DIY Monogrammed Tumbler

I used to have a terrible problem.  I was the kind of person who would wait until the absolute last minute to give a gift.  Or sometimes weeks later.  There were such good intentions, but with procrastination in the mix, I ended up being a TERRIBLE gift giver.  My memory tends to be lacking, but I distinctly remember my family commenting on how I either 1. Gave a kinda-sorta-terribly-wrapped gift because I didn’t have time.  2.  Gave a “It’s almost finished but here are the pieces that will eventually go together.  3. Gave a “I’ll make/buy this for you eventually.”

Now, I still have my moments of procrastination [I may have started actually putting everything together for this project at like 9:30 last night.  and finished them before work this morning]. BUT I’ve been working on improving my gift giving and thoughtfulness over the years.  One thing I’m doing is trying to be very intentional about gifts I give.  That means having an ongoing list on my Evernote where I write down any ideas I have for gift giving.  Sometimes that may mean enthusiastically squealing in excitement, getting out my phone, and ignoring my loved ones looks of confusion as I say “never mind!” This also means being creative and using Pinterest to find ideas, modify them, and make them my own.  I’m SUPER excited about this one, because I really did work hard to make it fabulous!

I wanted to do something special for my coworkers for Christmas and found this lovely tutorial on Pinterest.


I loved her idea, but wanted something with swirls.  So I got brainstorming and testing.  Here’s what I came up with.


For this project, you will need:

  • Die-cutting machine and program that you can add JPG or SVG to create custom cuts.  I have a Cricut die-cutting machine and Sure Cuts A Lot 2.  I love my SCAL; however, they no longer support Cricut.  I was lucky and got it a week before this mess happened.  If you’re thinking about getting a new die-cutting machine, go with something that allows the use of some sort of computer program rather than cartridges.  It’s usually more $$ up front, but you won’t regret it!!  Make sure you have a new blade for your die-cutting – if it’s not a fresh blade, it may not cut cleanly enough!
  • Tumbler or water bottle. Make sure you get something that is smooth.  So no silicone sleeve or bumps.  I would also go with something that is double-walled so there is no chance the condensation or heat will negatively affect the vinyl. I love me some Tervis. Head to Bed Bath and Beyond and check out clearance and/or use a 20% off coupon!  For this Christmas, I went with the Joann’s route – they had the cutest ombre, chevron, and polka dot tumblers!  $7.99 and I used a 50% off coupon.  $4 for a quality cup.
  • Outdoor Vinyl.  I ordered a bunch of colors of Oracal 651 from Expressions Vinyl.  I’ve read the outdoor vinyl will last even when used in the dishwasher!  We’ll see if that’s true (it has so far for me!)  You can get normal vinyl at craft stores, but DON’T DO IT!  It’s not as durable, and it’s at least twice the price.
  • Transfer Tape.  I ordered it from Expressions Vinyl as well.  Don’t forget this.  And don’t be afraid to order a roll – I regret not doing so.  I saw a tutorial on Pinterest for using Glad Press and Seal to transfer vinyl.  Terrible mistake.  I have not successfully done it with that method.  However, I’ve only had 1 problem when I’ve used the transfer tape.

STEP 1: Creating the monogram

I liked the concept, but wasn’t a huge fan of the font on the above tutorial.  I found a great script monogram, but it seemed too skinny to do well with the Cricut/vinyl.  I had so many high hopes for designing my own script monograms using a bold script font, but that just didn’t go well (too time consuming and not my cup-of-tea).

SO I found this awesome website that creates a monogram using a pretty user friendly template.  Here are the directions for creating a FREE monogram through  Make sure to choose a high contrasting color. Click on the pictures below for the templates I used.  Only use script font if you can make the monogram at least 3″ wide, otherwise the thin lines may not cut properly.  I did most of mine at 3.5″.


I created the monogram in the PDF, but I didn’t save it there.  I used my lovely MacBookPro to screen-shot it (command+shift+4).  Then, you can find the images on your desktop.  If you use a PC, here are some ways you can take a screen-shot.  You could also download IrfanView, a program that allows you to take a screen shot in a few simple steps.

