Are you ready for your final beginner project? If you haven’t gone through the Software Basics series and the other Successful Beginner Projects yet, I recommend you do those first because we will build on the skills already taught. In this project, we’re going to create a vinyl wall quote. We’ll practice using a cursive font with auto-weld, cutting without the mat so we can go longer and using the hinge method on a wall project. I’ll teach you some tricks for planning and better visualizing your project. Too much? Not at all – you can do it!
Note: This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click the link and purchase something, I receive a small commission. You pay the same price. This helps me to be able to keep my business going and provide more tutorials. I will always be honest about my opinion of any product.
- Vinyl – 2 colors
- Weeding tool
- Transfer media
- Squeegee (a used gift card works fine)
- Painter’s tape
- Ruler or tape measure
- Level (optional)
–Make sure you’re using the right kind of vinyl for the surface you’re applying to.
–Also make sure you have the correct transfer media for your type of vinyl.
–You want your wall to be clean and dry so that the vinyl sticks best. If you’ve just painted it, wait a few days for the paint to cure.
–The vinyl has a harder time sticking to glossy paint. That’s the point of glossy paint – keeping things from sticking to it.
–It’s a good idea to test a few small pieces before you cut a large project. If you’ve done some of the other vinyl projects in this series, use scraps from that. Check also to see how well the transfer media releases from the vinyl.
–Since this is your first large project, it’s really nice to have a helper for when it’s time to apply the project to the wall. I’ll give you some hints for if you’re working alone, but an extra pair of hands is very useful.
Step 1 – Plan your size
Measure the space you want your saying to take up on the wall. Just get a general idea, but here’s what you need to keep in mind:
–Length (side to side on the wall)– I created this project specifically to teach you how to cut without the mat, so try to find a wall where you can make your saying longer than 12”. But I do recommend you not go crazy with the length since this is our first time to cut without the mat. 15-25” is a good range. Your piece of vinyl has to be at least 1” longer than your saying will be. (More on why in the next section).
–Height (top to bottom on the wall) — Although you can cut up to 10 feet in length (or even longer), the max width (our height here) you can cut without the mat is approximately 11 ½”. It will make more sense when I show you below. Your elements combined can be over that, but each one individually must be 11 ½” max.
You can decide which measurement is the primary one for you. I want mine to cover a 20” span side to side and can let the height be anything, so 20” length is my primary measurement.
Step 2 – Set up your page
Before we set the page size, you first need to understand some of the set parameters of cutting without the mat.
When you load something into your machine, the white rollers on the left and right ends of the silver roller bar are what grip it.
They work in conjunction with the motor box that moves along the silver bar. The rollers move the mat or material in and out (forward and backward movement), while the motor box with the blade carriage moves side to side. There are rubber or spring or white rollers in the middle of the bar also, but those are only a secondary method of holding pieces down after they’ve been cut (the primary method being the adhesive on the mat or on the back of your material).
What the machine grips
There’s a 12” x 12” sticky area in the middle of a mat where you put your material, then a non-sticky margin all the way around. It’s the non-sticky area at the sides and bottom that the machine grips.
When you’re cutting a piece of vinyl or other material without the mat you don’t have that non-sticky area – just material the full width. But since the machine still has to have something to grab onto at the sides and bottom, it grips the material itself. That’s why I said that your individual elements can only be 11 ½” max in height for this project. The other ¼” on each side is where the rollers grip.
That means we need extra margins there – areas where we don’t place any designs because the blade can’t cut there. We’ll also need to adjust the roller position, but we’ll get to that later.
That’s also why we need extra material at the bottom. If the bottom edge of what you load into the machine is past the white rollers, it’s not being held by anything. We leave that extra 1” so that while the blade is over the bottom of the design, the machine still has something to grab.
Now that we understand that, we can set up the page.
First, you want to set the width of your page based on the width of your vinyl. It’s typically sold in 9” or 12” widths for crafters. You’ll also find it sold in 15, 20, 24, 30 and 48” widths, because those are common sizes for the larger commercial cutters. If at all possible, I advise using 12” wide vinyl for this project. It’ll just make life easier.
