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Learn how to make your own customized vinyl car decals with my simple tutorial and fun designs!

Love decorating your car windows, but just can’t find the right saying? You can make your own vinyl decals! I have tutorials showing you how to Make Vinyl Decals for Instant Pots, make a Vinyl Mandala for your Macbook, and even Large Vinyl Wall Decals. But what about cars? Can you put vinyl on windows? What kind? I get you — and I can help! So let’s focus on the sorts of vinyl decals you can make for your car windows. Vinyl car decals are a fun way to personalize your vehicle and to show the world what you care about. It’s fun and so much easier than you think to make these vinyl car decals!

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Get the free SVG cut file for this project

Many people have vinyl car decals to show support for their favorite cause, sports team, or family. There is an unlimited number of different designs you can create. Now, these aren’t your typical “bumper sticker” with the printed text on a rectangular white background. These vinyl decals are designed to be placed on the outside of your car window. And they last a surprisingly long time. I put one on my SUV over three years ago and it’s still there!

To show you how easy these vinyl car decals are to make, I’ve created four free designs for you to try out! First, we have the #CraftLife decal, along with the crafty “stick figure family” collection for all my fellow Makers out there! We’ve got stick figures that look like pencils, rulers, scissors, glue, pushpins, and more! And look, the pets are glue guns!

Crafty stick figure family car vehicle vinyl decals in white vinyl

Next up is my personal favorite — “Crafting is my therapy” with some pretty flowers. Imagine how great that would look in your back window?

Crafting is my therapy free vinyl car decal in white vinyl

And last but not least, this wonderful “kind words are free” decal …so true!

Kind Words are Free Car Vehicle Decal in the Rear Window

June 2023 Update:
I’ve added more vinyl car decals for you!

The SVG now includes a layered rainbow design.

A blue and yellow rainbow vinyl car decal on the back window of a car with "choose kindness" at the bottom.

Then there’s a simple statement: “All aboard the hot mess express!”

A white vinyl car decal reading All Aboard the Hot Mess Express on the back window of a car.

Another one that some of us might identify with: “Probably late for something.”

A red vinyl car decal reading Probably Late for Something on the back window of a car.

And a lovely mountain scene with “Adventure awaits.”

A yellow vinyl car decal reading Adventure Awaits with mountains on the back window of a car.

Let me show you how easy it is to make these vinyl car decals! This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Read my full disclosure policy.

Materials to Make Vinyl Car Decals

How to Make Vinyl Car Decals

Vinyl Decal on Vehicle

Vinyl Car Decals

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $4

This fun project shows you exactly how to make vinyl car decals with your Cricut.



Step 1: Get my free vinyl car decals

Get Design #233 which is the free vinyl car decals SVG file. I have created several different designs for you, and they are all included in that file. You can download my file from my free resource library (get the password at the bottom of this post).

For this tutorial, I am using the 'Crafting is my therapy' design.

Upload the SVG file into Design Space. This is what my vehicle decals design file looks like when you upload it to Cricut Design Space:

vinyl car decals svg images cricut design space canvas

If you’re not sure how to upload an SVG cut file to Cricut Design Space, watch this helpful video training series I made. If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, here’s how to download and upload SVG files to the Cricut Design Space app.

Step 2: Prepare your file for cutting

Once the file is uploaded, decide which of the designs you want to use and hide or delete the remaining designs. To do this, with the design images selected, click "Ungroup," then click a design to delete or to hide the layers you do not want to cut.

Next, you will want to measure the area of your vehicle where you want to place your decal. Then go back into Cricut Design Space and resize the design by grabbing and dragging a corner of the design when selected.

change size of vinyl car decal

If you are using my Maker Family decals, you can use the family labels I created or create your own personalized family member labels. To create your own labels:

  1. Select the text tool
  2. Select a single-layer font that you would like to use. I used Allspice in my design which is also available in Design Space
  3. Adjust the letter spacing, if necessary, by selecting the text and clicking ungroup. You can then adjust spacing for individual letters.
  4. Once you are satisfied with the placement of your text, select all letters and click weld.

