As a lot of you know, I like using stencils, designing stencils, and cutting stencils on the Cricut. It’s pretty much stencil everything for me. Well there’s a problem with the Cricut machine, in that, it is only so big. So what if you have a huge picture frame you’re wanting to fill, or a wall space that goes beyond the 12″? Well, there’s a way to make those huge, extra-large stencils using your Cricut and I’m actually going to walk you through 2 methods on How to Make Extra Large Oversized Stencils in Cricut Design Space Meeting and Overlapping Methods.
*note- I use square and shape intermittently throughout this tutorial.
SHOW-OFFS Stencil Blanks are what I prefer to use to make my stencils but there are other stencil blanks that can be purchased.
Stencil Cut File
1st Method-Meeting Stencils
The meeting method is where the stencil designs are cut through the designs and you have to join them or meet them at the seams in order to create a cohesive look.
Pro – cuts very accurately
Con – blending on actual application of stencils is a little more difficult (at least for me 😉 )
For example, can you see the line running across there where the stencil met? I ended up painting over the line parts and then sanding them to blend them.
Anyway this is the step by step for the meeting method:
Step 1-Upload File
Upload your file/design.
Step 2-Resize File
Resize the file/design to the desired dimensions.
Step 3-Zoom Out
Click the minus button to zoom out, so you can see your, now over-sized, design on the screen.
Step 4-Insert Shapes
Click on “Insert Shapes” and then find the Square and click on that to insert square.
Step 5-Unlock Square
I like to unlock the square to make it a rectangle shape to better fit the 12″x24″ cutting mat. However, if you don’t have a 12″x24″ mat then skip this step and leave the square locked. I would definitely recommend getting the 12″x24″ mat, especially if you’re using the 18″ SHOW-OFFS stencil blanks.
Step 6-Resize Square
Regardless of mat size, resize square to cover the design. For instance my design is 17″x26.241″ so I’m going to resize the square to cover the design, while still staying within the parameters of the cutting mat and stencil blank. To figure out how big to make the square/shape, I divide my design by half, so the dimensions would be 8.5″ x 13.5″, approximately the design measurements divided in half. 3 of my cuts fit onto a 9″x18″ stencil blank and 1 of the cuts had to go on a 12″x18″ stencil blank due to the verse reference being lower than the rest of the design. You might need to figure your cutting dimensions differently based on the size of your design and your mat size. *Keep in mind that the Cricut won’t cut to the entire dimensions of the mat, so if you have a 12″x12″ mat you will not be able resize the square beyond 11.5″x11.5″ and for the 12″x24″ mat 11.5″x23.5″. I like to make my square/shape even a tad bit smaller just to play it safe.
Step 7-Duplicate Square
Select the square, then right click and duplicate the square as many times as needed to cover your design, minus 1 square. For example, my design will be sliced into 4 parts, but I actually only need 3 squares. That will be clearer as we get to that part.
Step 8-Move to Front
This step is optional, but I like to move the design to the front so I can see what exactly is getting covered by the squares.
Step 9-Slice Square and Design
Once you have the square and design where you would like it to be cut, go to the “Layers” tab and find the square and design that you’re wanting to slice first. Click on the design, hold “shift” on your keyboard and then click on the square that you’re wanting to slice your design with, then click “Slice”. Remember that with this method, your design has to meet when stenciling. For example, I slice right through the letters because I want them to meet when I’m stenciling. If I had sliced in the white space, then I would have to try and line it up during application without any point of reference.
Step 10-Delete Unnecessary Layers
Once the first slice has been made, delete the uncessary layers, it’ll just make it easier to select the other remaining layers when slicing. I move the top/first layer of the slice and keep that one, then delete the other layers of the slice.
Step 11-Repeat Steps 9 & 10
Repeat Steps 9 &10. Continue slicing your design until all of the design can fit onto the cutting mat and stencil blanks. The last part of design shouldn’t need to be sliced. For example, I only sliced my design 3 times because the remaining 4th of the design was ready for the cutting mat, with no slice necessary.
Step 12-Click “Make It”
Once your design is sliced into manageable parts, and you know what size stencil blanks are needed for each cut, click the “Make It” button.
Step 13-Multiple Mats
The layers should show up on multiple mats if you’re cutting extra large designs. If everything looks good click “Go”.
Step 14-Select Material
Make sure you have the correct material and settings selected.
Follow the instructions provided by Cricut Design Space. It’ll walk you through when to load and unload your mat and when to push the cut button on your machine.
Step 15-Enjoy your stencil
After all the cutting is finished you should have several smaller stencils that can be pieced together to make an awesome extra-large stencil.
Method 2-How to Make Overlapping Stencils in Cricut Design Space
The overlapping method is when the stencil is cut where the design actually overlaps, so you have repeats on multiple stencils.
