If you've ever cut a large vinyl or heat transfer vinyl decal - especially one that is a frame - you know how much material you end up wasting when you weed. The entire middle section or negative space ends up in the trash....but today, weekly Silhouette School contributor Becky Dykes from My Paper Craze, is here to show you how your vinyl can htv cuts can pull double duty and eliminate ALL waste!
When I started working on this design for my daughter's Valentine's shirt, I immediately knew I wanted to try a new experiment: I wanted to intentionally cut through the clear HTV carrier sheet in an effort to save the middle part of the design that I would normally weed out. Usually when that happens it's a mistake, but I wanted to do it purposefully in this case to make use of that negative vinyl space in the middle of the heart.
So the first thing we're going to do is set up the design in Silhouette Studio. In this design, the heart is a frame...it's just the border of a heart which means the middle area will be removed and weeded out after cutting. That middle area (the negative space) would all be wasted normally, but with this little Silhouette hack, we are going to save it and put it to good use on another shirt!
The design has been mirrored in Studio since it's being cut on HTV. Since I want the middle of the heart cut out, I'll need to cut through the carrier sheet just at that spot - which means that cut line needs to have slightly different cut settings. To make it easier on myself, I make that line black and all others transparent - this way I can Cut by Color when I go to cut.
Now it's on to the Cut Settings window and the Advanced Cut Settings, which is where the Cut by Color comes in. Since we discussed Cut by Color in great detail in this 101 tutorial, I'm going to fly through this part. But if you need a refresher on Cut by Color, check out this tutorial.
Under normal circumstances, once I send a design to the Silhouette to be cut, it all cuts on the same settings. When utilizing the Cut by Color function and inserting a pause, I can cut part of the design in one setting, then change it during the pause for the rest of the design.
First, I want to cut all the regular cut lines (those are the transparent lines) for the design using the normal HTV cut settings for smooth htv.
Then the machine will pause cutting and (to cut the middle heart through the carrier sheet), I will change the settings to flocked HTV (for the black line) so it'll be a deeper cut. It's important to cut through the carrier sheet last because it will compromise the ability to make any more cuts. You'll also need to cut this vinyl on a mat.
So you may be asking yourself, why the big deal about using Cut by Color? It's because you don't want to take the chance of having to re-cut the middle heart and have it not line up exactly. That would ruins both designs and you've wasted even more vinyl than you were trying to save to begin with.
So here's how it looked coming off the mat. It was a perfect cut and I had absolutely no problems at all!
Here's what the two separate pieces looked like after weeding. Is it making a little more sense now? I have two usable elements!
And here's the final designs. What do you think? It's kind of a two-for-one, which is always a win-win in my book. Hopefully you find a few projects to use this new technique on!
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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