Saturday, 13 May 2017

My very first time cutting vinyl!

Hello Silhouette fans! Maria here today with you with another brand new experience! Until now, I have solely just cut paper and cardstock with my Silhouette machine. However, I have been meaning to try cutting vinyl for such a long time but I have always been scared! Do you know why? I don't either! :) As it happens, cutting vinyl is so much easier than cutting cardstock! The vinyl is so soft that it cuts like butter!

So today I want to talk you through my first vinyl adventure. I have gone for a car decal, but you can use it for any other project that you want. I really hope this encourages you to try if you have never done it before either!

What you will need:
- Silhouette Cameo or Portrait
- Silhouette vinyl - any colour you want
- Silhouette transfer tape
- Silhouette tool kit


First of all, figure out what you want to make, where you want to put it and measure the dimensions that you will need. I went to my car and found the perfect spot for my decal and measured it.

Open your Silhouette Studio and either resize your mat to your desired dimensions, or draw a square/rectangle on your mat to use as guide for your design. I have gone for the latter and drawn a rectangle, where I will create my design.

I have gone for a simple text-based design, one of those "my other car is..." so I will be choosing my fonts and making sure that they fit within my rectangle.

I play around with the fonts until I get the desired layout. For the word "Silhouette" I have ungrouped the word so I can individually move each letter a bit closer together.

Once I was happy with how it is looking, I coloured the rectangle in black and the letters in light baby blue, to help me visualise how the decal will look in my car (which is black, and I am using baby blue vinyl)

Oh yes, I love how this is looking! Well... the easiest part is done. Now comes the scary part! For some unknown reason I am terrified to cut vinyl! 

I am using Silhouette brand vinyl and I will use the default settings that the Silhouette machine tells you when selecting "vinyl - Silhouette brand". I have however slowed down the speed to 3 as I think the letters in "Silhouette" are a bit on the delicate side.

Don't forget to physically change your rachet blade!! I almost forgot (it was on 3 for paper) and that would have been a bit of a disaster, as the contact paper would have been cut too, and you don't really want that!

So, your vinyl will have cut, but the contact paper underneath should all still be intact. Now it is time for weeding! Weeding means that you are removing the extra vinyl that you don't want. For this I used the hook tool from my Silhouette tool kit. It helped me lift the edges and pull, and it also came in super handy for the little bits in the middle of letters.

Doesn't it look fantastic?! I am a little bit in love :) 

Now I am going to apply the transfer tape. I am also using Silhouette branded tape. I cut it to size to fit my vinyl decal and I use my scraper tool to smooth it.

And you are pretty much done! Your decal is now ready to be transfered to whatever surface you have chosen. I have gone and cleaned the area in my car where the vinyl will be put.
I removed the vinyl contact paper and carefully applied it to my car. I rubbed it well before starting removing the transfer tape.

I love my machine, don't you? :)


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