Pros-super easy to line up and apply stencil by using the overlapping designs, and blending is more seamless.
Cons-doesn’t always cut 100% accurate.
For example, this was the only part of the stencil that didn’t line up when overlapped, not sure why, but it didn’t. I have actually cut 3 over-sized stencils using the overlapping method. With 2 of the over-sized stencils, there was just 1 overlapping problem on them. With the 3rd stencil everything lined up perfectly with no overlapping problems. It’s super weird that it’s not 100% accurate when done the same way every time, but apparently that’s the price to pay for the easy application. To fix any overlap issue, I just put a scrap piece of stencil blank over the problem area, so in the stencil shown, “fa”, so I could stencil the rest of the word without getting the skewed “fa” in there.
When using this method it is important that before slicing anything that all your designs are the exact same size and that all of your squares/shapes are the exact same size. After slicing the sizes will be different but that is perfectly ok.
Out of both of the methods I prefer the overlapping stencil better. I personally can handle a little bit that doesn’t overlap perfectly better than trying to get the seams to meet on the meeting stencils, but each to their own on this, I say. 😉 I’m simply here to offer the 2 methods and let you choose which one you prefer.
Without further ado, the how-to on cutting overlapping stencils in Cricut Design Space:
Step 1-Insert File/Design
Insert your file/design into Cricut Design Space.
Step 2: Resize File
Resize the design. The frame I wanted to fill is 24″x36″, so I chose to make my design 20″x31.567″.
Step 3: Zoom Out
Click on that little minus button, to zoom out, just so you can see what you’re working with.
Step 4: Duplicate Design
Select and right click on the design and duplicate it as many times as needed. This will vary based on your mat size and your stencil blank size. Again I’m working with the 12″x24″ mat, and for this stencil I used the 12″x18″ stencil blanks. To figure out how many copies I would need I took my design size and divided it in half then added 1″ to the width and height, giving me an approximate measurement of 11″x17″, for which fit great on the 12″x18″ stencil blank being used. With these measurements I would need to make 4 cuts using these parameters, so I made 3 copies plus I had the original, giving me a total of 4 copies that are the exact same size. It might sound a bit complicated, but it’s really easy and will hopefully be much clearer as we move through this tutorial.
Step 5-Position Designs
Position the designs where they are each in their own space, no overlap here.
Step 6-Insert Shapes->> Insert Square
Just like on the other method, insert shapes and then insert square.
Step 7-Unlock Square
This step is optional. I recommend this if you have a 12″x24″ mat. With the square selected, click on the “Edit” tab and then click on the lock icon to unlock it. If you are working with a 12″x12″ mat you can skip this step. I recommend getting the 12″x24″ mat if you’re planning on making use of the 18″ SHOW-OFFS stencil blanks. However, I am also a big believer in working with what you have, if you are unable to purchase the 12″x 24″ mat. 🙂
Step 8-Resize Square
Resize the square into a larger square or a rectangle. I chose to make my square into an 11″x17″ rectangle. This would more than cover my design as well as overlap as needed, as well as fit on the 12″x18″ stencil blank. To figure out these measurements, I took the dimensions of my file/design and divided them in half, so it would be 10″x16″ approximately, then I added an inch on the width and height for overlap. *Keep in mind that the Cricut won’t cut to the entire dimensions of the mat, so if you have a 12″x12″ mat you will not be able resize the square beyond 11.5″x11.5″ and for the 12″x24″ mat 11.5″x23.5″. I like to make my square/shape even a tad bit smaller just to play it safe.
Step 9-Duplicate Shape
Select the square, right click and duplicate the shape as many times as needed for covering your design with overlap. I chose to make 3 copies, plus the original, for a total of 4 squares/shapes that are the exact same size.
Step 10-Move to Front
This step isn’t necessary, but it’s helpful for seeing the positioning better. With your shape somewhere on your design, select your design and then right click and select “Move to Front”.
Step 11-Position Design on Shape
Position your design on the shape, giving enough room for overlap of design.
Step 12-Slice Corresponding Layers
After the design and shape are positioned, select the corresponding design and “square” in the “Layers” panel. As you can see from my screen, the corresponding design and square were not right next to each other in the layers panel, so I had to click on the squares until I found the one that corresponded with the design it was positioned with. Anyway, select the design, hold “Shift” on the keyboard and then select the square, then click on “Slice”.
Step 13-Delete Unnecessary Sliced Layers
After the slice is complete, delete the unnecessary sliced layers. When I delete my layers, I move and keep the first/top layer of the slice and delete the other layers of the slice.
Step 14-Repeat Steps 10-13
Repeat Steps 10-13 until all the designs are sliced.
Step 15-Click “Make It”
Once all your designs are sliced and the only thing you have left in your “layers” panel are the sliced images that you want to cut, then click on “Make It”. Hopefully this screenshot will give a good idea of how the stencil will overlap.
