All my best ideas for crafting with kids on summer break!
When your kids are off for summer break, finding things to do can feel like a real bore for them — and a real chore for you. Crafting with your kids is a fun activity that allows you to enjoy quality time and closeness with those you love! So to help keep you (and them) from slipping into a summer slump, here’s a list of 30 amazing Cricut summer crafts for kids of ALL ages and skill levels! There’s something for everyone; I’ve got tutorials for beginning makers, to intermediate projects, to crafts for more experienced kiddos.
Remember, click the links to go to the post for each project. Then, follow the Design link in each fun summer craft’s Material List to find the free files in my Resource Library!
Stick Together With Stickers
If you’d told me when I was a kid that one day, printing my own stickers would be a possibility, I would have wished to be transported to the future. What a time to be alive! You and your kids will have the best time picking all the photos, characters, artwork, funny sayings, and more to turn into shareable stickers — it’s probably more fun than sticking them! Wait til you bust out the ultra cool vinyl or holographic sticker paper. Better find a spot for that “World’s Best Mom” sticker that’ll be coming your way!
Create a cardstock clone of your family pet or help your kids make a litter of paper pups! And the coolest part? These little dogs are also little boxes, the perfect size for your children to stash their tiny treasures. Once you help them cut the pieces on your Cricut, assembly is pretty simple — and the file comes with score lines to make folding a bit easier for little crafters. Choose colors and patterns of cardstock to match your dog’s coat, or just have fun creating a paper puppy they can hide trinkets inside. Kids love this project because they get to watch their furry friend come to life as they fold and assemble the pieces! Bonus: Cleanup is very minimal. Much less than a real dog.
See Design #107 in my free resource library!
3D Cardstock Zoo Crew
If dogs aren’t your thing, how about a turtle, manatee, alligator, or flamingo? My daughter, Alexa, designed the set so I’m extra proud to include in for you! These vary in difficulty, so there’s something for everyone. These animals have all the summer vibes, plus you can mix it up using patterned, shimmer, or even glitter cardstock! A pink glitter flamingo? Yes, please. Bonus: The turtle is also a box, similar to the dogs! It’s also the easiest design, perfect for beginning paper crafting kiddos. Those fine motor skills are going get a workout!
See Design #200 in my free resource library!
Hot Mess (Canvas) Express
Picture this: You’re three years old and your parent just handed you a tray full of paint. Score!! What could be more amazing than that? But seriously, let your kid explore their creative side on a hot mess canvas. They’ll get to go wild with the paint, and you’ll have a beautiful piece of art when you’re done! First you let your child paint the canvas however they like. Next you’ll create a stencil (or use one of mine) and cut it out of adhesive vinyl on your Cricut. Transfer it onto the canvas and then paint over the canvas with white acrylic paint. Then peel the vinyl off to reveal the final result! Hot tip: Acrylic paint comes off skin, but not off clothes. This is a great pre-bath project!
See Design #117 in my free resource library!
Give Piece a Chance With a Puzzle
This one’s a two-for-one activity: First you create and cut the puzzle with your Cricut, then you and your kids get to put it together… together! I’ve created six puzzle templates you can use on any photo, then use your Cricut Maker or Explore series machine to cut it out. Kids will love choosing a special photo for their puzzle, or you can surprise them by using one of their favorite movies, shows, or even a photo of their own artwork as the subject. And because kids of any age can make the original art, it’s the perfect craft for little hands! Bonus: I show you how to use a fun hack using a machine mat to preserve your finished puzzle.
See Design #122 in my free resource library!
All Book(mark)ed Up
Need a quick and easy craft to do with your kids? My animal paper clip bookmarks are fast and functional. Your children can keep their place with a cute critter of their choosing, and I even show you how to emboss details into the animal’s design! These are extra fun to cut from holographic, shimmer, and other fun types of cardstock, poster board, or kraft board. My bookmark paper clips are an great way to use up scraps that are too small for other projects, too. Hot Tip: Encourage summer reading by letting your child cut a new bookmark for every book they read this summer!
See Design #264 in my free resource library!
Make A Mark With Infusible Ink Markers
If you’re a kid, chances are you like to draw with markers — especially if mom is drawing with you. With infusible ink markers, you can take their drawings and apply them to T-shirts, pillowcases, tumblers, coffee mugs, canvases, glass cutting boards, tote bags — any blank suitable for sublimation or infusible ink! Simply draw or write on laser printer paper, then follow a few simple steps (using a heat press) and voila! Your kids will be so excited to see their artwork on different items. Because what kid these days doesn’t want their own merch?