Screen shot 2013-12-12 at 8.16.45 PM

STEP 2: Adjust monogram in your computer program

I needed to remove the leftover circle and in my “test” cut, I noticed some of the swirls didn’t work well because there were two thin ones next to each other.

Screen shot 2013-12-14 at 9.38.21 AM

In SCAL2, I used the “break apart” function, and then selected those pieces and deleted them so that it looked like this:

Screen shot 2013-12-14 at 9.58.04 AM

Resize so it will look good on your tumbler and yet not be too small to cut effectively.  For my larger tumblers with the swirl, I did about 3.5″ or 3.75.”  The circle anchor font can be done at about 2.25.”

NOTE: I found this Mark & Graham monogram maker just today.  Check it out if you want something different.  They will e-mail you the graphic.

Screen shot 2013-12-13 at 10.30.52 PM

STEP 3: Cut the monogram

Use your machine to cut it.  Make sure you use a “kiss cut method.”  That means it will only cut through the vinyl, and not through the white backing.  On my Cricut, that means my speed is at 2 or 3, my pressure is at 3, and my blade depth is at 3.  If these settings don’t work for yours – adjust it as needed.  I changed the blade, and needed to adjust my blade depth to make it cut correctly.

Photo Dec 14, 1 25 12 PM

[[Here’s a great tutorial on how to cut vinyl using a Cricut.]]

STEP 4: Weeding

Remove all the pieces you do not need.  Here is a great tutorial on weeding vinyl if you need further instructions.

Photo Dec 14, 1 28 19 PM

STEP 5: Transferring the vinyl

For a great video tutorial, click here.  Cut the transfer tape slightly larger than your image.  Start peeling the back of your transfer tape – you can take the whole thing off at once, or you can start peeling it and just place one side – this does make it easier to line up if you choose to do so.

Photo Dec 14, 1 29 46 PM

Use a gift card, scraper, or your fingers to firmly press on the vinyl to the transfer tape.

Over at The House Hunter Blog, she cut the backing/transfer tape so it would go on smoothly, but for me, that just made it more complicated to remove the transfer tape. I only had one monogram (out of 17+) that did not go on smoothly.

STEP 6: Applying the vinyl to your tumbler

Peel the white backing off your vinyl that is still adhered to the transfer tape.  If some of the vinyl tries to stay on the backing, just press down the transfer tape again or try to peel it off from a different direction.

Line up the vinyl on your tumbler.  It’s MUCH easier to do this if you lined up the transfer tape to your monogram.  Otherwise, it ends up confusing matters 🙂

Photo Dec 14, 1 35 38 PM

It helped me to press on the center of the monogram all the way down (thank you to my sweet engineer friend who helped me put about 8 of these on!), and then move out from there.  Make sure you move from the center outward.  If it messes up, you can occasionally lift a small piece of it to reposition, but it isn’t always successful.

STEP 7: Peel off the transfer tape

This is pretty simple!  Peel off the lined transfer tape – if any vinyl tries to come back with it, STOP, go back, and press it back down.  If it continues, press the transfer tape and vinyl back to the tumbler and remove from another side.

STEP 8: Gift or enjoy your personalized tumbler!! 

Monogrammed Cups

**You can also make a personalized tumbler with an image a loved one will appreciate.  My aforementioned engineer friend loves owls, so I made her this awesome Tervis:


My boyfriend is restoring a 1964 Airstream.  With the help of my amazing engineering friend, we made a vector of his actual airstream, down to the window placement, the vent, and everything.  I used the airstream font to add his hashtag.  He loves it!

I also monogrammed my computer.  I haven’t gone monogram crazy or anything 🙂

Photo Dec 14, 1 31 59 PM


Everything-you-might-want-in-the-car Kit (makes a great gift!)

Another survival kit! My mom and I are both traveling teachers.  I know the type of things that come in handy in the car, so I made this kit.   I ended up making one of these for myself I loved it so much! 