Common Rookie Mistake: Trying to cut vinyl that’s not 9” or 12” wide without the mat. The machine isn’t made to do that. If your vinyl isn’t the 9” or 12” wide, you’ll have to use a mat. Just remember that limits your max size to 12” x 12”.
PRO TIP: It’s often cheaper to buy vinyl in rolls with those wider widths. You can purchase your vinyl that way, cut it to the 9” or 12” width, then use any remaining scraps on the mat for smaller projects.
Now set your page height at least 1” longer than the length you want your largest design piece to be. I always like to have a little wiggle room, so usually use 1 ½ – 2” extra.
If your vinyl is on a roll, I suggest leaving it that way rather than cutting off the amount you plan to use. That extra 1” doesn’t get wasted, because it can be the top of the page on your next project.
Mat and Cut Border
For Cutting Mat, choose “None.” When you cut without the mat, it’s also critical to keep that “Show Cut Border” checked. The red line outlines your usable area – your design must fit inside that. Notice in my picture about that for my 12” wide material, that’s the ¼” on each side and 1” at the bottom I told you about.
On 9” wide material, the cut borders are different on the sides.
Common Rookie Mistake: Not understanding the difference in margins when cutting without the mat.
One more thing in our page set up. We want to see our design the way it will look on the wall. That means we need to turn it. The best way to do that is by selecting the landscape orientation. (You could do Rotate View, but that throws off what’s considered the X and Y axis). Notice when you do that, your black arrow that normally points upward shifts to pointing left. That’s telling you that that is the edge that you’ll feed into the machine.
Step 3 – Add “create” to your page
As with all our other projects, we’re going to use the free shapes that came with your Cameo 3.
–Look in your library for the free shape called “Create” and add it to the page. If you have a different machine, find or type a phrase in a block font.
—Fill it with the color of vinyl you’re using for that piece.
–Notice that it has a series of dots below the word. Since we’re adding a phrase below the word, we’re going to get rid of those dots. Ungroup to separate into 2 sets of pieces – the letters and the dots. Delete the dots.
Step 4 (option A) – Type text in a cursive font
I’d really like to teach you to use a cursive font, so I recommend this option if at all possible. You’ll learn a good deal more. Pretty much every computer has some built-in cursive fonts. Since this is your first time working with a cursive font, it’s easiest to use one that doesn’t have too many thin parts. Yes, I know all those fonts are pretty, but they can be really tricky to cut and weed.
–Add the words “every day” to your page using a cursive font. If you need a refresher on how to add text, see the Initial Gift Tag project.
–Fill your text with the color of the vinyl you’ll use for this phrase.
Step 4 (option B) – Use “every day” from your free shapes
If you don’t have a cursive font, you can use the free shape “Every day is Sundae” (with Cameo 3).
–Add the design to the page.
–Delete the word “Sundae.”
–Ungroup the remaining words.
–Delete the “is.”
–Fill the word with the color of vinyl you’re using for this part of your project.
Here’s why I don’t prefer this option for this project:
–You don’t learn about Auto-weld.
–You can’t change the font or letters. For example, you can’t change the capital “E” to a lowercase one. That’s because it’s an image, not text.
–The ends of the letters are very thin.
Text or image – what’s the difference?
It’s important here to know that there’s a difference between a phrase or single letter you type (with a font you got in the Silhouette Design Store or elsewhere – doesn’t matter) and a phrase or single letter you purchase in the SDS.
–The former is text, which has special properties you can edit – the letters and the font.
–The latter is a regular image, so you can’t change those things. The designer created it as text, but then had to save it as an image. Why? You (and every other person who purchases the image) may not have the same font on your computer. Saving it as an image is the way to ensure that the way the phrase looks in the SDS is the way it looks on your computer and the way it will cut.
