As some of you may already know, I recently became the proud owner of a new Silhouette Cameo die cutting machine. Now that I've had a little time to get acquainted with my new "toy", I thought I'd do a little review & show you a project I recently made.
This is going to be a pretty lengthy post, so you might want to grab a cup of coffee and cozy up in a comfy chair for a few minutes. ;)
After you read my post, you might want to head over to the Paper Crafts Connection blog where you can be entered to win your very own Silhouette Cameo!!!
First of all, I want to be upfront & tell you that before now, I've never used a Silhouette. I've learned a lot over the past few weeks, but I am by no means an expert! My first hands on experience with this machine was at CHA this past summer & I quickly became enthralled. Here are some of the things that really drew me in:
1. There are no cartridges involved!
I've used machines in the past where I've had to purchase expensive cartridges just to get my hands on one or two images that I wanted to use. I like to work on the fly & driving to a store or waiting for the post to deliver a cartridge was just not very feasible. Plus... I get bored easily & like to use new products whenever possible. After I used a few of the images on the cartridge, they began to collect dust. I love that this die cutter works directly with my computer.
2. The Silhouette library is very extensive and the images are fresh and trendy!
The online store is accessible by downloading the free Silhouette software. Each Tuesday, a FREE shape of the week is available for download. (You can download the software here or use the disc that comes with your new machine.) Before my Silhouette had even arrived, I already had several images in my library because I took advantage of the free images that were available.
The Silhouette software includes several other free images that are included as part of your download. There are images for most seasons & several basic images that I've already used many times.
New images are designed weekly, so there is always something new and fresh to check out. Most images cost 99 cents to download, but you can also purchase a subscription and get your images at a much lower cost.
3. The Silhouette Cameo cuts at a full 12".
I debated on getting the original Silhouette, but decided that I would probably utilize the larger size. I am SO glad I waited because I've found that the wide format is really handy when making 3D items & gifts.
4. The Cameo does so much more than just regular die cuts.
I can't wait to try cutting my own vinyl wall decor! The Silhouette can also help you make custom t-shirt designs. (The fabric starter kit is on my Christmas list for sure!) You can also print directly from your home computer & then load it into your Silhouette for perfectly cut designs.
There a million and one things I could say about this machine, so I'm going to have to try to keep this somewhat concise & continue to post reviews and information in the future. So... here are just a few of my thoughts now that I've had a chance to work with this machine:
The software is easy to learn and use. I watched several YouTube videos to get the basic idea on how to use it, & that helped a lot. (Nicole Magouirk has some excellent tutorials!)
I've heard others complain in the past about the original Silhouette being very noisy. The new machine's noise level seems nice and low to me. My son said it almost sounds like a video game because it makes almost a musical sound as it cuts.
There is only one blade in the new machine. It is SO easy to use. You just tell your Silhouette software what product you will be cutting (ie: thick cardstock, medium patterned paper, transparency sheets, vinyl, etc.) and it will automatically adjust itself to the right speed and pressure. It will also tell you what depth your blade needs to be set. To change your depth, you just remove the blade and twist using an attached tool. It's very, VERY easy. I've never had a problem with my cuts. Even very fine & intricate designs have come out perfectly!
I also love using other downloaded files with my Silhouette. Two Peas has several die cut digital kits that are really fun to use. (I'm linking a few examples below. GSD & .studio files work well.) You can just tell your Silhouette software to import your files & they are added to your Silhouette library.
OK... so for those of you who have been patient, I have a project to share with you using Silhouette's Limited Edition Advent Calendar. I've always wanted to have something like this for part of our family's Christmas tradition!
The advent calendar is $39.99 & comes with a 15" wooden shadowbox & download card. Once you download the card onto your Silhouette software, you have access to 42 unique files to fill your calendar! Each file is perfectly sized to fill your shadowbox with unique boxes and drawers - no adjustments are needed!
Here are some close-ups of some of the different boxes & drawers that I made. (Click on pictures to enlarge.) This is a great project for new Silhouette users! The program makes it so easy to use.
I hope you've enjoyed learning a little more about the Silhouette Cameo! I really love this new die cutting machine & can't wait to share more!
Advent Calendar Supplies: (click on pictures for links)