50 Genius Hacks For Silhouette and Cricut Machines
Some of these tips are specific to one machine or the other, but most are pretty universal to all! So sit back, make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and relax, and prepare to be totally amazed at the secrets of the trade.
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Please note that we have not tried all of these tips personally. Some of them may save time or money at the risk of damaging your machine or creation. Use your own judgement and try them at your own risk.
TOOL HACKS TO USE WITH YOUR MACHINE
- Use a safety pin to weed out and lift up tiny pieces of vinyl
- Add a small magnet or piece of blue tac to the side of your machine so you always have your safety pin handy
- Use an old credit card or gift card instead of a scraper to get paper scraps off of your mat
- You can use an Exacto knife to add weeding lines if you forget to do it in the software
- Dental tools are and awesome quick win for wedding
- Pointed tweezers also make for a great weeding tool
- Dip the tip of the tweezers or paper piecer in glue, but just enough to make it sticky to pick up small loose bits like freezer paper or card stock.
- Using a light box for weeding makes the lines much more visible!
- Use foil to resharpen your knife blade.
- 2″ putty knife instead of the tiny spatula to get things off the mat.
TRANSFER PAPER HACKS
- Use Clear shelf paper instead of transfer paper. There is normally a lots more on the roll for much less money and you can get it at Dollar Tree if you have one near you.
- When you are short of transfer paper, use a roll of adhesive lint remover!
- Scotch tape can even be used as transfer tape for smaller transfers.
CUTTING MAT HACKS
- Inexpensive flexible cutting boards can also be used as a cutting mat. Cut these cutting boards to size and position media or small pieces of vinyl with painters tape. These can normally be found for about $1-$2 each!
- You can respray your mat with Krylon repositionable adhesive , this is when the mat looses its stickiness. Make sure to tape the mat edges with painter’s tape, then spray, peel off the tape, and let dry.
- If you cut through your mat by mistake, you can fix it with a good quality packaging tape on the back of the mat. We recommend that you use Gorilla products because it is super flexible and sturdy.
- Use Aileen’s Tack it Over & Over to re-tack your mat after you clean it completely. add 1 part Aileen’s to 1 part water, then take a sponge and brush on one coat let dry then apply a second coat. This will look like a new mat. Let dry completely after the second coat.
- Baby wipes are awesome for keeping your mat clean and maintained. the wipes can be used at the end of each session
- Use a Cricut cutting Mat with your Silhouette cutting Machine. They are not as expensive.
- If you do use a Cricut mat with your Silhouette cutting machine then make a line on the right side of your machine with a sharpie when you have your mat in correctly so you know where to place it every time.
- Use double sided sticky tape to keep the corners down on your mat that has lost it’s stick in some spots.
- A great tip is to use a lint roller to remove bits of paper from your mat.
- This is a great one….Turn your mat around and feed it through backwards if you are repeating the same cut over and over to avoid cuts.
- Wash your mat with soapy water to regain stickiness. It is like magic!
- Use washi tape to attach two 12×12 mats. This will give you up to a 24″ length of cutting space
- Clorox wipes can also be used to clean cutting mats between projects.
- Alternatively Cut a 12×24” mat in half to make 2 12×12 mats.
- Do you want to cut all of the way to the end of a roll of vinyl? Tape a piece of paper across the entire width of the loose end. The rollers still have something to grab when all the length of the vinyl is under the blade when cutting without a mat.
- Use contact paper to cut out your stencils, this will ensure that you don’t waste the more expensive vinyl.
- Cut empty toilet paper rolls to place around vinyl rolls. This will keep your vinyl from unrolling and help it stay organized.
- Reverse weed small designs or monograms.
- Reverse weed simple designs then place the back of the transfer paper back on, to save the negative space on a design you will use so you can use the design now and negative space as as a stencil later.
HEAT TRANSFER VINYL HACKS
- Sharpie the guide line so its more visible
- Parchement paper for ironing over the heat transfer, or if you need to reiron if it starts peeling.
- Using sketch pens to outline your heat transfer vinyl can help with weeding.
- You can also use kraft paper to iron over HTV. It works just like the Teflon sheet but doesn’t make the HTV all super shiny which is great if you prefer it to be more of a matte finish.
- Add a reminder right on your machine to flip or mirror your image if you do a lot of HTV projects.
- Use a wooden cutting board instead of an ironing board if you are using an iron for HTV. The hard surface makes it easier to apply more pressure to get it to adhere well.
SKETCH PEN HACKS
- If you take the inside felt and the ink out of a kids marker the shell of the marker can be used to hold any pen you have like gel pens, sharpies or ballpoint pens! Instant pen holder!
- If your pen is too thin for the pen holder, add tape around the barrel of the hollowed out marker to make it fit in the sil holder
- Favorites to use in place of sketch pens include Sharpies, ultra fine point Sharpies and even gel pens.
- To get that really popular chalkboard look on black paper use white gel pens.
- Putting ruler marks on the edge of your cutting table so you can always measure correctly without having to break out the tape measure or ruler.
- Instead of a light box put the design you are weeding on a glass coffee table and turn the flashlight on (or use your phone,) set it on the floor under the table. Boom instant light box
- If you wear a headlamp for weeding it provides you with an inexpensive and conveniently hands free way to get a lot of light!
- Always make extra dots for the tops of j’s and i’s or periods. A lot of extras, those darn things like to disappear in a blink of an eye!
- Note the name and size of the font used off to the side of each design in case you need it again. Once you modify a font, you can not see what its name it in the Silhouette software.
We hope you like our life hacks for Cricut and Silhouette machines. it would be great if you could comment below any other hacks you may have. We look forward to hearing from you.