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Using the Offset Tool in Silhouette Design Studio

Using the offset tool in Silhouette Design Studio allows you to give your text some dimension, and is great to use when you want to layer text for a project. The offset tool is a standard tool in the Design Studio software, and I think it’s something that everyone should know how to use. You can use this to make beautiful projects, and even thicken thinner fonts to make them easier to work with! I am excited to share this technique with you today.

I am a member of the StyleTech Craft Design Team. I was provided product from StyleTech Craft for this post. This post may contain affiliate links.  See my full disclosure and privacy policy HERE. All opinions are my own.

I think the offset tool is often overlooked, but it is such a great asset when making projects with vinyl. I personally use it often when I want to layer text-give it a bit more dimension and use more than one color of vinyl on a project. The offset tool allows you to add an outline around your text. When it is cut, it does not cut the fine details of your text-just an outline. Then, you cut your text separately and layer them for the final project.

Where is the offset tool in my design software?

The offset tool is on the main tool page in your design screen, on the tool bar to the right. It looks like a little star, with an offset outline around it.

If you click on this, it will open up a small box, offering you the option of an Offset or External Offset. I most often use the “Offset”, with the standard measurement that Design Studio suggests. For this particular project, when I clicked on “Offset”, it gave me a .125 inch offset, and that is perfect.

When is the best time to use the offset tool?

I personally use it most when I want to layer text. I use it to give it some dimension. It’s also great to use when you are working with a thinner font, and those can be very hard to weed and tear easily. With the offset function, you can offset then separate them and cut the offset for your project.

I used this technique in my most recent StyleTech Craft project, to add vinyl to a lap desk for my niece.

DIY Lap Desk Supplies

First, clean the surface of your lap desk with a soft cloth to remove any debris or dust.

Next, set up your text in your Silhouette Design Studio. I chose the Milky Matcha Personal Use font from my font selections, and typed her name.

After sizing it for the lap desk, I selected my text and clicked on the “Offset” button. When the window opened, I clicked on “Offset” and then “Apply”.

Next, separate your offset from your original text. Simply select the original text, and drag it off the design screen to the side. Load the vinyl for your first layer of text on your cutting mat and send it to cut. Repeat the process with the top layer.

Weed and trim your designs. This makes them so much easier to work with.

Next, add transfer tape to the BOTTOM layer-the offset that you cut first-and apply it to the lap desk. Smooth it with the scraper, and gently peel off the transfer tape.

Then, add transfer tape to the top layer-in this case I used a purple glitter color-and line it up with the offset. Gently lay it on the design, starting in the middle and smoothing out to each side. Burnish over it with the scraper tool, and gently peel back the transfer tape.

Your design should look like this:

The offset tool is also great to use if you make stickers and when working with HTV. It really adds a nice dimension to your finished project, and it is SO easy to use. It’s definitely a hidden gem in the Silhouette software!

Best Tips for Layering Adhesive Vinyl:

Use two different types of vinyl. For this project, I used a glossy and then a glitter in complementary colors.

Layering is a great time to use transparent vinyl.

Glitter Vinyl works best as the top later.

Layering just two or three colors is ideal for most projects.

Some crafters layer the vinyl while it is still on the sheet and THEN apply it. I prefer to layer it one at a time, starting with the bottom layer directly on the blank space.

I am excited to see what you create with the offset tool for your next project!

Carrie Hurst

Not only do I love sharing all my vacation tips and ideas here on A Princess and Her Pirates, but I also work alongside families to create magical vacation memories year after year! Email me at carrie@destinationsinflorida.com to begin the planning process, and join hundreds of families on my current guest list.

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