I’ve had my Silhouette SD for several years, but only now have felt comfortable enough with it to attempt cutting vinyl. (I’m also laughing that it’s already the “outdated” model.) It was a lot easier than I expected — and now I want to vinyl all the things.
It’s fast, it’s easy, it’s cheap and it dresses up everyday objects in a snap. What’s not to love? A few tips:
- I’m a fan of generic, but for some reason, I now swear by the Silhouette-brand vinyl. I tried a couple projects with some off-brand stuff, but it was thinner and refused to lay flat on it’s paper backing, let alone the cutting mat. When I finally got a piece to lay down to go through the machine, it all but disintegrated when I tried to separate it from the larger vinyl piece. The Silhouette stuff is high-quality and thicker, and seems much more resilient. I found mine on Amazon.com for less than $12/roll (I noticed that you can even do the Subscribe and Save option, making it $8/roll — although I’m pretty sure if I start having vinyl delivered to me on the regular every two months that’s a new level of craft addiction.)
- Even if you’re cutting out a small design, be sure to cut a piece that fills out the majority of your cutting mat. The machine needs that weight to help the vinyl stick to the cutting mat and not move around during the cutting process. I hate it, but it has NEVER worked out when I’ve tried to save and used a smaller piece. It doesn’t have to fill up the entire cutting mat, but it needs to be at least 3/4 full in my experience.
I made three things off the bat. The first was this pierced porcelain plate that I got as a birthday gift. Initially, my plan was to use a wet-erase marker to write snazzy quotes on it that I could change out often, but then I realized that one of the (many) reasons I would have never made it as a teacher was my lack of handwriting prowess when writing on a slippery surface. So, I opted for something more permanent, but better-looking. This is using dark brown vinyl, and I bought the design from the Silhouette store (see: project, fast and easy). (Side note: The jar on the right is my Scentsy warmer, which I LOVE. It makes my house smell like oatmeal cookies without having to bake.)
Seeing as how I was on a roll, I crafted up this beauty to hang out (ha!) in my foyer on the coat rack. I started with a basic dollar-store slate chalkboard and gave the pine frame a coat of gray acrylic paint, then once dry, used a cloth to wipe some wood stain over it. Think Restoration Hardware’s gray-wood line. I hot glued ribbon (from the same Papertreyink line I used in my son’s original nursery) to the back for hanging, and found another quote in the Silhouette store to cut out on white vinyl. Easy peasy! And since these chalkboards came in a three-pack, I’m thinking a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Halloween” with different ribbon is in order… (The wall paint color is Valspar’s Lyndhurst Gallery Beige, and it’s lighter in person.)
And good gracious, I love monograms. LOVE. Besides, nothing says “country chic” like a monogrammed milk pail, yes? I actually found this pail at Walmart, of all places, in the aisle with all the fake flowers and rocks — it was a whopping $8. The hydrangeas are faux, because live plants and I don’t mix. I have an orchid in my office that’s been alive since May and that’s a streak for me. (Note to self: water it.) I made this design myself in Silhouette, by which I mean I downloaded the free Monogram KK font and typed it in a Silhouette text box. The only other step I did was to select the text box, then right-click and select “ungroup” so I could nudge the A closer to the S (just looked better to me). If you want an awesome monogram tutorial for beginners, follow this one at The Turquoise Home.
The monogrammed milk pail (gosh, I love the sound of that! Let’s start a trend, shall we?) is part of my almost-but-not-quite finished foyer (check out my floor mat HERE) — I’m so excited to show it off! But first, I need to put in my weekly face-to-face with the good people at Lowe’s and find some new drawer pulls.