Finally! Paper Cutting Success With Silhouette Cameo & How To Use Weld And Offset

Cutting paper has been one of the most frustrating tasks with my Silhouette Cameo!  (affiliate link) I suppose that's because there are so many kinds of paper so you have to keep tweaking the settings.  Today my patience was rewarded with my first major success.  I had to write it up quick before I forgot everything and I figured I would turn it into a little demo using some of the basic tools in the Silhouette Design Studio while I was at it.

I was making samples of invitations for my mom's business' 9th anniversary party, and the one I'm showing here is meant to fit in a standard letter size envelope, so about 1/3 of an 8x11.5 sheet of paper. I started with a rectangle as big as I wanted the finished invitation to be, or a hair smaller.  I then added the text that I wanted at the top of the invitation (the font is Wendy).  I moved the text so the top was lined up with the top of the rectangle.

Then I dragged the top of the rectangle to the bottom of the text, just overlapping the two like this:

Now Weld (you can find the icon under the Object/Modify menu, and all the overlapping bits and pieces disappear:

Now find Offset (again, in Object/Modify).  Offset makes an outline of your shape that is larger or smaller for layering purposes.

Now separate the shape from the offset outline (just drag it away) because they will be cut separately.  First I cut my background piece in what I call "scrapbook paper" - it's smooth and has some weight to it.  I used the Cardstock media setting with the blade at #2 and it cut like a dream.  Then I cut the "thanks" piece... not so dreamy.

I was using Silhouette brand adhesive-backed cardstock (textured).  I had the speed at #1, I tried the blade at #3 and then #2, and took the thickness from 33 to 25 to 20.  It improved the most with the thickness adjustments.  It still looked a little funky in the corners but it peeled away nicely.  Notice it didn't cut through the cardstock backing (which is good).  So the settings that worked for me are: speed 1, blade 2, thickness 20.

This was a sample but if I were to actually use this design, I would make it a print-and-cut by doing the following:

  • Add the invitation text/graphics on the "thanks" part of the invitation and group them together
  • Copy/paste and arrange the design to cut as many as possible on one sheet of paper
  • Turn on Registration Marks
  • Send to PRINTER
  • Without moving the "thanks" design, Ungroup and remove the text
  • Send to SILHOUETTE for cutting, fiddling with the Registration Marks as needed (I talk a little more about the Registration Mark settings here)
  • Adhere the "thanks" to the offset background like I did here
Apologies for the horrendous pictures!  If you have any tips for paper settings I'd LOVE to hear it, just leave me a comment!

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