WEEKEND CRAFTING ADVENTURES

Cricut Team Building Project: Teacher Aprons

WCA 30 | Teacher Apron

 

As a preschool special education teacher I am always carrying around a variety of fidget toys and reinforcers to use with my students.  Earlier in the school year I packed up my Cricut Maker and my mini heat press and brought it to work to create some custom aprons as a team building activity. Our team created some very cute aprons to wear at work that hold everything we need for our students.  Due to our ongoing staff shortages my amazing early childhood office coworkers happily volunteer each week in my Friday preschool classroom. My goal is to give each of these amazing women a custom teacher apron as a token of my appreciation for their support and help. I just finished Kate’s apron and I love how it turned out! Using heat transfer vinyl, puff vinyl and some fun SVG files I purchased from ETSY I am crafting some fun and functional teacher aprons in this weekend crafting adventure.

 

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Cricut Team Building Project: Teacher Aprons

 

WCA 30 | Teacher Apron

 

Whether this is your first time reading or you have read one of the other episodes of one of my other crafting adventures, I want to say thank you for checking out my show and hanging in there with me if you have read more than one as I get my footing in this world, learning how to present these crafting projects in a fun and interesting way as I’m experiencing them as I do them.

 

 

This episode’s crafting project, I’m calling my Cricut Team Building Teacher Apron Project. Let me tell you a little bit about the inspiration behind this crafting project. As a preschool special educator, I have the opportunity to work in lots of different classrooms with lots of different teams and children. It is an amazing job.

WCA 30 | Teacher Apron

 

I love my job, but I am on the move. One of the things that I love to have is a teaching apron. During the pandemic, I made fanny packs for my team. We wore them so we could keep everything right there on our waists. We didn’t have to bring a bag into the classroom. We could put everything into the little fanny pack, car keys, and things like that and go in and out of classrooms.

WCA 30 | Teacher Apron

 

Now that we’re past that time in our teaching lives, I wanted to get back to a teaching apron. These are the kinds of aprons that actually are like what waitstaff wear, the black apron that has three pockets right across the front and it ties around your waist. The reason I love these aprons as a teacher is that I am on the go. I love to carry a sticky pad, pencil, and pen. I love to carry little fidget toys and maybe snacks and things like that that I might be using when I’m working with my preschool students in the classroom. I thought it would be fun to do a team-building activity with my two teammates and create some fun, unique, and personalized teaching aprons.

WCA 30 | Teacher Apron

 

It would be fun to do a team-building activity and create some fun, unique, and personalized teaching aprons. Share on X

I packed up my Cricut maker and my mini heat press and brought it to work, and the three of us on my team created some fun teacher aprons. One other inspiration behind this crafting project, and I’ll explain a little more about this in the experience of doing this crafting project, but this crafting project is taking place at two different times. One was back in the fall when I originally brought my Cricut down to work and worked with my team to create these teacher aprons with fun designs on the front.

The other follow-up is now me making more aprons at home. The reason that I am continuing to make these aprons and thought about bringing this craft project to share with you all is that, like many other school districts and schools, we are extremely short-staffed and have been on for a few years on my team. Every week, I have amazing coworkers that volunteer to help support some of the most impacted children that I provide support to with my team.

Week after week, these coworkers generously volunteer their time to come and work with me and my team with our kids. Our kids are amazing, and I know that they’re falling in love with working with the kids in my program. Anyway, I feel like creating these aprons for those coworkers that continue to volunteer their time week after week is such an awesome way to show some appreciation. The apron that I made here was actually for a coworker, Kate. She is jumping right in every week and is excited to learn new skills and a new way of doing things with my team. That is one of the other inspirations behind this project.

 

 

For the resources for this project, the biggest resource was that I got the SVG cut files for this project from Etsy. I wanted them to represent our preschool, our love of preschool, and some of the things that we love the most about preschool. I couldn’t find the exact cut files in Cricut Design Space for this project, so I did purchase them from Etsy. I purchased a fidget pack SVG file. We use a lot of fidget toys with the children that I work with.

One of the coolest SVG files that I found was of Pop It toys. Those little rubber toys, you see them all over the place, but they pop in and out. When I saw that SVG bundle, I could not help myself. I had to purchase it to put some of those images on our aprons. The other SVG file that I did purchase from Etsy was the saying that we put on the middle pocket of the apron that says, “Helping small hands do big things.” That was the theme that we chose, with some little hand prints on the inside of that. That was the biggest resource for this project.

In terms of materials, they will all be listed, but I want to highlight a few for this project, some puff heat transfer vinyl, regular heat transfer vinyl, and I use a Cricut Easy heat press. That heat press is important. I’ll tell you a little bit more about why having a heat press that has an exact temperature on it was so important for this project when I get to the experience. Also, the black aprons. Our team chose black waitstaff aprons. I did purchase them on Amazon. They are awesome. They have three large pockets across the front, enough room for absolutely everything that, as a teacher, I need when I am running around and supporting my kiddos.

Let me get into the experience of this project. As I said before, this is a different project because the original time that I worked on these aprons as a team-building activity was back in the fall. Now I’ve come back to it to do some more aprons for those coworkers and teachers that are helping because we’re so short-staffed.

The team-building experience was fun. I packed up my Cricut and did bring my mini heat press and brought that to work with all the materials we needed to create these aprons. It was fun to work with my coworkers on choosing the colors that we were going to use. We were all going to have the same center pocket and saying, which is, “Helping small hands do big things,” with little hand prints in the middle.