Step 5 – Mimic your wall
This step is a great way to help plan your desigsn and visualize how the finished project will look. (I’ve got an entire post with more tips on that here.)
–Using your drawing tools, add a rectangle to the page.
–Fill that rectangle with the color of your wall.
–The rectangle is going to be in front, which means it’s hiding the other shapes. Send it to the back of the order.
—Resize the rectangle so that it’s the size of the wall space you measured in Step 1.
Step 6 – Resize your pieces
–Resize your sayings to fit in the rectangle you just created. Play around with sizing and placement. Remember that your sayings have to fit within the margins of your vinyl. For example, I’m using 12” wide vinyl. That means the tallest any single part can be is 11 ½”. However, my overall height on my wall could be taller, because I’m stacking 2 different cuts.
–If you typed your “every day” portion, remember that text box size is NOT the size of the actual words. Refer back to this post for an explanation of that.
PRO TIP: Change you line colors on all shapes to clear to see without the red outlines. It can make a world of difference. Just make sure to change them back to a color before you cut, as you’ll need them to read your Cut Preview.
Step 7 – Set up your cut job
In Project #3, I showed you how to cut by fill color. Let’s practice that again.
–Decide which piece you want to cut first. I’m going with “every day”. Since it has more to weed, I can be doing that while the “Create” cuts.
–I’ve moved it so that it’s within the cut border, but close to it. That’s to make the best use of my material (have a larger leftover piece). I’ve also rotated it since it fits that way. Yours may or may not, depending on the sizing you chose.
–Leave the “Create” phrase on your material area so you can see the difference when we move to cut by fill color.
–You can resize your rectangle to use as a weeding box if you like, as long as it fits on your usable cut area.
–Go to the “Send” area. Unless you’ve changed anything, it will be in Simple mode. Start here when you’re cutting several different colors of the same material. You can select the material in Simple mode, then when you move to Action by line color or fill color, each color will have it as the material type. That saves steps and ensures you don’t miss picking it for one of your colors.
–Select Vinyl, Matte as your material type.
–Move to Action by: Fill.
PRO HINT: The line color around each piece is the color of the fill in this mode. That’s hard to see if it’s white. You can fill it with a different color instead and zoom in as needed.
–Check the box beside the fill color for “every day” (gray for me) and uncheck the box for “Create”.
–If you aren’t using your rectangle as a weeding box, uncheck that color.
Why we need to do something to the phrase
Since I typed my “every day” phrase, it’s a grouping of cursive letters. Each letter is a piece that overlaps the next piece. If we were to cut it like this, the letters would cut into one another. We need to change that.
Many, many, MANY folks will tell beginners to Weld their cursive text. That’s a Modify option that eliminates the lines at the areas where the letters overlap. But I do NOT recommend that. Why? This is SUPER IMPORTANT!!!! Once you weld, it becomes a regular image instead of text. That means you can’t change the font (or even figure out what it was) or change the wording.
There is a MUCH better way the software already has set up for you! (Can you tell I’m passionate about this). It’s called Cut Edge in Simple cut mode, or Auto-weld in Action by: Line, Fill or Layer. When you choose this, you’re telling the machine you don’t want to cut any place where individual pieces overlap one another. Here’s the great part about it – the text remains text. So if you go back to the saved file 6 months from now, you’ll be able to change the words or figure out what font you used.
Here I’m in Simple cut mode and I’ve got my phrase set to Cut. Notice how the red cut lines are showing me that the letters would cut into one another.
Now I’ve set it on Cut Edge. Notice this time that the letters are NOT cutting into one another.
How to Auto-weld
When you use Action by: Line, Fill or Layer, you use Auto-weld instead of Cut Edge. The Auto-weld icon is on each color row, between the check mark box to toggle to select or deselect each row to cut, and the small icon showing the color.
You just click on that icon to toggle it on or off. It’s pretty small, so you’ll want to use your Cut Preview to make sure you’ve got it set the way you want. (ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS read your Cut Preview before you start the job). Here’s what it should look like:
I’ve got 3 copies of my phrase with different fill colors here.
