October 1, 2022


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DIY Bean Bag Toss with the Cricut Explore Air 2

6 min read

This post and photos may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. If you purchase something through any link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. Any supplies used may be given to me free of charge, however, all projects and opinions are my own.

A DIY bean bag toss is a great handmade gift idea for toddlers and preschoolers. Plus it is so easy to make with your Cricut Explore Air 2. I am constantly amazed at everything I can make with this machine. Don’t get me wrong. I love my Cricut Maker. But the Explore series is still great and perfect for projects like this one. Read on for instructions on how to make this project as well as a few reasons why I love my Cricut Explore Air 2 machine.

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

Make this DIY bean bag toss as a gift for your little one this year! Use your Cricut Explore Air 2 and our cut file to make this easy project then surprise your little one with a handmade gift! #cricut #cricutcreated #cricutexplore #kidsgift #giftidea #handmade #handmadegift #toddler #preschool #toddlergift #christmas #christmasgift #fish #shark #beanbags #cricutmachine #cricutgift #cricutideas

5 Reasons I Love My Cricut Explore Air 2

First, let’s talk about why I still love my Cricut Explore Air 2. Yes, I have the Maker but I still pull out my Explore Air 2 all the time. Why? A few reasons!

  1. So many materials! This project, for example, uses three different materials but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Yes, you can cut more with the Cricut Maker but the Explore still has more options than you can count.how to make a diy bean bag toss
  2. The dial makes choosing material a bit quicker. I do use the custom setting a lot but being able to switch the dial to vinyl to cut a quick project seems so much faster.cricut explore air 2 dial
  3. The color options seem to be endless. I can’t even count how many colors of this machine I have seen. You can pick one to match your craft room and maybe one to match your living room decor as well. After all, everyone needs two. Am I right?cricut explore air 2 colors
  4. Wireless technology that allows me to design and cut from mobile devices. We are all busy but have our phones with us at all times. I can pull up any of my designs in seconds on my phone and send it right to my machine.cricut explore air 2 bluetooth
  5. Fast Mode for up to 2X faster cutting and writing. Did I mention we are all busy? Faster cutting is the BEST and makes your projects even quicker to create which puts a smile on my face.

Cricut Explore Air 2 Wild Rose #selfmade

So, now that you see a little behind the scenes of my machine, are you ready to make a DIY bean bag toss game? I thought so!

Supplies needed to make a DIY bean bag toss:

supplies to make a diy bean bag toss game

Make Your Own DIY Bean Bag Toss Video

Do you want to just watch me make this DIY bean bag toss? I made a video with all of the instructions below.


Can’t watch the video or missed some of the steps? Just follow along below as we explain each step.

How to Make a Handmade Bean Bag Toss Game:

First, you will need to cut the pieces with your Cricut Explore Air 2. You can find the cut file here for making the exact project that I made.

Cutting Felt with the Cricut Explore Air 2

We have talked about cutting felt with a Cricut before. The Explore Air 2 makes it easy. Add your felt to the mat and turn the dial to custom.

cutting felt with a cricut explore

Pick the felt setting and cut your pieces with the fine point blade. I varied the color of my fish but you can choose whatever color of felt you like.

felt cut on a cricut machine

If you have issues cutting, try using a brayer to press the felt down on the mat for better adhesion. You can also change to a different strength mat if the material is moving.

tips for cutting felt on a cricut

Cutting Vinyl with the Cricut Explore Air 2

Continue by cutting your vinyl piece for the bucket. For this, you can use the dial and just set to vinyl or use custom and pick from the list.

cutting vinyl on a cricut machine

Once cut, you will need to weed away all excess from around your shark. I am using weeding tools but these are optional. TIP: I like to pick my vinyl up in the corner with the weeding tool to make peeling the outer vinyl away a bit easier.

weeding vinyl cut on a cricut machine

Then just remove all excess from your design.

how to weed adhesive vinyl

You will also need to weed away the center of the design. You should be left with only what you want to add to your bucket.

weeded vinyl shark

Cutting Mosiac Iron-on with the Cricut Explore Air 2

There is a new type of iron-on from Cricut and it is perfect for the fish scales on this project. Look for mosaic iron-on in circles. You can get a wide variety of colors but I am using the holographic for all of my fish.

mosaic iron on from cricut

Unroll from the packaging and discard the white paper that is in the roll.

mosaic iron on project

Then you will need to put it good side down on the mat. The good side is the shiny side. The “back” will also be noticeable because you can feel the circles of iron-on. This side should be face up on the mat.

how to cut mosaic iron on

Then you will need to mirror your mat in Cricut Design Space before cutting. You can see more on how to do that here. Be sure to turn the dial to custom and pick mosaic iron-on from the menu. This is important because this iron-on is not like any other as it has a double liner.

cutting mosaic iron on with a cricut explore air 2

That double liner is for weeding purposes. Once cut, pick at one corner and separate one liner from the other. This allows you to weed away all of your excess without having to pick up each individual dot. Remove all excess with this second liner piece.

how to weed mosaic iron on

Cutting Iron-on with the Cricut Explore Air 2

Finally, you will need to cut the everyday iron-on that will be used for the eyes and mouths. Be sure to place shiny side down on your mat and mirror before cutting. You can see the basics of using iron-on here.

weeding heat transfer vinyl

Weed away all of the excess and you will be left with just the pieces for your project.

fish eyes and mouth from htv

Adding Iron-on to Fish Pieces

The fish need to be mirror images of each other. Lay out each fish with the scales, eyes, and mouths.

making diy bean bags

I used my EasyPress and EasyPress mat to press one fish at a time. Be sure to follow all time and temperature recommendations for felt using the Cricut heat guide. You will also want to preheat your felt before pressing to remove any moisture.

adding heat transfer vinyl with a cricut easypress

Once pressed, you can peel back the liner while still warm. Remove the liner for the Everyday Iron-on first.

how to iron on mosaic heat transfer vinyl

Then peel back the liner on the mosaic. Remember it has a double liner. Most likely, these will peel separately. So peel back the first liner.

removing liner from mosaic iron on

Then peel back the second. Be sure you remove both liners. If the liners peel back at the same time, that is okay too.

double liner on mosaic iron on

Then you will just need to repeat for each of your fish (front and back.)

making felt fish

Assembling the Fish Bean Bags

Put two of the fish pieces together and use a sewing machine to sew around the outer edge.

sewing diy bean bags

Leave a small gap. Put a funnel in this gap.

adding rocks to bean bags

Then add some rocks, rice, or even beans to the inside. Sew closed with either the sewing machine or a needle and thread.

fish bean bags for diy bean bag toss

Repeat for each of your fish.

felt fish in various colors

Making the Shark Bucket

Finally, you will need to make the shark bucket to complete your DIY bean bag toss. Apply transfer paper to the front of the vinyl that we weeded earlier. Be sure to use your squeegee over the top and press it down well.

adding vinyl shark to a bucket

Then I like to flip it over and peel the backing paper from the vinyl.

using transfer tape with vinyl

You are left with the shark vinyl on the transfer paper.

how to apply vinyl

Use the transfer paper to apply to the bucket. Press the vinyl down well with the squeegee then peel back the transfer paper.

adding vinyl to a bucket

Burnish over the vinyl with your squeegee to make sure it is adhered well to the surface.

diy bean bag toss game with fish

Then all that is left is to wrap up your handmade gift for someone special on your gift-giving list.

diy bean bag toss cricut project

Every toddler will love getting this DIY bean bag toss for any special occasion. And now you can get started before the Christmas rush sets in!

diy bean bag toss toddler gift idea


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