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DIY Back to School Banner with Cricut

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Cricut has released their new Cricut Maker 3 just in time for school. Create this DIY Back to School Banner quickly using some adhesive cardstock and twine.

boy holding back to school banner made with the cricut

Just in time for our child to have an adorable back to school photo, Cricut has now released two new machines. You have the Cricut Explore 3 and the Cricut Maker 3. Watch me as I show you some differences between the old and new model and show you how to make this adorable Back to School banner.

cricut maker 3 on pink backdrop

Supplies for your Back to School Cricut Craft

What's the difference between the original Cricut Maker and Cricut Maker 3?

So there is not a ton of differences besides the fact that you can use their new Smart Materials. Cricut Smart Materials are able to be cut on your Cricut Maker 3 with no mat needed.

Think of the Cricut Joy and how it can feed all that vinyl and, with the sensors, can tell you if you have enough of your product.

Using the new Cricut Maker 3, I am able to cut 12 ft long in one single pass. You will want to have the new Cricut Roll Holder but it's not absolutely necessary. It'll just make cutting those long cuts a little easier. You can only use it on the new third generation machines so just be aware.

What accessories do I need for my Cricut Maker 3?

There are a lot of necessary things you're going to want for your Cricut. Definitely recommend stocking up on mats. You can find comparable mats on Amazon for a fraction of the cost. You will still need mats for your Cricut Maker 3 unless you're using approved Cricut Smart Materials.

A company called Uniquely Why Not makes some amazing tool holders that fit right into the tray. These will also fit your original Cricut Maker. It's perfect to hold any of your scoring wheels, wavy, and perforated tips along with the Rotary Blade and Knife Blade.

When you get further down, you'll see the slots for the fine point blades, deep cut blades, and the foil transfer blade and tips. All of these blades and tips are needed to really push your Cricut to the limit and do all what it's supposed to do.

If you're looking for a project that is just simply cutting vinyl and paper only, I say you're great to get a Cricut Explore 3. I do more projects with wood, including these Hocus Pocus decorations for Halloween, so the Cricut Maker 3 has been the right choice for me.

cricut tool holder

How do I use Cricut Smart Materials?

When you want to use the Cricut Smart Materials, you just feed it directly into the machine. The Smart Materials are now 13″ wide so it is the width of the mat.

You have the option of choosing whether you're using a new Cricut Smart Material or if you're loading a mat into your machine. When your project gets separated on mats, that is when the prompt will pull up.

cricut smart materials on pink background

Just select no mat and then your drop down menu will show all the Smart Materials to choose from. Select whether you're using vinyl, iron-on, adhesive cardstock, or Infusible Ink. Load it in your Cricut Maker 3 just as you would your mat and hit go.

These are some of the easiest materials and some of the better ones that I've cut with my Cricut Maker 3. I'm not sure why but the vinyl weeds a lot easier and I think it may have to do with the thicker base material. It's just a cleaner cut.

cricut adhesive black cardstock

How to assemble your DIY Back to School Banner

Cricut Back To School Craft

  1. Load Cricut Smart Paper

    You don't even need a mat! Load your 13″ sticker paper into the Cricut Maker 3 and select Go. I like to select the More setting on the cut so I get a crisp edge.cutting cricut adhesive cardstock

  2. Peel your Smart Paper Sticker Cardstock

    Once all the images have been cut in the colors you like, peel off the image from the backing. I like to remove the backing off first, kind of like when you remove a paper from a new mat.

    Just flip the image onto it's right side and then peel off the backing and this will prevent any warping or curling.peeling adhesive cardstock

  3. Layer your adhesive cardstock

    Leave your orange base on the sticker backing and begin to layer. Start with the black and match up the sides before giving it a good cardstock bus

  4. Layer your adhesive cardstock

    Next, add the blue over the black. I like to make sure that everything is matched before I give it a good sandwich press. It helps that the adhesive is still a little malleable so it can be pushed to where it needs to line adhesive cardstock

  5. Finish layering the adhesive cardstock

    Finally add your yellow layer. This is the most delicate of the layers because of all the negative space so take your time on this layer.layering adhesive cardstock for diy back to school banner

  6. Sandwich the buses together

    Remove the entire image from the sticker paper backing and then lay a piece of twine in the center. Add the additional bus image on the other side matching the bus images together. Secure your grade in the middle and you're done!putting adhesive cardstock bus together

first day of school banner
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