introducing the new Silhouette CAMEO! {review, discount, & tutorial}

This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for…..the Silhouette CAMEO cutting tool is {finally} here!!! Let’s get the Cameo crafting party started, shall we?! I am so excited to show off the new features and options the Cameo offers compared to previous Silhouette digital cutting tools. BUT before I dig right in, I know there are many of you that have been waiting {very patiently} to get your crafty little hands on one of these sweet tools. so I am giving you the discount code up front so that you can use it to snag a Cameo before they’re gone. there is a limited number available right now and they will sell out quickly!! you can use promo code: CRAFT {easy to remember!} at checkout to get the starter kit of your choice with your Cameo for only $299. So if you want to head over to Silhouette and get your Cameo now and then come back and read more about the coolest crafting tool ever, go right ahead!

Silhouette CAMEO Review

silhouette america cutting tool
Ok, I have a lot to share with you today and I know you are going to have a lot of questions. I will try my best to answer as many questions that I can think of, butIi am more than happy to answer other questions that you have. So feel free to shoot me an email!
Now no Silhouette Cameo Review would be complete without a list of top features. So here are the features that made my crafty heart sing….

My Top 5 Features

#1. the pause button. umm, I could have used that about a bajillion times with the old Silhouette SD! I’d realize that  I was cutting it wrong or the paper had slipped and the only way to stop the cutting with the old models, was to unplug it. And then yank the paper, or whatever I was cutting, out of the Silhouette SD’s death grip……and having the SD grind and make sounds similar to a cow dying . Yes, I realize that was probably horrible for the little SD, but there was no other way to stop the cutting.  But NOW with the Cameo’s PAUSE BUTTON, simply press pause and ta-da! cutting is stopped painlessly. Brilliant!

#2 the Cameo cuts up to 12″ wide. {the SD cuts 8.5″ wide} This is cool for several reasons:

A. SO much easier to cut 12″x12″ scrapbook paper!! No more cutting down your scrapbook paper. That right there is a huge time saver for those who cut a lot of paper. I do my fair share of cutting paper, so this convenience is very much appreciated.

B. This opens up a all new projects and possibilities! You can cut BIGGER vinyl for bigger projects. Like 12″x12″ tiles that are so wildly popular. {not to mention, this would have been SO handy for my headboard makeover}

C. Bigger is always better, right!

craft ideas for the silhouette cameo cutting machine

#3 no more plungers! No, i’m not talking about those nasty things you find in the restroom. ahem. I’m talking about the 4 color coded little cutting blade tips that Silhouette so lovingly called “Plungers” that we had to switch out all the time with the Silhouette SD…….and managed to get lost all the time!! {those brightly colored little things were rather difficult to keep track of. and not cheap to replace lost ones……}

The Cameo now has all those “plungers” built into 1 nifty “blade”. YAY!!! {and now I don’t have to feel like an idiot talking about plungers all the time. ha!}

To change the cutting depth for different materials, you simply rotate the numbers on the cutting blade using a little device called a ratchet that is ATTACHED to the Cameo to the corresponding number needed to cut your media. {it also comes with a ratchet that is not attached to the machine}

digital cutting machine the cameo by silhouette

#4. the Cameo is Quieter. Even Davis made a comment about how quiet the Cameo is compared to the SD! {this is coming from a guy who didn’t even notice the earthquake we had here in VA recently. seriously.} The SD grinded and groaned so loudly, it seriously could compete with the sound of an airplane taking off. And with little kids who still take naps, a quiet machine is appreciated so that I can take full advantage of the sacred nap time crafting hour.

#5 The Cameo is easier to load. I felt like the Cameo was a ton easier to load than the SD. The SD could be rather difficult to get the material or media loaded straight. Granted I had to try it a couple times with the Cameo, but I felt it was faster and easier to get the media loaded in correctly and straight. AND the wheels that hold the media in place seemed to hold much better.

The Cameo comes with Lots of Instructions and helpful material

how to use a cameo digital cutting tool

Maybe its been too long since I got my first Silhouette SD, but I felt like the Cameo came with several very helpful items. the Instructions Manual was so much more user friendly and filled with lots of great pictures.

Plus it came with an Instructional Video. sooooo helpful! I know I was intimidated when I opened up the Cameo…..and I’ve used a Silhouette SD for over 2 years. So I shouldn’t have been. But a new machine can be scary at first. The Cameo came with more literature and helpful documents to get you started with this fabulous new tool!

SO i’ve already used my Cameo to complete 2 projects in the 3 days I’ve had it. {can you tell i was a LITTLE excited to play with it! or you could just call me a Craftaholic ;} My first craft was using the Fabric Ink Starter Kit that came with my Cameo.

