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How To Make Waterslide Decals

Waterslide decals seem to be getting more and more popular. We’re always getting questions about it! There are so many different ways you an make them and it can get confusing. So today, we’re going to tackle the basics on How To Make Waterslide Decals.

This is a great craft technique to use on glasses, mugs, tumblers, and more. Make a fantastic craft project for yourself or to give as a gift.



How To Make Waterslide Decals


  • Spin It water slide paper
  • some water
  • Minwax fast-drying polyurethane spray sealer
  • bowl/plate where you can put your water and decal to let it soak
  • mug/tumblers
  • Makers Gonna Learn cut file 


Before we go to Cricut Design Space, it’s important to note that you need to print your design on the shiny side of your Spin It water slide paper. Once you’ve put your paper in the printer, go to Design Space and select your print and cut file. This beautiful one is from 2019 Easter collection.

First, you want to size it accordingly. Measure your project so you know how much space you have to work with. For our project today, we’re making it 3.1 by 2 inches. Once you’re happy with it, you can hit “Make it”.

Since we’re doing a waterslide, it’s a little bit different than normal print then cut projects. Normally, we leave bleed on but for waterslide, we need to turn it off.

Now we can click “Print”, and it will connect to your printer. Once done, you will see that it’s beautifully printed on the shiny side just like we wanted.

Next, we need to put some pieces of cardstock or something similar to protect our table because we’re going to spray this with our polyurethane spray sealer, Remember to work in a well-ventilated area. Apply a light coat and let that dry for 30 minutes.  

Ideally, we’re going to give this three to four coats in total. So, once this dries, go back in for another coat and give at least 30 minutes in between each coat until completed.

Once this has dried, we’re going to click continue and select medium cardstock. We’ll add a little bit more pressure and once you have your material selected, we’re going to place our printed image on the top left corner of our cutting mat and load it into our printer.

I move the stars over a little bit because I don’t want anything to happen with our printed image. Just scoot them over so they don’t get in the way and press the flashing Cricut button.

Our machine has finished cutting and we’re going to peel up the excess from one of the corners. To remove the design from the mat, a little tip is to turn the whole mat over and peel it up that way. This does a much better job and prevents damaging the intricate pieces so I highly recommend doing it this way.

We’re now going to get a little bit of water and it says in the directions to place it in water for 30 to 60 seconds. Grab your little plate, add room temperature water, and place your design in it.

It’s normal for it to curl up so if this happens, you’ll need to use your fingers to open it up. Make sure that all the pieces are in the water and laying flat. While waiting, we’ll go ahead and get some alcohol and wipe off our mug. 

Now we can gently lift it out of the water. Another great tip is to take your fingers and dampen the mug. You want to make it really slippery so your waterslide decal will stay on there. Then apply your design to the mug slowly and carefully.  Use one hand to help hold the design in place while you gently move the backing away.

You may see that it start to wrinkle up a bit but don’t worry because you can fix it really easily. Use your fingers to carefully move any of the little pieces into place as needed.

Once you get it exactly where you want it, take a paper towel and dab the excess moisture away. Wipe all around and make sure you get the whole mug until it’s all dry. 

Once it’s thoroughly dry, you can coat it with epoxy or another coat of spray sealer. That’s it! It turned out beautifully, didn’t it?

This is a very beginner basic video on waterslide decals and how to make them. Take your time and work carefully and you will have flawless results. Give it a try!

More fun Cricut projects:

How to Iron On a Tumbler

How to Make an Easy Paper Bow

How to Make “If You Can Read This” Socks