Celebrating NAIDOC Week 2023: How to create your own NAIDOC Week inspired creations at home

Embrace your crafty side with these NAIDOC Week designs.

Show your support for Elders this NAIDOC Week through these unique design projects.

(Image: Getty)

Between July 2 to July 9, 2023, Australians across the country take part in commemorating NAIDOC Week.

NAIDOC Week, which draws its name from the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee, takes place during the first week of July each year and serves as a poignant opportunity for all Australians to learn more about First Nations history and culture, as well as take part in various celebrations and activities.

NAIDOC Week 2023 is centred around the theme ‘For Our Elders’, which seeks to recognise and amplify the role that Elders have within their community and the immense value their presence brings.

“The struggles of our Elders help to move us forward today. The equality we continue to fight for is found in their fight. Their tenacity and strength has carried the survival of our people,” reads NAIDOC’s official statement.

The 2023 theme commemorates the tenacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander elders (Pictured: Noongar elder Herbert Bropho.)

(Image: Getty)

There are many ways to commemorate and take part in NAIDOC Week, with one simple and easy way being through art.

Muruwari and Yuwaalaraay artist Kirsten Gray’s contemporary Aboriginal art has created a way through which she is able to express her connection to her culture.

To commemorate NAIDOC Week, Kirsten partnered with Cricut to create her own unique a design that centres around the theme of ‘For Our Elders’; creating an Aboriginal art style motif in the shape of a heart.

Quandamooka, Nunukul artist Casey Coolwell-Fisher and Wakka Wakka artist Roy Fisher began their Aboriginal art business CHABOO to “tell our stories, and the best way for us to share them is through our artwork,” adding their artwork “reflect[s] our lands, waters, and skies that we belong to.”

To commemorate NAIDOC Week, the pair transformed one of their unique designs into a vibrant tumbler decal.

Want to create your own NAIDOC Week art at home? We’ve got your step by step guide on how to replicate these designs for yourself.

Art has played a strong part in First Nations culture for tens of thousands of years.

(Image: Getty)

‘For Our Elders’ Heart Motif

What you will need:

  • Cricut Smart Cutting Machine

  • Cricut EasyPress Mini

  • Cricut EasyPress Mat (a towel will also work)

  • Cricut Smart Iron-On in black and white

  • A plain jumper of your choice

How to make Kirsten’s design:

(1) Make sure you download the Cricut Design Space App to your device. Once you’re ready to go, you can access Kirsten’s NAIDOC Week design here!

(2) Ensure that your design is mirrored and follow the prompts in Design Space. Load your black smart iron-on (shiny side down) into the cutting machine and allow the Cricut to cut the lettering with the fine point blade.

(3) Now you have the lettering, repeat the same steps using the white smart iron-on to create the heart design.

(4) Using the weeding tool, remove each of the negative spaces on your iron-on to reveal your design on the clear backing.

(5) Visit to find the optimal heat settings for your EasyPress Mini. Place the design on the EasyPress Mat and then press over the clear backing to transfer the heart decal to the jumper. Wait until the heart is cool before peeling away the backing. Make sure you keep the clear backing for the next step!

(6) Place the For Our Elders letting over the heart and cover with the clear backing used in the last step. Press in place and peel once cooled.

(7) Rock your custom NAIDOC Week jumper!

Kirsten, proud owner of Yuluwirribaa, created a heart motif for NAIDOC Week 2023.

(Image: Supplied)

CHABOO Tumbler Decal

What you will need:

  • Cricut Smart Cutting Machine

  • Cricut Smart Vinyl permanent (coral, orange, white)

  • Cricut Weeding Tool

  • Cricut Scraper

  • Cricut Transfer Tape

  • Tumbler

How to make CHABOO’s design:

(1) Download the Cricut Design Space App. Click here to go directly to CHABOO’s design.

(2) Customise the design to your liking, then follow the prompts to load your Smart Vinyl into the cutting machine.

(3) Once loaded, click Make it and let the machine work its magic!

(4) Using the weeding tool, remove the negative vinyl from your design to reveal the artwork.

(5) Cut a piece of Cricut Transfer Tape to size and use the scraper tool to adhere it to each of the vinyl decals. Be extra careful when pulling back the transfer tape to ensure that the design has stuck.

(6) Apply the white portion of your decal to the tumbler first using the scraper to push out any air bubbles. Slowly peel back the transfer tape at a 45 degree angle.

(7) Line up your orange layer (you can use baking paper to help with the alignment) and then repeat the same steps as above. Repeat this with your coral layer.

(8) Peel the final layer back and reveal your one of a kind tumbler!

We love CHABOO’s use of vibrant colours in their design.

(Image: Supplied)

Want to create more one-of-a-kind designs? You can purchase your very own Cricut here.

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