- Orange — Box is not checked (No Cut) so the lines are pale and thin.
- Green — Box is checked (Cut) and Auto-weld is off, so the lines are bold but not bright.
- Gray — Box is checked (Cut) and Auto-weld is on, so the lines are bold and bright/thicker.
The difference can be very hard to distinguish the colors and strengths of the lines, so zoom in as needed.
Here’s what my cut preview looks like.”Create” and the rectangle are not set to cut, “every day” is set to cut and Auto-weld is on for it.
Step 8 – Set up your machine
The hints in this section are CRITICAL to cutting successfully without the mat. Make sure to read each and bookmark this page for future reference. I’ve also got an entire series on hints for cutting without the mat here.
What can you cut without the mat?
The materials we cut most often without the mat are Adhesive Vinyl and Heat Transfer Vinyl. But you can cut many different materials without the mat on your Silhouette, as long as they meet certain requirements. Here’s what those are:
—Must have its own adhesive backing or carrier. Adhesive-backed cardstock, sticker paper, adhesive wood paper, adhesive magnet paper, stencil material, rhinestone template material – all these and more have an adhesive on the back of the material and a backing sheet. If you’re cutting through the material but not the backing, it’s something you can cut without the mat.
—Must be exactly 9” or 12” wide. (you can sometimes get away with some just a bit wider, but I definitely don’t recommend that for beginners).
—Must be at least 1” longer than the design.
Move your right white roller in (Cameo only)
A Cameo mat is actually larger than 12 “ x 12” because it has those non-sticky margin areas we talked about. But the width of vinyl is 12” (or 9”) wide. Here’s the logic: if the machine is gripping at the sides of the mat, but on the sides of the vinyl when don’t use a mat, the distance between the grip points side to side is different. It’s closer together when you bypass the mat. And Cameo machines can cut 9” wide vinyl or use a Portrait mat, so those distances would be even closer.
To account for this, the white roller on the right is moveable on Cameo machines. There are 4 grooves around the silver roller bar that the white roller can fit into. You move it based on what you are using. On a Cameo 1 or 2, the grooves are serrated; on a Cameo 3, they go all the way around the bar. 4 arrows on the front platform of the machine that point to the locations of the grooves.
The 4 grooves
- When you get your machine, it’s in the one farthest to the right. That’s the one you use for cutting with a Cameo-sized mat. If you’re using your Cameo mat, even if you’re cutting a smaller piece of material, you leave it there. You only move the roller when you’re cutting without the mat or using a smaller mat.
- The next one in is for cutting 12” wide materials like vinyl.
- The 3rd one in is for using the Portrait-sized mat or stamping matThe last one, the one farthest left, is for cutting 9” wide materials.
- The left roller does not move, nor do the rollers on the Portrait, SD or Original machines. On those smaller machines, the right white roller is placed so that it can grip either the mat or the 9” wide material.
If you have a Cameo 1 or 2, there are also grooves in the silver bar where the rubber or spring rollers are. Do NOT, I repeat DO NOT!!!!, move the right roller over into those grooves. They aren’t serrated – they go all the way around the bar. If your roller gets into those grooves, it is VERY hard to get it out again.
To move the roller–
–Turn the machine off.
–Pull the roller bar lock lever down to release the bar.
–Move the roller to the correct groove, making sure you feel it click in.
–Relock the bar afterwards.
The way you move the roller is different for the various Cameo models. Plus, it’s much easier for me to show you in a video. Just click on the video for your machine type.
Check your leading edge
Now that you’ve got that right white roller moved, you’re almost ready to load the vinyl. First, however, you need to check something.
The edge that goes into the machine MUST be a perfect 90° to the side. If it’s not, when you start to load one roller is actually farther down the piece of vinyl than the other. Your vinyl is going in crooked and that gets magnified the farther you go down the page. Eventually, one side will no longer be under the roller, so the vinyl is only being pulled on the other side. That means the vinyl is moving all over the place. Not good.
