The Easiest Way to Layer Vinyl Perfectly Each Time

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Learn how to layer vinyl so that it lines up perfectly every time. Read on for the easy tutorial!

Layering vinyl is an important step in creating multiple-color designs. But if you have ever worked with adhesive vinyl, you know the frustration that can happen when your design doesn’t Iine up properly.  WOMP WOMP. I’m here to tell you that I’ve been there and also…this doesn’t have to happen. Today I’m going to show you the easiest way to layer vinyl perfectly each time.

how to layer vinyl



Before we get into the actual method of how to layer vinyl, let’s talk about WHEN you would need to layer vinyl. Layering vinyl is needed when you have a design that has multiple colors stacked on top of each other. The most popular project using this method is when people layer vinyl decals but you can also use this method to make projects like wooden signs. This tutorial covers layering adhesive vinyl. If you have a project using other types of vinyl such as heat transfer vinyl (HTV), you’ll want to check out these posts on the best way to layer heat transfer vinyl and how to layer glitter heat transfer vinyl.



Layering vinyl begins in Silhouette Studio or Cricut Design Space. Since I use Silhouette, that’s what I will be covering but you can also do this same process in Cricut Design Space.


Once you have your SVG file uploaded into Silhouette Studio, you’ll need to separate it into layers. If the designer created the file with the layers already separated, you’re good to go. If not, this post will step you through how to separate an SVG into layers.

Once your layers are separate, you’ll need to add registration marks to your design. Draw two boxes and place them at the top of your design.  Align the boxes using the transform panel in the right side menu, and group the boxes together (CMD or CTR – G). 

layer vinyl

Select the boxes and the bottom layer (red layer in the picture above), then copy and paste. Move that layer aside and delete the original layer. Continue to do this until all layers have registration marks attached to them.

layer vinyl
layer vinyl
layer vinyl
Crafting with vinyl? Learn how to layer vinyl designs perfectly each time! Click to Tweet


Cut out each layer of vinyl separately along with the registration marks for each layer. To cut out your design, you can either drag your layers onto the mat one at a time or you can cut by color. Once your design is finished cutting, weed your design.

layer vinyl


To layer the vinyl, place a piece of transfer tape over the top layer and adhere the top layer to the transfer tape. by burnishing with a scraper tool. Make sure that you use a piece of transfer tape that will cover the entire design and not just the top layer. This is because every layer is going to adhere to this piece of transfer tape. Peel the backing paper away from the vinyl, starting at the top closest to the registration marks. Only peel back a portion of the liner until the registration marks are exposed.

layer vinyl

Line up the registration marks from the top layer with the registration marks from the second layer.

layer vinyl

Slide the backing out and press the top layer down onto the second layer. 

layer vinyl

Repeat this process for each layer that you have. When you are done with the final layer, you can peel the registration marks off of the transfer tape. You should now have a design where the layers are perfectly aligned. 

layer vinyl
layer vinyl

If this tutorial has helped you, please consider sharing it so others can see it!


How to Layer Heat Transfer Vinyl
How to Weed Vinyl: 5 Must-Know Tips
The Beginner’s Guide To Heat Transfer Vinyl
How to Use SVG Files: Tips, Tricks & Ideas


How do I open these files in my Silhouette software?
Save the file to your computer. If it is a zip file, unzip it. Open your Silhouette software and select FILE>OPEN and navigate to where you saved the file. You can also import the file(s) to your Silhouette library by clicking FILE>LIBRARY>IMPORT TO LIBRARY and navigating to where you saved the file.

Can I open SVG files in the Silhouette Basic Edition?
No. You must have Silhouette Designer Edition or higher to open SVG files. If you have Silhouette Basic Edition, you can use PNG files and convert the PNG to a cut file.

Can this file be used with a Cricut?
Yes. Any SVG file can be used in Cricut Design Space


how to layer vinyl



  1. What a simply great tip thanks so much – common sense ultimately but never seen a post of such simple, sound advice ! #needed ??

    1. Hi Debbie! Registration marks are the shapes that you draw at the top of your design that you use to line up each layer. They could also be called reference marks.

    2. Registration marks are marks put above the design in design space, which are then cut out along with the design still on top of it. Then, you use the registration marks on all the designs and lights them up to make sure you designs are aligned and perfect. I hope this answers your question Debbie W. 😄

  2. Hi! I’m hoping to attempt this technique tonight. Your tutorial seems straight forward, so thank you! I’m wondering if you could share what font your HELLO is.

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