How to Make Handprint Tote Bags With Cricut

Make custom tote bags with your own handprints cut from Infusible Ink or iron-on vinyl. These cute tote bags make great Mother’s Day gifts!

One of my favorite things about having a Cricut is being able to whip up a custom gift whenever I want. I love being able to design something that’s personal to the recipient, something you couldn’t find in a store.

And these handprint tote bags I made for Mother’s Day fit that perfectly. Aren’t they so fun?! I can’t wait to gift these to the moms and grandmas in my family.

Follow the steps below so you can make your own tote bags!

how to make handprint tote bags with Cricut

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What you need to make handprint tote bags

supplies needed to make Cricut handprint tote bags

To make handprints:

  • white paper
  • paint (a darker color is best for the best contrast to the white paper)
  • foam paint brush

To make tote bags:

Tips for success: Infusible Ink tote bags

If you’ve never made Infusible Ink tote bags before, here are some important tips to follow so you get the best results:

  1. Use a mat in between the tote bag and push it underneath the bag’s edge seam for a solid flat surface to press on. Adjust the interior mat and cardstock as you work, making sure it’s always underneath your EasyPress.
  2. Use lots of heat resistant tape to avoid shifting and ghosting (use more than you think you need).
  3. Press in sections. For the most part, it’s okay to overlap previously pressed areas, unlike iron-on vinyl where you have to be more careful about overheating. I did have one tote bag where the overlapping left a mark (probably not noticeable to anyone but me…and all the people I pointed it out to in the video, haha). I recommend pressing over each piece completely (as much as you can) on the first press, then it should be okay to overlap pieces that have already transferred.

How to make Cricut handprint tote bags

This video goes step-by-step through how to make these handprint tote bags (and has the most adorable audio of my son, watch the whole video to catch both of his cameos 🥰). I’ve also copied the written instructions below if you prefer.

P.S. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel if you like this video! I genuinely appreciate every like and respond to every comment. Your feedback motivates me to share more tutorials like this!

Paint handprints and upload to Cricut Design Space

This tutorial for uploading handprints to Cricut Design Space goes over everything you need to know when using your own handprints for custom Cricut projects. (I split this post so it wouldn’t be too long, but those instructions are still in the video above.)

Design your tote bag in Design Space

Once your handprints are uploaded, you can design the rest of the tote bag (or customize one of my tote bag designs below).

Create a guide that’s the same size as your tote bag (I recommend actually measuring the physical tote bag since the area where you want to put the design may differ from the bag’s written dimensions). Create a square/rectangle shape that size, then change the operation type to Guide. Move it to the back of all the layers. Now you know how big to make your designs.

There are tons of mom-themed images in the image library, or you can create your own with text.

You can further customize images by hiding layers or contouring as needed.

If needed, you can also contour the handprints. When I zoomed in on one of my handprints, I noticed a tiny piece that I missed when uploading the handprint that I didn’t want cut. Click on the image, click Contour, then click on that piece and it will fill in.

Make sure to attach any pieces that you want cut together by selecting all the layers and clicking Attach (often images are grouped but not attached, so pay attention to that before cutting).

Here are my tote bag designs in Design Space if you prefer to customize these instead:

Note: My handprints won’t show up in the design for you since they’re my own uploaded images. You’ll just need to upload your own to complete the design.

Cut with your Cricut machine

When you’re ready to cut your project, click Make. Choose On Mat, For any material. Confirm.

Both Infusible Ink and iron-on vinyl should be mirrored, so click Mirror on all the mats. Adjust the positioning of anything if needed. Then click Continue.

Set your base material to Infusible Ink or Everyday Iron-On, whatever you’re using. If all mats in your project are the same material, you can click the box next to Remember material settings so you don’t have to keep choosing the material settings.

Load your cutting mat with your material. Make sure your hands are clean before handling Infusible Ink transfer sheets since oils and lotions can affect the transfer quality. With Infusible Ink, you want to load it on the mat so the ink is face up. Use your brayer to press it down well.

Load your mat into your machine, double check one more time that you’ve selected Mirror for your project, and follow the Design Space prompts to cut the material.

