Back to Tutorials

How to Layer Vinyl with Registration Marks


Layering vinyl doesn't have to be difficult! In this step-by-step tutorial, you will learn how to layer vinyl using registration marks.

We are using this adorable Sweet Summer Time vertical porch sign svg design from the Stencil and Sign SVG Design Bundle.



Registration marks are just squares or rectangles that you add to the design.

Let's add 2 small squares to the top left and right corner of our design.

You can do this in Silhouette Studio:



Cricut Design Space:



Brother CanvasWorkspace:




Cut out Each Layer/Color of Vinyl

The next thing you’ll do is cut out each layer in different colors of vinyl with those registration marks in the same place.


For example, with this sign, we have 4 different colors white, red, dark green, and black. I'm using Oracal 651 vinyl for this project.



In your design software, separate each layer with a different color with its own set of matching registration marks.

It doesn't matter what program you use to do this or what machine you use to cut the vinyl because you can do this same process in Cricut Design Space:



Silhouette Studio:



Brother CanvasWorkspace:




Start Layering from Front to Back


Determine which layer is the frontmost layer. What layer sits on top of all the other layers? When layering vinyl, you're going to layer starting with the frontmost layer and then working your way down to the back.



In this project it is the white layer because the white watermelon seeds sit on top of the red watermelon, which sits on top of the black. You can also use your design software to see which layers sit on top of which.



Cut Transfer Tape

Cut a piece transfer tape that is a little bigger than the completed design. 



Transfer First Layer

For some designs, like the one we're using for this project, you need to be mindful where on the transfer tape you put the first layer of vinyl.



Transfer the first layer to roughly the same spot on the transfer tape as it would sit in the finished design.



The white seeds sit in the upper middle part of the design, so you'd transfer the seeds to that same area of the transfer tape.

Since we cut the transfer tape bigger than the completed design, you don't need to very precise because there is some wiggle room built in.

Be sure to transfer not only the design itself (the watermelon seeds), but also the registration marks. Use a burnishing tool to burnish the transfer tape onto the vinyl really well.



Transfer the Next Layer - Line up Registration Marks

Transfer the next vinyl layer. You'll do this by aligning the registration marks on the transfer tape (the white vinyl) directly on top of the red vinyl registration marks.



I find this easiest to do by flipping the design so that the registration marks are closest to me.



Also, place a piece of parchment over the design, exposing just the registration marks.



This piece of parchment protects you from the transfer tape accidentally falling over onto the design. Instead would fall onto the parchment, from which it releases easily. 



After aligning the registration marks, remove the parchment paper and lay the transfer tape onto the vinyl underneath.



Try not to distort the transfer tape when laying it down - it's already exactly where it needs to be. Burnish to pick up the vinyl.



Remove vinyl backing.



Transfer the remaining layers the same way as above....



Since the green vinyl is smaller than the layer before it, place a piece of parchment paper underneath it on your work surface.



Align the registration marks...




... and then lay the transfer tape down, you are laying the transfer tape down onto parchment instead of your work surface.





Repeat these steps until you have transferred every vinyl color onto the transfer tape.





This entire design has now been completely transferred onto the transfer tape and is (almost) ready to apply to your sign.



Remove registration marks

Before transferring the vinyl decal onto the intended surface, remove the registration marks (vinyl squares) from the transfer tape.



 Apply the decal to the desired surface using our favorite red burnishing tool


And here's the completed mini vertical sign!



You can find this svg design in the Stencil and Sign Design Bundle!

Stencil and Sign SVG Design Bundle So Fontsy



And watch the project video tutorial below:

PIN it for later:

How to Layer Vinyl with Registration Marks 



Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published.