***Dino Shirt using Silhouette’s Fabric Ink Start Kit TUTORIAL***

fabric ink design for a shirt craft project

I added that adorable little dino to G-man’s new shirt. Its so perfect for him!

How To Use Silhouette’s Fabric Ink Starter Kit

using fabric ink starter kit from silhouette tutorial

1. take apart the stencil vinyl and the clear transfer tape.

2. Load your stencil vinyl into your Cameo. *You do not need to use the cutting mat to cut vinyl, I just forgot  and used it anyway :)

making a stencil for fabric
3. Cut your design out using Silhouette Studio software. When you cut around the design, be sure to leave several inches around the design. Remove the inside of the design. This makes the design you cut a stencil.

how to make a fabric stencil

4. Place clear transfer tape over your stencil design and peel off the vinyl paper backing.

how to stencil a tee shirt

5. Place your design onto the shirt wherever you’d like it. Then remove the transfer tape to reveal the vinyl stencil. *Tip: this is the beauty of using a vinyl stencil vs. a freezer paper stencil. A freezer paper stencil is limited to a place/material that you can iron. With a vinyl stencil, you can place it on almost anything. No heat needed and it peels right off when you’re done.

how to apply fabric ink to create a design

6. Apply your fabric ink with a brush or sponge. Tip: whichever you choose to use, brush or sponge, I recommend dabbing it on. I brushed it on with the foam brush pictured above and it pulled the fabric and distorted the stencil slightly. So, definitely dab it on.

7. After the fabric ink has finished drying, remove the vinyl stencil. Then set the design with a hot iron for 10 seconds.

you’re done!

What I liked LOVED about the fabric ink, is it did not bleed through the first layer of fabric. Yes, I forgot to put something in the middle of the shirt before I applied the ink. And when I realized this, I frantically turned the shirt inside out to find what you see above. That the fabric ink stays on only 1 side of the fabric. PHEW!!

Chalk that up to ANOTHER reason why I loved this method of stenciling fabric with vinyl and fabric ink instead of using freezer paper and fabric paint. {fabric paint bleeds through everything. this ink does not!}

boy craft idea

isn’t he such a cutie pie? he’s turning 3 soon. yikes!!

silhouette america cutting tool


Get a brand-new Silhouette CAMEO and your choice of a starter kit (Fabric Ink, Vinyl, Heat Transfer, Rhinestone) for $299!

use promotion code: CRAFT {easy to remember!}

valid: October 25, 2011- October 31, 2011

disclosure: i received free product to try out. all opinions are 100% mine. i was in no way obligated to give a good review. please see the disclosure link on my sidebar for my full disclosure statement.

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Hi! I'm Linda, the craft addict behind Craftaholics Anonymous®, a craft blog. Crafting is cheaper than therapy, right? When I'm not DIYing something, I can be found taxiing around our 4 crazy kids or working out. Or shoe shopping... because you can never have too many shoes! Happy crafting! ♥

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  1. 1
    Leslie Hart

    That is so nice! I wish I could get a Cameo! I am currently looking for my little “plungers” so I was excited to read that you only have to dial the setting on the new blade.

    1. 1.1

      lol i am always losing those little plungers too! its a scary feeling not knowing where they are or if you’ll be able to cut your design if you can’t find them! {i’ve SO been there!} thanks for stopping by, Leslie!
      happy crafting,

  2. 2

    I’m so glad you did a post about the fabric ink starter! That’s one of the huge factors for me about the Cameo – I’ve always wanted my own screen printing press/system, and of course the Cameo accomplishes that plus so so much more! Wish I could take advantage of the discount code, but I’ve got some saving up to do before I can get my hands on the Cameo ;) The shirt came out so cute! Thanks for sharing :D

    1. 2.1

      thanks Alicia! i am really excited about the screen printing that i can do with my cameo too. nice to have a 2 in 1 machine. sort of! thanks for stopping by,

  3. 3

    I so shouldn’t have read this… I have wanted a Silhouette for ages!

    I might just have to make it happen for Christmas

  4. 4

    Have you tried to cut wool craft felt with the cameo? If not do you know if you can?

    1. 4.1

      Hi Missy,
      I know you can cut fabric with the Cameo, but I don’t know about wool felt. Its probably too thick.
      thanks for stopping by!
      happy crafting,

  5. 5

    Silly me couldn’t wait for the CAmeo to come out, so a couple months ago I broke down and bought the SD. Since then I have purchased all of the starter kits (vinyl, fabric ink, rhinestone and heat transfer)….If I decided to go ahead and purchase the Cameo will those kits work with it, or are there starter kits specifically for the CAmeo???? Thanks!

    1. 5.1

      oh no, Tasha! that’s always how it goes, right?? but you are in luck, yes those starter kits you bought for your SD will work with the Cameo. {phew!} thanks for stopping by!
      happy crafting,

  6. 6

    These are all great features that came on my Cricut Expression! What made you choose one over the other or do you have a Cricut too?

