How to Cut Leather with Silhouette CAMEO

leather bow headband

So I have been DYING to craft with leather for awhile now! Leather is a growing in popularity in the crafting industry and I just knew I needed to find a way to cut it into cool designs. So over the weekend, I decided to have a little powwow with my handy Silhouette CAMEO to see if it could hack the leather…..And I am happy to confirm, that you CAN cut leather with your Silhouette CAMEO!

leather bowYes, this just made my year! Of course, I wanted to start small, so my first leather craft was for little Miss D. I made her some adorable Leather Bow headbands!I bought some leather scraps on etsy to so that I could play around with it and try out different leathers to see what worked well with the CAMEO. leather bows

how to cut leather with silhouette cameo

How to Cut Leather with Silhouette CAMEO Tutorial


cutting leather with silhouette I found that Lambskin or 1 or 2 oz non-bonded leather can be cut with a Silhouette CAMEO.  The thickness and softness of the leather are crucial to your success of cutting it. Do NOT use suede!  Lambskin cut like butter with my CAMEO.

NOTE: I have not tried cutting leather with my Silhouette Portrait yet, but it should cut the same as the Cameo.

cutting leatherI placed my leather scrap onto the cutting with smooth side up and made sure it adhered well to the cutting mat. I used an almost new cutting mat so it was still very sticky. A thick media cutting mat would be a good idea for cutting leather. *Please keep in mind that your cutting mat will get very messy after cutting leather! See this post for tips to restick your cutting matsilhouette studio leather cut settingsI then used a bow design from the Silhouette online store and adjusted the size. Then I used the following cut settings:

  • Blade: 10
  • Speed: 1
  • Thickness: 33
  • Double Cut boxed checked

ALWAYS do a test cut to make sure the cut settings work for your specific leather! Some leathers may need to be run through the Cameo a second time. {so the design is cut 4 times.}

Here’s a video of my first attempt at cutting Leather With a Silhouette CAMEO:
 Sorry I forgot to flip my phone sideways. I was so anxious to see if it would be able to cut it! The red leather in the video is lambskin, which I think cuts the best. Most of the other leathers I cut were 1 or 2 oz leathers.

Peeling the leather off the cutting mat video. This shows you how clean it cuts.
leather-bow-cut-outs Here are the pieces of the bow after I cut them. You’ll notice that for one of the bows, I cut the center out of fabric with my Silhouette CAMEO.  {click here for a tutorial on how to cut fabric with your Silhouette}leather bow tutorial

Leather Bow Headband Tutorial

how-to-make-leather-bow Then I used some hot glue to assemble the bows. You simply take the longest piece and fold the two ends to the center and hot glue them in place. Then glue the smaller piece to the back of the loops.

leather bow headband tutorial Then hot glue the bow center in place. If you want to use the bow as a headband, glue the ends of the elastic underneath the center of the bow and then glue the center over the top, as shown above.

leather bow headband tutorialI had fun with the centers of my bows. I used lace, ribbon, and fabric for a fun twist on the classic leather bow.

So, in case you’ve ever wondered how to cut leather with Silhouette CAMEO, there you go! I had a blast cutting leather and see a lot more leather crafts in my future.

Have you crafted with Leather? What have you used to cut leather? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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Linda
Hi! I'm Linda, the craft addict behind Craftaholics Anonymous®, a craft blog. Crafting is cheaper than therapy, right? When not crafting, I can be found chasing my 2 small {but very energetic!} boys or playing with my new baby girl. Or shoe shopping... because you can never have too many shoes! Happy crafting! ♥
Linda

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Comments

  1. 1
    Meg Merkley

    Amazing! Thanks for the tutorial! Pinned it.

  2. 2

    Amazing! I have been thinking about how to leather bows and here it is! I am going to try this with my cameo ASAP.
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. 3

    How adorable are those?? I’m so wishing I had a cameo right about now instead of having to go old fashion style and hand cut! And how gorgeous is Miss D? Those blue eyes are just too much!

  4. 4
    Margie

    You rock!!! Your little girl is soooo precious!!!!
    Thanks. I make jewelry it will be helpful to use my Cameo. Yea.

  5. 5
    Kimberly

    I cut faux leather/ pvc with my Silhouette Portrait. :)

  6. 6

    What a fantastic idea! I love finding new ways to use my Silhouette. Thank you so much for testing and sharing. Those bows are almost as gorgeous as Miss D!

  7. 7
    Kim G

    Awesome tutorial. I will have to give it a try! I love my Cameo. Miss D is just incredibly cute!!! You have a gorgeous family! Thank you for sharing.