Step 3: Cut out your car decal design

Once you have your vinyl design sized properly, it's time to cut it out. I used the Cricut Maker to cut my vehicle decal designs, but you could use a Cricut Explore or Joy or anything that cuts vinyl.

vinyl car decals supplies laid out on table vinyl, cricut joy, brayer, scissors

Using a StandardGrip machine mat (the green one), place your vinyl on the machine mat with the color side of the vinyl facing up. I recommend you use a brayer to make sure the vinyl is well adhered to your machine mat.

Select the proper cutting material setting (I used "premium vinyl"), load your fine-point blade into your Cricut machine, load your mat, and cut.

If you need more help cutting vinyl, check out my How to Cut Vinyl on a Cricut tutorial.

Weed your design. Weeding means removing the extra vinyl away from around and within the design. Leaving the vinyl on your mat can make weeding the material easier since it stays still and flat. You'll probably want to use a weeding tool for this job.

I like to work from larger to smaller sections during weeding. Using a weeding tool, very carefully peel away the extra background vinyl …also referred to as the negative space or the part of the vinyl we don’t want to include in our finished design.

Poke your weeding tool into each section you want to remove. Gently lift it away from the design. Make sure you do not pull up any pieces you want to keep. If they come up, gently pat them back in place and try again. Don't forget the middle parts of the letters! It’s also a good idea, especially with large designs, to cut off the excess vinyl as you go. That way it doesn’t end up sticking to the parts of the vinyl you want to keep.

Next, we'll use regular transfer tape to move the adhesive vinyl to the car window using my taco method.

Cut a piece of transfer tape a bit larger than your design. Remove the paper backing. Bend the transfer tape up in a taco shape (a U-shape) with the sticky side down.

Lightly place the bottom of the taco on the center of the design and gently lay down both sides of the transfer tape. Smooth each side down with your hands, working from the center and moving outward, avoiding wrinkles and making sure all of the vinyl is covered.

Use the scraper to adhere the tape more, going from the center outward.

Flip the machine mat over and roll it away from the vinyl while keeping the design flat on the table. This keeps the material from curling.

Run the scraper over the back of the design, too. You want to make sure it is totally stuck to the transfer tape.

If you struggle with using transfer tape or need help lining colors up, check out my Transfer Tape video for tips and tricks!

Step 4: Apply the vinyl decal to your vehicle

Before applying your vinyl car decal, make sure your window is clean. Use some rubbing alcohol on a piece of lint-free cloth, such as a shop towel or coffee filter, to wipe the window where the design will go.

I like to use painter’s tape to tape my decal to the application area prior to applying it. This way I can measure and adjust to ensure the placement is straight and centered. Once I am satisfied with the placement, I use painter’s tape to mark the corners of the design so I know where to place the decal for application.

painters tape to mark placement of vinyl car decal

Remove the transfer tape backing and stick the design to the window, pressing from the center outward to minimize wrinkles and bubbles.

applying car decal to window

Before removing the transfer tape, make sure your design adhered to the window by gently pressing with a scraper tool.

Tip: You can also apply decals to car windows with the Wet Vinyl Method.

Step 5: Show it Off

Now you're ready to drive around with your newly personalized vehicle!

Crafting is my Therapy Vinyl Car Decal applied to the back windshield.


Font used in this project

  • Allspice (for the titles of the Maker Family)
  • Quirkle (for "IS MY" in Crafting is my Therapy)
  • ChunkFive (for "Life" in CraftLife)
  • SS Coconut Meringue (for "words are" in Kind Words are Free)
  • All other text is hand lettered

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Answers to Your Questions About Making Vinyl Car Decals

Q: Can I put this on my car bumper?

A: No, you should not put permanent vinyl on any painted surfaces of your car. You only want to use these car decals on your car windows.

Q: Can I use a glass cleaner to clean my window?

A: Many glass cleaners leave a residue behind so we recommend cleaning with rubbing alcohol.

Q: How do I remove the vinyl from my car?

