Cutting Silhouette Vinyl with the Silhouette Cameo

I love my AccuQuilt GO! cutter and all of the dies I have created – it’s fast and it’s accurate. What more could a quilter want when cutting appliqué shapes?

This quilter wants to be able to cut a new appliqué shape… now! 

Along came the Silhouette Cameo digital cutter. It’s not as fast as the GO!, and the cuts aren’t quite as clean (they’re getting there, though) BUT… if I think of a new shape that I want to cut, I can be cutting it in minutes.

This week the girls started the new school year at a brand new school. We’ve been watching the construction of the buildings since about January – and I have to say the new campus is beautiful. Now you might be thinking… what’s this got to do with cutting with a Cameo?

At pick-up time, parents line up in their cars and by the time you get to the front of the line, your child is ready and waiting to be escorted to you. They key is to have a sign in the window with your child’s name and class number on it. I decided that I was going to create the swankiest sign in the school using my Silhouette Cameo cutter and some of the Silhouette vinyl on a piece of mat board.

This is how I created my sign.

There are two ways to cut vinyl.

One way is to feed the vinyl straight into the machine:

Cutting Silhouette Vinyl

Cutting Silhouette Vinyl

 

If you do it this way, you will need to move the right hand roller one notch to the left.

Cutting Silhouette Vinyl

Cutting Silhouette Vinyl

 

It took me a long time to figure out that the easiest way to do this is to twist the roller on the bar so that the “teeth” are out of the notches and then pull it.

The other way is to put the vinyl on a cutting mat:

Cutting Silhouette Vinyl

Cutting Silhouette Vinyl

 

The piece of vinyl I was cutting was 13″ long, so I used my 12″ x 24″ cutting mat. If you do this, be sure to specify the size of the cutting mat on the “Page Settings” tab.

When you specify you are cutting vinyl in the “Cut Settings” tab, the recommended blade setting is “2“. I have found that this setting will cut the vinyl and also the backing paper. Not so bad if you’re using a cutting mat, but it can lead to a really big mess if you are feeding the vinyl straight into the machine. “1” works much better for me!

Cutting Silhouette Vinyl

Cutting Silhouette Vinyl

 

When the cutting is finished, you can peel away the unwanted “background”.

Cutting Silhouette Vinyl

Cutting Silhouette Vinyl

 

In order to “dig out” the little bits inside the letters, the hook works really well.

Using the Silhouette Hook

Using the Silhouette Hook

 

So the vinyl is cut out and ready. How do you transfer it onto the background of your choice?

Cutting Silhouette Vinyl

Cutting Silhouette Vinyl

 

This is where transfer paper comes in. Peeling off the backing paper all at once always ends in a mess for me, so I peel back a couple of inches to begin with…

Using Silhouette Transfer Paper

Using Silhouette Transfer Paper

 

and position the vinyl where I want it…

Using Silhouette Transfer Paper

Using Silhouette Transfer Paper

 

Then I use my rotary cutting ruler to ensure the transfer paper goes down smoothly as I pull the backing paper away – slowly.

Using Silhouette Transfer Paper

Using Silhouette Transfer Paper

 

Now you can pull the transfer paper away from the vinyl backing paper – and the vinyl will come with it!

Using Silhouette Transfer Paper

Using Silhouette Transfer Paper

 

Now it is time to position the transfer paper onto the real background.

Using Silhouette Transfer Paper

Using Silhouette Transfer Paper

 

I put it down gently and then used my rotary cutting ruler again to smooth it with a little pressure – starting from the center out working out to the sides.

Peeling away the transfer paper now will leave the vinyl stuck to the background!

Using Silhouette Transfer Paper

Using Silhouette Transfer Paper

 

Here’s the finished sign, all trimmed and ready for use in pick-up car line.

Cutting Silhouette Vinyl

Cutting Silhouette Vinyl

 

From what I saw in the pick-up line today, I think I achieved my goal of creating the swankiest sign in the school!

Here’s a Sneak Peak!

Vinyl isn’t the only thing I’ve been cutting with my Cameo this week. I’m now all cut out and ready to go with a new quilt that I am working on.

Inspired by Libby by Sarah Vedeler

Inspired by Libby by Sarah Vedeler

 

I’m still working on thread color choices. Leave me a comment and let me know which of these thread colors you would choose! I’m also going to be doing some fun stuff with the ribbon 🙂

4 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for the information. I just bought a cameo, now I can start using it, with your help!

  2. great idea to do the vinyl sign for parking. you are one swanky Mom!

    • Sarah, I would love if you could have cut files with the Silhouette Cameo for your Express Yourself! Please, please. Thanks.

  3. Sarah,

    Your sign is great.

    I am going to try my Silhouette Cameo this week, and then get started on my quilt for the cancer center.

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