Unload when finished, then flip the mat over and remove the mat away from the material, keeping the material flat against the table so you don’t crease it or curl it (though…this is less of a worry with Infusible Ink since it’s already curled from being rolled up tightly in the box).

When cutting iron-on vinyl, remember to Mirror also and load the vinyl with the matte side up, shiny carrier sheet side down. (Watch the video for my handy trick when loading iron-on vinyl on the mat!)

Weed the material

Before weeding your Infusible Ink, cut around the image to remove any excess material you might want to save for later. Leave about 1/2 inch (the more adhesive liner that you have exposed, the better your design will adhere to the tote bag, which will help prevent your design from shifting).

Use your fingers to weed the Infusible Ink. Crack or fold the material away from the edge and remove that outer border first, then any interior pieces. Go slowly so you don’t tear into your design, but it’s okay if those scrap pieces tear, it’s kind of hard to avoid that.

If you’re having a hard time seeing where your cut lines are, definitely utilize your BrightPad. It was helpful for seeing where to weed out the tiny pieces on my little baby handprints.

Weed any iron-on vinyl pieces as well. Use a weeding tool (and I also used my BrightPad here to help see cut lines easier).

my favorite people call me grams iron-on vinyl, on Cricut BrightPad with weeding tool

Prep the tote bag

Before pressing, make sure you’re working in a well-ventilated space. Infusible Ink gets kind of stinky.

For Infusible Ink, set your EasyPress to 385º for 40 seconds.

While that’s heating, lay your tote bag on your largest pressing mat. Put a smaller pressing mat inside the tote bag, and white cardstock between the mat and the bag–this is to protect your mat if there’s any bleed-through from the Infusible Ink.

Before you apply your design, you want to press out any wrinkles or moisture. Lay a sheet of butcher paper over the tote bag and press with your EasyPress for about 15 seconds.

Next, lint roll the bag to remove any fuzzies or anything that could interfere with your transfer.

Position your Infusible Ink design on the tote bag, ink side down–your image should not look mirrored now, it should look correct. You can use a ruler to measure to make sure your design is straight and centered, or just eye it. When you’re positioning pieces, make sure none of the carrier sheets get under the Infusible Ink parts, you want to make sure that the ink is always right up against the tote bag.

Once positioned, use a bunch of heat resistant tape, all around the edges of your designs.

Press the tote bag

Lay a sheet of butcher paper over the Infusible Ink pieces to protect your EasyPress as well as your tote bag.

Press in sections, again at 385º for 40 seconds in each spot. Lift the EasyPress up slowly to avoid that shifting and ghosting of your design as much as possible.

In between presses, adjust the mat and cardstock inside the bag, making sure it’s always underneath where you’re pressing. Leave all the carrier sheets on until all pieces are pressed.

When you’re finishing pressing everything, you can do a warm peel and remove the transfer sheets. Be careful not to burn your fingers as it will be very hot initially.

If you have any pieces that didn’t transfer perfectly, you can sometimes reposition part of your transfer sheet over the design and press again. You can see how I did this in the video. Use your EasyPress Mini on these small areas for more control (highest setting, up to 75 seconds).

Press iron-on vinyl

If your tote bag also has iron-on vinyl, always press that after the Infusible Ink.

Position your iron-on pieces (they can be in between ink designs or it’s fine to overlap the ink, too). Lay a piece of butcher paper over the top. Then press for 30 seconds at 315º (or the medium setting for the EasyPress Mini). Remove the liner when cool.

grandma's garden handprint tote bag and zoo keeper mom tote bag with Cricut Infusible Ink

If you’re wondering why the flowers on my “Grandma’s Garden” tote bag are off center, it’s because I’m saving room for one more handprint (or footprint) when my nephew is born. 💙

DIY handprint tote bag gifts for Mom and Grandma

I hope you love these tote bag ideas! They are the sweetest gift for moms and grandmas, perfect for Mother’s Day, birthdays, or Christmas. Handprint keepsake gifts are the best!

easy handprint tote bag tutorial with Cricut

Happy crafting!

Aubree Originals crafts

Don’t forget to pin and save for later!

how to make handprint tote bags with Cricut, pinterest pin image

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