Now that you've purchased a Silhouette Cameo, set up your software, and plugged that beauty in, it's time to get to making! So, what supplies should you get your hands on first? One of the most wonderful parts of using a Silhouette machine is the wealth of materials that you can cut, resulting in endless possibilities for creating! Here at the PLG, we have used a bunch of the Silhouette materials available (with plans to keep trying out more), so we are breaking down the ones we have used and loved with some tips and ideas for making projects with them!
1. Adhesive Vinyl
When people think about cutting with a Silhouette Cameo, they likely think about cutting adhesive vinyl. Remember when it was the rage to have a vinyl saying in every kitchen in the USA? I'm pretty certain we have Silhouette to thank for making all of those “Live, Laugh, Love” signs accessible to all. However, vinyl is so popular because it is easy to cut, and can be used for everything from home decor and gifts to signage for a business. It comes in a wide array of colors and patterns (And you don't have to stick to only Silhouette branded vinyl. The Cameo can cut many different brands!) and will stick to just about any surface. Plus, depending on the kind you use it can be easily removed and re-positioned or stick well for the long-term.
To see adhesive vinyl in action, visit the tutorial for our I Love You Mugs.
2. Heat Transfer Vinyl
Calling all fashionistas! Heat transfer vinyl is a total game-changer to your closet since any design you can dream up can be easily cut with a Silhouette and ironed on to clothing. Plus, it can be used to make custom tea towels, trendy fabric wall hangings, personalized tote bags and so much more. You may have used iron-on transfer paper from the craft store to make t-shirts, where you print the design onto the paper and iron it on, but once you've used heat transfer vinyl cut precisely with a Silhouette, you'll be amazed at how professional and exact putting a graphic on fabric can actually be! We absolutely love the stuff and can't believe the possibilities for making that it has opened. Do your kids need a quick, last-minute costume for school? Great, let's iron some vinyl on a sweatsuit! Need an easy gift for a baby shower? Slap the new babe's name on a cozy swaddle. It's the absolute best.
Head to this simple project for embroidered vinyl aprons to see how fun heat transfer vinyl can be!
3. Flocked Heat Transfer
Like your typical smooth heat transfer vinyl, flocked heat transfer can be cut and ironed on to fabric. However, this is one of our favorite Silhouette materials because it has a flocked surface that is soft and mimics velvet, making it extra luxurious. Plus, the flocked surface is gorgeous on fabric because it looks like soft fabric itself! We love using it because it adds a level of professionalism that makes it look like there is no way in the world it could be homemade!
We loved making this faux embroidered dress with flocked heat transfer vinyl!
Paper may be the most basic of crafting tools, but combining it with a Silhouette Cameo turns you into a sculptor and paper into your clay! Your Silhouette can cut paper of all weights for anything from a simple birthday card to a detailed bundle of 3D hydrangeas. The designs in the Silhouette Design Store help you cut 3d designs into perfect layers that can build on each other to create a life-like masterpiece, or it can help you make just the right saying to cut from paper and glue to a toothpick for cupcake toppers.
For some paper inspiration, visit this DIY Paper Flower Wreath post.
5. Shrink Plastic
If you are a kid of the 90's you might remember Shrinky Dinks, those plastic sheets that you color on with markers, put in the oven and they shrink down and turn into solid plastic? Well, Silhouette has brought it back! Using Silhouette's print and cut feature, you can print intricate and detailed designs onto shrink plastic sheets using your printer, then, put the sheets into your Silhouette for a perfect cut. After that, you can load them into your oven and watch them shrink down! This method really mimics that of a 3D printer and is so fun for making key chains, barrettes, jewelry, gift tags and more!
Check out our tutorial for using shrink plastic to make custom barrettes!
6. Tattoo Paper
If you learn nothing else from this post, I hope you at least leave it feeling the urge to make customized temporary tattoos because they are FUN. This material is similar to shrink plastic in its process as your design is printed on tattoo paper, printed from your Silhouette Studio software to your home printer, and then reloaded into your Silhouette Cameo for a precise cut. This paper is great for making temporary tattoos to give out at a fun gathering, for trying out that tattoo you've been wanting but are too scared to pull the trigger on, or they go on a ton of surfaces for a cool decorating method! We have used temporary tattoos to decorate wood, Easter eggs, pumpkins and more!
See how we used temporary tattoo paper to decorate wooden pencil cups.
7. Sticker Paper
Sticker paper is fabulous for the type A maker and can be used to make labels, planner stickers, stencils, and so much more. They are also great for back-to-school items or to make custom stickers for a party! Sticker paper is also printable with your home printer and then can be loaded back into your Cameo machine to be cut into any design you can imagine.
See how we used sticker paper to make the labels for these Lotion Bars!
8. Double-Sided Adhesive Sheets
If you are someone who loves embellishing paper crafts or other surfaces this material is for you! With Double-Sided Adhesive Sheets you can cut your design, add embossing powder, glitter or other decorative materials and they will stick to the paper and make your designs really stand out!
See how we used double-sided adhesive sheets to make these sand art planters!
We have barely scratched the surface of Silhouette materials that your CAMEO can cut (Fabric! Felt! Foil! And so many more!!!) but these materials are a great place to start and begin creating some amazing projects.
ox. Liz & Sam