So, I had the opportunity to do a review on the Silhouette Cameo machine this week and I had to giggle a little because most of you who read my blog know I am not crafty. At. All. I don’t scrapbook, knit, or sew. Not sure why it skipped my generation as my mom is super crafty (she actually has a girls’ hair accessories business where she hand crafts super cute bows, headbands, etc.), but I must have missed out on the crafting gene. lol. With that said, I figured that if I could figure this deal out, then anyone could. Seriously.
The Silhouette Cameo is just a cutting machine (it does not print). But – it will cut TONS of different media. Use it for a million things in your classroom. And it has such a clean design, it looks a lot nicer than the Ellison machine sitting on your desk. You can cut:
- cardstock – bulletin board letters, flash cards, shapes
- vinyl – create classroom decorations to hang on your walls that WILL come off at the end of the year
- temporary tattoo paper – the kids will love “earning” them as an incentive
- magnet paper – I show you an example below
- photo paper – print off student pictures in fun shapes like stars
- fuzzy paper – tactile file folder games
- some types of fabric – more making of cute things in your classroom
- vellum – for parent volunteer scrapbooks maybe?
- iron-on transfer sheets – this would have been so helpful the year our class created matching tees for our Olympic themed field day
- overhead transparencies – print and precision cut student manipulatives like money or base 10 blocks without even grabbing your scissors
- sticker labels – you know how much I use labels throughout the classroom and if you have clear full sheets, you could make some really cute clipboards (see below)
When you receive your Silhouette Cameo, you will install the CD, which includes the free software. There is an upgraded version of the software for super designers, but I did not find I needed more than I already had for myself. In fact, I know there was tons more I could have done. One of the biggest perks of the Silhouette Cameo is that you do not need to buy any cartridges! It hooks right up to your computer and you can use the fonts already installed on your own computer. It does include an SD slot as well for you to save super easy and transfer to somewhere else!
If you do want more graphic options, the Silhouette folks have a nifty store where you can purchase pre-made graphics, fonts, and even 3-D patterns! Most items are 99-cents! They also give away a free shape every week! In my shipping box, I also received a $10 gift card to use at the store. I can’t wait to go shopping! They even have alphabet lace ups and alphabet puzzles ready for you to print! Here are a few examples of patterns, backgrounds, clip art, fonts, etc. you can purchase at the Silhouette online store:
Since I just wanted to match up some of the jungle clip art I already had on hand that went with my Jungle Theme Classroom Category, I used my own papers and clip art to create something fun in Power Point, then saved the file as an image. From there, you can upload your image to the Silhouette Design Studio software and prepare it for cutting.
I simply used the software to decide where I wanted the cuts to go, and added to registration marks (the corners on the page). You will need those for the machine to register where to start cutting on the page. Then, I printed my items so that they were on the media in color.
Last, I placed it on the cutting mat and had the machine do its thing!
The precision of the cuts is astonishing! You would never be able to get this close of a cut in some of those corners with scissors – at least not in the 60 seconds it took to do my cutouts! You could do a whole class set in an hour or less, I bet!
The first project I did was a magnet to send home to parents with my contact information and to display the weekly classroom newsletter on their fridge. Check out the area around the bird’s beak! And in the second photo, I placed a pen next to the magnet so you could see just how intricate it can be!
The next project I did was to customize a fun clipboard! I hit up Walmart and found some fun colored clear clipboards that were only a few bucks. I created an image to place in the middle, printed, and cut! I placed it right in the middle and now it matches the rest of the jungle theme classroom decorations (which I can now use my Silhouette Cameo to cut out instead of by hand)! The only thing I would have done differently is to probably grab some regular clear contact paper and run it on that – or a clear full page sticker. (I wasn’t paying close enough attention when I grabbed the white vinyl and thought I was grabbing something with a transparent background).
OK – enough about my adventures – it is time for you to WIN! WHAT?! The super generous Silhouette staff have agreed to do a giveaway for one super lucky reader of The Organized Classroom Blog for a machine of your own! Whoo hooo! You can enter below and I would also LOVE to hear a comment about how you would use the Silhouette Cameo for your classroom!
Good Luck from Silhouette and The Organized Classroom Blog!
Winner: Terri Z. – notified via email