The Silhouette CAMEO 3 and Creating a Multi-Colored Design

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One of the most popular videos I’ve done has been the How to Cut and Press a Multi-Color HTV Shirt Using the Silhouette CAMEO 3. It was published on YouTube in August 2016 and has well-over 140,000 views. The Silhouette CAMEO 3 had just come out and not many people were familiar with its functionality compared to the CAMEO 2 or similar cutters. Plus, we were getting a lot of questions on technique to create multi-colored or multi-vinyl designs. The video shows how it’s all done, but this article gives you a little more information about the equipment and technique.

Let’s begin by discussing the Silhouette CAMEO 3. This machine is one of a few desktop 12-inch cutters you can purchase, which is one reason I recommend it. Every cutter is going to have pros and cons. If you’re considering purchasing the CAMEO 3, I think its pros outweigh its cons, depending on the work you want it to do.

As far as creating a multi-color HTV shirt, the process may seem complicated or time-consuming; it’s really not. In the video, you see I create my design using two basic fonts, create an offset around the one I want to be a different type of vinyl – in this case, Siser Glitter – and just cut them separately. But, why? To answer that, I’ll break down the process.

  1. Layering. It’s all about the offset. To get the cool effect of layering, think about size, placement, and one key feature. Layering is done with the Offset Feature (Silhouette Studio) or Knock-out Feature (CorelDRAW) to create a stroke or halo around the object that gets “layered” over another object. Choose your Offset size based on the effect you want – the bigger the offset size, the more empty space between your objects. Plus, making your two objects different sizes, even slightly, gives the look like it’s in front of or on top of the first object.  
  2. Mirroring. Unless you’re cutting a design on sign vinyl or a printed image, all your designs have to be mirrored. In Silhouette Studio, you select your objects and click “Flip Horizontally.” You’ll waste some vinyl and production time if you forget this step – I know, I’ve done it, too.
  3. Cutting. If you use whole pieces of vinyl, it’s as easy as feeding the vinyl into the cutter and letting it cut. If you use scrap pieces of vinyl, like I did, you have to use a few more steps and requires a cutting mat for security. Cut the two designs separately, but be sure to place them on the design workstation identical to where you place your vinyl on the mat.’
  4. Pressing. The pressing process may vary depending on the vinyl or materials being used. I used two types of vinyl, HTV, and glitter, which have two temperature requirements. We recommend a happy medium of 305°. Pressing multiple layers also requires multiple minor steps. Here are some helpful hints to establish a solid press without mistakes.   
  • Use a Teflon cover sheet during each press
  • Press HTV first, but only a few seconds so it sticks to the material.
  • Align your second design as carefully as you can. Press it for three seconds. The clear carrier sheet can leave a line indentation in the first vinyl. If a crease is made, it won’t come out, easily. So, only press the second layer long enough to be able to easily peel away the carrier sheet.
  • The last press is your security press for the full recommended time.

Don’t be intimidated by the steps and process. Think of the creativity and customization you can do with your designs, now. Have it and share pictures of your projects on Instagram and Facebook and use #therhinestoneworld. We can’t wait to see your creations.

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About Author

"Just use a little more hot glue." Lisa is the Creative Product Instructor for The Rhinestone World and has been with the company since 2014. She spends her day thinking up great crafting projects and teaches others along the way. Her weapon of choice is the Silhouette Cameo 2. Lisa holds a bachelor's degree in Advertising and Public Relations.

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