Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tips and Tricks for the Beginner Silhouette User

If you are looking to purchase a craft cutting machine that allows you not only to cut paper, vinyl, heavy cardstock, and fabric BUT also allows you to have complete freedom over creating your own images by using their designer software than you really need to look into either the Silhouette  Cameo or Portrait machines.
Portrait with CAMEO
Its been about 3 months since I got my Silhouette Cameo and I still LOVE it as much if not more than I did when I got it. I swear if that machine could sew you would need no other machine in your craft room. The Cameo and Portrait are so multi-functional in terms of cutting there is in my eyes nothing else that can compare. I have used die cutting machines and watched my friends use other brands of paper cutters, however nothing compares in terms of versatility.

I have made so much with it in just a short few months. I have to admit though my favorite thing to make with it are the 3D Shadow Box Cards. I probably use it the most for cutting out stencils and vinyl wall art. I have recently tried cutting fabric with it and can't wait to start using it more for my quilting. You can make some killer appliques using this machine.

I have learned a few things over the past couple months that I think any new Silhouette user would benefit to know

1. When inserting your blade ALWAYS make sure the line with the blade lines up perfectly strait out in front of you. If you lock it in and the line is off to the side it will not cut properly.

2. When using a new mat if you have to use thin paper you really need to use your spatula to pull up all the paper. Use caution so you don't rip your paper. Some thin paper likes to stick and separate on the adhesive mat.

3.Always make sure that when you are inserting your mat into the machine that it is lined up with the rollers. Its always a good idea to lightly wiggle the mat to make sure that its securely under the rollers. If it is not when you go wiggle the mat it will move. If the mat is not secure under the rollers when the cutting starts your mat will start to slide around and you can risk the blade cutting through the mat.

4. After your mat has lost some of its stickiness it is very important to use a roller and roll your paper to secure it to the mat. This will prevent your paper from not adhering to the mat and start sliding around. This can cause the blade to not cut your paper properly, risking cutting your mat, or worse ruining your blade.

5. After using fiberous materials its best to pull out the blade from the machine and blow into the blade hole to get the dust and particles out of there. That build up can effect the way it cuts. Same thing with the vinyl when cutting small pieces of vinyl sometime it can stick to the blade as it passes by. Its always a good thing to keep your blade area particle free.

I hope that these tips can help you when you are working with your cutting machines.

Happy Crafting,

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