How To Layer Vinyl for DIY Christmas Gift Ideas

In this post I am going to show you how to layer vinyl to make designs that have different colors. I know it’s hard to believe, but it is time to make that list and check it twice, especially if you like DIY Christmas gift ideas. As a mom, your most precious commodity is probably YOUR TIME! That’s why I love using my Cricut and vinyl to make DIY Christmas Gift ideas that are fast and easy but still have that more personal, homemade touch.

Baby It's Cold Outside - Hot Cocoa Kettle and Mug Set - DIY Christmas Gift Ideas via @PagingSupermom

Easy DIY Christmas Gift Ideas using Vinyl Layering via @PagingSupermom

What are SVG files?

If you’re not familiar, SVG files are Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) which you means you can resize them from tiny to gigantic without sacrificing any image quality. You can use SVG files for a wide range of projects, and they are the best file format for cut files to use with electronic cutting machines like Cricut or Silhouette.

 SVG files are best file format for cut files to use with an electronic cutting machine like Cricut.

I used my “Baby It’s Cold Outside” graphic to make this cute Hot Cocoa Kettle — this hand-lettered Hot Cocoa Kettle takes less than 5 minutes of hands-on time to make.

Baby It's Cold Outside - Hot Cocoa Kettle and Mug Set - DIY Christmas Gift Ideas via @PagingSupermom

Isn’t it darling??? I must admit I’m kind of obsessed with this hand-lettered Hot Cocoa Kettle. My daughter drew that cute little Scarf Girl, and I did the hand lettering.

I had originally planned to put this graphic on the side of a red ceramic mug, and while shopping for a mug I found this white enamelware kettle instead, and I knew it was perfect! I got my enamelware kettle at Walmart, but you can order a similar Camp Kettle and mug set here. This graphic would look equally adorable on the side of ceramic mug, tee or sweatshirt.

The cool thing about SVG files is that you can use this same design to make a bunch of different gift ideas. For example, cut it out of iron-on vinyl to make a throw pillow, tee or sweatshirt. The technique I am showing you below for how to layer vinyl will work whether it’s for adhesive or iron-on vinyl.

Saving Time on DIY Christmas Gift Ideas

When it comes to DIY Christmas gifts, they can get time consuming so it’s smart to have a plan. The Supermom approach here is to look for DIY Christmas gift ideas that give you not just the biggest bang for your buck, but also biggest bang for your TIME!

My Christmas gift strategy is to come up with one project that I love and make a bunch of it, assembly-line style. I actually DO make a list of who I want to give gifts too, but it’s more for getting a count than an actual shopping list. I also sort my gift list into gifting levels. For example, I might have a larger gift that I’ll be making for my siblings or family members and a smaller gift that I make for friends.

9 Diy christmas gift ideas

Here’s a round up of adorable DIY Christmas Gift ideas from around the web. Get ready to put your Cricut to work, and if you don’t have one (or want a new one), don’t miss the giveaway happening at the end of this post!

Cricut DIY Christmas Gift Ideas round up
FROM TOP LEFT: Buffalo Plaid Earrings by Hey, Let’s Make Stuff | Foiled Plant Art by The Country Chic Cottage  | How to Make a Customized Candle Gift by Lydi Out Loud | Plant Lover Gift Idea by Lemon Thistle | DIY Santa Snack Plate by Hello Creative Family | Holiday Gift Tag Labels by Liz On Call | Merry & Bright Infusible Ink Mug by Happiness is Homemade | Baby It’s Cold Outside Scarf Girl by Paging Supermom | Personalized Coasters with Infusible Ink by That’s What Che Said
DIY Christmas Gift Ideas using Layered Vinyl and Cricut Design Space tutorial via @PagingSupermom

how to layer vinyl cricut tutorial

Have you wondered how to layer vinyl to make multi-color decals? You’ll be pleased to know that layering vinyl with Cricut is easy so don’t be intimidated! Of course, you can use whatever design software is compatible with your preferred cutting machine, and the steps for how to layer vinyl will be the same as what I’m showing you with my Cricut vinyl. You’ll begin by importing the SVG file into your cutter’s design software like Cricut Design Space, which should automatically recognize the different color layers in the SVG file and prompt you through the steps to cut out each layer.

To make the layered vinyl graphic you’ll need Cricut vinyl in the colors you want — mainly black and then a bit of brown and red adhesive vinyl for the accents. If you’re doing this layered vinyl decal on a colored surface you’ll also probably want an additional color of vinyl for the girl’s face. This is a really great project for using up leftover adhesive vinyl scraps (I always save my Cricut vinyl scraps in a bin, because so many designs like this one just need a small bit). Below I’ve provided a Cricut vinyl layering tutorial with detailed instructions for how to layer vinyl and the whole layered vinyl process.

Cricut Basics - Weeding Vinyl and making a multi-color layered vinyl decal tutorial from @PagingSupermom

Cricut Vinyl Layering Supplies

  • Before you begin making this layered vinyl decal, you will need to download the “Baby It’s Cold Outside” graphic using the form at the end of this post.
  • You will also need a cutting machine — my preference is the Cricut Maker.
  • Of course you will also need various colors Cricut vinyl for layering.
Cricut Design Space - Cricut Basics - Weeding Vinyl and making a multi-color layered vinyl decal tutorial from @PagingSupermom

layering vinyl Cricut Design Space instructions

  1. Upload the “Baby It’s Cold Outside” SVG File to Cricut Design Space, then add it to a “New Project.”
  2. Make sure all the color layers are welded together using the “Weld” button on the bottom in the Layers section on the right-hand side (see Cricut Design Space screenshot below).
  3. Resize the design to fit your project — for my camp kettle I made the graphic 5.7-inches tall.
  4. After resizing the design, hit the green “Make It” button to send the project to the Cricut to cut.
  5. Place your vinyl on a Standard Grip Mat then load into your Cricut cutting machine once you’re prompted. The Cricut interface will guide you through the whole cutting process. (NOTE: If you’re making an iron-on, you will need to set the “mirror” setting so your design will get reflected before being cut out.)