    1. 6.1

      Hi Abbie,
      The main reason I choose Silhouette over Cricut {i made that decision about 2 years ago} was mainly because I can cut any font on my computer for free. and I don’t have to buy cartridges filled with designs I didn’t want just to get 1 design I did want. With the silhouette, I can download each design individually. I don’t know if Cricut has changed the cartridge thing or not since then, but that was the deal breaker. I felt the silhouette was cheaper over the long run. But Cameo vs SD, I would pick the Cameo any day.
      thanks for stopping by!
      happy crafting,

  7. 7

    The code is so awesome thank YOU! I will be ordering mine monday, I hope there are some left! lol I have been wanting one of these machines since last year when I started to sew, and actually very happy that I waited now that the new one is out :D YAY!!! So I was thinking of getting the vinyle transfer, would you suggest any of the starter kits over the other? Thank you so much for the tutorial and everything! Keep up the awesome posts.

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  9. 8

    Thanks for the review. It seems like the machine will be very easy to use — I do have a question (hope you don’t mind). Will you be able to use SCAL 3 with the new Cameo, or will you only be able to use the software that is included? The SD worked with SCAL 3 so I wanted to know if I could still use it with the new machine. Thanks

  10. 9
    C C.

    I have the new Cameo andI love it. But I can’t believe how loud it is. I”m wondering if something is wrong. I had the original I think this one is even louder. Going to ask some local gals who ordered it what they think. Might call SA and ask them too.

    1. 9.1

      congrats, new cameo owner! that’s really strange. my cameo is loads quieter than my SD. {even my hubby made a comment about how much quieter it is. and that’s saying a lot!} i would definitely contact silhouette about it. there may be an issue with your model. :(
      thanks for stopping by!
      happy crafting,

  11. 10

    Hi :)

    My amazing boyfriend surprised me with the Cameo and I’m really happy and love it :)
    I have one concern though – what about the mat? How long will it stay sticky and what if it is not sticky anymore? Do I have to buy one or can I just put some kind of glue on it? This is my first experience with a cutting tool and I don’t want to do anything wrong :/

    Thanks and have a great day, Martina

    1. 10.1

      First off, congrats New Cameo owner! that is a wonderful surprise! The cutting mat will stay sticky for quite awhile as long as you keep it clean and do your best to not set it on the carpet or something. When it loses its stickiness, you can use a tacky adhesive, {like Making Memories Re-positional Tacky Adhesive or there’s also a blue one that has like a sponge on the end but i can’t think of the name} and put that on it. But don’t be afraid to use your cutting mat! Put your machine to work and enjoy! If you have any more questions, just let me know.
      happy crafting,

  12. 11

    Hi! The silhouette cameo looks so cool! I was wondering, is it possible to use adhesive vinyl from any craft store(cut down to size) instead of the vinyl from the silhouette store?

    1. 11.1

      Hi Erica,
      Sorry I am just now responding. Yes, you can use any vinyl, but the thickness may vary. So you may need to adjust your blade.
      happy crafting,

  13. 12

    Hi again:).
    The silhouette cameo store says that they are sold out online. How is it possible to still get one?

    1. 12.1

      Hi Erica,
      That totally stinks!! I knew they would sell out fast, but I didn’t think that fast. wow. From what I understand the first shipment of Cameos was small. Silhouette should be getting another shipment of them in very soon. Not sure when, but I’ll be sure to announce it on my blog. thanks for stopping by.
      happy crafting,

  14. 13

    I am considering buying the Cameo as a gift for my daughter who is a teacher. She tracing letters then handcutting out the letter as the school has no cutting machine. I like the concept since you can use the fonts on the computer. As far as the paper that it cuts is it only card stock or can you use construction paper? Do you recommend the Cameo for a first time user?

    1. 13.1

      Hi Liz,
      A Cameo would be perfect for a teacher! It can cut; all types of paper from light weight to heavy cardstock, fabric, and vinyl. I love that I can cut any font on my computer for free. That was a huge selling point for me. No need to buy additional cartridges for each font. Plus, you can resize and change the designs to fit your needs. There is a small learning curve with the Silhouette Studio software. I wrote a basic tutorial for the software here: Yes, I would recommend a Cameo for a first digital cutting tool. I use mine all the time and absolutely love it. I can do so much with it.
      thanks for stopping by! if you have any more questions, just let me know!

  15. 14

    Did you ever find a way for the vinyl to cut without the mat? I have see several blogs and post that it can but no one explains how to do it. I just opened the box and the vinyl “slips” while cutting. Help please!

