We recently introduced you to the Silhouette line of die-cutting machines, how they work, and what you can make with them. The machine takes a lot of the heavy lifting out of paper and fabric crafts, but can be a little bit intimidating when you first take it out of the box. To get you started, we’ve put together a list of tutorials you can follow to create your own projects, using the wide variety of materials compatible with the Silhouette machines.
It’s also worth noting that a lot of these projects can be completed using other types of die-cutting machines, not just the Silhouette brand.
A great place to start with the Silhouette is making paper crafts. The materials are inexpensive, easy to find, and you won’t feel bad if you mess up a project. And you will. One thing you will definitely find using a Silhouette machine is that you’ll often complete a project using a bit of trial and error.
You can make DIY invitations or cards, create wall art to hang in your home, or create cute little bookmarks for the bookworms in your lives. Other paper project ideas include gift tags and even 3D models.
- DIY Wedding Invitations
- Zipper Cards
- Paper Succulent Wall Art
- Woodland Bookmarks
- Christmas Gift Tags
- 3D Paper Houses
- DIY Mini Notebooks
One of the most versatile materials you can use with a Silhouette machine is vinyl. With vinyl, you can create posters or wall art, or adhere it to wood or plastic. With heat transfer vinyl, you can create custom clothing and other fabric items.
From something as small as a container label to as big as faux wallpaper for an entire room, the only limit with vinyl is your imagination.
- Baking Container Labels
- Floral Faux Wallpaper
- Chalkboard Globe
- Shadow Box Photo Frame
- Reindeer Head Holiday Banner
- Customized Travel Mug
- Harry Potter Inspired Onesies
In addition to a wide variety of crafting materials, the Silhouette machines can also cut fabric. If you’re going to use your Silhouette to cut fabric, make sure you buy a separate blade from the one you use for paper (true for all crafts – you shouldn’t mix your paper and fabric scissors or blades). When cutting fabric, it is also good to use a spray starch before you put it through the Silhouette machine. This will help stiffen the fabric and make it easier to cut.
You can use all sorts of fabrics including cotton, felt, and more. Silhouette also produces a special sewable interfacing fabric that makes it really easy to iron your designs onto other fabrics. Alternatively, you could use regular fabric and a Heat’nBond adhesive material.
Take a look at the following tutorials for a few more ideas on how to use your Silhouette with fabric:
A lot of the projects you can create with your Silhouette involve paper or transfer material, but a unique project you can try with your die cutting machine is to make your own stamps, using Silhouette’s Stamp Material to design and create your own clear stamp. If you’re going to try this, make sure you either purchase the starter kit, or at the very least buy the stamp material, the special mat for stamp material, and an acrylic block for the stamp.
Here are some ideas for how to use the material:
Some users have trouble getting good results from their stamp, so for some tips and tricks as well as how the stamp kit works, check out the video below.
Another type of project that requires a special Silhouette material is making a temporary tattoo. You can do this with the Silhouette’s Temporary Tattoo paper.
The great thing about the temporary tattoo paper is that you can use it for other kinds of projects, like wood transfers.
Glass Etching Projects
If you want to etch your Silhouette design onto glass, all it takes is vinyl, transfer paper, and etching cream. As with most of these projects, there’s a handy glass etching starter kit you can use if you want to be sure that you have all the necessary supplies.
Pen Holder Projects
In addition to cutting material with your Silhouette, with their sketch pens or pen holder, you can also use the machines for all sorts of drawing and writing projects.
So you might be wondering why you would use the pen holder or sketch pen rather than just printing something out with an inkjet printer? Using a nice handwritten font (or even turning your own handwriting into a font) you can get through a tedious task like addressing a ton of envelopes, and do it neatly, while retaining that handmade feel.
Another unique way to use that pen holder which regular printers can’t do is to use white pens on dark paper, or use glitter pens and other special inks.
Using adhesive or sticker paper is another great way you can get even more out of your Silhouette. While heat transfer material or transfer paper and vinyl will allow you to adhere a design permanently, you can use sticker paper for a temporary design, or to adhere items to paper.
Using heavy card stock, vinyl, or even plastic folder dividers or adhesive shelf liners, you can make stencils for use with paint, spray paint, and more. Stencils open up a wide variety of projects you can complete, all of which will start with the silhouette machine.
Silhouette’s adhesive magnet paper makes it easy to create customized magnetic items. The items you can create can be for practical purposes, for decorative purposes, or you can even use the Silhouette’s magnetic paper to create an interactive toy for kids.
Silhouette Studio Tutorials
As a bonus, in addition to all these great projects you can try with your Silhouette, here’s a list of tutorials that will show you how to get the most out of the Silhouette Studio software. Really learning the ins and outs of the software will make it that much easier to use your machines, and will also open up ideas and projects you might not have thought of otherwise.
- How to Convert a PNG or JPG to a Cut File
- Welding Text and Shapes
- How to Create a Honeycomb Stencil
- How to Create Your Own Designs
- How to Alter Clipart
- Silhouette Studio Mobile App
What kinds of projects are you making with your Silhouette? Let us know in the comments.