(photo from the US Cutter website, www.uscutter.com)
First, a bit of a description about the Silhouette Cameo:
It is, simply, a cutting machine. It hooks to your computer, and using software, you design and create a world of crafts! This thing is awesome! It cuts everything. It is adjustable to allow you to cut throw virtually anything you want. And crafts that require cutting isn't the only thing it does! You can cut templates for stencils and glass etching and whatnot! It is truly a crafting work horse.
What I love about it the most is that it doesnt' require any additional cartridges or components besides a computer. You can get advance designer software (I've not invested in that, yet), that allows you to have even more creative abilities, but the basic softwared that comes with the machine has allowed me to do everything I need to do at this point. Images can be purchased from the Silhouette store for usually under a dollar. You can also import images as well (would work really well for making silhouettes of your children!)
I've cut paper and I will (in another post) show you one of the paper projects I've done. In this post, I wanted to highlight a project that I worked on for the graduating seniors in our marching band. My oldest is one of the eleven that will graduate from our very small high school marching band next spring. At their senior band camp, it is tradition that we give them a gift - a blanket - that can be used throughout the marching season (to huddle under at those cold football games or band competitions). The gal before me used to cut the letters out by hand, and look for appliques to use for the kids names and their leadership position. I was able to cut all of this out and iron it on using the Silhouette.
(my son's senior blanket)
The blankets themselves were purchased from promohut.com and they were already bound around the edges. Various musical material was purchased from local stores. Sewable Fabric Interfacing manufactured by Silhouette along with Flocked Heat Transfer in yellow and white was purchased from customcrops.com.
I, unfortunately, do not have pictures of the whole procedure (I hadn't planned on doing a blog about this at the time). How I accomplished the project, though is as follows:
1. I opened the Silhouette software and selected a letter "A" that I liked, and enlarged it as large as I could. (The cutting mat is 12 inches wide, which allowed me to have an "A" that was approximately 11-11 1/2 inches across.
2. I ironed on the interfacing to the back of the material according to the package instructions.
3. I placed the material/interfacing on the sticky cutting mat - interface down - and loaded the mat and material into the Silhouette.
4. I sent the image to the cutter and set the appropriate settings (all very easy and done through the program).
5. I selected "cut" and the machine cut the "A".
6. Once cut, I removed the cutting mat/material from the machine, and lifted the "A" off the mat (along with the rest of the material).
7. The "A" was ironed onto a corner of the blanket, and then trim was stitched around the outside.
Name and Musical Notes:
1. I opened up a new project in the Silhouette software and selected a font I liked. I typed in the names and leadership positions (or instrument played) into the software. I had to be careful - the Flocked Heat Transfer is only 9 inches wide, so I had to be very mindful of margins.
2. When working with Heat Transfer, your image has to be backwards!! This is very important!! Make sure to flip your image prior to cutting. See instructions with the heat transfer for details!
3. Heat transfer is loaded into the machine without a mat - it has a plastic backing that makes it so it doesn't need to be cut with a mat.
4. The design is sent to the Silhouette, and the appropriate adjustments are made to the settings (settings: heat transfer)
5. I selected cut and the machine cut the letters and musical notes.
6. I cut apart the words as necessary (I tried to keep the section titles together) and cut the musical notes into individual notes.
7. The heat transfer was ironed onto the blankets according to instructions. I did find that I had to press my iron down for a lot longer than recommended. I kept checking the heat transfer to see how well it was sticking.
I can honestly say, this was much easier than the old way of making these blankets. And my son loves his. The only "problem" I've come across is the flocked heat transfer stuff tends to pick up the fuzzies from the blanket. I will keep you posted on how well the heat transfer holds up to washings.
Up soon: paper crafts (CARDS!), wall vinyl, glass etching, and fabric painting!
EDA: I was not asked or paid for this blogpost concerning the Silhouette Cameo and other Silhouette products.