Friday, January 20, 2012

Silhouette Tutorial: How to Cut and Apply Vinyl

I am overwhelmed by the response to the Silhouette tutorials. You guys are so sweet. Thank you for all your kind emails and comments!

One of the requests I’ve had from many of you is a tutorial on vinyl, so that’s what we are going to learn today. If you saw my “I love you because…” wall last week, then you’ve seen the vinyl I’m going to be making.
STEP ONE: Open up Silhouette and let’s get our page set up.
Click on the “Page settings” button in the top right hand of the toolbar. It’s the red and black rectangles one. My roll of vinyl is only 9” wide, so I need to change the height of my page to 9”. Then I want my quote to be about 2 feet long, so I’m going to change the width of my page to 24”.
Page settings
Just so you know, the CAMEO can cut up to 12” wide and 10 feet long!

STEP TWO: Click on the text tool, located on the left toolbar (it’s the one that is a letter “A”).
Text button
You should see a text style settings on the right side of your screen. Choose which font you want. I selected CAC Shishoni Brush.
Text style
Then go ahead and type.
Obviously that is not 24” long, so I need to resize it. Click on the Select tool (arrow at the top of the left toolbar). Now you should be able to see a box with some drag points around your words.
Select tool
Notice right now it is only 5.595 inches long. I’m going to click and drag on one of the corner boxes until my words are about 24” long. I don’t need it exact, so 22.965 is just fine for me. If you do need it exactly 24”, adjust your page width higher (refer to STEP ONE) so you can drag your words a little more to make them bigger.
23 inches long 
You can now move it around to wherever you want on the page, then you are set to cut.

STEP THREE: Send to Silhouette. Click on the button just to the right of the print button that looks like a printer with a paper with a red letter “A” on it.
Send to Silhouette
My settings are already set up for vinyl, but if they weren’t I would click on “Change Settings” and be brought to here.
Cut settings
Choose your media (in this case it’s Silhouette Vinyl).

Note: It says to set my blade to “1”. I have found that every machine is slightly different, so the best way to figure out if that’s the right setting for your machine is to do a TEST CUT. If you click on that, it will just do a little cut at the top of whatever you are cutting (page, vinyl, whatever). For my machine, the “1” mostly cuts all the way through, but I would run into a few snags where it hadn’t. So for vinyl, I set my blade to “2” and I haven’t had a problem since.

Once you have your cut settings where they need to be, click on “Send to Silhouette”. Make sure your Silhouette is turned on and hooked up to your computer and it will have you load your media.
With vinyl you do not need the cutting mat. Once it’s loaded, you will click on “Cut Page”. Then sit back and let the Silhouette work it’s magic. Unload the media and you will have something like this.
Peel away the vinyl you don’t need. You might need to use an Xacto knife or something similar to get the parts inside letters like “e” and “o”.
Cut a piece of transfer tape that will cover your vinyl.
Peel away the transfer tape from it’s backing.
Apply the transfer tape to your vinyl piece. Smooth it out and make sure it’s on really well. I like to rub a popsicle stick or credit card over it to make sure the vinyl is really stuck to it.
Peel away the transfer tape with the vinyl now on it.
Then stick your vinyl where you want it. This is where I use the popsicle stick or credit card again to make sure the vinyl sticks to the wall.
Peel away the transfer tape.
And you are now done!
Let me know if you have any questions and also if you have any other requests for Silhouette tutorials!
Thanks and have a great day!



  1. What about a getting started tutorial? I got the cameo for christmas(cuz of your posts:)) and am overwhelmed, haven't even put the software on my computer yet!! Thanks for all you share!!

    1. I know it can seem overwhelming at first, huh? The best way to get set up is to locate the software CD that came in the box with your CAMEO. Stick it in the computer and follow the prompts to install the software. Once the software is installed you will be all set to do tutorials like this one and some of the others I've posted! If you run into any snags along the way, I'd be happy to help. Good luck!!

  2. Now you make me just want a Silhouette! :)

  3. I would like to know why a silhouette over a cricket? I am in the market for one of those and I am still unsure as to what to get? Does the silhouette have things that a cricket doesn't? I am just wondering because I didn't even know about silhouettes before reading your blog.

    1. I personally haven't ever used a cricut, but I LOVE my Silhouette. I know cricut's require cartridges. Silhouette does not and that is a HUGE advantage. You can use whatever True Type font you have on your computer, you can import images, and Silhouette has a Gigantic library to choose from for shapes that are only 99 cents to download (plus they have a clearance section and a free shape of the week). I've used my Silhouette to cut fabric, heat transfer, sketch pens, etc. and I'm not sure if the cricut can do those things as well.

    2. I had a cricut and now I have a Silhouette--Hands down silhouette MUCH better. Cuts more detail, you don't need to buy expensive cartridges, you can see the image on your computer, Silhouette is SO user friendly. Love mine!

    3. My daughter bought me a Cameo for a Mother's Day/Birthday present last month. After we had a girls day of crafting with the Cameo, I left it at her house for her to use. She loved it so much better than her Cricut that she bought herself a Cameo.

  4. Is the vinyl removable or permanent once it's on the wall?

  5. Great tutorial! I've been wanting to do some vinyl on my walls but wasn't quite sure how to do it!

    Thanx for sharing!


  6. Quick Question have you ever done a vinyl cut longer than the 24" in length? If so what have you done for the mat since they aren't that long?

  7. My vinyl is tearing.... not!!!

  8. My vinyl is tearing.... not!!!


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