Everything-you-might-want-in-the-car Kit by thisthatandcraft

What to include: [I did NOT include all of this.  Think about your recipient and what they will need!]

Beauty: (Most of this I found at Wal-mart in the travel section)

  • bobby pins
  • travel size comb or brush
  • hair ties
  • hair spray**
  • compact mirror
  • chapstick**
  • tweezers
  • nail file
  • blotting papers
  • hand lotion**
  • sun screen**
  • lint roller** [I got a lint brush]
  • deoderant**
  • toothbrush-to-go (Wisps, or my Wal-mart had a kit with an actual toothbrush and toothpaste for cheaper!)
  • floss


  • disinfecting hand wipes**
  • hand sanitizer
  • tissues
  • bandaids / first aid kit
  • medicines: pain killer, antacid, motion sickness relief, etc.
  • tissues
  • barf bag (you never know when you might have a sick passenger)

Just in case…

  • mints or gum**
  • water bottle(s) [use your own judgement about whether or not you’ll drink from bottles stored in heat]
  • snacks – granola bars, trail mix**
  • plastic silverware packets [I may or may not have had about 20 in my car.  I just took some from there…]
  • napkins
  • pen & small notepad

For clothing (I found most of this at Joann’s):

  • mini sewing kit
  • scissors (I have a pair of children’s scissors.  Nice and small; safe if it goes flying about)
  • safety pins
  • Shout Wipes or Tide-To-Go**

In case of emergency: 

  • flashlight [I MAY have just taken the 2 that were already in my mom’s car… why buy another one? Ha!]
  • tire gauge
  • Fix-a-flat
  • a few pairs of disposable gloves
  • disposable camera [no need if your recipient has a decent phone or tablet]
  • utility knife
  • ice scraper [this has actually come in handy in Texas!]
  • maps
  • car pillow & blanket
  • box of matches
  • small garbage bags

**I live in Texas.  That means, between about April and November, things have a tendancy to melt.  I just keep these things in my purse during those months and taking them out of my car.

The bag – a few ideas: You’ll want to think about what will work best for the TYPE of car your recipient has as well.  Remember, you should not put anything in sight that might look like a good item to steal.  So if there’s no “hidey place” for a giant cosmetic bag, go with something smaller!

  • A number of small cosmetic bags – see through would be better! [I had a hard time finding these at a reasonable price.]
  • A large sturdy bag that can go in the trunk
  • A “purse insert” that will fit in the glove box like the one I used [I bought it on Amazon.  It comes in a variety of colors!  If you need it soon, make sure it is shipped from the US and NOT from Hong Kong. I learned this the hard way.]
  • A 2 part cosmetic bag with see-through pockets
  • A baby wipes container – who would steal that?


Father's Day Car Kit by Holidash

Father’s Day Car Kit by Holidash – sewing instructions!

Emergency Car Kit from My Creative Stirrings

Emergency Car Kit from My Creative Stirrings

Martha Stewart DIY Car Kit video

Martha Stewart DIY Car Kit video

Pretty Magnetic Pen Container (DIY from spice tin)

Does it drive anyone else CRAZY when there is no pen nearby to add things to your fridge notepad? I tend to forget things easily, and sometimes, by the time I get my pen, I forgot what I needed to write down!

My mom has the same problem, so I made her this as part of her birthday week.  [I’ll add the link once her birthday week is over! I don’t want to ruin any surprises so I’m waiting…]

Magnetic Pen Container by thisthatandcraft

Super easy and ended up being super cute gift!  I got the notepad at Michael’s.

Here’s how to make the super cute magnetic pen holder!

