Hi all, Elisha here!
I’ve been looking for a fun way to make true stickers with vinyl for a while now and found a super fun technique that I’d love to share with you all! For this project I created some nostalgic designs to craft up some very hip holographic stickers. I’ve been seeing holographic stickers make a huge leap in popularity on Etsy and various craft markets and I think that this trend only has room to grow with late 90’s/early 2000’s nostalgia becoming more popular. This technique involves a few intermediate level Design Space tricks as well as a trick for using your heat press to take your adhesive vinyl designs up a notch.
Skill level: Intermediate
What I used:
Cricut Explore Air 2
Siser® Holographic is one of my ALL TIME favorite materials! It has some all sorts of finishes that I really love and can create some really fun projects. Check out some other things that I’ve made with it:
Step 1: Design – Creating an offset in Cricut Design Space
The key to making this project work is creating a base layer out of a permanent adhesive vinyl (I’m using Siser® EasyPSV™). To cut your base layer you will want to create an offset shadow layer for each of your designs – a feat that can be a little tricky in Design Space. I will show you two methods for doing this - one for simple shapes with no indents and one will be for more complex shapes.
Simple Shapes – Using the Contour Tool
-After importing my SVG file I ungrouped my designs and made a copy of the one I was starting with (this yin yang file).
With my design selected, I went down to the “Contour” tool located below your layers panel. Once opened, the Contour window will display all cut lines that are located within your enclosed shape (in this case the shapes within the circle design). You can toggle “Hide all Contours” and “Show All Contours” or select individual contours to turn on or off. I selected “Hide all Contours” and returned to my design. This created a plain circle sized identically to my yin yang design.
Now that my contour layer has been created, I selected my original cut design and changed the color using the material colors panel.
I then right clicked my original design and selected “Send to front”
If you’d like your design to line up perfectly with no offset, simply align your top layer to your bottom and you’re done! To create an offset for a simple shape like this, all you will have to do is adjust the size of your top layer so that it is slightly smaller than the bottom.
This trick will work for 3 of our designs used here – the yin yang symbol, the alien, and the CD since they are all simple enclosed shapes. But what happens when we try to do this trick with the peace sign?
You will be able to create a drop shadow effect, but due to the shape you will never be able to create a true outline. But no worries, we have a little cheat to help you around this.
Complex Shapes – Creating an offset using the print function
For simplicities sake, I hid my other layers from visibility so we could focus on this peace sign design. My first step, just like the previous method, was to make a copy of my design. Changing the color is useful in keeping things organized.
I then hid my colored layer from visibility and enlarged my black layer. You will want it to be as big as you can get it while remaining no bigger than 9.25” x 6.75”.
The next step is the most important- I changed my Fill settings from “No Fill” to “Print”. This changed my design from a cut layer to a print layer.
From there I clicked “Make It” to bring me to the Prepare menu. By clicking through the prompts I was brought to my print setup. Normally if you were to do a print/cut design you would proceed through this menu as directed, however for creating your shadow layer you will want to make sure that “Add Bleed” is selected, then right click and save your image preview.
I then canceled the print and exited back to my canvas. Going to the “Upload” tab, I then uploaded the saved image and chose “Simple” as my image type.
I then erased the square border around my design by simply clicking it, then finished importing by saving it as a Cut image.
Once imported, this is what my shadow layer looked like compared to my original design. To avoid cutting all of those little holes in the design, I used the Contour tool that we discussed earlier.
After creating a nice smooth shadow layer, I placed my original design in front of it by right clicking and selecting “Sent to Front”.
Then to line up my design a little better, I selected both layers and used the Align tool to center horizontally and vertically.
Step 2: Cutting Your Layers
Before cutting, I made sure that all of my layers were visible and set to Cut, not Print. I then set all of my main layers to one color and all of my shadow layers to another (I used blue for my main layers and black for the shadow layers). This will automatically sort them for cutting.
I made sure to cut my HTV layer (Siser® Holographic) mirrored, with my cut settings on “Iron-On +”. When I switched to cutting my Permanent Adhesive layer I made sure that Mirror was not selected and that I switched my cut settings back to “Vinyl”.
Step 3: Creating Your Stickers
After cutting my designs, I fully weeded my two sheets of vinyl and lined them up to make sure my layers were aligned.
When done pressing I let them cool before removing the carrier sheet (Siser® Holographic is a cold peel HTV). Once cooled I had little to no problem peeling back my plastic carrier sheet, however it’s always a good idea to take it slow and make sure that you are not peeling up your sticker as well. There may be some slight bubbling in between your HTV and adhesive layers – this is totally normal and can often be pressed out with a squeedgee or Lil’ Chizler tool.
And voila! Easily placed holographic sticker designs that can be sold individually, in a pack, or used on indoor or outdoor surfaces! If selling your stickers I recommend trimming the backing paper as seen here to make them look a little neater, but by no means is this a necessary step! I had a blast making these and think they would make an excellent addition to any school fundraiser, Etsy shop, or craft show! These are pretty durable as well and could be used as a car decal or placed on mugs, tumblers, etc! Just keep in mind that they are not dishwasher or microwave safe.
I’d love to see how other people use this technique! Feel free to download these cut files to practice with, or work with your own design! If you love what you make, make sure to tag us or send us a message on Facebook or Instagram! We love seeing what you create!
If you have any questions about any part of this project or working with vinyl in generally, feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time,