The Silhouette in any form is an impressive piece of equipment that can do anything your heart desires. Sometimes the problem though is that you need to know what you are wanting to do and then you have to research until you get it right.
Take me for example. I looked up all the things I thought I would need to know before I started but then when it was time to start I didn’t even know how to load the printer, dumb right? Wrong! There isn’t a guide that says start here but that’s actually a good thing. Creativity comes from you with this machine, not from a cookie cutter like other things.
I bought the Silhouette Cameo 3 that came with the vinyl starter kit. I figured I would start with a monogram. I bought the commercial rights to the one I liked and then did all the research I could until it looked like I wanted. Did you know that you can weld the letters together to make them come together? Or that you can pull the letter apart by ungrouping them?
Once I finally figured out how to load the printer I tried to cut it. Tried is the key word. How exactly do you put the blade in the machine to make it cut? There is a piece that snaps it into place. (Thank you again youtube.com) Once I got the blade snapped into place it cut like a dream.
This is where you pull out your tool that looks like it came from a dentist’s office and you weed out all the pieces you don’t want. It comes out looking like so.
Then comes the transfer paper. You rub it onto your design and peel, then it’s ready to stick to anything your heart desires. Mine had a home waiting on the rear window of my car. If it gets stuck in a place you don’t want it do (like it falls on the ground with the wind) the tiny little pieces will break. On attempt number two I got it where I wanted it and it looks amazing.
The next project I started on was a wine glass with vinyl lettering. I had bought a couple glasses at the dollar store the day I knew the machine should be arriving and I was ready to take on a new challenge after the window cling went so well.
The first font I choose wasn’t large enough to do much with and I had it set incorrectly. It cut deeper than I wanted it to but I didn’t do any undoable damage. I reset my machine and changed my font. By the way, people are right when they say you should print multiple letters that have dots like i’s. Those dots like to take off on you.
Vinyl on the wine glass is a step harder. You have to go line by line and then eventually if you stay patient you will get it in the right spot. I cut my words apart to get them where I wanted them which helped. Next time I want to move the word sip up a bit but I was am happy with how this first attempt turned out.
After I had tackled my first couple of vinyl projects I got the tools needed for glass etching. This little project is much harder than it seems. I printed what I wanted on stencil vinyl for my other wine glass and started to stick it to the glass like the vinyl. Another pointer I have for you is not to use the stencil setting for this. You need to just go with the vinyl setting, the stencil is too deep.
Putting the stencil vinyl on that wine glass wrecked my confidence. I couldn’t get the bubbles out and I ended up pulling one of the words off just to see if I could get the etching cream to work. The etching cream is a little intimidating too. It has all kinds of warnings about burns and inhaling it but as long as you don’t touch it, it’s really not that bad.
After all the frustration with the first glass I found my excitement for etching again and went for a Harry Potter theme I knew would propel me to keep trying. This glass water bottle was easier to manage than the wine glass and I learned that the bottles have two seams. When I do bottles for someone that’s not me I’ll be sure to remember that.
I dyed the water blue so that it was easier to take a picture of. I am going to add more to this one to practice and make it my own.
In the first day and a half of me having the Silhouette Cameo 3 I have learned how to make a monogram with vinyl, put vinyl on a glass surface and even etch glass. I am loving what I have accomplished so far and cannot wait to learn more. Next up is heat transfers hopefully!
If you have any questions about things I’ve learned please don’t hesitate to ask. I’d love to help if I can!
“When we rediscover our creativity, we also rediscover ourselves and different parts of ourselves.” – Margarita Tartakovsky