all about VINYL & your SILHOUETTE MACHINE

So you know I own a Silhouette Cameo, but did you know that I’m a vinyl junkie?! Ok, ok..I know you’re shaking your head…after all we’ve been down this road before. It probably seems like every crafting tool that I come in contact with becomes my favorite and you know you’re probably right. But here’s the good thing about crafts there’s no such thing as to much!!

Now I bet if you are a new Silhouette owner, you’re giddy with anticipation to get started on your project to do list. But I want need you to take a big, deep breath. because I have a few tips for you.

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First and foremost, have you joined the Silhouette Challenge Group? I’m a bit biased since I’m on the support team, but really it’s my favorite place on facebook! Everyone has a Silhouette Machine, and we all range in experience. It’s a great place to ask questions, get feedback or just show off what you are working on. So go sign up!

Now  before you  start playing with vinyl I need to ask the dreaded question… have you played with card stock yet? If you’re shaking your head no, I need to strongly encourage you to…I know you’re probably rolling your eyes at me. But trust me, I’ve been there! I know you are excited to get started on your vinyl projects but without familiarizing yourself with your machine you are going to end up in tears. Plus, card stock is a lot cheaper, and less annoying when you mess up (and yes you will mess up). Once your paper is no longer being eaten, you understand the basics of cutting (compound path to non compound path, and that you need to change your blade in 2 spots) you are ready to start dabbling with vinyl. So here’s what YOU NEED TO KNOW:

You can put vinyl on just about ANYTHING! And although a list would have been quicker, I think it’ll be more fun to show you.

CANVAS

What can I put vinyl on? fromwinetowhine.com explains it all!

CARDBOARD

What can I put vinyl on? fromwinetowhine.com explains it all!

PLASTIC

What can I put vinyl on? fromwinetowhine.com explains it all!

ALUMINUM

What can I put vinyl on? fromwinetowhine.com explains it all!
Aluminum

GLASS

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

WOOD

WALL

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Of course I don’t want you to think all of these projects have been totally seamless. I have experienced my fair of issues (i.e. the vinyl didn’t adhere to my glass, or others have said the vinyl wouldn’t lay on their canvas…etc) So just keep in mind even though you are now a  pro at cutting sometimes it still doesn’t go as planned. Just keep at it and think outside the box if need be..I have personally applied vinyl to all of these things. (but for the record the wood one listed above is NOT mine. It’s Lauren’s from The Thinking Closet her wood project was way prettier then my wood pinewood derby project so I shared hers instead..your welcome!)

Now that you know what you can cut let’s briefly talk about some cutting stuff:

Mat vs NO Mat – either works! It seems to come down to preference, I just recently started with no mat and I love it. However, you can only do it when you edge is completely straight so little pieces need to go on the mat. Make sure when you bounce back and forth that your settings are accurate ( Cutting Mat =Mat, plus on the screen check the box, load media = no Mat, and un-chcek the computer screen box)

Settings: I select the vinyl template and then drop the speed lower. I really don’t have a set system but if I am cutting a lot with intricate lines I go to a 1, if not it tends to be higher like 3-5. You’ll learn your machine though so start with SMALL, SIMPLE projects (again… trust me)

 What vinyl is the right kind of vinyl? There are 2 kinds of vinyl:  Permanent and Non-Permanent (sometimes referred to Oracle 651 and Oracle 631).

  • Permanent should go on things you won’t ever want to take off.
  • Non-Permanent is great for things that may need to be removed, or won’t be touched to often.

Weeding: (This tip is from Kristy at Please Excuse My Craftermath)  She adds extra lines to help delimit different weeding areas (especially for sayings). Otherwise, you can accidentally get the exterior weeded part stuck on the parts that you want to keep. So by breaking the excess up into several parts seems to help eliminate the accidental error.

Transfer Tape: Whenever you need to add an image with numerous parts you should use Transfer Tape! I’ve heard that contact paper works but I can’t say I’ve tried it. For me personally buying the Transfer Tape is worth the minimal investment since I know I can trust it..but hey to each is own!  But here’s a fun tip, when applying vinyl to a non flat surface (so like anything round) cut little slits in your transfer tape. Get as close to the letters without actually cutting anything completely through (or any vinyl.. obviously 🙂 )

Other than that I would suggest you reference the pdf document that is located in your Silhouette Help Tab. It’s great for machine questions, you can even use the Ctrl+F feature to quickly find answers. And if that doesn’t help you can check the FAQ document on the Silhouette Challenge Facebook Group (you know, the one you applied to a little bit ago).

Hope this was helpful! Did I leave anything off of my list?

xo, Dee

5 thoughts on “all about VINYL & your SILHOUETTE MACHINE

  1. Great tips Dee! I love all the projects you’ve shown here as well – so many different types of applications!

    I’ll add a tip on weeding: I try to add in extra lines to help delimit different weeding areas, especially for sayings. Otherwise, I’ve accidentally gotten the exterior weeded part stuck on the parts I want to keep. Breaking the excess up into several parts seems to help me a lot there. 🙂

    1. Wow that’s a good one Kristy!! I am adding that to the post.. great tip and thanks for sharing !! (You also just reminded me about the cutting slivers in the transfer tape when applying to a round surface.. I think that was one of your ideas too!! Right?)

      1. It might have been. You’ve certainly attributed it to me in the past! I don’t remember saying that… but it is something I do, so it could have been me!

  2. You silly girl…sharing my project when you have a wood sign of your own. 🙂 Well, you know I’m flattered, but I also dare say you’re probably not giving yourself enough credit. Your projects are always top notch, Dee, and I love that you have pulled all your vinyl projects into one place in this here post! Have you shared this round-up with our Silhouette Challenge group yet? If my memory serves me correctly, I think not. Feel free to post! I’m sure there are a lot of newbies anxious about their first foray into vinyl who would really appreciate seeing your inspirational creations and hearing your tricks of the trade! I learned a few things myself!

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