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Simple Silhouette Hack for Saving HTV or Vinyl

Oh I love a good Silhouette hack, don't you? Especially when it involves saving material or money when crafting!

Silhouette School contributor Cat is here today to share another awesome and easy way to avoid wasted material when cutting vinyl and HTV!

Hi All! Have you ever accidentally cut through your vinyl design when trimming the excess vinyl away? Or go to make a new design only to find out if you had cut your last design out just a little differently you would have enough vinyl? Well today I am back to share my secret to saving more of those vinyl scraps and preventing those nasty little over cuts! 


To show you how I accomplish this vinyl saving hack I made these cute little ballerina dresses for my new DIY Ballerina Tote Bag.


The key to this vinyl saving hack to make a double cut of your design. Now I don't mean a double of each line. But instead making another shape or offset around the outside edge of your design and then cutting them separately.

To accomplish this outside shape you can use the Offset tool or you use the Draw a Curved Shape tool to drop edit points right outside the border of the original shape.

HTV TIP: One thing to keep in mind if you're using this Silhouette CAMEO hack for HTV: make sure the offset or the outer edge you draw is far enough out that you have at least a little bit of the HTV carrier sheet that can be used to keep the design in place while you're pressing.


Once I had the original shape and the offset, I selected both and copied them since I needed to cut one for each side of my bag.

It is important not to group any of the lines or shapes together as we need to cut them out separately.


For my first cut I set the outside shape/offset to "no cut" and then my inside design to cut. Next I adjusted my setting to Heat Transfer Material Smooth with the settings Blade Depth: 2, Speed: 8, Thickness: 5.

Then I loaded my mat with my Heat Transfer Vinyl, shiny side down, and sent it to my Silhouette Machine. When it's finished cutting - DO NOT UNLOAD YOUR MAT.


Go back into Silhouette Studio now and you're going to swap the settings. This time from the Cut Settings window, set the inside design to "no cut" and the outer edge/offset shape to "cut".

Before you send the design to cut, adjust the blade and settings to: Blade Depth: 4, Speed: 8, Thickness: 15 and once again sent it to my Silhouette Machine. (This setting will also work for regular vinyl.) This time we want to cut clear through the clear transfer sheet or the vinyl backing depending if you're cutting on HTV or vinyl.


With this double cut system I am able to simply peel away the unused portion of my vinyl without damaging or disturbing my design. Allowing me to save more of my vinyl or htv without risking any nasty scissor over cuts or wasted material.


With the excess vinyl out of the way, now I can simply remove my design and proceed to weed it as

As you can see the amount of vinyl I wasted in the weeding process was extremely small allowing me to make more projects and save more money! 

By the way if you really want to double up on using all of those extra bits and pieces a PixScan Cutting Mat is a great way to do it. You can simply scan in the shape of your vinyl scraps and build your designs from there! Are you ready to see what I turned these cute little ballerina dresses into? I made this adorable Ballerina Tote Bag for my munchkin to keep all of her dance stuff in.   

 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!

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  1. Oh. My. Stars. This is positively BRILLIANT! :) Thank you very much!!
    ~ Christina in FL

  2. This is probably a dumb question but how do you set some lines to "no cut"

  3. Seems to me that you could utilize the 2 blades to accomplish this in one step. You would just select the offset and change to blade 2, then change the settings on blade 2 to accommodate cutting the backing. This is a great idea to preserve ANY medium you may be cutting. Thanks!

  4. I don't understand why the offset is needed. Why not just cut the line of the design through the clear backing?


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