Silhouette Cameo 101: The Manual It Doesn’t Come With, But Should (MakerSpace)
I have spent the last couple of weeks trying to figure out how to use and evaluating the Silhouette Cameo for our Teen Makerspace at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County (OH). You can read my initial thoughts here:
I’m just beginning to tap the surface of how to use the Silhouette Cameo and what types of things we can do with it. The biggest drawback for me has been the lack of a manual or handbook, so I’m in the process of putting one together for myself. I’ve collected and organized a variety of links which I am sharing with you below.
Silhouette Cameo 101
Using you’re Silhouette Cameo comes in 3 steps.
1. Designing your project
2. Cutting your project
3. Finishing your project, which involves applying your vinyl to some type of surface
We will discuss the Silhouette Cameo focusing on these three steps. But first, an introduction to the Silhouette Cameo and what you do with it once you get it out of the box. We’ll end with some hacks, project ideas and instructions, and an additional resource guide including free files and great blogs to consult for additional information.
What Can You Do with a Silhouette
Getting Started Out of the Box
Step 1: Designing Your Project
See all using the Trace Tool below
Transforming Image Files Into the Correct Format
The Silhouette Cameo requires a specific file format known as an SVG.
Working with Text
Using Specific Tools and Functions
Grouping and Compound Paths
Step 2: Cutting Your Project
Step 3: Finishing Your Project
Applying the Vinyl
Please note: When you send a project to cut you must specify what type of material you are using. If you are using heat transfer vinyl it will ask you if you want to mirror your image and you should choose mirrored.
Additional Information and Resources
Beyond Cutting: Using Your Silhouette Cameo to Draw
Your Silhouette Cameo can be used for more than cutting and it has special markers that you can purchase. Here is some information on that.
Project Ideas and Instructions
Free Font Resources
Free .SVG Files
10 Places to Find Free Cut Files (more of a tutorial then a listing of sites)
All Encompassing Silhouette Cameo Blogs
Please note: This is just the tip of the ice berg, there is a lot more out there. This machine is very complex can can do a lot of things. I mean, a lot. This is just to get your started with the basics. Having said all of that, please share your favorite posts, tips, project ideas and resources with me in the comments.
Filed under: Makerspace
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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