Last week in the Silhouette Designs – Part 1, I showed how to make designs go farther by using some of the tools in the software such as releasing the compound path, grouping different pieces of the design together, and making new compound paths to create a different look.
Today let’s take it a step further and I’ll show you how I created this stacked pumpkin design by moving the Layers around, and then welding the black background together..
Again, don’t get overwhelmed here. I did not get it in the first try but kept on testing different steps to get it to do what I wanted.
Let’s take a look at how I did it.
If you have grouped the design back together, right click on it and ungroup. Move the green stems away from the 2 bottom pumpkins. They will not be needed and could be deleted.
Open the Layers Panel. Once the pumpkin is ungrouped, each piece of the pumpkin will show as a separate item in the Layers Panel. The black background of the bottom pumpkin is selected and the item labeled “Polygon” that matches will highlight. Polygon is a general name because it’s a shape, if you right click on it, the option to rename the layers is available.
I did not ungroup the pumpkin at the top of the page. In the Layers Panel, you can see that this object is labeled “Group”. When this object is ungrouped, it will break up into separate items in the Layers Panel, like the others show below in the layers list.
I have renamed all of the Layers in the panel so it is easier to know which ones match the design.
To make this design stack on each other and cut the black shadow out of all one piece. I moved the layers around so the black shadow layers are next to each other by grabbing the name in the Layers Panel and dragging it down the list.
Now I can select the black bottom and the black middle pumpkin layers and right click and choose Weld. Notice that the orange pumpkin part is now overlapping. We will use the Offset & Modify Panels in a minute to fix that.
When you weld the 2 layers together, notice that the name changes back to “Polygon”. It can be renamed again if needed.
To make this easier to work with and selecting the correct part of the design, I selected all of the design and changed the Fill Color to transparent.
Select the middle pumpkin, open the Offset Panel, create a small offset of 0.040″, and click Apply.
With the Offset selected, hold the Shift key down and select the bottom pumpkin.
Open the Modify Panel and choose Subtract. This will subtract the middle pumpkin offset from the bottom pumpkin, leaving a space between the pumpkins.
Fill the pumpkins with orange and the back layer with black to see how the design will look.
Here is a comparison of how the design looks with the Offset vs without the Offset.
Now, did I have to do this? No, but I wanted the pumpkin designs to be separated in some way so they didn’t look like one giant orange blob.
Now, to add the top pumpkin to the stack, we will repeat the steps for that pumpkin.
Move the top pumpkin above the bottom 2, position as desired, and ungroup the design.
Once the top pumpkin is ungrouped, the layers will separate in the Layers Panel and it will show 3 new Polygon layers. I have gone ahead and renamed the layers to make it easier to see.
Now, you’ll see the top and the middle pumpkin overlap.
Select the top pumpkin, open the Offset Panel, and create a 0.040″ offset. It may be easier to select the designs if the color is removed from the design first.
With the top pumpkin offset selected, hold the Shift key down, and select the middle pumpkin. Using the Modify Panel, choose Subtract. Now the Offset is subtracted from the middle pumpkin and you have a separation between the designs.
Fill the design back in with color to see how it will look.
Scale the design to the size you want. I knew I had about 24″ to work with in my area, so I sized the design about 19″ tall. You can use a 12″ x 24″ cutting mat or cut without a mat.
Check out this post on Cutting Without a Mat for tips on setting up for a successful cut without a mat.
I added layering marks to the top of the design by drawing a rectangle, making a copy, aligning the rectangles, and grouping them together. Now, I will cut these layering marks with each color of the design, so I can use them to line the image up. Check out this post on Layering Vinyl for more information on how to create the layering marks.
I also moved the green stem off the design mat, so it did not cut with the 2 long layers. I can cut that from a much smaller piece of vinyl and add it on separate.
Then I used the Cut by Fill Color option and chose which colors I wanted it to cut each time.
Click on the Send tab in the top right corner. Then choose Fill Color in the menu just below the Send menu.
Check the box next to the colors that you want to cut. I want the layering marks to cut with both the black layer and the orange layer, so the light green will remain checked for both cut.
When a color is selected by clicking on the box next to it, you will notice that the cut lines of the design on that color will become bold. In the photo above, the black and the light green have bold cut lines around them. When cutting by Fill Color, the cut lines will be the same color as the Fill color.
I cut the black first, then unchecked the black and checked the box next to the orange.
After the design is all cut, weed away the excess and then layer the design together using the layering marks to line it up.
Check out this time lapse video of piecing this design together.
This is the longest decal that I have attempted to layer. I would suggest starting with a smaller size and practicing with the layering marks to line things up before attempting a large design.
I repeated the process for the evil jack-o-lanterns on the right side.
And yes, even though the bottom right jack-o-lantern decided to go rogue and not stay in his designated spot when I placed him, I just let him be his own self. I do think there was a vinyl issue when I was cutting and the vinyl got stuck a little bit and caused the cut to be off. It happens and it happens to us all.
The designs used in this post are all from the Silhouette Design Store and can be found here:
Pumpkin by Wild Pilot – Design #274430
Pumpkin by Wild Pilot – Design #274429
Pumpkin by Wild Pilot – Design #274427
Pumpkin by FoxSister – Design #273881
Pumpkin by FoxSister – Design #273880
Pumpkin by FoxSister – Design #273879
Now, I played with pumpkins, but this can be used for any design.
What will you play around with and see what you can create?
I would love to see your projects feel free to post on my Facebook group at Silhouette Secrets with EllyMae.
**This post may contain affiliate links. What that means is that I may receive compensation if you purchase through the links I have provided. The price you pay for the product or service is not higher but I may get compensated for sharing.