A little over two years ago, I started hearing about a product being mentioned very frequently in the DIY blogosphere. The Silhouette was something quickly becoming very popular, and an item many DIYers considered a MUST have, but I couldn’t figure out exactly what it was or what it did. So, I Googled. And then I read more blogs and scoured the Silhouette website until I discovered the Silhouette is the coolest stinkin’ thing since sliced bread!
So, for those of you still waiting on an explanation — the time has come — as I am now going to share with you what the heck a Silhouette is, what it does and what I’ve used it for personally. And then, your life too will also be changed.
The best way I can think of to describe the Silhouette is that it hooks up to your computer, like a printer does, but its primary purpose is not to print things and make creations with ink (though it can do that too) but to cut. Do you remember the old die cutting machines in the teacher’s lounge at your elementary school? And then the updated version of that for this century the Cricut? Well, unlike the die-cutter and the Cricut, with the Silhouette you are not limited to pre-defined designs. You can cut almost anything you can design, or you can download from Silhouette’s library filled with designs created not just by the Silhouette company, but also by professional graphic designers from across the country.
Once I found out what the Silhouette did, I thought, “Huh, that’s cool, but that thing is not cheap. Probably won’t be buying one.” Then, I spent more time looking at the types of projects people were creating with the Silhouette. Professional looking designs on shirts? How does a cutting machine allow for that to happen? Designs etched on glass? Word art home decor? My mind began to shift. “If this machine really can do ALL of this, maybe it is worth the money.”
Along came a tax return and a great thirty-five percent off sale from Silhouette, and next thing I knew that machine was in my hot little hands and I was itching to use it. And use it I did. Again and again. I LOVE my Silhouette. Let me share some further details that will help make it’s purposes more clear.
What can the Silhouette cut?
- Adhesive backed vinyl (sold by Silhouette, long lasting for smooth surfaces both indoor and out)
- Fabric (if ironed to interfacing)
- Transfer paper (which is adhesive and can be used as a stencil for fabric, painting or glass etching projects)
- Iron-on vinyl (for professional looking graphics and logos on fabrics)
How does it work?
The Silhouette comes with its own design program that allows you to create or input designs or download designs from Silhouette’s massive design library. Once you’ve created your design, you tell the cutter what type of medium you’re cutting, and it tells you the exact settings to use, and then it cuts the design perfectly.
What else can it do?
The Silhouette can also create “print and cut” designs on paper or card stock. The machine first prints the design, then cuts out the design. This feature can create anything from paper doll sets to intricately layered pop-up greeting cards. Additionally, it can create adhesive patterns for detailed bejeweled clothing and accessories.
Where can I learn more/see tutorials on projects?
Where can I purchase my own?
Online through Silhouette here. (Since purchasing my machine two years ago, a newer version has come out that prints on wider mediums, up to 12″ in width. The newer version is called the Cameo, and the older version, which prints up to 9″ in width is the SD. You may be able to find SD’s for less searching Ebay as many people have decided to upgrade.)
So, are you going to show us pictures of your projects already or what?!
Yes! (just a handful, so as not to give your scrolling finger arthritis.) Please note I’m not (nor The Full Moxie) affiliated with Silhouette in any way, I just LOVE this product so much, I had to share it with you all.