Personalized Back to School DIY with Cricut Adhesive Foil

Personalized Back to School DIY with Cricut Adhesive Foil

Head on over to Craft-e-Corner Cricut Community Facebook Group for more inspiration and education!

Are you looking for a fun way to jazz up your back-to-school supplies? Here's a cool idea: get creative with some personalized school supplies! Older kids can join in on the fun by creating colorful backgrounds on Yupo paper using alcohol inks. Then, add a design cut from Cricut adhesive foil for some extra sparkle and shine! Soon you'll have yourself a super cool, personalized notebook that's sure to make going back to school a little more fun. Don't want to alcohol paint or use a die cutting machine? No worries! You can still jazz up your plain notebooks with some heavy paper and stickers.



If you’ve never worked with Yupo paper, you’re in for a treat!  Though Yupo paper is not actually paper at all – it’s nonporous polypropylene, which makes it ideal for use with alcohol inks.

Cut a piece of Yupo paper slightly larger than needed to fit the cover of your notebook.  You’ll be cutting the paper to exact size after gluing it to the cover in a later step.

Spread some alcohol across the paper using a paper towel.

spread alcohol on yupo paper

Squirt several colors of ink into the alcohol and then have some fun!  You can manipulate the inks in a variety of ways until you get an interesting background that you love.  It’s hard to go wrong – but if you do, the inks can be wiped away with some alcohol and a paper towel.

squirt ink

Here are some things to try!  Draw a texture tool through the ink or spread it with a straw. Blow through a straw to spread the ink. Tip the paper and let the inks run and drip across the paper.  Spritz the ink with alcohol from a spray bottle.

move ink with straw

blow ink with straw

drip ink

spritz ink with spray alcohol

If you’d like, after the ink dries, you can apply a coat of spray varnish like Kamar Varnish to protect the surface.

Apply spray adhesive to the back of the painting and glue it to the notebook cover. After the glue dries, open the cover, and trim the excess paper away using scissors.

glue painting to cover then trim

Create your cut design in Cricut Design Space.

Cut the design from adhesive foil in the color of your choice. Weed the design and apply it to the notebook cover using transfer paper.  If you’re accustomed to working with vinyl, you’ll notice that the foil is more brittle and (I think) a bit trickier to get onto the transfer paper.  Take your time and the result will be worth the extra effort.

weeded design

Add some decorative tape and any other embellishments to the cover that you’d like.

completed notebook

BONUS: Make a coordinating zippered pencil case. No sewing is required!


  • Zipper
  • Clear vinyl
  • Faux leather paper or Kraftex paper
  • Decorative duct tape


Cut 2 rectangles from clear plastic vinyl and 2 from faux leather paper about 3 x 10 inches in size. Paint using alcohol inks on one side of the vinyl.  Place the vinyl – painted side down – on top of the leather paper.  If you’d like, you can tack the pieces together with a bit of masking tape to make them easier to work with. These will create 2 sides for your pencil pouch.

cut painted vinyl 3x10

Put a piece of duct tape around both ends of your zipper, leaving about 8.5-9 inches of the zipper uncovered and exposed. 

tape on both ends of zipper

Place a length of duct tape along the long top edge of one of the sides. Lay the zipper right side up on the table.  Place the side piece face up on top of the zipper, close to the zipper teeth, and press to secure.

tape side to zipperTurn the pouch over (wrong side up) and tape the side to the back of the zipper using duct tape.  Apply additional decorative tape to the front or outside of the pouch if desired.

finish taping side to wrong side of zipper

Repeat with the second pouch side. Then trim the ends of the zipper to match the length of the pouch if needed.

both sides taped to zipper back view

both sides taped to zipper front view

Fold the pouch at the zipper so the sides are positioned insides together. Tack the sides and bottom of the pouch together using a few pieces of masking tape.

 tack sides and bottom using tape

Tape the sides of the pouch using duct tape.  Position one half the width of the tape on the front side of the pouch and fold the other half to the back of the pouch to secure the sides together.

sides taped

Do the same to close the bottom of the pouch.

tape bottom of bag

completed notebook and pencil case

Not into alcohol painting? No die cutting machine?  Embellish plain store-bought notebooks using heavy paper and ready-to-use stickers or other scrapbooking supplies.  Add a coordinating bookmark for fun!


  • Heavy paper
  • Hole punch
  • Stickers and other embellishments
  • Ribbon, string or twine
  • Spray adhesive


Cut a piece of faux leather paper, Kraftex paper, or heavy cardstock slightly larger than needed to fit the cover of your notebook.  Apply spray adhesive to the back side of your paper and glue it to the notebook.

glue paper to notebook

 After the glue dries, open the cover, and trim away the excess using scissors.

trim excess

Embellish the cover using decorative stickers, decorative tape, or materials of choice.

decorated cover

add stickers to cover

For each bookmark, cut a rectangle about 2 by 8 inches from your heavy paper and a 2 inch circle from contrasting heavy paper. 

cut pieces for bookmark

Fold the circle in half and insert the rectangle into the fold.  Punch a hole through all 3 layers about ½ inch from the end of the bookmark.

hole punch through all layers

Fold an 8 -10 inch piece of ribbon, cord, or string in half and thread the folded end through the hole from the back of the bookmark. Pull the loose ends through the loop and pull the knot (lark’s head knot) snug.  Embellish the bookmark using decorative stickers and decorative tape.

thread looped end from back to front

pull knot snug

book mark love happens every day
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