Step 16-Multiple Layers
There should be multiple mats for the multiple layers being cut. If it all looks good, click “Continue”.
Step 17-Select Material
Remember to select the correct material for your cut. (Be sure to check out the post where I talk about cutting the SHOW-OFFS Stencil Blanks. )
Then follow the instructions Cricut Design Space gives to complete the cuts.
Step 18-Enjoy Stencil
Once all your layers are cut, enjoy making beautiful artwork with your new extra-large stencil!
I personally think the hardest part of either method is figuring out the measurements, but once that’s solidified it’s a somewhat long and easy process, long because there are several layers to cut, but easy once it’s set. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask. I would hate for you to cut through several stencil blanks with bad results and for this to be a frustrating process. You can add a comment below and I’ll try to respond as quickly as possible to any questions or issues.
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A little about the stencil and printable designs on Repurposing Junkie:
I started using stencils on furniture in 2015. I had given a white table a makeover, and painted it orange to be an accent table in the living room. Even with the bright color, the table was missing something. I applied a stencil that I had bought at one of my favorite craft stores to the table to give it that something extra and sure enough it really made the table stand out.
After seeing the transformation the table took by adding the stenciled flowers, I was hooked on stenciling. I loved how adding just a bit of detail made the piece stand out and took it to a whole new level. Adding this detail and seeing the results was all I needed to be convinced that stenciling was the way to go, and thus began my love for all things stencil.
I love how a stencil design can add detail and beauty to furniture,wall art, clothes, mugs and other accessories, walls, floors and so many other things. It’s fantastic how easy it is to make something beautiful become exquisite and eye catching just by adding a stencil overlay.
After stenciling for a while, I started designing my own stencils in 2016 to cut on my awesome Cricut Explore. It took some time and learning but it was so rewarding being able to cut my own custom designs right in my home.
I went on to write some tutorials on cutting stencils using the Cricut machine:
–How to Make Extra Large Stencil Oversize Stencils in Cricut Design Space Using the Meeting and Overlapping Methods
I also wrote a few tutorials on designing your own stencils and the tools needed to create and make stencils using the Cricut:
Creating Stencil and Printable Designs:
After getting comfortable with cutting stencils on the Cricut and learning how to create my own stencil designs, I began offering stencil cut files for free on my blog and in my Etsy shop. I have since closed up my Etsy shop and opened a new shop, that offers a variety of cut files that can be made into stencils.
In my shop, I offer wall stencil cut files, and border stencil cut files, both of which are great for wall and furniture embellishments. I also have a lot of monogram/alphabet stencil cut files for personalization projects. Plus lots more stencil cut file designs to check out in my shop, and plenty more to come.
I design all the stencil cut files and printables that I offer on my blog, and in my shop, using my own hand drawn elements, or fonts that can be found on my resource page, or a combination of both.
I have found a passion for design and strive to create unique and fun designs that can be used in a variety of settings, such as home decor, furniture, wall art, fashion design, accessory items, and so much more. My eye has always been drawn to the details, patterns, and embellishments in such things as home decor and clothing, so it’s a real joy for me to become part of the design process of such things.
Stencils are a great and easy way to add that something special to a piece whether it’s repurposed furniture or wall art or a brand new canvas or wall.
I share on my blog how I’ve transformed several repurposed pieces using stencils:
You can check out the stenciled projects here. I usually add stencils to furniture and wall art pieces. Some of my favorite stencil projects include refinishing a curbside table, upcycling a piece of canvas wall art, and making an extra large stenciled wall art piece, just to name a few of my favorite stencil projects.
I also have some repurposing projects that I hope are fun and inspiring. I love taking old “junk” and turning it into something completely different:
You can check out the repurposing projects here. I have several projects using ceiling fan parts, spindles, old frames, plaques, and furniture. Some of my favorite repurposing projects are the ceiling fan blades to airplane repurpose, the angels made from hinges and spindle parts, and transforming a kitchen table using stencils, and these are just a few of my favorite repurposing projects.
I hope you spend some time on my blog, checking out the Cricut tutorials, DIY projects, and SVG Cut Files and Printable designs that I offer for FREE as a bonus to email subscribers.
If you’re interested in signing up to my blog email list, you can do so using the form below. I only send out one email a week and that is to let email subscribers know that I’ve added new designs to the cut file and printable resource libraries, and also to notify them when I have a new blog post or a special deal I’m running in my shop.
I sincerely hope you enjoy the projects, tutorials, stencil cut files and printables offered on my blog, in my Resource Library. If you have any questions concerning the tutorials, stencil cut files, printables an/or projects found on my blog, you can contact me here.
Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I hope you take your time and look around, and I hope you find the blog posts, projects, tutorials, stencil cut files and printables resources to be useful and helpful in your DIY projects.