Cricut “Fast mode” cutting tips

The Cricut Maker machine offers a “Fast Mode” for speedier cuts, but I would leave it off for cutting out a more intricate design like this one. I know I’m all about saving time, but it stinks to have it mess up and have to start over. I think it works better to let the Cricut take its time, especially with a more detailed cut like the black vinyl layer in this design.

Cricut Basics - Weeding Vinyl and making a multi-color layered vinyl decal tutorial from @PagingSupermom

STEP-BY-STEP PHOTOS OF how to layer Cut vinyl

Once you have your cut completed, weed out the excess vinyl (I like to use this Cricut tool which my kid’s think looks like a dentist’s scaler LOL!). Weeding the black layer is the only difficult part of this project, but luckily I think weeding vinyl is fun.

DIY Christmas Gift Ideas using Layered Vinyl and Cricut Design Space tutorial via @PagingSupermom

Apply transfer tape over the top of your black vinyl design to begin the vinyl layering process. Cricut makes clear transfer tape, and it really makes it easier to be precise both as you’re layering the vinyl and as you’re applying the layered vinyl decal to it’s final spot. For some of my vinyl projects, I’ll skimp and just use masking tape as my transfer tape, but when I’m making a layered decal like this one I always use the clear transfer tape.

How to Layer Vinyl Cricut Design Space Tutorial via @PagingSupermom

Once you’ve positioned the tape over your weeded black vinyl, firmly rub over the design with a scraper tool to secure it to the new surface (a credit card will also do). Remove the tape, making sure all of the black vinyl pieces transfer over to it.

Next you’ll add the colored layers. In the past, when I’m layering vinyl I normally pick the black layer up and then just overlay it onto each of the colored vinyl layers, but since this design is so tall, it was unwieldy and kept trying to stick to the table surface while I was trying to get things lined up. Then I had an AHA! moment — I should have cut the colored vinyl layers in reverse using the “mirror” setting  in Cricut Design Space. This setting flips the design and is typically used for creating iron-on transfers. For this project though, if you cut the black layer normal and the colored layers mirrored, then you can flip over the black layer and overlay the colored layers from the back. This approach was MUCH EASIER!

Baby Its Cold Outside Layered Vinyl Decal - Vinyl Layering Cricut Design Space Tutorial via @PagingSupermom
Baby Its Cold Outside Layered Vinyl Decal - Vinyl Layering Cricut Design Space Tutorial via @PagingSupermom

Once you’ve layered in the colors, place the layered vinyl decal over its original backing paper, and rub to secure all the layers together. Now you’re ready to place the decal onto it’s final spot!

DIY Christmas Gift Ideas using Layered Vinyl and Cricut Design Space tutorial via @PagingSupermom

Tips for applying a layered vinyl decal

Make sure the area where you’re planning to place the vinyl decal is completely clean from dust and debris. I like to wipe it down with a dry microfiber or lint-free cloth. My kettle has a tapered shape and it wouldn’t hold still as I tried to apply the decal. I solved this problem, by rolling up a bath towel and nestling the kettle in. Next position the decal over your prepared area. You can apply the decal all at once, or for larger decals, start peeling the backing just from the top part, affix this portion then gradually remove the backing as you lay the rest down, pressing firmly as you go to prevent wrinkling and bubbles. Peel back the transfer tape and voila!

Baby It's Cold Outside - Hot Cocoa Kettle and Mug Set - DIY Christmas Gift Ideas via @PagingSupermom

Shortcut: You Don’t Have to Layer the Vinyl

If you like this “Baby It’s Cold Outside” decal but want to whip them out even faster, you can forego the vinyl layering and just cut the words and girl’s outline out of black vinyl. Although read on for my vinyl layering tutorial — you might be surprised that making multi-color layered vinyl decals is a lot easier than you think!

Bettijo Bridges

Administrator at Paging Supermom
Bettijo is the founder and designer of Paging Supermom where she shares creative ideas for family fun. Known for practical and kid-friendly activities, free printables and holiday entertainment. Bettijo was a guest on the Martha Stewart Show and has frequently appeared on local TV. Her work has also been featured in national magazines including Real Simple, O, Redbook, Parents, Family Circle, and Health. She enjoys art, retro-modern design, photography and making new things. Mom of 4 kids.

5 thoughts on “How To Layer Vinyl for DIY Christmas Gift Ideas”

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  3. DIY Christmas gift ideas with vinyl layering are a fantastic way to add a personal touch to your holiday presents! Whether you’re creating custom ornaments, personalized mugs, or even festive t-shirts, the possibilities are endless. And hey, if you’re looking to stay warm and cozy during the winter season, why not consider adding a touch of vinyl layering to your Commercial HVAC system’s thermostat cover? It’s a unique and stylish way to blend creativity and functionality, making your home or workspace even more comfortable and inviting during the holiday season. Happy crafting!


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