How to make water slide Cricut decals

With any Cricut machine, you can make any kind of sticker or decal to decorate all your surroundings! Depending on the kind of material you use, they will have different characteristics and you will be able to stick them on multiple surfaces.

For example, you can make vinyl labels to tag the products in your pantry. Or you can also make water slide Cricut decals that are super easy to apply on any surface!


What are water slide decals?

Do you remember those temporary tattoos you could stick on your skin and would last for about a week? Water slide decals work on the same logic.

You print your design on a special kind of paper, remove from the paper with water, and stick it on whatever surface you want. You won’t believe how easy to make they are!

To make your own, you will need:

  • Water slide paper
  • A printer with regular ink
  • A Cricut cutter (optional)
  • Sealing spray
  • A bowl of water

As we said before, there are several options for decorating your possessions. You can use vinyl, stickers, or sublimation. The last one might be the best for mugs and other objects made with the same materials.

However, the sublimation process requires other kinds of materials, such as special inks (which might imply getting a special printer), Teflon paper, and most importantly, a heat press.

All these materials can be difficult and expensive to get. Water slide decals are great for replacing the sublimation process. This process takes up materials that are a lot easier to get.

How to make water slide Cricut decals

The process for making water slide decals is very similar to making any kind of sticker with a Cricut.

  1. You first need to find a design you like and decide where you want to stick it on.

    Measure how big you need your design to be, and work on it in the Design Space app to make it the correct size.

  2. After you have toggled your design, print it! In this case, you don’t need to use any special ink or printer. This is great because you won’t need to buy any new machines or weird materials.
  3. You will see that the paper has a shiny side and a matte side. Always remember to print on the shiny side!

    The only special material you need is the water slide paper.

    Although it is not the most common type of paper, it’s easy to find on Amazon or any other online craft retailer.

  4. Besides the paper, the most important element you need is sealing spray. This will make your design water resistant. You will see why you need this later!
  5. Once you have printed your design, cover it with a thin layer of sealing spray. Make sure it gets wet enough but keeping the design untouched.

    If you apply too much spray, the ink may bleed away and ruin your image. The drying process will take about 30 minutes, and once you are done, repeat this until your decal is covered with 3 or 4 layers of spray.

  6. Now it’s time to cut the design with your Cricut machine. Make sure that the spray is completely dry or it may damage your Cricut’s blade.

    We recommend cutting the picture right on the border of the design, not creating a square piece, or else it won’t look so well on the finished project.

Apply your water slide decals on a surface

Once you are done cutting, it’s time for applying!

  1. Get the surface you want to stick the decal on and grab some alcohol to clean it thoroughly. You don’t want any tiny fluff or dust particles under your waterslide decals, or it may peel off quickly.
  2. Pour some water into a bowl and dip the decal inside it. You will see it will curl up, so use your fingers to keep it all submerged under the water.

    Keep it there for about one minute until you see that the backing paper is completely damp and that the design is slowly peeling off it.

    This is why you needed the sealing spray: it protects the design from the water while you submerge it.

  3. Apply some of the water on the surface so that it is also wet, and slowly rub the design off the backing paper.

    Be very careful with this step, as the layer with the design is very thin and fragile and it might break. You have to be very gentle, as if you were caressing the paper.

  4. Once the design is on the surface, you can gently move it to get the right placement. Check that no parts are twisted or overlapped, and tap it with your fingers to lay it completely flat.

    When you are happy with the result, tap the decal with a paper towel to remove the excess water.

  5. Done! Simply let the decal dry and you will have a whole new decorated piece.
  6. You can use this technique on any flat surface that can resist water, as you need to wet it too.

The most common projects to make with water slide decals are mugs, epoxy tumbler, phone cases and nail decals DIY.

How to make waterslide decals without a Cricut?

Of course, making water slide Cricut decals is easier, as you don’t need to deal with the cutting process by yourself, but you can always use regular scissors to cut the design out of the paper sheet and later repeat the process as described above.

We hope this tutorial for making water slide Cricut decals has helped you find easier ways to decorate your personal things and customize all your surroundings.

if you have chalk paint and you ask yourself “Can you use chalk paint on glass?” We tell you how it is possible by clicking here.