  8. 8
    Barbara

    I am a veteran leather sewing enthusiast so your tutorial is right down my alley! I see more leather work in my future! I’d love to make bows like yours for my granddaughter, but she hates having anything in her hair. Your baby girl is just precious, and those big blue eyes just make a grandmother melt! She is so beautiful!

  9. 9
    Jessica D

    So stinkin’ adorable!! Love the leather. I wish I had a Silhouette…one of these days!

  10. 11

    Oh, I love this! I’ve been using leather to make purses, so fun!

  11. 12

    First of all, let me just say that you have the most beautiful, adorable baby to model your projects! Of course you are going to get tons of fans when you have that precious darling featured!!! I would have never dreamed that the Silhouette could cut through leather. That is awesome. I’ve bookmarked the page, when I’m feeling more confident in having mastered the basics, this is definitely something I’d like to try.

    Peace, Love and Joy,
    Joyce

  12. 13
    Megan Ream

    Oh my gosh Linda your little one is adorable!!! Wish I had a little girl so I could make her some super cute bows. Love this!

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  14. 14

    Oh my gosh, first off, she is too CUTE! Secondly, I never would have thought of cutting leather (I am still trying to ace cutting vinyl!) Thanks for the tips. Will pin for future reference.

  15. 16

    I have been dying to cut leather with my Cameo. I’ve been wanting to make a leather tassel necklace, so this is going to help out immensely. What Etsy shop did you buy your leather from? And thanks for sharing what Cameo settings to use. Can’t wait to try it out. Your little girl is PRECIOUS!

    xo
    Daniela

  16. 17
    Jenny Shick

    Your daughter is absolutely beautiful! Excited to make one for my little one.

  17. 18
    Melanie

    Did you happen to try patent leather? I have some shiny, but thin leather… And was thinking to cut a wristlet or small purse with the cameo.

    1. 18.1

      I did not try patent leather. I’m thinking I need to get my hands on some patent leather scraps to try it though!

  18. 19
    Tammy

    I don’t know about cutting bows from leather but I do know you sure have a BEAUTIFUL baby girl with gorgeous blue eyes. She is a jewel.

  19. 20

    Oh my! This is Fantastic! I almost didn’t see the bows, your daughter is a stunner! Just Beautiful!!
    and your photography is Amazing! Do you have Tutorials for that, too :)

  20. 21
    Jamie

    Thanks for sharing! I’m always looking for ways to use my silhouette! Just curious, which etsy seller/shop did you get your leather from? Thanks so much!

    1. 21.1

      I can’t remember off the top of my head. Sorry! But when you search for “leather scraps” there are tons of listings to pick from! :)

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  22. 22
    Susan

    Linda, thank you for the ADORABLE leather bow tutorial. But, can you tell me exactly which Silhouette file you used? I have downloaded several from the Store, but they are not like yours. I would love to give this a whirl !
    Kindly,
    Susan

    1. 22.1

      Hi Susan! I used Silhouette’s 3D bow file for these bows. I changed the size for a couple of the bows and cut the “ribbon ends” piece in half for the blue leather bow pictured so that the ends hang down instead of to the side of the bow. Hope that helps! :)

      1. Teri O

        Could you send me the file for the template for the bows? I’m not seeing it in Silhouette…

  23. 23

    Thank you so much for sharing this post! I’ve always been interested in getting a Silhouette for cutting leather and pleather, but most sellers could not tell for sure if it would work. Your videos helped a lot. I’m gonna get me a Silhouette today ^.^

  24. 24
    Melissa

    Did you have to use a different blade for this? Or can I just use the blade I have in there now?

  25. 25
    Kathe

    March 21, 2015
    Can the silhouette cameo be attached to the internet for more ideas?
    Thank you for all the information.

    1. 25.1

      yes, you can use svg files found online with your Silhouette Cameo.

  26. 26
    Alissa

    Great tutorial! Where did you find your elastic?

    1. 26.1

      At Joanns or The Ribbon Retreat online :)

  27. 27
    Jan

    Have you tried to cut felt on the Silhouette?

  28. 28
    Meredith

    Hey There,

    I am trying to cut leather and it looks so easy on your video, but I am curious if you are using the silhouette blade or if you got a graphtec blade? My silhouette blade does not seem to last long when cutting thick papers so I dont think it is going to cut leather or felt with out getting dull after like one cut….any help is appreciated!! Thank you!!!

    1. 28.1

      I used my regular Silhouette blade.

  29. 29
    Lisa

    Hi! Great tutorial! I’m trying right now and my mad is slipping in my machine. Maybe my leather is too thick? Any suggestions?

    1. 29.1
      Lisa

      Mat is slipping – sorry.