I recently shared how I use printable coloring pages to create cut files I can’t find anywhere else. I’ve been using this method to create vinyl designs for our customized Disney Magic Bands. The magic bands are only about an inch wide so I’ve been doing this on a very small scale. I’m thinking these layered vinyl designs would make incredible decorations for kids rooms though. I know my son wouldn’t complain if I made one of his favorite character to decorate his wall!
I’m going to show you the processes by finish up one of my Disney Magic Bands and adding Flounder to it. If you haven’t seen it already, be sure to click over here and read the tutorial for creating Silhouette cut files from coloring pages. Once your cut file is ready you’ll need various colors of adhesive vinyl, transfer paper, a hook for weeding, a scraper, and of course your Silhouette.
First you’re going to right click and release the compound path.
Fill in each section with the color of vinyl you plan on using. You don’t have to do this, but I find it so much easier to stay organized. It helps me figure out exactly which colors I need and how I’ll separate them.
Click on the outermost line and fill it in with black.
Resize the whole image to the size you need. It helps to make a duplicate of your image now in case you run into any issues.
Start with one color. Select each piece that needs to be cut of that color and group them together. Move the grouping to the side. Do this with each color. You’ll see that with Flounder’s face I added the black pieces to the grouping. This is because I find it easier for the black to peek through from the bottom layer than to have to add another small piece of black vinyl on top. When I weed out the yellow design I’ll make sure to weed out the eyes and mouth. Once you’ve grouped and moved all the colors you should be left with one solid black piece. This will be your base piece.
Cut each grouping out of the right color of adhesive vinyl. Use the hook tool to weed out the designs. I ended up leaving a few pieces out from my initial design. They were just too small to mess with, but it is fine since you can’t even notice they’re missing.
Use transfer paper to pick up the first piece. Carefully place it on the black base piece.
One by one, add each grouping of vinyl to the base piece. Start with the largest piece and finish with the smallest details.
Whoo hoo! The hard part is over. Pick up the completed design using transfer paper and move it to whatever surface you want. Start from the middle and work your way outwards while adhering the design to its final surface.
*I’ve been asked what kind of vinyl I used for the magic bands. I found this variety pack of vinyl ease on Amazon. I chose it because the adhesive is strong and it comes with all the colors I needed. If you’re looking to have a variety of vinyl colors on hand for smaller projects it is a great choice!*
Tori saysSeptember 21, 2014 at 1:55 pm
What type of vinyl do you use?
Analisa saysSeptember 21, 2014 at 3:19 pm
I normally use Silhouette’s vinyl because it has just the right amount of adhesive for most projects. I needed something very, very sticky for the magic bands though. I found this variety pack of vinyl ease on Amazon which was great since I needed a variety of colors but only a small amount of each. It is a little more difficult to work with though since once it is stuck on something (or itself!) it won’t budge.
JUDYANN WALKER saysSeptember 21, 2014 at 2:41 pm
FINALLY! I’VE READ SEVERAL WAYS TO DO THIS, BUT THIS IS THE FIRST ONE THAT MY BRAIN UNDERSTANDS! THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Analisa saysSeptember 21, 2014 at 3:27 pm
Oh I’m so happy it helps Judyann! Thanks so much for saying that! I’m never quite sure if I’m making sense to anyone other than myself, but I hope for the best ;)
Kerry saysJuly 17, 2016 at 8:40 pm
This has been the most simplistic explanation I’ve seen on how to layer vinyl. Thank you so much!!! I’m so glad I found this.
Analisa saysJuly 21, 2016 at 9:22 pm
Awesome, Kerry! Glad it was helpful!
Darcie saysNovember 20, 2014 at 9:14 am
How do you group the colors together to keep them in the right spots? I haven’t figured this part out!thanks for this great tut!
Analisa saysNovember 20, 2014 at 10:29 pm
Do you mean when you’re grouping them on the screen? Click on one part of the design then press your shift key and hold it while you click on the other parts you’re grouping. Let go of the shift key and right click so that the drop down menu shows up and you can select “group”. Hope that helps Darcie!
Lauren saysDecember 19, 2014 at 12:39 am
I’m a little confused..Is the vinyl colored paper? Once you group them to their separate colors, what do you print them on, and how does adhesive come into play?
Analisa saysDecember 21, 2014 at 10:53 pm
It isn’t paper, just vinyl with a sticky backing. It comes in all kinds of different colors and there is no printing involved. You cut each piece of adhesive vinyl from whatever color you need. There are different adhesive strengths ranging from adhesive vinyl safe enough to put on walls to outdoor vinyl that will withstand a lot of wear like you’d see with vinyl car decals. Silhouette makes some terrific multipurpose adhesive vinyl that you can find here.
