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Makeover a plain bag with a hint of leopard print. This easy iron-on vinyl project takes only a few minutes to make and will upgrade a thrift shop find into a trendy leopard print bag.

There’s nothing I love more than making-over a thrift store find. Leopard print adds fun to every outfit and as far as I’m concerned you can never have too much. I’ve been looking for an excuse to my new Cricut Joy cutting machine, and a Leopard print bag makeover was the perfect project.

Its compact size (5” x 8”) means that you can conveniently fun personalized projects almost anywhere.

The Cricut Joy is button free and uses Bluetooth to connect to your phone, tablet or laptop for easy on-the-go crafting.

I’ve used an existing animal print design from the Cricut Maker Space for this bag makeover. It was really easy to crop and resize and just using the Cricut app on my phone.

I had some matte black Smart Iron-on vinyl left over from my last Cricut Joy project – Iso Award Ribbons – which was the perfect size for this easy bag makeover.

Regular iron-on vinyl with a mat can be used to make this bag also.

The Smart Iron-on is designed to work with the Joy machine for easy mat-free cutting.

An Easy Press 2 makes easy work of ironing the vinyl on but you could also use a regular iron if you don’t have one. If you needs a refresh consider adding some leopard print to an old bag.

You can add iron-on to real leather or faux leather. It’s durable and will stand up to every day use. I was a bit apprehensive about using a press on faux leather because it’s essentially plastic. Heat and plastic don’t always play nice!

But ironing with a lower voltage still worked well, and only a few spots required a little bit of extra to really set the iron-on adhesive properly.

The bag turned out super cute and Emma has already claimed it as her own. If you want to really dial up the glam, try using a gold foil iron-on.

You will need:

  • Cricut Joy (or any other Cricut cutting machine)
  • Cricut Joy Smart Iron-on in Black Matte (Regular iron-on can be used with a mat)
  • Small Leather or Faux Leather bag with flap – similar to this one
  • Cricut Design Space account 
  • Cricut access subscription (optional)
  • Computer ipad or smart phone
  • Cricut basic tool set
  • Cricut Easy Press 2 or Mini Press or regular iron
  • Cricut Easy Press Mat or fabric pad/tea towel
  • Non-stick Baking paper

Prepare the design for cutting iron-on vinyl

1. Open Leopard Print Bag Makeover project in Cricut Design Space or use this Cheetah print pattern design if you need a larger size.

2. Measure your bag flap and adjust the size to suit the size of your bag. If using ‘Smart Iron-on’ your max width will need to be 4.5″ (11.4cm).

3. Click on ‘Make it’ and select material. Choose without mat if using ‘smart’ material or with mat if using regular iron-on. Make sure you select ‘mirror’ for iron-on vinyl.

4. Follow the Design Space instructions and feed vinyl into cutting machine (shiny side down) and start cutting function. The Cricut Joy will pre-measure and align the vinyl before the cutting starts to ensure there is enough material for the project.

5. Once the cutting is finished trace the bag flap onto the iron-on vinyl and then trim to shape.

6. Remove excess vinyl taking care not to remove any of the design. The Joy ‘smart material’ has quite a backing film that makes it very easy to weed.

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