What you will need:

  • empty spice tin (got mine at Kroger – they have 2 sizes, I used a large one)
  • scrapbook paper
  • Mod Podge (make your own with Elmer’s glue)
  • small foam brush
  • magnets & glue (E6000 is good stuff)

Magnetic Pen Cup Supplies


  1. Remove the lid of the spice tin.  I opened it and was able to get it out with my fingers.  You could also use pliers.
  2. Cut your paper to fit the spice tin.  I set the paper on top of the ridge, and made it the paper about 1/2 – 1 inch taller than the container to create nice edges.
  3. Using the small foam brush, put a light coat of Mod Podge on the tin.  Place the scrapbook paper on the front – starting on the bottom rim, making sure the seam for the paper will be on the back.  Use a credit card to smooth the paper.  Smooth it around the corners.
  4. Cut a diagonal slice down each corner, put Mod Podge on the paper sticking out the top and then pressed it firmly to the inside of the tin.  Put more Mod Podge just where the paper overlaps the tin to secure the seal.
  5. Attach the magnets to the back of the tin (the side with the seam).  Let glue dry.
  6. Add pens, attach to fridge, and VIOLA!

My inspiration from Not Without Heels:


I also love the idea of using a pretty tea tin!  No paper necessary!

Tea container

Airplane Travel Survival Kit (Great Gift for Overseas Travelers!)

I’ve made some fun survival kits for my coworkers like this Hospital Survival Kit for new mommas and the Wedding Day Survival kit.  I did not expect a gift for my birthday, but they made me this AWESOME Travel Survival Kit in an adorable purse/messenger bag for my upcoming trip to Taiwan!  My best friend had the same idea!  She got me a decorative suitcase filled with fun things for my trip.  What’s crazy is the only things I got double of was things I’ll use – like hand sanitizer.  I feel so blessed for such thoughtful and sweet coworkers and friends!

Airport Travel Survival Kit

Some ideas of things to include:

Comfort and sleep: (especially for long flights)

  • travel blanket
  • neck pillow (inflatable take up less space)
  • earplugs
  • sleep mask
  • benadryl or other sleeping medication


  • hand sanitizer (travel size)
  • compact mirror
  • chapstick & lotion to combat dryness in air
  • travel comb or brush
  • hair tie
  • Tide To Go or Shout Wipes
  • nail file
  • dry shampoo (travel size)
  • hygiene supplies: check out the travel size section in your pharmacy or grocery store for what you think your recipient will need: toothbrush/paste, floss, deodorant, etc. – include a quart size bag for liquids!
  • face wipes

Stay healthy:

  • disinfecting hand wipes
  • hand santitizer
  • tissues
  • bandaids
  • pain relief tablets
  • motion sickness medicine
  • barf bag

Just in case…

  • snacks
  • hard candy and gum (to help with the
  • pen
  • luggage tag

For fun:

  • deck of cards
  • favorite magazines
  • paperback book
  • Sodoku or crossword book

You could even include a few things for your recipient to use on the trip!

  • plug adaptor
  • battery operated fan
  • sunscreen
  • bug spray
  • scarf
  • travel journal
  • sun hat
  • bra stash or money belt
  • travel clothesline

How about a packing list or other infographic:

If you have little ones, here are some good ideas:

What to Bring on a Flight for a Baby and Toddler

What to Bring on a Flight for a Baby and Toddler

Flying with a Preschooler & Baby from The Active Toddler

Flying with a Preschooler & Baby from The Active Toddler

Toddler Airplane Survival Kit from Blog by Ben

Toddler Airplane Survival Kit from Blog by Ben

Wedding Day Survival Kit: Free Downloads

I’m starting to be known around my friends and coworkers for my “survival kits.”  I don’t know how it happened.  I guess I just love the practicality and the personalization I can do when creating a kit for someone I care about.  Here’s the one I most recently made! One thing I love about this one is that anything the bride doesn’t end up using can be used for a guest room bathroom! Wedding Day Survival Kit: Contents What to include: [I did NOT include all of this.  Think about your bride and what she would actually use in an emergency]

For clothing (I found most of this at Joann’s):

  • sewing kit (if possible, make sure it has the bridesmaids’ dress color thread) – I found mine at Michael’s for $1.50 in the baskets of value items!
  • scissors (my sewing kit included mini scissors)
  • double stick tape
  • corsage pins
  • safety pins
  • clear nail polish (for fixing a chipped nail, runs in hose, or putting it on the thread of a button about to fall off)
  • stick-on instant hemming tape
  • white chalk (for masking stains)