JenMM saysJanuary 3, 2015 at 10:36 pm
Thanks so much for this tutorial! We are going in May and I can’t wait to do this for our bands. Did you have to use any sealant on your bands?
Analisa saysJanuary 14, 2015 at 12:28 am
I used fairly strong adhesive vinyl and didn’t seal them. We were there for over a week in Florida’s typical extreme heat and humidity. We didn’t swim in our bands but did get caught in a few inevitable rain storms. That being said, most of the designs held on pretty well. Some of the more intricate, smaller pieces started moving around after a few days. Some days were hot and sunny enough that it made the adhesive soften and the vinyl so the smaller pieces would move around if rubbed up against something. I wish I would have sealed them, but I wasn’t sure with what. I was still happy I used the vinyl to decorate them since they looked so vibrant and even if a few smaller pieces fell off it wasn’t really a big deal. I read that temporary tattoos also work well on the bands. I didn’t go that route, but if you’re interested Silhouette has printable temporary tattoo paper you can find here. Good luck with whatever you try and have an awesome trip! I’d love to see what you come up with!
Don't Normally Post saysMay 12, 2015 at 5:46 am
I’ve been using that same package of vinyl from Amazon for a while now. I’m trying to find which color you used to make the flesh tone on your characters. The beige in my pack looks too dark but I can’t tell. Is this what you used for Ariel and Lilo?
Analisa saysMay 18, 2015 at 6:02 pm
Yes, I did use the beige from my vinyl pack for the flesh tones. I wonder if the colors might vary a bit from pack to pack?
Melisa M saysMarch 17, 2016 at 10:09 pm
Thank you SOOO much for this!! I had to make a piglet for a lady & had no clue where to even begin. This helped me tremendously!!
Analisa saysMarch 19, 2016 at 10:20 pm
Awesome! I’m so glad it helped! Thanks for letting me know!
Renee saysMay 21, 2016 at 9:56 am
Great tutorial! How would I do this using paper instead of vinyl as each color grouping would not be nicely “stuck” together. Would I have to place each individual piece of light blue for example or is there a way to make that a “solid” layer??
Analisa saysMay 21, 2016 at 9:27 pm
Thanks Renee! With paper you would have to add each piece individually. Have you ever used Silhouette’s pick me up tool? It has a tacky end that really helps with small pieces of paper. You can find it here on Amazon.
Dana saysJune 22, 2016 at 11:07 am
Thanks for the tutorial. Any idea why my entire image turns black when I try to just make the outside lines black? Thanks!
Analisa saysJune 28, 2016 at 11:28 am
It sounds like the layers of your design might be getting mixed up. Try right clicking on that line again and selecting “Send to Back”. If that doesn’t work let me know and we will try something else.
Kandris saysJuly 16, 2016 at 5:49 am
Great tutorial! What kind of transfer tape did you use? I use a brand that looks like masking tape but would like to get clear transfer tape.
Analisa saysJuly 17, 2016 at 12:26 am
I use two different kinds depending on what I’m working on. Sometimes I use Silhouette transfer paper which sounds similar to what you might be using. It’s what I use when I need grid lines to keep things straight and I also like that it isn’t overly sticky. The clear transfer paper is actually just clear contact paper. I can usually find it at the Dollar Tree of all places. The downside to using it is that it can be too sticky and vinyl has a hard time releasing from it. I prefer using it on smaller projects where I have more control. Hope that helps Kandris!
Mary saysAugust 6, 2017 at 8:58 am
This is a great tutorial!!! I have one quick question, what size did you size the image down to to fit on your magic band? That is the only thing I have having a tough time with trying to find out. I have measured the band, but, mine never seem to fit LOL Once again, thanks for making such an awesome tutorial!!!
Have a magical day!!
Analisa saysAugust 12, 2017 at 10:27 pm
Thanks so much for the kind words, Mary! The magic bands that are out now are a different size than the ones that I used when I did the tutorial. To make a rough template for your magic bands try this…
Put a sheet of white tissue paper over the top of a magic band and use a pencil to trace the outline. Lay it flat and then put your clear Silhouette cutting mat on top. It should make it a lot easier to gauge how big you need the pieces to be.
Hope that helps!
Robyn saysNovember 17, 2017 at 10:27 am
Do you cut one group at a time to get the color of vinyl? Say the fish is yellow do you cut the fish first and pause the cameo and change the vinyl to another color like blue for the fins?
Analisa saysJuly 25, 2018 at 9:59 pm
I cut each color group separately, moving them on and off the mat on my screen then sending them to the Silhouette.
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