I recently upgraded my cutting machine to a fancy Silhouette Cameo so here’s a look at it and how I’m using it for kawaii paper crafts and stationery.
There are a few brands of home cutting machines and I’ll give you some more options at the end but I chose the Cameo from Silhouette as I previously owned the smaller Portrait. It’s much bigger, has loads more features and, most importantly, comes in pink!
How it works
Cutting machines can cut shapes from card, paper, sticker paper, vinyl, thin wood and lots more, making it perfect for craft projects, journaling and making your own stationery. You can use your own artwork or get digital files from the Silhouette store. The material you’re cutting is placed on a sticky mat and then you use Silhouette’s design software to set up your cutting file and send it to the machine. The Cameo has an automatic blade so it will adjust for cutting right through thick card or just the top layer of sticker paper. You can also set up registration marks so that it will cut around artwork that you’ve printed. Here’s some of the different things I’ve used it for so far.
3D Paper Crafts
Natasja really set me up well with her recent Halloween printables post! Printable paper crafts are a lot of fun but cutting out all the pieces can be really fiddly and difficult. My Cameo came with a gift card for their digital shop and one of the things I bought was this cute strawberry gift bag.
I resized it a bit to fit A4 card and then cut the pieces from 3 different colours. Can you imagine cutting this by hand?! Not only does the Cameo cut out all those little details but it also scores the fold lines so it’s really quick and easy to put together. All I needed was a bit of glue for a super cute bag that looks way more complicated.
I also made a 3D envelope that has lots of space inside and even a little slit to keep it closed. It’s very handy for storing stickers and I can cut as many as I like in any size or colour. There’s loads more 3D projects in the shop from simple pop up cards to detailed haunted houses!
While browsing the digital store, I fell in love with the kawaii illustrations of Little Luxuries Loft. How cute are these drinks? Making stickers for my own shop was one of the main reasons I wanted a Cameo and I was excited to try it. These digital files come with everything set up already so you can just print and cut.
It’s a bit more tricky as you have to print the page first on a colour printer and then feed it into the Cameo, which should recognise the registration marks and cut around each sticker. I had a few fails to begin with but got it working perfectly in the end.
To make your own stickers, you need to spend more time with the design software but it’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it, and there’s loads of helpful video tutorials on Youtube. I have all these printable sticker images from Tiny Plant’s Patreon and decided to try cutting them. Most are transparent PNG files which is perfect as the software can automatically set a cut line around the design (the red line). The round designs weren’t transparent but it was easy to add a circle around each one. Registration marks (the black square and corners) are added with a button click and then it’s the same as a shop-bought file.
I’m so pleased with these! I’ve been saving these printables for months and never doing anything with them so it feels great to be able to use them – and make more whenever I want. These are just printed on plain sticker paper but you can also buy sheets with different finishes like gloss, clear, foil and holographic.
Another fun section of the shop is fonts. The Silhouette software can use any fonts on your computer but the store has some cool fonts and dingbats (picture fonts) that you can use at any size and turn into stickers or stationery. I got this cute bubble tea font and also found one that’s all different shapes of tags and labels.
These can be cut from coloured card or you can make your own design to fit inside the cut line. I made some fun labels for my Halloween mystery bags!
Information & Shopping
Overall, I’m really happy with my purchase and have so many ideas, both for my own artwork and with files I’ve wishlisted in the Silhouette Store. It’s really going to make gifting, crafts and happy mail more fun and I can’t wait to try the glitter paper and heat transfer vinyl I bought.
The Cameo is quite expensive with an RRP of $399 (I used some of my self-employment Covid grant) but there are cheaper, smaller machines too. It’s still an investment but if you love paper crafts and stationery, it could be worth saving up for. There’s also the Cricut brand, who make similar machines. They both have similar features and big fanbases so it’s worth doing a bit of research and seeing which one suits you, or is available on offer. You can find them at the following sites, plus local craft stores.
- Silhouette: Online Store & Supplies / Digital Shop / Amazon (UK / USA) / Hobbycraft (UK) / Michaels (USA)
- Cricut: Online Store & Supplies / Digital Shop / Amazon (UK / USA) / Hobbycraft (UK) / Michaels (USA)
Is there anything else you’d like to know about the Silhouette Cameo, or cutting machines in general? I’m happy to help!
Marceline is the co-founder and editor of Super Cute Kawaii and author of The Super Cute Book of Kawaii. She also designs cute character goods as Asking For Trouble. Having visited Japan five times, Marceline is enormously inspired by all things Japanese and especially loves bunnies, space and any kind of food object with a happy face.