SO – you need to check that leading edge before you load your vinyl into your machine. If you don’t have a good paper trimmer, get handy with a square ruler and your scissors. NEVER assume that a brand new piece of roll of vinyl you buy, even from a reputable company, is cut right on the end. More often than not it isn’t. Trust me on this one. Here’s a photo of a brand new roll I purchased where you can see the leading edge is not perpendicular to the side. The red line I drew is along the edge of the cutter. The yellow line is the edge of the vinyl. Uh, they shouldn’t cross.
Load your vinyl
NOW we’re ready to load. Here are the tips for that:
–Double check the black orientation arrow in your software. That shows you which edge is supposed to go into the machine first.
–The left edge of your vinyl should be along the guideline on the platform of the machine. It’s the same guideline you normally use for the left edge of the mat. That puts your edges of the vinyl under the edges of the roller (the fat part on a Cameo 1 or 2, the clearer plastic part on a Cameo 3).
–If you’re using any machine besides a Cameo 3 or Portrait 2, choose the correct loading method. Since you’re cutting without the mat, you want “Load Media.” That pulls it in less than with “Load Mat,” because you don’t have the non-sticky margin at the top. The Cameo 3 and Portrait 2 read what you’ve chosen for mat selection in your page setup and pull it in the correct amount, so you just choose “Load.”
–Butt the vinyl up against the white rollers, just as if it’s the mat. Then load.
–It’s sometimes difficult to get both rollers to grip at the same time, because the vinyl’s not as rigid as a mat and you’re trying to hold both sides. If one grips before the other, the material goes in crooked and will eventually come out from under one of the rollers. Always look behind the roller bar after you’ve loaded to make sure it’s in straight, using the cutting strip as a guide. If it’s not, unload and do it again.
Here’s a crooked load.
This one is straight.
–If you’re having trouble getting it to load evenly, there’s a trick I can show you. Check out my post and video here.
Go over your cutting checklist
Here’s a reminder of the final things to check before you start the cut—
–Vinyl, Matte selected as material type. Double check to make sure it’s listed on all the color lines.
–Correct tool (Auto-blade) selected.
–Settings for blade number, speed, force, passes (should only need 1 pass) checked and adjusted as needed. If your cursive font has thin parts, a slower speed really helps keep the vinyl from getting pulled.
–Line Segment Overcut on. ALWAYS on vinyl!!!!!!!
–Cut Preview double checked so you know ahead of time what will cut and what won’t. Look at the checkmarks beside the boxes, look at the Auto-weld icon, look at what’s bolded on the cutting area.
–Blade loaded and locked correctly.
–Test cut completed.
Step 9 – Cut your design
Now go ahead and cut that piece of vinyl. Check the cut before you unload, just in case. Once you’re good, unload the vinyl. Trim near the design and set aside the uncut vinyl.
Then go back up to step 7 and follow all the steps to cut your next piece. You’ll also need to keep these tips in mind:
–If you’re using a weeding box, make sure to resize it to fit. But if you’re cutting close to the margins, the edges of the vinyl already act like a weeding box.
–You can also use smaller rectangles around each letter as weeding boxes if you like (my blue ones here). This is especially helpful when you’re weeding a large design, as you don’t end up having to deal with a single long sticky piece. Notice I don’t have to put them around every letter. If this confuses you, don’t worry about it — it’s no biggie right now, just an idea.
–On the “Create” phrase, nothing overlaps so you don’t need to worry about setting Auto-weld. Just make sure to uncheck the box for the color of your “every day” phrase and check the one for the color of your “Create” phrase.
–When you’re done cutting, move your right white roller back out. From here on out, you’re going to add “Check right white roller” to your cutting checklist.
Step 10 – Weed your design
You can do regular weeding, or reverse weeding. It’s up to you.
