How to Layer Vinyl Using Registration Marks (So the Layers Line Up Just Right!)
Have you ever been intimidated by a design that you want to cut in vinyl but it has a lot of layers? It's a little nerve wracking trying to put all the pieces together and layer vinyl. And let's face it, the chances of having it line up on every layer just right are pretty slim.
I found this **adorable** SVG on Etsy and I really wanted to put it on a glitter tumbler for my niece. It has eight, count them, eight colors! I simplified it down to a few less and got to work figuring out the best way to layer them. Today I'm going to show you step-by-step how to layer vinyl using registration marks.
How to Layer Vinyl Using Registration Marks
Select Image, Resize and Ungroup
In this example I actually uploaded an SVG file, but the concept is the same for a design from Cricut Design Space as well.
Once the design is brought onto the canvas, select it and resize it to whatever size you need for your project. Once you have the size you need go to the layers panel and select 'ungroup'. Ungrouping it allows us to move each layer separately instead of the whole design.
Insert a Shape as a Registration Mark
Next, insert a shape. I used a square, but have seen it done with stars and triangles as well. Insert the square and then click the 'unlock' so you can manipulate the image into a rectangle. Once you have the rectangle the size you want it, duplicate it.
Line each rectangle up under the original image. These will be your registration marks that will be on every layer to keep the design lined up.
Duplicate Original Image and Registration Marks
After the original image has the registration marks in place underneath it, select it all and duplicate it. You will do this for each color you have. If you have six colors, then you will duplicate six times.
Delete Layers Leaving A Single Color
For each image you duplicated, delete each layer one at a time leaving only a single color. I didn't have light pink for the inner ears so I decided to just not cut that part. All the other layers can be seen in the photo below.
Attach each Set of Images
Select each layer image (not the main image) and its corresponding registration marks and then select 'attach'. This will keep the image and the registration marks in place when you go to cut. Otherwise, Design Space will try to save you materials by placing them as close together as possible. That won't help us!
You will notice that when you select 'attach' the registration marks change to the color of your layer.
Hide Main Image and Make It!
Before the layers are actually cut we need to hide the main image. Otherwise it will try to cut each of its pieces as well. Select the main image and its registration marks. Select 'group' and then in the layers panel click on the little eyeball. It should make that main image hidden and it won't be cut.
Select 'Make It' to send the project to the mat. Each color will be on its own mat. Cut each color and then weed the image.
*SIDE NOTE*: If you prefer using scraps and not loading and reloading with each color, after you hide the main image select all of the images and the select 'attach'. They will all turn grey so you will have to remember what color you wanted for each piece. When it goes to the cutting mat it will all be on one mat. You can place each of your color scraps where the mat shows they will cut.
Weed Vinyl Pieces and Apply Transfer Tape
Weed each layer leaving only the design and the registration marks.
Cut a piece of transfer tape and begin to layer each piece from the topmost piece down. I applied the transfer tape to the purple bow first because it is farthest to the front of the design.
Add Each Layer to the Transfer Tape from the Top Layer Down
The only thing you have to worry about lining up as you work through the layers are the rectangles. As long as they are lined up, everything else will be too. I'd like to say it's so easy but it really wasn't to me. It helped tremendously, but just know you may not line each rectangle up just perfect. It's ok. Adjust and keep going!
In the photo below, you can see that instead of removing the entire paper backing of the vinyl and then layering, I just folded back the paper backing where only the rectangles showed. That may help you line up the rectangles more accurately. Whichever way works for you is just fine. There's no 'right' or 'wrong' way.
Okay friends, that is the step-by-step of how to layer vinyl using registration marks. Now go grab some vinyl and show me what you make!