift for your new teachers withLindsay’sResin Pencil Keychaintutorial over on her blogArtsy Fartsy Mama. Makes the perfect backpack charm too!
Beth from Creatively Bethis channeling her inner Dad Jokes with a set ofPunny Lunch Notesto keep the kiddos in stitches.
Hydration is super important, so do it in style withPersonalized Water Bottles.Marissa of Rae Gunn Ramblingshas the full tutorial on her blog.
Check back in tomorrow for the directions to all these awesome projects above. I’ll add the links to this post so be sure to save it!
Personalized Water Bottles Tutorial
How to put a name on a water bottle using permanent vinyl.
- Water Bottle
- Outdoor or Permanent Vinyl
- Transfer Tape or Contact Paper
- Cutting Machine
- Weeding Tools optional
Measure Your Space. Figure out what size your design needs to be. Measure the maximum height and width that you have to work with.
Make Your Design. Go into Cricut Design Space and type the name you want to use and size it. More on this below.
Cut Out Your Vinyl. Place your vinyl shiny (right side) side up on your cutting mat and cut out your vinyl.
Weed Your Design. Remove any pieces that are not a part of your design. For example negative space, the holes in the letters A and O.
Transfer Your Design to Transfer Tape. Basically you are pulling the design off in one piece so that the sticky side is exposed. This allows you to place your design on the water bottle while maintaining the spacing and layout.
Place Your Design on the Water Bottle. Position and smooth out the vinyl sticky side down on the water bottle. Smooth and press it down through the transfer tape and carefully remove the transfer tape.
Allow to rest. Make sure you allow for time for the design to fully set before you use or wash the water bottle 24-48 should be fine.