If you have ever come across a compound shape, meaning a shape or a design that cannot be further broken down into pieces/ layers by ungrouping them, then this is a great tutorial for you because I’m going to show you, step by step, how to convert a compound shape in to a layered design that you can work with.
If you rather watch the video, Scroll down to the bottom of the page and hit play.
How to Layer a Compound shape in Cricut Design Space when ungrouping doesn't work
First step as always, open the design you want to work with. In this tutorial I am going to use this cute cat face. If you love this as much as I do, you can grab it from here :).
Depending on the number of pieces we want to isolate as separate layers, we are going to make multiple copies of our design. Let me explain what I mean. Say for example in this tutorial I want to separate the lashes, nose and mouth, one set of whiskers and one set of ears, So I have to make 4 copies of the cat.
So go ahead and create duplicates of your Design.
Next, select one of the copies and click on the contour tool in the layers panel.
According to help.Cricut the contour tool basically allows you to hide a portion of an image by removing any unwanted cut lines.
And that's exactly what were going to do to each copy.
With the first copy selected, click on hide all contours. By doing this you can see that all cut lines become hidden except the nose and mouth, which is the first layer at the top right corner. Click close.
As you can see, all the parts are gone and we’re only left with the nose and mouth as a separate layer.
Now let’s try with the lashes. Again select another copy of the cat and open contour, then click on hide all contours. As you can see, by hiding all cut lines, the nose mouth layer will still be visible as it’s the top most layer. What we want to do is select both the lashes and unselect the nose by either clicking on it on the preview window or on the layer in the right hand side of the window. Click close.
If you look at the layers panel, you can see that we have now made the lashes a separate layer from the rest. How cool is that!
Continue doing the same steps with the rest of the copies until you get all the bits you want in separate layers.
To recap,Select one of the copies, click on hide all contours then click on a piece you want to isolate, say the ears in, and then click close.
Now we have a design that's separated in to layers
The contour tool is truly an amazing tool and just by hiding a few cut lines here and there you get to create unique designs and many variations of the original piece which can be the topic of another tutorial.
You can watch the Video Tutorial below to better understand the Steps taken:
I hope you found this tutorial useful and if you have other methods of converting a compound shape in to layered design share with us in the comments below!