 

 

That was going to be the common thread across all of the aprons. The other common thread was we were going to put a heart on one of the pockets on one of the sides because we have a lot of love in preschool for our kiddos and each other. That heart was what we used the puff vinyl for. If you haven’t tried puff vinyl, I highly recommend it. It is fun. On the other pocket, we each chose a fidget toy SVG cut file to put onto the apron. The three of us all chose a unicorn pop fidget with rainbow colors. One of the most challenging parts of this project was lining up and layering that rainbow unicorn Pop It SVG, but it is adorable.

 

 

Some of the things that were fun for me, being that I have used my Cricut before, was that both of my coworkers at the time did not have Cricut machines. It was their first experience with looking at the designs and having Cricut cut them out of the vinyl. The weeding process, which everybody found pretty enjoyable, was surprising, I think. I love weeding when it is a fun material to weed, and they also enjoyed it.

 

 

We had a lot of fun choosing the different colors that we wanted on each of our aprons. We each chose a different color of puff vinyl for the heart. Showing them that puff vinyl was cool. Here’s one of the things that I learned about puff vinyl. I had used it one time before when I was making my Walt Disney World t-shirts. I was using my Cricut EasyPress for that, but I took my mini heat press down to work with me.

The mini heat press is awesome, but it does not have an exact temperature gauge on it, meaning you can set it to low, medium, and high, but I’m not exactly sure what those exact temperatures are. They range when you look at the Cricut heat temperature guide for the mini press. When I come back to doing an apron and making it for my coworker Kate, this time around, I decided to use the EasyPress, which is the 9 by 12 size, I believe. It’s bigger, and it has a temperature gauge on it and a timer so you can set the exact temperature and the exact time.

 

 

When I went back and looked at this particular puff vinyl, it was very specific that you needed to set the heat press you’re using at 285. When we used the mini heat press down at work, what we found was we were struggling to determine the right temperature and the right amount of time for the puff vinyl. How my puff vinyl looks on my apron and how the puff vinyl looks on Kate’s apron are two different things. I believe the reason why Kate’s looks so much better is because I had the exact temperature for the exact time for that particular puff vinyl. That is definitely something to keep an eye out for when you’re using puff vinyl.

One of the other things that I learned in this project, which I am not sure I realized before, it’s with the puff vinyl. It could be the brand of puff vinyl that I used for this project. Typically, when you are cutting heat transfer vinyl on the cutting machine, you put the shiny side down, and then Cricut cuts out the shape or the design. With the puff vinyl, the directions clearly state that you need to have your cutting machine cut that puff vinyl shiny side up.

It made me stop and think that something to highlight is that always check the directions for the specific vinyl that you’re using. Most of them are straightforward and tend to have the same directions around how to cut them and how to weed them, but this particular vinyl did not. It made me think whenever I’m using vinyl that is not straight heat transfer vinyl, whether it’s puff, glitter, or color changing, to make sure I check that particular brand’s instructions.

Kate’s apron is done and it’s beautiful. It has a different Pop It toy fidget. It is a round Pop It on hers. I feel like it’s going to be fun as I one by one create these aprons for all of my coworkers that have been volunteering their time in my classroom on Fridays to put a little bit of a unique and different fidget toy on the apron.

That is one of the ways that I’m personalizing it along with the different color heat transfer vinyl and things like that. This is a pretty straightforward project. I have learned that weeding heat transfer vinyl, for me, is the easiest vinyl to weed. It works better for me. That whole process went well. My Cricut cut the vinyl beautifully. My Easy heat press attached the vinyl well. I mentioned it earlier. The most challenging part was layering the vinyl onto the different rainbow layer colors for those Pop It fidget toys that I was putting on the apron.

WCA 30 | Teacher Apron

 

Let me tell you about my Crafting Keepers for this episode. My first Crafting Keeper is definitely going to be my Cricut EasyPress. I love this heat press. I use it for putting heat transfer vinyl on lots of different materials. In this project, it was the aprons. I’ve put it on wood with my EasyPress and t-shirts, of course. The reason I love it so much and why it’s a Crafting Keeper for this particular project was that when I was using the puff vinyl, I got a great result because I was able to set my EasyPress specifically at 285 for 15 seconds. There was no guessing, and the puff vinyl came out beautiful.

You'll get a great result using the puff vinyl because you can set the EasyPress specifically. Share on X

That EasyPress is my first Crafting Keeper, and my second Crafting Keeper is the puff vinyl. Every time I use puff vinyl, I chuckle. I love it. It’s such a fun texture and material. I’m all about different textures and different ways of doing things in general. This puff vinyl, I’ve used it on t-shirts, and I will continue to find different ways to bring it into the crafting projects that I’m doing.

 

 

My satisCRAFTion rating for this project is a five. I had fun. I had fun when I did my team-building activity with my teammates, creating these aprons for the first time. Once again, I had fun making Kate’s apron. Anytime I’m doing a crafting project more than one time and I enjoy it, it’s a five, and this definitely is. It’s fun. It’s functional. I can wear it at work and have all of my teacher necessities with me as I’m working with my kids. I hope that this inspires you to create some fun aprons or use some puff vinyl in a crafting project and get your Cricut off the shelf and get crafty. Until our next adventure, take care.

 

SatisCRAFTion Rating: 5

 

Crafting Keeper:

  1. Cricut Easy Heat Press
  2. Puff Vinyl

Materials:

SVG Files I bought from ETSY located here:

Fidget Toy SVG Bundle 

Helping Small Hands do Big Things SVG 

 

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