How to Create Your First Vinyl Decal With the Silhouette Cameo

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You took the leap. Your new Silhouette CAMEO is sitting unboxed on your table. But this is where the excitement ends. There is so much potential for the CAMEO that it can be challenging to get started. To get your feet wet (and your things labeled) this tutorial will show you how to create your first vinyl decal with your brand new Silhouette CAMEO.

Materials Needed:

Create the Design

For this tutorial, I will be using a monogram for the decal. You can cut out whatever you would like, whether it is a shape or text.

  1. Find the text tool in the left toolbar. Select this tool and click in your workspace.
  2. Type out your text in the workspace.
  3. Click on the text box and choose a font from the font style window on the right. This example will use a monogram font, but you can use whatever font you would like. Silhouette Studio will use the fonts you have installed on your computer.
  4. Using the select tool, click the text and drag it to the top left corner of your workspace.
  5. If you are using a script font (a font with overlapping lines or letters) you must go to the modify panel in the top right toolbar and click on weld. This will get rid of the overlapping lines, allowing you to cut one piece.
  6. To make weeding (taking out the excess vinyl) easier, select the rectangle tool from the left toolbar and create a box around your text. We call this a weed box.

Cut Your Design

  1. Go to the cut panel in the top right toolbar. The icon will look like a Silhouette blade.
  2. Your design should have a bold line around it. This indicates the lines that will cut.
  3. Choose the material you will be cutting for the monogram. I use FDC 4200 sign vinyl, and I program the settings in.
    • Click the small plus sign at the bottom right of the materials list.
    • Name the material you are using.
    • Program the settings you want associated with the material. I use Blade: 2, Speed: 10, Thickness: 6
    • Always test cut before cutting!
  4. Go to the design page settings in the top right toolbar and set up your workspace to have a cutting mat. This option is about halfway down on the right panel.
  5. Place your vinyl on your cutting mat.
  6. Line up your cutting mat with the blue line on the side of your CAMEO. Make sure the roller on the right side is on the edge of the cutting mat. It will be the last notch on the metal bar.
  7. Press “Load” on your CAMEO.
  8. Go back to your Silhouette Studio, double check your settings, then press Send to Silhouette.

Weed and Apply

  1. When the vinyl is done cutting, press “Unload” on the CAMEO.
  2. Take the vinyl off of the cutting mat.
    • To prevent the vinyl from curling, you can place the cutting mat upside down on a table and peel the mat away from the vinyl.
  3. Find the cut decal on the vinyl and cut out that section from your sheet of vinyl.
  4. Use your weeding tool and take out the excess part of the vinyl. Start with the weeding box you created.
  5. Cut off a piece of transfer tape to cover the decal. I like to use R-Tape AT-65.
  6. Place the tape on the weeded decal and use your scraper to smooth the tape over the vinyl.
  7. When you are ready to apply the decal, clean the surface you are applying to.
    • Peel back the transfer tape and decal from your paper backing.
    • Place the decal on your surface and use your scraper to smooth (burnish) the decal in place.
    • Once your decal is in place, peel away the transfer tape.

Once you finish these steps, congratulations, you have made your first decal! Now you are an experienced Silhouette user. Go forth and monogram everything! It’s not yours if it’s not monogrammed, right?!

To see the entire process, view the video below.

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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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