Cutting Two Sloths that are Larger Than Mat

I wanted a new larger than mat wall hanging.  I was getting tired of the Harry Potter one I did last year.  I love sloths and decided I wanted two of them.  So here they are!  Two sloths (Mom and baby sorta) that are too cute for words!  Make one or both and neither requires a bigger mat!

both sloths with pen as size reference for larger than mat cutting project
Both with pen to show size

It is easy to make things larger than your mat.  You just need to cut  them down and piece them together.  I took these two sloths and cut them up so that all the pieces fit on regular mats.   You can just download and use my files or I will walk you through making your own with the Harry Potter project as an example.

What you will need

        • Cardstock in shades of brown
        • glue
        • Tape
        • Download File (there are two files, one for each size sloth)
Paper Selection and Cutting for the Sloth Larger Than Mat Project

The paper for this project took a whole pack of brown I bought at Walmart and a few pieces of other paper.  The color differences between the two are because I refused to buy another pack of paper and made some subtle changes.  I left the files as designed but make changes if you need to conserve paper.  Moving pieces around the cutting mat does help and if you need to learn about this, see my video.

Play Video
Assembly of the Sloth Larger Than Mat Project

First sort the darkest brown pieces so that the basic shape is formed.  Then on the back tape them together.  Assemble the project as you would any regular size object, but make sure the tape is in the back.  Make sure you line the pieces up exactly before you tape them.  This is very important.  You may need to tape the different big pieces of other colors together but again be sure the tape is on the back.  

Glue the smaller pieces onto the outline following the pictures above.  Usually this means going from dark to light.  The smaller sloth has fewer pieces than the big one (duh) and is easier to assemble.  I suggest piecing the whole sloth together before gluing to get the alignment right before you glue it down. 

 Always remember, the better you fit the pieces together, the better the end project will look.

Making Your Own Larger Than Mat Project

If you want to make your own bigger than mat project, the trick is in how you cut the pieces.  I explain this using my Harry Potter project.   First I resized my project to 28 inches.  Then I shrunk my viewing area to allow me to see the whole project.  You do this with the grayed out + and – in the bottom left corner of the mat in Design Space.  If you shrink it to 25% that should allow you to see the whole project.

Then separate all the layers.  Anything that is smaller than 11.5 X 11.5 can be cut on your mat.  For organizational sake hide those parts for now by clicking the eyeball in the layers list, next to the piece you want to hide.  They aren’t deleted, just hidden and we can bring them back.  The other parts will have a yellow triangle next to them in the layers list.  That means, in this case, that they are too big for your mat but we are going to fix that.

Preparing to Slice

First make a square and make the size 11.5 X 11.5.  Then make 6 or 7 copies of it.  Arrange 3 of them over the first piece you want to separate.  Make sure the edges just touch each other.  The easiest way to do this is with the X and Y position in the upper right corner of the top menu.  Put the first piece at a whole number position (7X and 5Y in the example below)  then add 11.5 to the X number and place the second piece at the 18.5 X and 5Y position and the thrid piece at the 7X and 16.5Y position.

Select a grey section and the robe in this case and slice.  The do the same for the other grey sections.  Finally delete the grey sections which you don’t want and you are left with 4 red robe sections, all of which will fit on a mat and cut properly.

Repeat this for all the parts you need to cut apart.

On the face, the mouth stretches across two haves.  Make sure you attach each half to the appropriate piece with the edge line hanging over so the mouth doesn’t end up with a line through it.  Or if possible move the mouth over.

Use as many 11.5 X 11.5 squares as you need. The body requires 5 of them because it is bigger.

This makes quite a few mats but they cut quickly because they are simple.   Be sure to bring back anything that was hidden earlier.

And that is how to make your own larger than mat project.


You can either take my files and cut and assemble your two cute sloth wall hangings or use the instructions above and make your own larger than mat project.  Either way, the size of your mat shouldn’t stop you from making bigger projects.

The important thing to remember is to fit the pieces together as close as you can with no gaps.  This is how to make it look as cohesive as possible.

2 thoughts on “Cutting Two Sloths that are Larger Than Mat

  1. I’m trying to make a texas star that is 27×32. I would love more information on how to the larger than mat project.

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