See Design #413 in my free resource library!
The Butterfly Effect
I had such a fun time designing this next project, because what’s better inspiration than nature itself? I found high-res photos of a few of my favorite butterfly species, then traced the actual wing and detail shapes to create the most true-to-life paper butterflies ever. This craft is great because it’ll please the fact-checking science kid AND the budding artist who wants to wing it and choose their own colors, textures, and even patterns. They’re larger than life and make wonderful wall art, or a statement front door wreath. You could even make them into a big mobile! Fun idea: Use your Cricut to cut a bunch of different parts from different cardstocks and create a “Butterfly Bar” — then let the kids build their own fantasy butterfly!
See Design #99 in my free resource library!
Paper Bird Is The Word
The birds have flown in for the summer! Like my butterflies, my cardstock birds are so fun for kids (and adults) to create and put literally anywhere. You can model them after real birds you spot with your kiddos, or have them design their own kooky avian decorations. They’d be super cute stuck to a summer wreath, or you could make a whole flock and suspend them from your child’s ceiling with fishing line!
See Design #239 in my free resource library!
Road Trippin’ Survival Kit
Going on a drive this summer? Whether you’re taking day trips or going on a Griswold-style vacation, long hours on the road can get pretty hairy when there’s kids involved. Sure, there’s screens to pass the time, but road trip survival packs are a fun way to make a boring car ride a bit more comfortable. These are one of my favorite Cricut summer crafts for kids! Fill them with:
- Non-messy craft supplies
- Treats and gum
- Card and trivia games
- Ginger drops for carsick tummies
- Sleep mask for daytime dozing
- Sanitizing wipes for keeping clean on the go
- Inflatable neck pillow
- Mad Libs and a pencil
- and other fun activities and items to pass the time
See Design #322 in my free resource library!
Put a String On It
Show your kid how to use embroidery floss or macrame cord to create string art reminiscent of the 60s! I’m a big fan of retro anything, so I thought it would be fun to revive a vintage craft. Except, good news: This version doesn’t use nails. Have your child help you cut the pattern with your Cricut machine, then mix and match colors to create a fun (and super easy) craft that will keep them busy for at least a half hour or so. Bring this one out when you need a moment of zen — this is a great mindfulness activity for the little ones (and you)!
See Design #472 in my free resource library!
Looking to bring some forest magic indoors? Make a fairy or two! Create these magical little creatures with dresses made from crepe paper that look like real flower petals! My fairy dolls are a super easy project full of whimsy that imaginative kids will love.
See Design #307 in my free resource library!
Stained Glass Act
Turn a floating frame into a real work of stained-glass art with some Sharpies and vinyl! Cut a design from black permanent vinyl on your Cricut, then apply it to the glass using transfer tape. Then get out the markers and let your kids go to town. This is a great summer art project, and your kids will be so proud to see their colorful creations illuminated in a sunny window! This one is great for all skill levels (as long as you don’t care about them coloring between the lines). Hot Tip: Sharpies are permanent, so if you want to do this project with really little ones, I recommend swapping them for washable markers.
See Design #273 in my free resource library!
Larger Than Life Characters
With all the extra time at home during the summer, your kids might be spending more time than usual in their rooms. Long summer days are a great time to spruce up their spaces a bit with some cute wall decor — like a larger-than-mat cardstock character! “But Jennifer, my Cricut isn’t that big!” The secret? You piece it together like a puzzle! Kids love helping out with this one — check Cricut Design Space for more files like this. Search for “larger than mat.”
Summer Reading Bookmarks
Who knew that you could engrave leather in your Cricut machine? Well, you can! These tooled leather bookmarks so fun to design and create, using either your Cricut’s foil transfer tool or engraving tool, depending on the machine you have. Help your kiddos choose a quote that will inspire them to check off their summer reading list, then use suede or faux suede cord to add a fun and easy tassel!
See Design #400 in my free resource library!
Take your Cricut skills to the next level with an engraved leather journal. Perfect for an older child, they can create a log to record their summer adventures, write stories and poems, or even use it as a summertime scrapbook. Personalize the journal with a monogram, an image, or a combination of both. Hot Tip: Make it a tradition to create a new journal every summer to record the year ahead!
See Design #458 in my free resource library!
