How to Make a DIY Can Cooler Decal

Creating a fun can cooler decal for your favorite summer drinks is easy! Using StyleTech Craft color change vinyl gives it even more summer vibes!

Learn how to make a DIY Can Cooler Decal that changes color in the sun and keeps your favorite summer drinks cold!

I am a member of the StyleTech Craft Design Team. I was provided product from StyleTech Craft for this post. This post may contain affiliate links.  See my full disclosure and privacy policy HERE. All opinions are my own.

Summer is in full swing, and we are having some great pool days! We love stepping out onto our patio and hopping in the pool! That also means having friends and family over more often to enjoy our pool, and keeping a fully stocked drink refrigerator at all times!

Having some decorated can coolers on hand makes our summer afternoons that much more enjoyable! We like to enjoy some meals and snacks by the pool, along with some cold drinks. I found these hard sided can coolers at our local Target, and knew that if I added some Style Tech Craft sun color change vinyl to them, that they would be the perfect poolside addition!

The best type of vinyl to use for outdoor projects {or those that will be mainly outdoors} is a permanent adhesive vinyl. This holds up very well to washing, sun exposure, and general use. While StyleTech does make a color change vinyl that changes with temperature, I have found it does not work well on insulated tumblers, hard sided can coolers, etc. So for this project, I knew I needed to go with the Sun Color Change vinyl instead!

This vinyl is a white shade, almost looking like etched glass, until it’s exposed to the sun. Then, it changes color! For this project, the pink and purple sun color change were my choice. I LOVE these shades. They are so fun, and summery! They are perfect poolside, for sure!

Materials for a DIY Can Cooler

Silhouette Cameo, Cricut, or other vinyl cutting machine

StyleTech Craft Color Change Sun Vinyl

Hard Sided Can Cooler/ Koozie

Transfer Tape

How to Make a DIY Can Cooler

First, decide on your design for your decal. I thought a summer design was in order, so I went with a “Best Day Ever” and a cute pineapple.

Using a microfiber cloth and rubbing alcohol, wipe over the surface of your can cooler and set it aside to dry.

Open your design software, and set up your cut file. I sized mine to 3×3 for my can cooler. Send these to cut, using the Gloss Vinyl setting.

Weed the excess vinyl from your cut. Then, cut a piece of transfer tape to a little larger than the size of your design and apply it to the top of your design. Smooth it out so there are no air bubbles, and gently peel back so you have your design stuck to the adhesive side of the transfer tape.

Align your design on your cooler. Gently but firmly press down and smooth over the design and the transfer tape. Next, starting at the corner and peeling at an angle, peel off the transfer tape. At this point, your design should be adhered to your surface.

As a finishing step, you can gently go over the design with a hair dryer to set it a little more firmly.

Tips for Creating a Durable Can Cooler Design:

  • Use a larger design that does not have a lot of smaller details. These tend to be sturdier and easier to weed.
  • When using text, make sure to “Weld” it before you cut it. This makes it one shape instead of a bunch of small ones.
  • Choose a simple, wide font. Not only is it easier to read, but also lasts longer and is easier to work with when applying your decal.
  • Make your design a bit smaller than you think it should be. It may look small when you cut it, but it will be fine when you apply it.
  • I highly suggest hand washing your can cooler, not putting it in the dishwasher. Any dish or cup in our house with vinyl is always hand washed.

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Carrie Hurst

Married to my high school sweetheart, we are raising two pirates and a princess. A lifelong Disney fan, lover of good food, and all things creative, I hope you will join me in sharing joy and making memories everyday.

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