Ever since I got my Cricut Explore Air last November and saw how easy Getting Started With a Cricut really is, I’ve been obsessed with making gift after gift for people. In fact, my latest project is an easy homemade teacher appreciation gift idea that I know my kids’ teachers are going to love!

The possibilities are pretty much endless when it comes to using a Cricut Cutting Machine paired with the easy to use Design Space software, but I like to keep things simple for now. I’ll be venturing into more complex projects soon enough, but if I’m gifting to others I want to make sure it is something easy that will look good in the end. This easy homemade teacher appreciation gift idea is just that!

Easy homemade teacher appreciation gift idea

Easy Homemade Teacher Appreciation Gift Idea

Materials Needed

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Prepping Your Block

  • Prep your block first. Clean with a bit of soap and water, or give it a good wipe with rubbing alcohol. Be sure it is thoroughly dry before you begin painting.
  • Once dry, cover the block with the Frosted Glass Spray using clean, even strokes in a well-ventilated area. You may need to do a few coats to get it just right, but you don’t want to soak it with spray. It is better to do a coat, let it dry, then do another coat.
  • After the paint has dried, I like to seal it with some of the spray-on Mod Podge Sealer. This step may not be necessary, but I’m hoping it reduces scratches in the frosted spray over time.

Vinyl Design Using a Cricut

  • I found a great apple design right in Design Space. Simply click Insert Images, then type Apple in the search box and scroll until you find one you like and insert it into your design.
  • Resize the image to fit your block parameters (mine were approx 6.75″ x 6.75″).
  • At this point, you can simply add your text, slice, and then cut out each layer (red and green). See below for instructions.
    • ==> TIP: I like to slice the apple layers before adding any text because this particular image has both a red apple and a green apple with a stem attached. I feel cutting out both would be a big waste of green vinyl as I only need the leaf/stem part of the green apple, not the whole apple.
Ungroup and Slice the Apple Layers

To separate the layers, simply select all, ungroup. To slice, select the two pieces you want to slice together, then slice (don’t hit select all for step 3 as noted in the image, you can only have two things selected at a time when slicing).

When the slice is complete you will notice in the layers tab that you now have more images. You will need to hide a few of these as you don’t want them in your final cut. You will also most likely need to remove a few extra bits from the leaf image.

To remove the extra parts from the leaf simply insert a shape (squares work well)(1), unlock it(2), and drag it so the size covers the bits of extra apple that didn’t get sliced out before (be sure all the red apple sections are hidden during this process)(3). Repeat the same steps from above to slice [select all(4), slice(5)].

Doing this will separate out those little bits from the leaf so you can now hide them from view or delete them instead of having to cut them.

Next, unhide your red apple section, pair it up with the leaf so they match nicely, select all, group, and then you are ready to add your text.

Adding and Slicing Text in Design Space
  • Hide the leaf layer to do this step as you can only have two layers showing whenever you do slicing.
  • Add whatever text you choose for your design. I liked the “Good Teachers Teach. Great Teachers Inspire.” idea.
  • First, add the Good Teachers line of text, select all, then slice.
    • You will end up with three images. Two of the text, and one of the apple with a cutout area of the text. Delete the two text layers (or hide them)

  • Repeat this exact process for each remaining line of text, then unhide the leaf layer and you are ready to cut!
  • Load your cutting mat with the appropriate vinyl, hit Go in Design Space and follow the prompts.

Pin it! Easy Homemade Teacher Appreciation Gift Idea

More Easy Cricut Projects

If you found this Cricut Tutorial for Beginners too complex, jump over to my  Getting Started With A Cricut Explore Air – First Project Ideas post and get a very easy project under your belt, then come back and give this a try!

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One of the easiest things to use is cardstock. Grab your favorite designs and get cutting with these simple ideas. Any of the designs linked below are just some of the example projects, to search for an easy project for yourself, simply head over to Design Space and see what is available!


I love making my own cards. Adding a personal touch just makes it mean that much more for the recipient, and with a bit of cardstock, your Cricut, and some of the pre-made designs in Design Space, you can have your own custom cards simply and easily!

This Thanksgiving Card is super easy to make, and the pattern is already made for you so you simply need to follow the instructions right in Design Space and cut!



Give your invites a personal touch by designing them yourself! With the Cricut Explore Air you can not only cut out the design, but you can write on the invitations in your preferred font right from the machine as well! This easy Teepee Design birthday invitation comes with simple to follow instructions right in Design Space.


Coloring Pages

Want to make your own fun coloring pages? It is so easy with the Cricut pens and Explore Air!


Iron On

Start with something simple, like these one color flourishes that take bland winter gloves and turns them into a fashion accessory! After you’ve mastered these, move on to more colors and layers.


Party Games, Decor, and More!

Want your wedding and/or party to stand out? Try making some fun games and decor with the easy to follow instructions in Design Space. This Hopeless Romantic Tic Tac Toe game is really easy to make and so much fun to play at a party!


These are just a few ideas to help get you started, but there is so much more to be made. You can see a full list of fun ready to make projects right in Design Space or start designing your own project. The possibilities are endless!

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.