Van Gogh For It With Watercolors
Create a beautiful watercolor painting…with absolutely no painting experience required. None, zero, zilch! With Cricut’s watercolor markers, you’ll have your family and friends convinced that your kids are painting prodigies. Step one: Load the markers into Clamp A and have your Cricut draw the picture onto watercolor paper or greeting cards. Step two: Add water with a wet brush. That’s it. Nobody’s gonna know. It’ll be our secret.
See Design #457 in my free resource library!
Tiny Tokens With Shrinky Dinks
Remember being glued to the oven door as a kid, watching your Shrinky Dinks get tinier and tinier? I can’t say no to a nostalgic throwback, and Shrinky Dink projects have stood the test of time as far as crafting kiddos is concerned. They’re such a fun way to make funky jewelry and keychains with intricate designs, really easy. We can all agree, watching them shrink is the best part! You and your kids can turn them into keychains, backpack clips, earrings, necklaces, zipper pulls, all the things they want!
See Design #452 in my free resource library!
Perfect Plush Pals
Fantastic craft for the budding seamster! Learning to sew is a wonderful summer goal, and what better way to start than to make a super cute (and simple) plushie friend! With these cute guys, flaws = personality — which I believe is something to be celebrated. This tutorial introduces some basic sewing machine skills, plus walks your kiddo (or you) through hand-sewn ladder and embroidery stitches. What’s even cooler is that you can cut the fabric right on your Cricut. No Cricut? No problem — I have free files to cut them by hand, too. A stellar project for big kids, though littles can help too. Talk about a summer boredom buster!
See Design #451 in my free resource library!
Cut fridge magnets right on your Cricut! Older kids will love designing the magnets (or choosing pre-made designs), and younger kids will love playing with them on your fridge or magnetic bulletin board. Use a Cricut Maker or Explore series machine (which have Print Then Cut capabilities) to cut through printable magnet sheets with a standard Cricut Fine-Point Blade, or use printable vinyl applied to a magnet sheet and a Cricut Deep-Point Blade.
See Design #396 in my free resource library!
Lollipop Holders to Upgrade Treats
Got a summer birthday in the family, or considering throwing a pool party this season? Dress up everyone’s favorite party favor with these adorable lollipop holders! These are one of my favorite Cricut summer crafts for younger kids. They’re super easy to cut on your Cricut and help your kids assemble. They’ll love filling them with candy and passing them out to friends who come to your summer bash! Sugar crash not included.
See Design #379 in my free resource library!
Unicorn, Unicorn On the Wall
My cute and sweet unicorn wall art is easy to make, and is a beautiful addition to a bedroom wall! You just need a shadow box frame, some vinyl, transfer tape, cardstock, and a couple of tools (like a Cricut) to create a little magic. Your child can pick out their favorite colors to match their room, and then personalize it with their name or a pretty quote. Rolling paper flowers is easy with a little practice, and helping each other with the vinyl can turn a simple craft into a fun bonding activity. Hang it on their wall to remind everyone who’s the fairest of them all.
See Design #271 in my free resource library!
This Little Light of Mine Lantern
Speaking of dazzling room decor, these just may be one of my favorites on the list. My paper heart lanterns are so pretty and can be made in any color, texture, or pattern of cardstock to match your kidlet’s bedroom! I just love the metallic magenta heart with the tulle bow — I get Madonna vibes, which is so fun! And with the cost of each hanging cord and LED lightbulb coming in at under $13, these are great as part of an affordable bedroom revamp. Hang them solo for a soft and cozy glow, or hang a few together for some awesome statement lighting.
See Design #283 in my free resource library!
Wishin’ and Hopin’ Bracelets
Whether your child is hanging with pals or missing them a lot this summer, a sweet and sincere token of friendship never goes out of style. These simple wish bracelets are so trendy (not to mention easy as pie to make), and they’ll make a big impact. They let the recipient know someone’s thinking about them, and are such a pretty little gift to give a friend or close family member. I’ll show you how you and your child can make them with hemp string and charms, and how to make a card with a sweet poem or sentiment written using Cricut pens. You make a wish when you put the bracelet on, then over time it breaks down and the charm or beads fall off — meaning your wish will come true!
See Design #333 in my free resource library!
Tie Dye T-Shirts With Less Mess
Have you ever tie dyed with kids? If you have, you know how absolutely messy it can get. Want a fun alternative that’s all “wow” and very little clean-up? Try sublimation tie dye! It sounds complicated, but it’s really not — it’s actually a lot of fun and kids love to help! Use Infusible Ink transfer sheets or printed sublimation paper to make a design or color, roll and scrunch your shirt into a tie dye twist, and sublimate! When you take the sheet off, shake the shirt out, and reveal the final result. You won’t believe it’s not real tie dye. Bonus: Did I mention it’s way less messy? But seriously, eliminating the risk of dye spillage is a major perk.
