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My Silhouette is one of my favorite crafting tools, it runs second only to my sewing machine. Having this kind of cutting machine opens up a world of crafting possibilities.
After a few friends saw what I could create with my machine they were sold and purchased one also. In light of that, it got me thinking what should a Silhouette newbie know? I wanted them to have all the information, so they could spend less time figuring things out and get straight to crafting. So, in case you are the proud owner of a new Silhouette here are 7 Things you should know.
Know how to get to the Silhoutte Manual and Shortcuts on your computer.
It is so much easier to have this information accessible on your computer. You will probably want to refer to it when working with new material or settings, and it is always great to have on hand for troubleshooting. There are also great tutorial videos done by Silhouette on YouTube that go over how to set up your machine and using all the different Silhouette materials.
Your new mat will be too sticky!
The best thing to do is dab it with an old t-shirt to try to dull the super strong adhesive. It won’t take long to break in your mat, but you might want to be cautious of that at first. Resist the urge to use cheap paper in this beginning period as it will definitely leave you with a bigger mess to clean off your mat.
There are two different buttons for loading a mat and vinyl into your Portrait.
This tip only applies to Portrait users, but trips a lot of us, including me. I think it was because one of the first things I officially cut with my machine was vinyl. I began by watching the Vinyl Starter Kit tutorial for my Portrait, never thinking when I changed to using my mat that it was a different load button. So, when my machine started cutting my mat instead of the material I realized something was wrong, unfortunately it took me way to long to figure out they top right button is the load mat button and the one under that is the load media. This explains it more, and has a video on how to load your Cameo.
Test cuts are always a good idea.
I almost always make a test cut when working on projects. Especially when cutting vinyl because I usually have a limited supply on hand. I found that making a quick cut with card-stock to test out the design and size saves me time in the end.
You can copy and paste stuff into the Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition.
So you found a great image that you want to use while search the Internet that isn’t a SVG file? The best way to get it into the Studio is to copy and paste. Simple enough, but make sure that the image is free to use first! Then it is as simple as using the tracing feature.
Your blade and mat are going to get dirty.
Don’t toss those dirty mats though. There are ways to clean and then re- sticky old mats. But, personally I think the dirtier they get the better they work with certain projects. So, I hold on to my less stick, very worn mat for occasions where I don’t need the super grip of the new mat. The blade is something you definitely want to learn how to clean though. If you notice your blade is starting to skip, it probably just needs cleaned. Check out this tutorial on how to clean your blade.
Find some Facebook Support.
Do you know that there are Facebook Groups just for people who use Silhouettes? They are awesome for finding out new information, inspiration and asking questions. I definitely wouldn’t have gone as far with my machine if it wasn’t for all the wonderful support of my Silhouette Facebook group. To find a group for you just search “Silhouette” on Facebook, read the description to make sure it is a good fit for you and request to join.
Be sure to check out my my Tips and Tricks for Heat Transfer Vinyl.
Do you have a Silhouette? What tips do you have for a new owner?