Cricut Crafts,  Gifts to make

DIY Gift for Dog Lovers

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You ever see something for sale and think “I could make that”?  Me too!  My latest challenge is a great DIY gift for dog lovers. I love the way they turned out, and my friend does too.

personalized do silhouette
Finished project. They are two separate plaques, just pushed together for the photo.

I’ll share how to make these.  These would also be great as reverse canvases.  See my tutorial on making reverse canvases here.  Similar plaques sell online for about $30.00 each.  You can DIY for much less.

What You Need for this DIY Gift

Start with unfished wood.  These pieces were cut to 11″ x 12″. Home Depot or Lowes will cut wood to size for you.  That’s the cheapest way to go, or you can buy precut wood pieces at craft stores.  In addition, you need:

walnut stain

black vinyl or HTV

transfer tape



small craft iron

Staining the Wood

raw wood
DIY gift for dog lovers

Sand any rough spots on your wood.  Use a tack cloth to remove debris, or if you don’t have any a slightly damp paper towel will do.  Use an old sock, rag, or foam brush to apply the stain.  I left the stain on approximately 15 minutes and wiped off.  I applied two coats and was happy with the color.

two coats of walnut stain
Two coats of walnut stain.

Creating Images

Do a google search for dog silhouette, you can even search for specific breeds.  Upload images into Design Space.  I typically like using HTV on wood because I do not have to worry about dealing with bubbles.  I checked the online Cricut heat guide.  According to the guide, I set my EasyPress to 300 degrees for 40 seconds.  The first one went on without a hitch. The red heart is regular permanent vinyl.

HTV on wood
The application was smooth sailing.

Narrowly Avoiding Catastrophe

When I attempted the second picture, I had a hard time.  If I had the Easypress 2 it would probably be fine.  Since my Easypress is smaller, I had to do it in two sections.  HTV on wood is a warm peel.  By the time I finished pressing the bottom of the image, the top part was already cool.  As I removed the carrier sheet, I had some tearing.  Luckily I was able to remove the vinyl with minimal residue.

The residue easily sanded off with an emery board and I touched up the stain in the small areas.

walnut stained board.
No evidence of the first decal!

Feeling a little scared about a repeat, I used permanent vinyl.  Typically, I use clear contact paper as transfer tape.  Due to the size of decal, I elected to use Cricut transfer tape for maximum ease.  I smoothed the transfer tape onto vinyl with a brayer to ensure there were no bubbles.  Rolling the transfer tape back instead of pulling it off helps ensure smooth adhesion.

pitbull silhouette
Looking good!

The font is very delicate and tore with the permanent vinyl during weeding.  I used HTV for the name and used my little craft iron to apply it.

Using a matte vinyl ensured there is no discernible difference between the two plaques.

personalized do silhouette
They look the same to me.

Custom DIY gifts for a fraction of the price of buying them online.


Let me know think about what you read!

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