See Design #466 in my free resource library!
Easy Paper Winged Heart
Craft projects don’t need to take a long time. In fact, this one takes just a few minutes of paper folding. But the effects will be felt long after your paper winged heart is made. When you put a special message inside for a recipient, you’re not just giving them a folded piece of paper — you’re giving them love (and probably a smile, too). For a sweet game that’ll keep the warm fuzzies buzzing all summer long, make a bunch of winged hearts with your kids and take turns leaving “love notes” for one another where you least expect it!
See Design #12 in my free resource library!
Fancy Face Time
While Halloween isn’t for a while, costumes are also fun summer crafts. Help your kiddos add some mysterious masquerade masks to their dress-up accessories with my free patterns! They are so easy to cut on your Cricut and assemble in just minutes — including the tie or handle. These are one of my the best Cricut summer crafts for kids! Will your child be a mystical, magical butterfly or a mysterious Venetian at Carnival? With this easy peasy tutorial, they won’t have to choose their adventure — just make both!
See Design #434 in my free resource library!
Take a Look, It’s in a Book Nook
With all this summer reading your kids will (hopefully) be doing, they’re bound to explore an intriguing fantasy world or two. Follow my tutorial to make a book nook diorama inspired by your kids’ magical storybook land! Create an infinite forest path with your kids, or use miniatures to build a specific scene or location from their chosen book. These can be as simple or detailed as you and your kids like, because it’s the imagination component that makes them so special. Use all your fun ideas! The whole family will be captivated every time they pass the bookshelf, and it might even inspire everyone to read more, too!
See Design #486 in my free resource library!
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Common Materials & Tools to make Cricut Summer Crafts for Kids
Visit the blog post for each project to see the exact items I used for all of my Summer Craft Ideas for Kids! But here are some of the common materials and tools to get started:
- Vinyls, Transfer Tape, Cardstocks, Printable Sticker Paper
- A method to cut your material — I used the amazing Cricut Maker 3 for many of these projects, but you can also use the Cricut Maker or the Cricut Explore Series with a Green StandardGrip Machine Mat 12″ x 12″. You can even use the Cricut Joy for many of these!
- An appropriate heat press – I used my Cricut EasyPress 2 for most with the Cricut Heat Resistant Pressing Mat, Heat Resistant Tape, and Butcher Paper
- Inkjet Printer – I use an HP Envy 7155 but any will do
- Sublimation Printer, Sublimation Paper, and compatible ink
- Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets or Infusible Ink Pens or Markers,
- Sublimation Blanks
- Tools including a Weeding Tool, Brayer, Scissors
- Craft glue
- Free designs and files from my free resource library! Get the password by filling out the form at the bottom of this page.
Answers to Your Questions On Cricut Summer Crafts for Kids
Q: Is Cricut appropriate for kids?
A: Kids can absolutely create Cricut crafts, and depending on their age and skill level can learn to use the cutting machine with adult guidance and supervision. I chose all of these Cricut summer crafts for kids because they’re accessible for most children to assemble with varying degrees of help, and when you’re ready they can help with the technical and computer side of things too! Let’s create a whole new generation of Cricut crafters!
Q: What can I make with my Cricut for beginners?
A: The fun crafts in this blog are a good place to start! You can also search for “beginner” or “easy” craft tutorials in my free resource library, or check Cricut Design Space for creative ideas for young kids as well as older ones! There are so many resources for Cricut summer crafts for kids, you’ll have enough crafts to do one every day of your kids’ break! Your kids will practically be able to run the Cricut themselves by the time school starts again.
Q: Do you have any kid-friendly crafts for other seasons?
A: In addition to my easy summer crafts, I’ve got plenty of themed crafts and DIY projects for the other seasons, too! Here are just a few of the Cricut crafts you can make with your kids as the seasons change:
- Winter: Giant Paper Snowflakes, Valentines Mailbox & Cards, Glitter Ornaments
- Spring: Paper Butterfly Wreath, 3D Butterfly Wall Art, Paper Bunny & Chick Layered Filigree
- Fall: Sweater Pumpkins, Smashing Pumpkin Paper Bomb, Haunted Paper House
Get my free SVG files for Cricut Summer Crafts for Kids
I’d love to see YOUR Cricut summer crafts for kids! Please share a photo in our Facebook group or tag me on social media with #jennifermaker.
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