I finally broke down and purchased myself a Silhouette Cameo and I must say, it is one of the greatest purchases I have ever made, you can make just about anything that you can think up. I am still learning of course and still consider myself a newbie by every means of the definition, but if you are wondering if it is worth the money, let me just tell you now...it is! I purchased mine as a bundle deal on Amazon and was able to get the Cameo and a bunch of tools, vinyl and supplies for the same price that the local craft store had just the cameo machine listed for, so do your homework, be patient and find the best deal!
Now, this is my first tutorial for a Silhouette Cameo projects, so bare with me...it might not be perfect, but you will get the idea (and if you have any questions, leave them in the comments and I will try my best to answer them for you)
Let me apologize now for the low quality pictures (my digital camera is under the weather, so I did the best I could with my cellphone)
Okay here goes...
I like to measure about 2" from the bottom of collar then measure just how big I'd like my quote using the space below those two inches to center my design. You want to use HTV (Heat Transfer Vinyl) for this project (Stay tuned for how to cut HTV properly to make it adhere to your shirt)
I selected the font I wanted to use and typed out my quote as shown in the picture. (The font I used for this was Magnolia Sky) I used the color fill option to color in the blank spaces in the font, just to give myself a visual of what it will look like once cut out in black vinyl. You do not have to do this, but I like to
This is very important! When cutting HTV you must always "Mirror Right" your image, because you place the HTV shiney side down, so you must cut it in reverse, if you don't do this, your image will cut out wrong and you wont be able to use it! Once I mirror right my image, I delete the image on the left and move the "backwards" image to the cutting area of the mat.
The "Weld" option is used when fonts or images have lines that overlap each other, you want to "weld" them so that when you make your cuts they cut it all out as one word and not individual letters.
(Hope this makes sense) To test it to see if you need to use the "weld" option, you can click on the "cut" option (top right of your silhouette screen) and see if the red cut lines are cutting through the font or not, if it is...weld it!
Place your HTV shiney side down on your cutting mat (lining it up to the left side of your mat) then place your mat in the Silhouette Cameo machine (lining the mat up with the blue cut lines on the left side of machine (shown in picture) then click "Load Cut Mat" Click your cut option on your Silhouette software, place your setting on Vinyl and click "Send to Silhouette" It should start automatically cutting your image out.
Once it is done cutting, click "unload" Peel HTV off of the cutting mat and cut around image, unless you are using a full sheet or a sheet already cut for the exact size of your project. This is what my image looked like once cut (this is the opposite side, it cut the image out on the backside, so this is what it looks like once you flip it over)
Time to "weed"
Weeding is when you remove the vinyl you don't need! Take away everything that you don't want stuck to your shirt. This process can be very therapeutic (when it goes well) I use my Silhouette weeding tool for this step.
I use an iron for my applications, however I am planning on purchasing a heat press, because it is easier, if you are doing a lot of heat transfer projects, pressing them with an iron is a lot of work and will wear you out, so I suggest a Powerpress heat press or a Sunie brand, those have come highly recommended by owners! I place Parchment paper (Not Wax Paper) over my shirt and press really hard with the iron for a few seconds all over, then I remove the Parchment Paper and slowly begin peeling up one corner of the transfer sheet (the clear sheet over my HTV image) if it isn't releasing the image I lay it back down and repeat the process until it comes off cleanly and sticks to the shirt
I then place my Parchment paper back over my image and begin pressing very hard for about 8 seconds, moving it from side to side and up and down. You want to press it until you can see the lines in the shirt pressed into the HTV
Turn the shirt wrong side out, lay the Parchment paper over the back of image and press again, firmly, then turn right side out. If you can't see the lines (grains) of shirt pressed into HTV. Press until you can. Careful not to melt the HTV.
Confession Time! Do you see my mistake?
I forgot to weed the bottom portion of the "L", but it's just for me, so it's all good! If I was going to sell this however, I would redo it...even though it's a simple little mistake that most wouldn't notice. I'm a perfectionist when it comes to my paying customers!
And here is the finished product!
I can't wait to wear this to the lake this summer!
I hope this tutorial is somewhat helpful, again I am still learning myself and to some that have been doing this a while, it may seem silly, but everyone has to start somewhere and I know that I have learned a lot from tutorials that I have found on the web.
If you have any question, please leave them in the comments and I will try to answer them the best I can.