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Layering Vinyl When the Vinyl's Not Actually Layered (Apple Word Art Pt 2)

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, layering vinyl, vinyl

Last week I showed you how to design a custom apple word art with students' names in Silhouette Studio.  Today I'm going to show you how to cut and layer that design - the same process applies to any layered design, so don't worry if you don't have an apple.  If you're a beginner, don't be scared by the number of steps here - you know me: I just break everything down into simple easy to follow steps!

This is one of those cases where filling the design elements with the color vinyl you are going to cut on is extremely helpful.  If you have Designer Edition, the color fill will come in even more handy - you'll see what I mean. 

Now if you're cutting on adhesive vinyl (651 or 631), the registration marks method is the one you'll want to use.  If you're cutting on HTV, you can do without the registration marks, but you will still want to use the same grouping methods.
Start by creating the registration marks - not the kind for print and cut - the square kind that will allow you to line up the design perfectly.  Use the Draw a Square tool to draw out a box above the design.  Then copy and paste it to get a second box. I find it helpful if the boxes are aligned, so select them and from the align window (in blue below) click "Align Vertically > Align Middle."

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, layering vinyl, vinyl, square registration marks
For this design to line up correctly after it's cut, keep these things in mind:
  • Do not resize the design or any part of the design
  • Do not move the registration marks or the design in relation to the registration marks
  • Cut the registration marks with every colored layer
  • Group the same color elements together so they don't move
Each color will be cut separately which means we need to group the same color elements together - along with the registration marks.

Skip ahead to the * below if you do not have Designer Edition

If you have Designer Edition you can use the handy dandy Select by Color tool which I explained how to use in depth here.  When you click it you'll get this window on the right side.  Select "By Fill" and then click on black to select the registration marks and then the first color...in this case blue.

Copy and paste the selected shapes and then immediately group them together (right click > group).

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, layering vinyl, vinyl, select by color, Silhouette Designer Edition

Repeat with the next color - only this time if you click 'black' in the window you'll get both sets of registration marks (including the one with the set of blue designs) - so you'll have to select the actual registration marks and then click the color from the window.

You'll notice that I have three different shades of green in the 'By Fill' window (indicated by three green boxes).  That was not intentional, I just accidentally filled with different shades.  However, if I hold down Shift and select all three of those green boxes, all of the green elements will be selected at the same time. Again, copy and paste and then group the objects.

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, layering vinyl, vinyl, select by color, Silhouette Designer Edition

Repeat with all of the colors, adding the registration marks to every layer.
* If you don't have Designer Edition, you will need to go through and use your mouse to select the registration marks and then hold down Shift while selecting the same color elements throughout the design. For instance, click the registration marks and then hold down shift and click all of the green pieces.

Copy and paste the green elements and then group them (right click > group). Repeat with every color - always being sure to include the registration mark with each color group.
Once you've grouped all of the same color pieces with the registration marks you should have something that looks like this in your work area.

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, layering vinyl, vinyl, grouped items

Now, from the Page Settings window reveal the cutting mat and then drag one of the groups onto the virtual cutting mat. Put the same color vinyl onto the Silhouette cutting mat covering the same squares.  Repeat with as many color group as will fit...remember not to resize anything!

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, layering vinyl, vinyl, page settings, reveal cutting mat

I'm going to warn you..there's some wasted vinyl involved here.  It's mostly due to the placement of the registration marks. There's no easy way around it...but what you can do is what I did and that's get yourself a coordinating vinyl pack from Expressions Vinyl which will give you a bunch of awesome colors for a great price! 

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, layering vinyl, vinyl

Cut and weed all of the colors.

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, layering vinyl, vinyl

If you cut on HTV, you're safe to place, reposition, and press one layer at a time since before you press you have the freedom to reposition easily therefore you don't need the registration marks.

For adhesive vinyl, however, this is where the tricky - and sometimes scary - part comes in.  Don't be scared - you got this!

Take a piece of clear transfer tape and working with just one color section lay the tape down nice and flat so it covers the names and the registration marks, as I did on the blue piece below.

Grab another one of your weeded vinyl designs and place it on your mat just to keep it in place (green).  

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, layering vinyl, vinyl, cutting mat

Peel the transfer tape up off the blue design so the vinyl comes with it.

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, layering vinyl, vinyl, transfer tape

Take the backing from the first piece of vinyl (blue) and lay it over the second piece of vinyl so that only the registration marks are exposed.  This prevents the vinyl designs from sticking together before you're ready.

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, layering vinyl, vinyl

Next, take the transfer paper with the vinyl stuck to it (blue) and line up the registration marks on it with the registration marks that are on the vinyl piece (green) that's on the mat.  I find it easiest to work if the registration marks are closest to me so I turn my pieces upside down.    The registration marks should be "stacked" on top of the first set.

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, layering vinyl, vinyl, cutting mat

When you get them exactly right, remove the vinyl backing cover and lay down the registration tape/vinyl on top of the second color of vinyl.  See how the names go right into place.

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, layering vinyl, vinyl

Use that piece of transfer tape to pull the two colors of vinyl up off the backing.

Now put the third color vinyl piece on the mat and repeat the process continuing to pick up the different color  vinyl sections onto the same piece of transfer tape.

Keep doing this until you have all of the vinyl layered into one design.  When it's all done, you can peel or cut the registration marks off the transfer tape and place the design onto the surface where you are placing it.

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, layering vinyl, vinyl, apple, word art

You can place this decal on so many different surfaces. I went with clipboard because I figured it would be cute both hanging on the wall and be useful for my daughter's teacher!

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, layering vinyl, vinyl, word art apple

I also added some vinyl doodles and the teacher's name to complete it!

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, layering vinyl, vinyl, word art apple


Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine! 

Thanks for coming to class today at Silhouette School.  If you like what you see, I'd love for you to pin it!

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9 comments

  1. The rafflecopter is not asking for our instagram names to confirm that we actually followed all of the bloggers. Just to confirm to cover my butt, my instagram name is @krafteezkreationz and I followed everyone listed in the contest. Thanks for the giveaway!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wonderful gift idea! Thank you for sharing the tutorial!! Instagram name is @txtwigrl. Thank you for the chance to win!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just finished my first one....one more to go! It was tedious, but the finished project looks AWESOME!!! I'm @hollydaycreations on Instagram, but it stopped letting me follow people. :(

    ReplyDelete
  4. what if I don't want to use the decal right away? Is there an alternate backing I can place it on to save and use later?

    ReplyDelete
  5. in this example, what are the dimensions of your apple?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Doesn't this waste a lot of vinyl?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it can, depending on the design.

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  7. Thank you for the amazing tutorials! I followed these to make a heart shape with names - it was a lot of work but it looks great!

    ReplyDelete

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