I’m happy to announce that the winner of the giveaway below is…
Heather, who said:
The very thing I would make is a vinyl train and train tracks for my sons room. He is in love with trains! I would look so cute! Thanks for hosting the giveaway!
Heather, I’ve sent an email to you about your new cutter. Your idea for making train decorations for your son’s room sounds so cute!! I’m sure he’s going to love it!!
Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway. I loved reading all of the projects that you’d make with one!
So the day is here to reveal the big huge giveaway I’ve been teasing you with all week. It’s a….
Silhouette SD digital cutter!!!
In short, the Silhouette SD is a digital cutting machine. It can cut custom shapes and letters from paper, cardstock (up to 90lb weight), adhesive vinyl, and heat transfer vinyl. You can also buy special magnet paper and template plastic (used for creating designs with iron-on rhinestones) that can be cut with the Silhouette.
Unlike other digital cutters that require you to purchase cards pre-loaded with design packs, the Silhouette hooks up to your computer. You can download individual files from the Silhouette Online Store, cut words with True Type fonts installed on your computer, or even use the drawing tools in the software to create your own shapes. The anal-retentive among us (I include myself in that group) will appreciate the fact that all images and fonts are infinitely scalable, so long as they fit within the 8″ x 12″ cutting area.
There are literally thousands of designs you can download from the Silhouette Online Store, with new files added each month. You can purchase the designs individually for .99 each, or purchase a subscription plan to get the files at a discounted rate. If you want to browse the cutting files at the online store, you’ll have to download the free Silhouette Studio software first.
You access all of your downloaded designs through the Silhouette Studio software on your computer. You can resize your images just as easy as you resize clip-art. Those who are more tech-savvy can use the software to customize further. You can also use this software to create and cut words using the fonts installed on your computer or, if you’re feeling ambitious, create your own designs with their drawing tools. Features like welding words (connecting individual letters together to create a connected word) and adding offsets (outlines around shapes) are easy to use.
For tips and tricks for getting the most out of the Silhouette, check out The Silhouette Blog. It’s packed with project ideas and quick how-to’s for the Silhouette Studio software. And did I mention free downloads? There’s a free design each week.
This sounds great, but do I need a Master’s Degree to use this thing?
In spite of all the Silhouette can do, it’s actually quite easy to use.
Installation was straightforward. The software was already installed (I had been browsing the online digital files for days in eager anticipation of my machine), so for me it was just a matter of connecting the Silhouette to my computer with a USB cable.
There was only one small hiccup with a driver that needed to be installed, but that was easily fixed. My techie husband says this is because the driver hadn’t been “digitally signed” so Windows 7 wouldn’t load it automatically. The driver was on the enclosed disk, so it was easy enough to install separately.
Once everything was installed, the next order of business was to see this baby in action. I opened one of the designs that came with the machine. Though my love is sewing, I went with a papercut for the first time out. I copied and pasted it across my workspace to create a page of flower embellishments. I clicked “Send to Silhouette” and the software walked me through the whole process.
Having used a less user-friendly digital cutter in the past, I was pleased to see how easy the Silhouette is to use. When I told the software what material I was cutting, it changed the cutting settings for me and told me which blade cap to use in the machine. When I placed my paper on the sticky cutting mat (the sticky keeps the little cut pieces of material from jamming up the machine), I noticed that the mat is printed with a grid that shows exactly where to place the paper and which end goes into the machine. Even loading the mat was simple; just line the cutting at up and hit the “Enter” button, and the machine loads the mat for you.
But what about a sewing project?
The Silhouette doesn’t cut fabric, but it will cut heat transfer vinyl for iron-ons. It will also cut freezer paper that can be used for stenciling your fabric.
I’ll be sharing a project with you tomorrow that uses the heat transfer vinyl. The sewing is super easy, but the iron-on makes it super cute.
I will say that I had a little bit of trouble with my first go at the heat transfer vinyl. The vinyl cut beautifully and without issue, but success with the transfer portion of the project depends on getting the right combination of temperature and duration with your iron. I’d suggest doing a few practice runs to figure out what combination works best with your iron.
Yeah, yeah, yeah… Tell me about the giveaway and the Black Friday – Cyber Monday deal!!
So here’s the deal:
Leave a comment here telling me the very first thing you’d make if you won the Silhouette.
Deadline is Monday, November 29th 2010 at midnight CST. I’ll choose one commenter at random using the integer generator at random.org. Only one entry per person, please. I’ll delete any duplicates.
And if you have to, have to, have to have this machine and don’t want to take your chances with the giveaway, I’m happy to tell you that there’s an awesome Black Friday – Cyber Monday package deal for Craft Gossip readers:
- The Silhouette SD machine
- One roll of cream vinyl
- One roll of transfer paper
- Home Decor design CD
The regular price of all of these items sold separately is $375, but this weekend you can get them all for just $199. To get this package, just type the promo code “gossip” when ordering the machine. This deal is good through Monday, November 29th, 2010.
Leave a comment here telling me the very first project you’d make if you won the Silhouette. I’ll choose one commenter at random. No duplicate entries, please. Deadline is 11:59 CST on Monday, November 29th, 2010.
This is a short giveaway, so enter now!! Good luck!