Thursday 4 August 2016

Sailboat Happy Birthday Card with Silhouette Cutter

I was very lucky to be given a Silhouette Cameo by a friend earlier this year - she'd decided she didn't want it any more and offered it on Facebook, and as I love card making I jumped at the chance, even though I didn't really know what it was!

Silhouette America is a company that makes various die cutting machines but unlike my Sizzix Big Shot cutter which I wrote about here, they are electronic. And rather than using metal dies which you have to purchase, you can create your own designs, or download ones other people have designed, sometimes free of charge and sometimes not - though most only seem to cost 65p. That sounds a lot cheaper than spending £10 on a die, doesn't it? The part I haven't mentioned is that the Silhouette Cameo machine which I've got cost £250 - which is why I felt so lucky to receive it!

I thought I'd already blogged about something I'd made using the Silhouette but don't believe so. I got it out to use for another project, which I'm not going to write about yet as it's a birthday gift for a friend later this month, and while I was there I decided to do a few other things.

Once you have the software for the Silhouette loaded, it's really easy to go into the (small) library of free designs (though there is an extra free design every week) or into the store where you can look up any design or shape. I wanted a sailboat for my other project which cost me 65p to download, and since I'd done that I decided to use the same template again (you only pay once, to download it) to cut out a few more boats, and use one to make a card.

Here you can see the screen on my laptop, where I've placed and re-sized the different templates I'm using onto an A4 sheet. One thing I like is that you can copy and paste and cut out more than one diecut from the same template at the same time, which you can't do with the manual cutter (though the manual cutter is quicker!).

Here you can see the Silhouette Cameo machine - it looks like a printer but is narrower. You feed in the piece of card you want to cut, stuck onto the sticky backing paper which keeps it in the right place. When it's done you peel it off - you can see here one boat has been cut out; I reused this sheet the other way around for the designs above.

Some of the pieces I've cut out - the centres still need removing

It's great to be able to cut words in different fonts. You can write your own words which I have done and will blog about separately but it's trickier as you have to make sure all the letters are joined to each other!

For the other project I keep mentioning I had bought some sailing themed backing papers from Ebay - a pack called Sail Away by First Edition. I used one page from this, showing a wave design, as the backing paper on a large A5 card. I also cut a circle using the Silhouette and as the boat was patterned - a triangle design that reminded me of flags and therefore sailing - I mounted the boat on a plain blue circle.
I'd cut the words 'happy birthday' out of the same patterned flag paper but realised this wasn't going to show up on the patterned background, so I mounted it on blue paper and cut around that. I like the effect it gives - rather than flags it now looks to me a little more like rope which is also linked to the sailing theme.
I'm sharing this with Cardz for Guyz as their theme this week is methods of transport.


  1. You were GIVEN a Silhouette? I'm in total awe! I'm still in the manual machine age, although now I've graduated to a Grand Calibur I can cut a whole A4 sheet worth of dies at a time if I need to. You are making great use of it with lovely cards like this and it's great to see you joining in at Cardz 4 Guyz.

    1. I know, she wouldn't take any money for it but at the time I didn't really know what it was or how much it was worth!

  2. You lucky thing!! A really great card - that backing paper is perfect.

    Thanks for joining us at Cardz 4 Guyz.

    Helen x


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