This tutorial teaches you how to cut vinyl on your Cricut in order to make a happy little stack of DIY farmhouse book sets. Cutting vinyl on your Cricut Explore or Maker is so easy! This project is a great Cricut beginner project and will help you build your skills!
My very merry DIY Christmas continues with a quick tutorial on how to make your own set of stacked books with a custom message on the spine. I used my Cricut Maker machine to cut vinyl stencils saying “Be Merry. Be Joyful. Be Bright”.
It makes for a super happy book stack.
I started seeing these “farmhouse book sets” around and I think they are adorable! Since I have 6 bookshelves to decorate in my craft room, so I needed at least some books to make it appear like I am a scholar.
This simple DIY is not onlycute, but I made the entire stack for under $5 using books from the thrift store. If you did not want to deface a good book, you could use wood for this, but that feels so…inauthentic.
This is a book stack people. USE BOOKS! If your conscience is killing you, just remember you can always slip the dust jacket back on and return it!
Selecting books for your stack
Select three hard covered books that are pretty thick (you know, books that smart people would read).
I didn’t have any of THAT kind laying around here (ha), so I picked up three from Goodwill.
My selection was based upon size (I wanted varying thicknesses of the spine) and price (I am cheap and they were getting painted). I selected books that were no more than $1.99. I scored two of the three for only $0.99!
A funny side note. As a good DIY’er, I was going to show you a “Before” of these books. They were all books I randomly picked up at the thrift store, not paying attention to the titles since I was solely basing my selection on price and size
Turns out I had a naughty one in there! Hence and therefore….NO BEFORE PICTURE! 🙂
If I were to re-do this project again, there are a couple of things I would do differently, so read to the end and learn from my mistakes!
Supplies Needed for DIY Book Stack:
- Three books
- Clear gesso (optional, but it helps!)
- Craft paint
- Cricut Explore or Maker
- Cricut fine point blade
- Vinyl scraps
- Start by applying a layer of clear gesso to the books. This step is optional, but I find that a quick layer of this product saves me from multiple layers of paint. I used gesso on my Easter egg tutorial, so you can see that it’s good stuff! It makes paint stick!
- Paint books desired color. Let dry.
- Measure the width of the spine and determine how large you can make your letters. For me, my sizes ranged from just under 1 inch to approximately 1.5 inches.
- Cut out your words on vinyl. Weed your letters, keeping the negative space.
- Apply vinyl to spine of book and using a sponge or stiff brush, stencil in the letters. This may require a couple of coats depending on how the paint is covering your base color. Let dry.
- Arrange your pretty little stack of books!
Cricut Design Space Steps:
- Start a new project by selecting “New Project”. This opens up a new canvas for you to work in.
- On the left panel, select “text”. This opens a text box for you to write in.
- Type in phrase(s). You can see that the default font is Cricut Sans.
- Change to desired font (I used one called “DK Lemon Yellow Sun”). This is my go-to Rae Dunn knock off font.
- Resize letters to the height that you need.
- Select “Make It”
- Weed vinyl
Tips for cutting vinyl on the Cricut:
Vinyl is probably one of the easiest materials to cut on the Cricut machine! Do not be afraid to try it! For a project where I am using vinyl as a small stencil, I am not fussy about what color I use and quite often I just use scraps that I have saved from other projects.
Place vinyl on a standard grip mat liner side down.
I use the fine point blade that came with the machine and it works great!
Finishing the Project & Lessons learned:
Not everything went perfectly for this project and I even hesitated to know if I should post it, but I thought it would be of more benefit to you to know what went wrong! Also, you probably wouldn’t even notice the mistakes from far away, so it goes to show it’s possible YOU are YOUR own worst craft critic!
As with any project, patience is the key.
I got excited and lost my patience, so I rushed the stenciling step and have some bleeding of my paint.
It’s especially bad on the green book. THAT’S THE NAUGHTY BOOK! So it makes sense
I could have avoided this by either:
1. Stenciling first with my baseline color (which would have sealed the edge of the vinyl a bit) and letting that dry completely before moving on to my letter colors, or
2. Stenciling on several dry layers of my stencil colors. Stenciling is best done with very little paint added on in multiple layers using an up and down motion.
I rushed it and used too much paint at once and it crept out of the lines (oops).
Another thing I don’t love how some of my letter colors look over the base colors (like the red letters on the green book). I will not win a prize at the county fair for this project. Sad frown face 🙁
Hope you enjoyed this quick and easy project! Let me know if you have any questions.
Looking for some other quick Christmas crafts? Well then check out some of my prior posts where I show you how I made A LOT of this decor for my craft space!
- Christmas Craft Foam Garland – Cut foam on your Cricut Maker!
- DIY Pom Pom Garland – So simple you’ll eek a little!
- DIY Yarn Christmas Tree – The base will SURPRISE you!
If you make a happy little book stack, let me know! I’d love to connect with you on Instagram!