Using a Layered Alphabet to Make a Birthday Card – SVG DXF EPS PDF PNG File

I’ve been playing around with layering already this week – have a go at making my free layered new baby card if you want to have a go too! It’s part of a larger project I’ve been working on, though. These ‘cascading word’ layered alphabet projects really appeal to me, as they look great, they’re an interesting way to use letters and I get to use up half-used pieces of paper I’ve been hoarding!

Dies are available to achieve this sort of layered alphabet effect for cascading word projects, but they’re rather expensive and elusive – I couldn’t find them in the UK but a full set costs $125 for the dies alone. They also look rather complicated and time-consuming to put together – you need to slot letters on and off the main piece before positioning it carefully against plates and winding it into your die-cutting machine.

Luckily – if you have an electronic cutting machine, our file will enable you to achieve the same sort of effect for a fraction of a price and in half the time!

cut out layered alphabet cricut

Once cut, the semi-circles can be layered on top of each other to create a colourful word effect, as you can see here:

birthday letters layered cricut

 multicoloured letters

You can then attach the letters and cut them away and join them together to create a series of different effects. We made a birthday card:

birthday card multicolour svg

Anyway – if you want a go yourself, it’s extremely easy to make.

You will need:

  • Pieces of paper – it’s a vector file so you can make it as big or as small as you want (cutting mat and paper permitting!) but the default size is quite useful if you’re using A4 (or letter-sized, if you’re in the US or Canada) paper
  • Glue
  • Our SVG file, which is available in our Etsy shop.

Preparing the file:

alphabet layers in Design Space svg

To make your own letter art:

  1. Open a New Project and click on ‘Import Images’.
  2. Choose the file you’ve downloaded – in this case it’s ‘circularlayeredalphabet.svg’ (or whatever format your machine uses!)
  3. Select all of the pieces on the canvas (by clicking on them) and then click on on ‘Ungroup’. Now, you’ll be able to move the pieces around separately, and delete those that you don’t want (as well as add ones you do want). Choose the words that make up your chosen phrase – went went for ‘Happy Birthday’.
  4. You can also change the colours of the pieces – to do this, click on the indvidual piece (as shown below) and you’ll see the piece is highlighted in the right-hand margin. Click on the coloured circle next to the highlighted section and the the Layers Attribute panel will pop up. Choose a colour from here.alphabet layers in Design Space svg
  5. Once this is done, you should have something like this (though with your own word choice, obviously!)

You’re now ready to cut your pieces!

Cutting the Pieces:

  1. Cutting out the pieces is really straightforward – the Cricut will progress through your choices and instruct you to change the card colours at the appropriate points, as shown here (we started with a pink piece of paper for the ‘h’. If you’re cutting out multiple letters in the same colour, obviously there will be more pieces on the mat as the Cricut will group them together.

Cutting out Alphabet Cricut

You’ll end up with pieces in your chosen colour and letters. Here is our ‘Happy Birthday’ Message:

Happy Birthday Pieces Cricut

Assembling the Pieces:

  1. We start by taking the letter to the far-right of the message, as this is going to be at the back. We take the letter that’s going to sit on top of that (and slightly to the left) which, in this case, is the letter ‘p’. We’ll now apply glue to the back of the green letter ‘p’ piece and the edge of the semi-circle (don’t cover the whole piece, as there will be some overlap) it’s attached to:Glued layered letters
  2. Turn this piece over and apply the p so it is positioned next to the ‘y’ – if you match the top and the bottom of the semi-circles, you’ll find the letters are at exactly the right height. All you have to judge is the gap between the ‘p’ and the ‘y’:Layered Letters SVG
  3. Repeat the process until you’ve formed the whole word:Happy Coloured Art
  4. Or even two words!

Colourful Happy Birthday Shapes


From here, it’s up to you what to do with them – position them together, cut or trim them, apply embellishments – they’re just a great way to add visual interest to your designs.

Fancy trying the technique yourself? Our layered alphabet file is available here!


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