A customized water bottle is a crafty way to make sure that you stay hydrated throughout the day. (I’m digging that double entendre, by the way.)
Granted, there are many ways you can personalize your bottle. If you’re looking for one of the easiest approaches, though, you need look no further than adhesive vinyl and a Silhouette Cameo or Cricut.
Custom Water Bottle Materials
The materials I recommend for this customized water bottle project are:
- A reusable water bottle
- Adhesive vinyl
- Transfer tape, painter’s tape, or sheet from a lint roller
- Silhouette Cameo or Cricut
- Something to wipe down the bottle surface before application (an alcohol wipe or Simple Green/Windex on a small cloth or paper towel)
- Optional: Dishwasher safe Mod Podge to seal the design if you plan to put it in the dishwasher
How To Customize A Plastic Water Bottle In 5 Easy Steps
This water bottle customization isn’t anything new or different from a typical vinyl project, really.
I am going to break it down nonetheless.
After all, it’s always nice to have the steps written down so that you don’t overthink it. (Especially if you’re still a beginner.)
So let’s get to it.
Step 1: Select your design.
It’s not hard to find some fun SVG cut files these days. You can purchase SVG files on Etsy. Or, do an internet search for “free SVG files”.
You can also grab some of the free Create To Donate cut files.
Even easier? For the purpose of this tutorial, I created a free “Feeling Prickly” SVG to add to your sassy SVG collection.
A water bottle doesn’t give you too much surface area. You therefore want a mantra that is short and sweet and prints large enough to weed and apply easily.
In my experience, a large paragraph of smaller text is more of a hassle than it’s worth.
Step 2: Use your Silhouette or Cricut to cut out the design.
Upload the design into your machine’s software.
Cut a piece of adhesive vinyl a little bit larger than your design.
Then, place it face up on your mat and let your Silhouette or Cricut do its slicing magic.
Step 3: Prepare your design for transfer.
Use your favorite tools (hello little hook, I see you!) to weed your design. Pay extra attention to the little pieces in each of the letters that need to be removed.
When you’ve finished weeding, take your transfer material and place it over the design. Press firmly so that the vinyl sticks to the transfer material then remove the backing.
If you choose to use my free “Feeling Prickly” design, I must warn you! Make sure to give the little cactus pieces need some extra TLC.
As you’ll see in the video, I had originally tried the design with matte vinyl. I switched to the holographic vinyl because the stiff nature of that material made it easier to weed.
Mind you, I know some of it was blade sharpness and cut settings. I was feeling impatient, however, and realized the green holographic vinyl would allow the design to pop more anyway.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive transfer material and working with a small-to-medium design, try using a sheet from a lint roller.
Step 4: Clean the surface of the bottle.
While the lint roller sheet isn’t transparent, you can see through it just enough, so it makes placement much easier than painter’s tape.
Use your wipe or cloth to clean the surface of the bottle to remove fingerprints and any random residue from the bottle to provide the best possible adhesion of the vinyl.
A cost effective way and easy approach to cleaning is to buy a box of lens wipes at your local store.
I found a decent sized box at Costco (below) that I’m still working through over a year later.
I often use these individually wrapped wipes for projects where I need to get gunk off of plastic, ceramic, etc.
They are easy to carry and use. In addition, I don’t have to go looking for a cloth or paper towel in the middle of making something.
Step 5: Apply your design.
The last step is applying your design to the bottle.
You don’t want to the bottle to roll around. So, create some bumpers out of books or towels to stabilize the bottle while you apply the vinyl.
Still new to centering vinyl on a non-flat surface? Use painter’s tape to mark where you want your top and side edges to land.
Another tip? Start applying the design from the middle and letting it fall to each side. This is better than starting with one of the side edges.
Remove the transfer tape and you’re done!
If you plan to put your water bottle into the dishwasher, you need to apply dishwasher safe Mod Podge as a sealer.
The only hiccup with using the dishwasher safe Mod Podge is the curing time – a whole 28 days!
So, you’ll need to start your projects much earlier than planned if you intend for a bottle to be a gift on a certain date.
Video Tutorial: Customize A Water Bottle
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What Will You Customize Next?
If you’ve caught the customization bug, why not try one of the projects below next?