Step 11 – apply your transfer media
–The longer your design, the harder it is to get the transfer media on straight and without wrinkles. I find it helps to cut the transfer media a bit longer and wider just in case. If I were to cut it to the precise size and then start going crooked when putting it on the vinyl, part of my vinyl may be uncovered. You can always trim it after you’ve got it on if you have some sticky edges of the transfer media uncovered.
–Put your transfer media onto your weeded designs. Again, I’ve taught you several methods so use the one you like best. I like to use an anchor point or the hinge method (it works the same way as I showed you with getting the vinyl on the project in this lesson).
–Make sure to burnish the transfer media well after it’s on.
Step 12 – mark your transfer media
I freely admit that I do NOT have the ability to get things on straight. On my very first vinyl project, I was putting a saying on a wall (ya, not the smartest first project) and I happened to be using transfer media with a grid on it. It sounds helpful, but for me it’s not. If I don’t get the transfer paper onto the vinyl straight, those grids don’t help me one bit. I assumed that the grid was aligned with the vinyl, and so used the grid as my guide for what was level. Um, ya, it ended up noticeably crooked. So I’ve had to learn some tricks.
–I don’t use gridded transfer media if I can use something else. It always fools my eyes because I SO cannot get it put on the vinyl straight.
–Because I mark on the transfer media, I prefer transfer paper.
–I mark my transfer paper after I’ve put it on the vinyl. Using a ruler, I mark the middle of my design top to bottom. Then I draw a line that’s level with my design all the way across. Make sure you’re finding the middle of the design, not of the transfer tape or vinyl backing. You also need to find the center of your design side to side and mark a vertical line all the way up and down. Do this on both pieces of your project.
–Then I trim the whole thing so that there’s an equal amount of margin on top and bottom and on each side of my design. I find that if I don’t do this, my eyes tend to think the outer edges of the vinyl backing are what I need to use as level for wall placement, but that’s not necessarily true.
Step 13 – Apply “Create” to your wall
Tack it on the wall
We want to make sure our project is on the wall straight. Plus, since it’s so long, it can be hard to wrangle. So we’re going to use the hinge method and some other tricks to make it easier.
–Tear off a couple of pieces of painter’s tape. Use them to temporarily attach the “Create” to the wall at the upper corners.
–Step back and see if it’s where you want it to be. You can use a level and your level line if necessary (although, as I always tell my husband, level with the ground isn’t necessarily level with the top of the wall. Make it level with what looks best to you). You can move one side or the other up or down while the opposite side it still attached. Move it side to side on the wall if you need to center it, using the vertical center line you drew as a reference. Keep working it until you’ve got it just where you want it.
–We’re going to mark that center of the design on the wall to help in future steps. Align the left or right edge of a small piece of painter’s tape along the center. Half the time I forget if I did left or right, so I mark it with an arrow.
Attach 1 side
–Take a long piece of painter’s tape, place it vertically across your project and attach it to the wall, being careful to avoid the piece you just used to mark your center. Check once more to be sure you’ve got the piece where you want it on your wall.
–Because this is your first large project, I recommend enlisting a helper at this point if possible. If you’re working alone, stick a few small pieces of painter’s tape to the wall within reach.
–Get your squeegee ready (stick it in your pocket, hold it in your mouth – whatever it takes). Remove the small piece of painter’s tape from one end of your phrase. Fold this half back on itself until you are at the center where the long piece of painter’s tape is. We haven’t removed any of the backing paper yet so nothing is sticky.
–We’re going to remove the vinyl’s backing paper from this half. Pull it off the vinyl+transfer media, then tear the backing paper from top to bottom. If you have a helper, have one person hold the end while the other tear. If you’re working alone, pull down just the corner and use one of those small pieces of painter’s tape you stuck to the wall to hold that corner to the wall. That keeps the vinyl+transfer media out of the way so you can tear off the backing paper yourself.
–Once it’s torn off, gently unstick the corner from the wall. Hold the squeegee in one hand and the end of the transfer media with the other, keeping it off the wall. Working from the center and middle outward, begin slowly applying the transfer media+vinyl onto the wall using the squeege. Work all the way to the very end. Burnish along this half.
