I love making layered designs with HTV, and I often see a lot of you asking about ways to layer different types of heat transfer vinyl. For this tutorial, I’ve decided to show you guys how to do this with two very different kinds of vinyl – Siser® EasyWeed® HTV and Siser® Holographic. Siser® EasyWeed® is a fairly standard HTV that applies at a medium temperature, can be peeled warm or cold, and can be layered on top of Siser® Holographic Heat Transfer Vinyl, on the other hand, applies at a higher temperature, peels cold, and cannot be layered on top of. For this project, I used 9 different layers (2 EasyWeed and 7 Holographic), which may seem daunting at first, but can easily be accomplished with the right technique!
Step 1: Cut Layers of HTV
The first thing to keep in mind when layering Siser® Holographic is that you cannot layer on top of the vinyl like you can with EasyWeed®. For this project, I chose a design that does not overlap in any area but the eye (which I have chosen to cut out of EasyWeed).
The nifty thing about CriCut Design Space is that when you import an SVG file, the software will automatically separate your different color layers. This saves a ton of time and keeps things straight when cutting this many layers. If your design separates into too many pieces, make sure to select all of the pieces that you would like to be the same color and weld them together. If your design doesn’t separate, try ungrouping and changing the colors.
When your colors are grouped how you want them, click the “Make It” button. The next screen will show the breakdown of your layers. Make sure to select the “Mirror” option for each mat. For this design, I cut my two EasyWeed layers on the “Iron-On” setting, and the rest of my Holographic layers were cut on “Iron-On +”.
Follow the on-screen prompts to cut each layer. Make sure the heat transfer vinyl you are putting on your mat matches the design you are cutting!
Step 2: Weed and Align
Once your vinyl is cut, it’s time to weed away the excess and sort your layers.
It is a little more difficult to see your cut lines in Holographic than it is with EasyWeed, so while weeding I recommend starting in the corner and pull the vinyl down, slowly revealing your design.
Once all of your vinyl is weeded, line up your layers putting the vinyl that needs to be pressed first on the bottom. Since I layered on top of EasyWeed for this design, I used that as my first 2 layers. From here it was easiest to build out my key layers-the fish’s face and lips were good distinct shapes, so I layered the Sky and Light Pink next.
If your design has many indistinct shapes you can always print out a color-coded photo of your design to use as a guide! You can easily do this by going back to your canvas in Design Space, selecting “Flatten”, then select “Make It” which will prompt you to print your design rather than cut it!
Step 3: Apply Heat
Layering is quite possible with an iron; however, I recommend using a heat press for the sake of accuracy. We’ve previously mentioned in past blogs about using a 2-second tack method while layering HTV which is exactly what I did here. After lining up my design, I removed every layer except for the White EasyWeed that I used for the base of the eye. I then pressed for 2 seconds, peeled the carrier while still warm, lined up my Black EasyWeed layer, and pressed for another 2 seconds.
Once my EasyWeed HTV layers were applied, I turned the heat on my press up to 320º Fahrenheit and began applying my Holographic layers. Make sure to use a reusable cover sheet while layering. This will not only protect all of your previous layers but will also prevent the carrier sheet from sticking to the top platen of your heat press. Keep in mind that while pressing Holographic that it requires a cold peel, so make sure to let each layer cool before removing the carrier sheet.
For my last layer, I made sure to press for the full 15 seconds instead of the 2 I had done with my previous layers. This final press guaranteed that all of my layers fully adhered to the shirt.
It’s pretty amazing what HTV can do with the right techniques! If you’d like to try making this cute colorful fish yourself I’ve included a cut file for you here!
If you ever have any questions about layering vinyl or anything else, please feel free to give us a call or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a really awesome project that you’d love to share with us make sure to tag us on Facebook or Instagram! We love seeing everything you make!
Until next time!