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The Knockout Method

The Knockout Method

Glitter vinyl can't be layered, however, with this simple trick, we’re able to show the illusion that two glitter HTV vinyl are layered on top of each other. This method is referred to as the knockout method.


When we use this method, we “knock out” one element of the design, leaving an empty space on the base layer that fits exactly for the other vinyl that you want to put on top. This method can be done with regular HTV or adhesive vinyl. This will eliminate the bulkiness of the vinyl while still achieving the “layered” look that will fit for any design.


The materials needed for this are not that different from any standard HTV craft, we have listed them right below.



  • Cutting Machine
  • Weeding Tools
  • Different HTVs, vinyl or adhesive vinyl
  • Squeegee
  • Substrate of Choice
  • (Optional) Heat Press
  • (Optional) Transfer Tape


Different colors are not necessarily needed, but since we’re trying to imitate a layered design, we recommend using various colors. However, this is totally up to you and your preferences.


As previously stated, this method is not limited for heat transfer vinyl, it can also be applied for adhesive vinyl. This is why we listed the heat press and transfer tape as optional materials, as it depends on the vinyl that you will be using.


To start out our procedure, we must first come up with our own design. For this, we will be doing a knockout text. You can follow our guide below:


Creating Knockout Text!

  1. Open your design space.
  2. Start with the base layer of your design.


The base layer would be the very bottom part of the design if we were to layer the HTV or Adhesive normally. Generally, this layer is bold and is often the largest part of the design. You can choose to make the letters closer by ungrouping the text or by simply adjusting the letter space. What’s important in this step, is that we select all of the letters and “weld” them all together in order to have them all in one group.


  1. Start the next layer.

We recommend using a different and smaller font for this layer. This would be the “knocked out” part of the design. You can decide whether you want to adjust all of the letters closer or farther with each other. Again, we’re finishing this step with the “weld” button. This way we have higher chances of getting finer lines, as most of e layers are thin and are written in cursive fonts.


  1. Offset

By clicking the second layer of the design, we’re able to click the option “offset”. When we use offset, we can create an outline or an inline. Drag the scroll to the right side of the screen in order to create an outline, and determine the size that you want. A preview of the size should be shown with the tiny outlines. Next, we’re going to outline the second layer and the created offset, and press the “group” button.


  1. Align

Drag the grouped offset with the second layer and place it on your desired location. If you’re having trouble trying to center the design, you can press the “align” option and click center.

Next, we’re going to press the grouped offset, and ungroup them, and drag the second layer away. We should be left with the offset “shadow” on top of the base layer.


Proceed to drag the cursor above the offset and the base layer, select slice, and drag the offset away. Now that the offset can be dragged away, we were left with three sets of cutouts. The offset is no longer necessary and can be discarded.


Cut both of the pieces in your HTV or adhesive vinyl. You have the freedom to choose your own colors. Now, similar with the basic process, we can start the steps.

Steps in Applying The Knockout Heat Transfer Vinyl:

  1. Cut and Weed all of the vinyl parts
  2. Position the base layer on top of the surface.
  3. Press the Heat Transfer Vinyl
  4. Use a squeegee
  5. Peel the carrier sheet


We recommend checking the manufacturer’s recommended “peel” method in order to ensure that the HTV won’t peel away from the garment.


  1. Gently position the second layer


Take your time in order to ensure that it really fits the puzzle well. Use the carrier sheet to your advantage as this would be the draft of your final product. When it is finalized, we can proceed to the next step.


  1. Press the second layer
  2. Remove the carrier sheet


And that’s it! You can squeegee the design after each press in order to make sure that it’s really secured in place. Of course, when using an adhesive vinyl, eliminate all of the “pressing” steps as adhesive vinyl does not need heat in order to adhere.


You can also preheat the garment in order to make sure that it’s free from wrinkles. Doing this also eliminates the moisture from the garment - something that prevents the HTV from clinging on the surface.


The knockout method can be done with images too. It is common to leave small spaces in between the base and second layer for the knockout text. When using this method on pictures, it looks a lot “crisper” as it doesn'tusually leave spaces and would really look layered.


And we’re done! We thank you all so much for reading this blog. Hopefully you learned something from us and gained a few tips and tricks! We would really appreciate it if you can share this with your friends and relatives.


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