Attach the second side
–Remove your vertical piece of painter’s tape from the middle. The transfer media should stick to the wall where you just applied the first side of your phrase. Some transfer media is better than others, so use more painter’s tape on the ends/top if necessary. That’s why we put extra pieces within reach.
–Fold back your second side and remove the remaining backing paper.
–Working from the middle outward again, repeat the process of applying the vinyl to the wall.
–Use your squeegee to burnish the vinyl. This makes sure it’s sticking down well. This helps prevent air bubbles or lifting when you remove the transfer media.
Remove the transfer media
–Keep your squeegee handy. Starting at one corner, begin slowly pulling the transfer media off the wall and vinyl, making sure the vinyl is sticking to the wall. How well it sticks depends on your wall, your vinyl and your transfer media. I find that folding it back almost on itself works best. Just experiment to see what works for you.
–Work slowly. If any part isn’t sticking, or the transfer media isn’t releasing, you can roll it back down, burnish it better and try again. Sometimes you have to hold the vinyl onto the wall as you pull off the transfer media. I also like to keep my squeegee right at where I’m folding back the transfer media so I can hold the vinyl to the wall as I pull.
This is the trickiest part of the whole project and honestly, it just takes experience. The better the quality of your materials and the better match you have between vinyl, transfer media and wall, the easier it is. If you’re working with a helper, have them occasionally cut off the transfer media you’ve removed so you aren’t working with a long, sticky sheet.
–Use your squeegee to burnish your first phrase to the wall.
Step 14 – Apply “every day” to your wall
Okay, here’s where that piece of tape you used to mark the center of the “Create” helps. If that’s long gone, measure again and put up a new one. I had one on the top, and also added one on the bottom, making sure to keep it off my vinyl. Use that as the guide for the center of your “every day” piece.
Tack the upper corners and use your level line to make sure your phrases are parallel.
Follow the same process that you used to apply the “create.”
–Put a vertical strip of painter’s tape along the center.
–Put some extra small pieces of painter’s tape on the wall if you’re working alone.
–Fold back one side, tacking the corner to the wall if you’re working alone. (You may not need to do the latter, since this is a smaller piece).
–Remove the vinyl backing paper on that side.
–Work from the middle outward to attach the first side to the wall.
–If the transfer media isn’t sticking to the wall, use small pieces of painter’s tape to hold it up as you work the second side.
–Remove the painter’s tape from the second end and the middle.
–Fold the piece back on itself.
–Remove the remaining vinyl backing.
–Work from the middle outward again to attach the piece to the wall.
–Slowly remove transfer media.
–Burnish the whole piece to make sure it’s sticking well to the wall.
Step 15 – Enjoy your handiwork
Whew! That’s a process, huh? Stand back and enjoy your work, get a cool drink, receive accolades from your fans.
That’s it. You’ve finished 10 beginner projects successfully <insert thunderous applause here>. So where do you go from here? Do what it says! Create something new every day (or, as my daughter’s flute teacher used to say, do it every day you eat). Here are some ideas:
- Make some of the cardstock projects from vinyl and vice versa.
- Use more free shapes for projects.
- When you’re ready to branch out, add your 1-month free subscription to your SDS account and shop for some images. It’s a good idea to review the post about the SDS before you do. Here’s a post on how to add that trial subscription to your account and what you need to know about it.
- Decide what material you want to try next and check out the First Steps series (coming soon) for the various types of materials.
- Once you’re comfortable with the software, check out some of the tutorials in the intermediate and advanced areas.
- Join some Silhouette user groups on Facebook for helpful tips and inspirational projects. I love answering questions here, but when I’m not available and you have an emergency, it can be a lifesaver. Here’s the disclaimer: some of the advice you get there isn’t the best (not everyone who thinks they are an expert actually is one). Take it with a grain of salt.
- Let me know how you liked these projects and what other kinds of things you’d like to learn.
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