Top Tip Tuesday: Layering die cuts

Layering Tecchniques

This week's Top Tip Tuesday is quite an involved post for a seemingly simple topic. Layering die cuts, whether from dies or from an electronic cutter, is one of the things we do most often. Here are some tips to get it right first time every time.

Layering Types

Inline Layering

This is where your pieces will overlap each other directly; for example, a word die that you want to make into a 3D embellishment. It can also apply to part of a design where the backing piece matches the front piece in some areas but not all.

Inset Layering

This is where your front piece sits inside the backing piece. This could be for matte and layer techniques but also text with an outer shadow layer.

Offset Layering

This is where you create two cuts or pieces of the same design and then adhere the offset to create a mock drop shadow.

The Right Glue at the Right Time

Inline Layering

As this can be the trickiest to layer successfully you want to use a glue that will not allow movement when drying ideally.

My first recommendation would be to use a dry adhesive such as adhesive backed card or use a Xyron machine to apply glue PRIOR to cutting. This is particularly true if you are using dies to cut your design as the adhesive will not affect your dies.

My second recommendation is for those who do not want to use adhesive inside their electronic cutters. Once you have cut your pieces, use a strong wet glue like the Tombow Mono Aqua to glue you pieces together; however, please make sure you follow the alignment and drying tips below.

Inset Layering

Inset layering always benefits from wriggle room. While you could still use the Xyron either before or after your cut, you may be better off using the repositionable adhesive. I prefer to use a combination of cheap double sided tape (only really used to hold in place while drying) and wet glue. Use the broad end on your Tombow Mono Aqua to lay down an even coverage of glue across your piece. Follow the drying tips below for the best finish.

Offset Layering

Offset layering can be trick to judge where to able the glue. Instead, take an applicator with an extra fine nozzle such as the Ranger Multi Medium. Layer up your pieces and carefully apply glue between each join and use the soft end of a pokey tool to press the join without creasing your die cut. 

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Aligning your pieces

Inline Layering

 

This is one of the trickiest layers to align but here are some tips to make it easier:

  1. Use a gridded mat to help you keep your base layer straight
  2. Apply less glue than you think you need
  3. Don't use a pokey tool to align your pieces, use an uncoiled paper clip instead and make sure it is perpendicular to your piece.
  4. Keep checking for signs of either piece warping and realign with the grid where necessary.

Inset Layering

Peel the backing off the tape and align your piece. When you are happy, press the taped areas down first before pressing the other areas.

Drying Tips

Inline & Inset Layering

Once you have successfully applied adhesive, aligned your pieces and pressed gently into place, next we recommend running your piece through your die cutting machine. Using the embossing sandwich of your machine, place your embossing mat gently over your piece checking alignment and no warping has occurred. Run the sandwich through your machine. This will set your design but also eliminate any vertical warping from the wet glue. Set aside to completely dry before removing from the base plate.

Offset Layering

Place a clear stamp block on top of your adhered piece until it is dry. This will help to keep your bond even.

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