Since my previous post highlighted a project using my new Silhouette Cameo, I decided to back it up a bit to show you my first project attempt with the Cameo. I had received my new favorite toy for Christmas. During the holidays my son was home from college and while home, he was planning to attend a wedding, but hadn’t gotten a gift yet. I was itching to give my new gift a go so I volunteered to make something.
The finished product turned out awesome, but it didn’t happen without a lot of trial, error and frustration. I learned a lot about what to do and what not to do, but the real key was to go to school. Silhouette School.
Silhouette School is key to learning everything a Silhouette can do, as well as answering questions on anything that isn’t readily apparent. I’m still learning and am very thankful for this resource. If you ever get a Silhouette, my best advice is to start at Silhouette School.
Okay, on to my first Silhouette stencil. After determining what I wanted my sign to say, I hunted through my computer’s fonts. Needless to say I didn’t find one that showed the elegance I wanted. Not a problem. I simply did a Google search for free fonts and downloaded one that sang to me. 😉 How cool is that! I have spent a small fortune over the years buying font cartridges for my Cricut! Not gonna happen no more!
After creating the design for my stencil in my Silhouette program, I created the bridges for each letter to make it work as a stencil. If you do not immediately grasp the process for this technique, Silhouette School has got you covered.
Since not all letters require a bridge, I was able to enlarge the design to give me a better visual for finding and bridging those that needed it.
I wanted to make the stencil large enough to fit on a blank sign I had left over from craft show projects, but my cutting mat was way too short. I decide to tape a Cricut mat to my Silhouette mat. I know, I know…don’t judge. I also taped two sheets of the card stock together to fit on the mats.
It worked…sorta. Cutting over the intersection of card stock that was taped together didn’t really work to good. Okay, to be honest, it didn’t work there at all. I had to get a craft knife out to finish the cutting on many of those letters.
Live and learn. My technique has improved since this first project. I now use one mat and one sheet at a time. I enlarge the design and fit a section to cut on one mat and that is all it cuts. I then re-position the enlarged design to cut a different section. Wash, rinse and repeat until all of the sections are cut…And then I tape each section together. Each cut section usually has a bit of the previous one on it so I use those bits as registration marks. Works like a freaking charm! That’s pretty much it for making the stencil.