[Side note: You’d think you wouldn’t need any of this.  At my best friend’s wedding, one of the bridesmaid’s zipper BROKE on her dress.  The zipper had seemed a little “off,” but David’s Bridal said they couldn’t do anything about it.  She couldn’t get it zipped, and then one side came completely out.  We had to literally sew her up, but the thread color didn’t match and we ran out!  EEK!  The bride may have been hiding under her veil at this point…] Wedding Day Survival Kit: Hair & Make-up

Hair & Make-up: (Most of this I found at Wal-mart in the travel section)

  • bobby pins
  • comb or brush
  • hair spray
  • compact mirror
  • chapstick
  • tweezers
  • nail file (I found a cute set at Wal-Mart by the nail polish!)
  • nail clippers
  • blotting papers
  • cotton balls
  • Q-tips
  • make-up wipes
  • hand lotion
  • lint roller
  • deoderant
  • toothbrush-to-go & toothpaste kit (travel section)
  • floss
  • mouthwash
  • eye drops (if the bride wears contacts, make sure to buy drops that are specifically for contacts)

Just in case…Wedding Day Survival Kit: Just in case!

  • bandages or first aid kit
  • blister kit
  • mints
  • tissues
  • earring backs
  • tampons
  • Shout Wipes or Tide-To-Go
  • static cling
  • water bottle(s)
  • straws (to keep lipstick from getting totally ruined) – next time you grab and extra one from a fast food place, save it!
  • superglue
  • lighter (for lighting candles or to fix fraying ribbon! It works for most ribbons – just swipe it so it doesn’t catch on fire!)
  • for outdoor weddings: sunscreen, bug spray, allergy medicine

For Sanity:

  • medicine: headache, pain, antacid, etc.
  • snacks (I got Nature Valley fruit and nut bars or Clif bars – no chocolate or anything that will stain!)
  • I’m not a drinker, but if the bride is, you could go with some mini containers of …juice…

Now, for the bag.   I wanted something with a handle that could be easily carried.  I considered a purse or beach bag, but then realized either everything would be floating around, or I would have to purchase additional pouches.  I also considered a tackle box.  While this is a super cute idea, and they tend to be about the same price as what I got, I thought it’d be too annoying to carry around / have to keep upright.  SO I went with a cute cosmetics bag with a handle, various pockets, and even a hook to hang it over a door.  I find this is my favorite style to gift.

UPDATE: Here are a few I have made since this post! I even personalized some of them with vinyl!

I got the larger cosmetic bags at TJMaxx, Marshalls, and Tuesday Morning for less than $15 each.

I recently made the purple clutch survival kit for my fashionista friend!  Carrie had her cosmetics kit on her table at the reception!  I knew Allison would not put a bag that didn’t match on the table, and that she would appreciate a matching clutch, so I ordered this “large” Missy K Rose Clutch on Amazon.  It was hard to fit everything I wanted to in there, but I think it works for Allison!

I also made a mini wedding day survival kit for another friend of mine.  I found the small bag at Target for less than $2and was able to fill it with lots of good stuff thanks to this: My Tagalongs Personal 911 Kit.  I found these at TJMaxx for less than $5!  I love a good deal!

Label:  I used Callie Hand font for my label.

This download includes a standard printable PDF with no bride’s name.  Download and print on cardstock – I used my handy-dandy paper cutter and corner rounder to make this all pretty, punched a hole, and tied it with a ribbon.

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This download should work with fonts on most computers.  I’ve been including a list of what was included for my bride!  That way, she can look through it without emptying out the bag when opening her gifts.

I also made you lovely ladies a shopping list!  Again, I made one in Word, so you can edit it as needed.  Or, you can just print it, and you’re ready to go!  Here is the PDF.

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 10.13.08 PM

Just delete what you’re not using and change it to your favorite font!  If you have trouble, please let me know.  Comment below if you have anything you added, and please link back if you use these ideas so I can see what you’ve done!  Thanks for reading!