A: You should be able to remove these custom car decals from your window with just a little elbow grease. It might be helpful to use a flat plastic item like an old gift card, old credit card, or the Cricut Scraper to get under the edges.

Q: Can I put my vinyl decal on the inside of my car?

A: You can. Note that if you have tinted windows, it will be harder to see your design. For information on doing this, you’d follow the steps in my Customized Serving Tray tutorial. If you have harsh weather conditions, putting your custom vinyl car decals inside might be the perfect choice.

Q: Can I go through the car wash with my vinyl?

A: I have and the custom decals held up fine. However, your experience may vary based on the type of car wash.

Q: Will the rear windshield wiper ruin my vinyl decal?

A: Windshield wipers often get dirt and debris on them, so it is possible that the wiper might scratch your design or cause it to start peeling. If you notice that, you may want to replace your decal.

Q: Can I remove my vinyl decal and stick it on another part of my car?

A: You can try; however, you might have better results just cutting a new design.

Q: Can I use glitter vinyl, removable vinyl, or a different type of vinyl?

A: You can certainly try using different types of vinyl with the exception of iron-on vinyl or HTV. But we had the best success with our vinyl sticking when we used the Outdoor Premium Vinyl. Permanent Vinyl will also work well for outdoor use.

Q: What is the difference between a vinyl decal and a sticker?

A: Car stickers are better for bumpers while car window decals need a very smooth surface, like rear windows.  Pick the best option for your own design and custom stickers or custom vehicle decals! Whichever you choose, use high-quality materials like permanent outdoor vinyl.

Q: How can businesses use vinyl car decal?

A: Custom car decals are an affordable way for businesses to connect with potential customers by adding a company logo, vinyl lettering, unique designs, or custom graphics to company cars! You can even add customer service and contact information to company vehicles so people can contact you for business purposes. An auto decal is a great way to add a personal touch to the exterior of your vehicle!

Get my free SVG files to Make Vinyl Car Decals

I’d love to see your vinyl car decals! If you have any questions about crafting with vinyl, take a look at my free Ultimate Guide to Vinyl. That guide answers all of the questions I get asked about vinyl. If you want to learn how to customize any of my designs, consider enrolling in my Custom Cut workshop. And please do share a photo of your vinyl car decals in our Facebook group or tag me on social media with #jennifermaker.


Want to remember this? Save this Vinyl Car Decals tutorial to your favorite Pinterest Board!

How to make vinyl car decals on your Cricut to personalize your vehicle. #cricut #vinyl #freesvg

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  1. Why do you choose to use permanent outdoor vinyl instead of the car decal vinyl made specifically for car decals? I was just asking because I wondered if it would be easier for removal. I change my decals often. Thanks!

    1. You can definitely use whatever materials or vinyl you’d like. I had this vinyl on hand and prefered to use that for the tutorial as most crafters might have it, too.

  2. Another amazing tutorial, thank you for all the work you put into making the designs and preparing this article. I will be passing this along to my family to make their own.

    1. You’re welcome! I haven’t noticed an issue; however, you’ll want to keep an eye on it as your car may be different.

  3. And, i forgot to add in that I think you are an awesome teacher and a very creative person. Yeaaaaa Jennife

  4. I was thinking these would be fun Christmas gifts for the men in the family – how would you recommend preparing them so they would be giftable?

    1. I’d suggest doing all the steps up to putting the transfer sheet over the design, so the recipient would just peel away the backing and apply it.

  5. Can i use removeable adhesive clear laminate easy liner that was in the craft department but u can also use fir shelf liner to …can i use it on canvas after i print and cut on it to make monograms on canvas . please email me and let me know and thanks so much for ur help

  6. Hi Jenifer. Should the tempurature outside be between a certain degree so the vinyl adheres its best?

    1. If it’s too cold, vinyl will have a hard time adhering. The general rule of thumb is the temperature should be between 60 and 86 degrees for stickers to stick best.

    1. For this project, Shanna, we used permanent vinyl! For projects that require a printer, though, Jennifer uses and recommends an HP Envy 7155. You can find a link to more information about the printer, and other tools and products, at Jennifer’s Favorite Things!

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