Tuesday, September 15, 2015


The Cameo Silhouette is an electronic cutting machine. I first became interested in buying one when I worked with metal clay. You can put a sheet of rolled out metal clay on the cutting mat and cut the design you have created! Amazing! Of course, if it cuts clay, it can also cut paper, card stock, stencil material, vinyl ... You can create your own stamps, engrave on metal, print stickers with your computer and cut them out with the Silhouette ...

A couple days ago I saw instructions for creating a stencil on one of the Facebook groups I belong to. The member was using the same kokopelli image I had purchased from the Silhouette store. It looked so simple I thought I could do it. I did not simply want to cut around the image. I wanted to create a stencil about 6" square with the figure in the center. Then I could use it to sift powder through the stencil image onto glass. The problem was that it had the "floating" designs in the body that were not attached to anything. The instructions showed how to create long skinny rectangles using the Silhouette software that attached the loose parts.

I spent the entire afternoon and next morning following her instructions ... and it was not working. I finally posted on Facebook explaining my problem and asking her to go through part of the instructions for me ... slowly. She was so nice and posted another addition to the instructions. Unfortunately, it still did not work.

I decided to send an email to her privately ... it was kind of embarrassing to be the only one who could not do this. After going back and forth a few times, with my sending photos of my computer screen showing steps that did not work, she asked me to send the image I had. She used my image with her instructions and, guess what ... it did not work for her! She kindly said "Now I understand ..." my image would work if I would first "Ungroup", then "Make compound path". Ha. I have lots to learn, but did those two steps, then followed the rest of her instructions, and the final image was the same as hers. I slept well that night.

The problem was still not solved, as I could not print out a TRUE stencil with the image in the center. So I created more skinny rectangles that would attach the image to the stencil itself. You can see all those extra lines.

The result was that I created a real stencil I can use!! Yippee!! The final version below is printed on nice stencil material and measures about 6" square. I can make handles using masking tape, set the stencil on the glass ... then sift powder and lift the stencil up and away with the handles. A little touchup will be needed to fill in some of the lines. This was a great learning experience. Frustrating ... yet very rewarding.

1 comment:

  1. Its going to look really nice - I love kokopelli - I used to have a bunch of stencils for doing fruit and flowers for a class I took down at wheaton village in NJ - cant find them - they were all done by hand - I have the cricut and the expression 2 so Its not as easy to use and I got one of those Brother Scan and cut - - You made a great stencil !