SUMMER is here! That means entertaining, hanging out in the backyard, and having more time to do what you love. Right? I am excited to share my tips with you on how to layer vinyl….plus show you how to DIY a summer serving tray!
I admit, layering vinyl can be tricky. It’s too sticky, you get air bubbles, it’s hard to reposition if you mess it up, or your transfer paper isn’t sticky enough. All the things! When I first started learning how to use my Silhouette Cameo, layering seemed like something only the professionals could do! I found it to be easier than I thought with Heat Transfer Vinyl….but adhesive vinyl is a totally different material. So after completing a few projects, I find myself layering vinyl almost every time!
How to Make a Summer Serving Tray:
First, you need a cut file. I find it easier to layer when your design is simpler….but it yields impressive results. I like to use one word files, and offset the text to give me something to work with. For my summer serving tray, I used the word “HOME” and an outline of the state of Ohio as the “o”.
You will want to offset your text by using the “Offset” function. For this, I just did the standard offset setting and hit “apply” to offset it a bit. Then, you Group/Ungroup to separate the shapes for cutting. Using the offset setting allows you to have a base layer, and you just have to line it up when it’s time to apply it. After you offset, you need to Ungroup your designs, and set the one you are not cutting to the side of your design software.
Then, send your file to cut. Cut the base layer first. This is the outside of the offset. For this particular project, I used the StyleTech Craft Opal Adhesive Vinyl. LOVE this. It weeds like a dream, and gives you a little shimmer/shine in all the right places. Cut this, and set it to the side. Next, send your top layer to cut. I used the StyleTech Craft Luster finish for this part, and it pairs really well with the opal!
From here, it is time to layer! Cover your base layer with transfer tape. Smooth out the bubbles with the burnishing tool. Remove the backing. Position this in the center of your tray, and gently peel it back. Next, smooth over it again with the burnishing tool to make sure it is sticking well to the surface. Now, cover the top layer with transfer tape. Line up the top layer, and gently place it on the opal vinyl. Smooth it again with the burnishing tool, and gently peel back from the corner to remove the transfer tape.
Tips for Layering Vinyl:
In my experience, good quality vinyl layers the best. I love the StyleTech Craft Vinyl. The glitter, luster, and opal seem to be my favorites for layering.
Layering a smaller design tends to be a bit easier. While this is a larger design, the simplicity of it makes it fairly simple to layer and get the effect you want.
At the most, layering 3 layers of vinyl is the best. It really depends on the surface and size of your file….but you don’t want too many layers. This is particularly important if it is a water bottle, or other surface that is going to be cleaned frequently.
Clear transfer tape is the best This helps you line up your design and position it correctly. It’s not a sticker…don’t just peel it off the backing and expect it to lay well on your surface.
Work slowly. Layering vinyl is not a speedy process, but the end results are great!
Great tools are key. The most important tools for a layering project are going to be a good scraper and good transfer tape.
If you are applying your design to a rounded surface, it’s helpful to do the layering BEFORE you apply it. Take your very bottom piece of vinyl, and lay it flat on a table. From there, start layering. Then, cover the WHOLE design with transfer tape, peel the backing off the bottom layer, and apply it to your surface. This also helps you line everything up just right!
Overall, layering vinyl can be a fun technique for a moderately skilled vinyl crafter. It takes some time and patience, but the end result is beautiful!