I'm creating a thank you card that has a front and a back using two artboards in Illustrator. In the card design I am using a floral element and have placed it on the side of one artboard. However, I realised that because of its size and position, parts of it stretches onto my second artboard.

In Photoshop, I would use a layer mask to remove it from the second artboard. However I am not sure if I have done it correctly or if I am using the wrong thing, but does a clipping mask apply in this situtation for Illustrator?

enter image description here

When I try to make the clipping mask, instead of hiding that little piece on the left, it hides the entire element.

  • 1
    Can you add a better screenshot with your layers visible anda screenshot or gif of the actual problem? It sounds like your layer order is off and or your art isn't on the correct artboard. Jan 15, 2018 at 18:12
  • @Ovaryraptor Sure thing! I just changed my screenshot. It now shows my layers and the two artboards. You can see in the picture that my element on the right also shows up on the first artboard. Is there a way to keep elements or layers in just one artboard?
    – Eliza Beth
    Jan 15, 2018 at 19:13

2 Answers 2


There is no direct correlation between artboards and layers in Illustrator.

The simple answer is to move artboards farther apart if possible. Or don't draw/position objects which extend past your bleed area.

You can add a Layer Clipping Mask to a layer though. However, you can only do this once per layer. So it's best to manually create a layer for each artboard. Note that Illustrator won't do that for you. So you have to organize as you construct.

To make a Layer Clipping Mask, draw a rectangle on the layer encompassing the area you want visible. Then, with that rectangle selected, choose Make Clipping Mask From the Layers Panel Menu.

See Here: Copying an artboard with a clipping mask

  • Oh I managed it now! Thank you for explaining everything and your help, Scott. I'll probably end up posting a few more questions here about Illustrator here, but I am slowly getting the hang of the software! Haha
    – Eliza Beth
    Jan 15, 2018 at 20:06

I'm not really sure why you have so many colors for layers, they don't really correlate to anything useful so I'd fix that up immediately. You should also be working in groups not layers inside layers ideally.

That being said, right now you are selecting the background layer. You need to be on the desired layer, have the path you want to use to become the mask as the top-most object and then go to Object>Clipping Mask>Make or Ctrl+7.

enter image description here

  • Honetsly, I haven't actually payed much attention to the colours. They change everytime I create a new layer. And I have been working with so many layers because it was the closest thing I could find to groups. It's not as simple as pressing CTRL + G in Photoshop is it? Haha Thank you for your example. Would you be able to also show me how to work with groups rather than layers, please? :)
    – Eliza Beth
    Jan 15, 2018 at 20:33
  • 1
    Yep! CTRL+G to group and CTRL+SHIFT+G to ungroup Jan 15, 2018 at 20:40
  • Oh my god, I feel like such a dummy now. Hahahaha thank you. (Weird, I don't know why I can't take you back)
    – Eliza Beth
    Jan 15, 2018 at 20:44

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