Welcome back to my blog series teaching you how to make vinyl labels like a pro. In Part 1 I covered some general intro information on vinyl labels. For today’s post, I’m going over the basic supplies you’ll need to get started and linking my favorites at the end.
Vinyl Cutting Machine
Cricut and Silhouette are two big names in vinyl cutting machines. I have one of each and like them both. What it really comes down to, though, is what you plan to use your machine for. Both brands have a few different models.
The Circuit Joy (I have) and Silhouette Portrait are starter machines. They are both small, portable machines that use a mobile app to create and cut your designs. Since they are small machines you are limited to smaller size projects. If you’re just looking to make labels and maybe dip into some other types of paper crafting this could be a good machine for you.
The Cricut Explore and Silhouette Cameo (I have) are the next size up. Both use desktop design software to cut larger sheets and a greater variety of materials. They also come with a higher price tag.
I found the Silhouette design Studio to have a large learning curve that I had to piece together and I believe Cricut is the same. Whereas the mobile apps for the smaller machines is much more user friendly, but also much more limited.
I covered the different types of vinyl in Part 1. If you go with the Joy or Portrait, I recommend buying the vinyl directly from the respective brand. If you get one of the larger machines, however, you have more options. For example, I buy my larger vinyl rolls from 143 Vinyl and use the Starcraft HD Permanent vinyl.
The other item you’ll need is transfer tape. Transfer tape is a clear tape used to transfer your design from the backing paper to whatever you’re applying it to. This will make more sense once we get into making the labels so just trust me for now. I’m currently using, and liking, Cricut transfer tape.
There are a few other items you’ll want when making vinyl labels. To start you’ll need a weeding hook and a scraper. Your machine may include these as part of your purchase. I have tried the tools from both Cricut and Silhouette and personally prefer the hook from Silhouette. But, honestly, either would be fine. I also recommend a pin pen. This little tool makes working with small labels a lot easier. As you get into label making you’ll also start accumulating scrap pieces of vinyl. To use those scraps you’ll need a cutting mat.
You can find all of these items linked in my Amazon storefront. I only linked items that I have personally used and recommend. As always, these are affiliate links so I do make a small commission from your purchase.
Now that you have your supplies, you’re ready to start designing and cutting your first label! In Part 3 of how to make vinyl labels I will be going over some design considerations I’ve learned from years of working with vinyl.