The Silhouette is an electronic cutting machine that can be easily hooked up to your computer. You can compare it’s size to that of a small printer. It also comes with software that enables you to craft anything and cut it onto paper, fabric, vinyl, or even through heat transfer material.
There are two different cutting machines made by Silhouette. Both the Cameo and the Portrait have very unique qualities but they mainly differ in size.
The Cameo (affiliate) includes a 12” x 12” cutting mat which can be cut out on a larger space. Silhouette makes an even larger cutting mat for larger projects as well. While the plus to the Cameo is being able to cut out larger projects there may be more waste when you’re cutting the smaller projects. The 12” x 12” sheets you see at any craft store fits perfectly in the Cameo.
The Portrait (affiliate) includes an 8″ x 12″ cutting mat which makes it a better option for smaller projects. This machine has the same cutting capabilities except it is just smaller. The difference in prices explains a lot as well.
When you own a manual die-cutting machine, you may experience that it cuts fine however it limits you by dies which can become pretty costly. Sometimes around $25-$40 each! Owning a Silhouette machine can save you this cost.
When it comes to electric cutting machines there are several other brands sold in craft stores. However, a lot of them require expensive dies or sets. Those cost always end up adding up fast and it also requires a trip to the store to get the new dies.
With the Silhouette, you can easily download designs for only $.99 or less you go to the Silhouette online store when they are on sale. They make it so simple. Just go online, download, then cut away!
This is great especially if you do a lot with lettering. You won't have to purchase a design you just choose a font size and adjust it to your project. The Silhouette Cameo makes these projects feel like a piece of cake!
However, the main secret is all in the software. Both the Portrait and the Cameo come with Silhouette Studio Software and a variety of pre-loaded designs. You can also get their software upgrade called Silhouette Studio Design Edition (affiliate) which sells for $50.
There are also a countless number of projects if you subscribe to Silhouette’s blog. They give you so many ideas!
An awesome feature is a print and cut. It allows you to set your design in the software, send it to the printer, and send it back to Silhouette for cutting. How convenient?!
Vinyl is one of the most popular uses for the Silhouette. Cutting on vinyl can really open up a whole new world of possibilities as it gives a different experience than cutting on regular fabric. It makes great stencils and awesome lettering.
Some things to remember when it comes to the Cameo machine is that cutting fabric requires a ‘fabric’ blade and when cutting letters for applique you can iron on the fusible web like Heat and Bond Lite to the back of your fabric. Then you can peel off the paper backing and stick the fabric to the mat with the fusible side down. Once you load it into the machine you can then hit cut!
**Silhouette Cameo: Which Machine Should I Buy?
Silhouette Cameo 4 with Bluetooth, 12x12 Cutting Mat, Autoblade 2, 100 Designs and Silhouette Studio Software - White Edition
I would love to hear more about your experience using your machines! Feel free to leave a comment down below!