    1. 14.1

      Hi Tammy,
      Yes, I asked Silhouette and this is what they told me. I forgot to add this to the post:
      For 9″ vinyl with the Cameo, here’s tutorial to change the rollers:

      For 12″ vinyl, adjust the rollers to the 12” option and then ensure that the left edge of the vinyl was aligned with the guide mark in front of the left-white roller. She would then want to select the “Load Media” option so that the vinyl fed in the correct distance.

      If the vinyl is drifting during the cutting operation, this would likely be related to the loading of the vinyl. It sounds as though while the vinyl may appear to load correctly, it is being fed in at a slight angle so that over time the pinch rollers are not fully grasping one side, at which point it is becoming loose and fall off track. You may wish to ensure the leading edge of the vinyl is cut straight (so that it is perpendicular to the sides, rather than a straight cut that is actually at a slight angle to the sides) so that it is not being fed into the Silhouette at a slight (and generally imperceptible) angle. This is likely the reason that as you get to the end of the longer vinyl material, it is falling off track as it is being fed through at a very slight angle. Proper even grip alignment should resolve the concern if the vinyl is falling off track when being fed in straight.

      hope that helps!
      happy crafting,

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  17. 15

    I’ve been crafting for years doing everything by hand….now with 11 Grandkids to craft with I’m discovering tools that sure make everything easier…..Love your site….Thanks for all the great tips and ideas!!

  18. 17
    Joan Lynch

    I’ve been waiting to get my hands on something to cut fabric appliques!

  19. 18
    Alison J

    I am confused…when I go to the Silhouette site it says it is not available online on their site, only in stores. Where do we use that for a discount?

  20. 19

    i would make things for my gram. I probably would give her the cameo because she LOVES to craft.

  21. 20

    Thanks for the wonderful review. I really want one of these cutters, but, I need to know if you can use it with Make The Cut (my favorite program) or SCAL? I cannot seem to get a definite answer and this is what is holding me up. Any ideas? patnbobcuddy at gmail dot com

    1. 20.1

      Hi Trisha,
      I think you have to purchase extra software from Silhouette to use your SCAL files with it. {} But I’ve heard you can use the free software and use the trace tool so you can cut them. But I’m not 100% sure on that!
      happy crafting,

  22. 21

    I was wondering if the new cameo blades are any better. I want to get my mother the cameo for Christmas. I noticed that after cutting an image with the heaviest paper and blade setting that some images do not completely cut out.

    1. 21.1

      Hi Megan,
      Yes, the Cameo cuts better than the SD. And the cutting mat is nicer as well. Plus, the blades are much easier to change the cutting depth. if you have more questions, let me know!
      happy crafting,

  23. 22

    Nice article! I enjoy making my own t-shirts as well! Do you think the Cameo has enough down-force to cut through blank stencil sheets. I really hope so because I ordered my Cameo but I don’t have it yet and I can’t find any information anywhere about that.

    1. 22.1

      Hi Glen,
      It depends on how thick your stencil sheets are. You can change the cutting depth quite a bit, but not sure its going to be as deep as you’ll need. Try doing a test cut and see how it does. I’ll be interested to know if it works!
      happy crafting,

  24. 23

    I just got a Cameo for Christmas. I’ve been working through the instructional books and tutorials. I know that I can use clipart from the internet, but darn if I can figure out how to bring website clipart to the Silhouette Studio. Can you help me?

  25. 24

    just got my new “toy” so I am excited to get going with it!

  26. 25

    Just got my new toy and can’t wait to play with it!

  27. 26
    Joy Myers

    I am considering purchasing the silhouette cameo and love being able to use the fonts on my computer. I wanted to know if the cameo lets you “merge” or “weld” the letters or if you have to cut each individual letter?

    Thank you

  28. 27

    I wanted to know if the silhouette can merge or weld fonts or do I have to cut each individual letter?

    Thank you

    1. 27.1

      Hi Joy,
      Yes, you can merge and weld fonts and manipulate shapes however you’d like.
      thanks for stopping by!
      happy crafting,

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  31. 28

    I wanted to ask if you have cut fabric and felt? If so your thoughts? I have the silhouette cameo in my shopping cart now But I really want it for fabric not so much paper

  32. 29

    I bought my wife a Cameo for Christmas. Her birthday is coming up and I’d like to buy her some vinyl & transfer paper. Do you have any online store recommendations? What other tools (like a scraper) will she need?

    1. 29.1

      Hi Jonathon,
      You are a good husband to buy your wife a Cameo! I like the hook tool a lot for vinyl. I don’t used the scraper because you can use Popsicle sticks or your hand for that usually. But I do know a lot of crafters use and like it. Instead of buying transfer paper, buy your wife a roll of contact paper from the store. Its cheaper and works just as well. Silhouette just came out last week with a new bigger cutting mat {its 12″x24″ instead of 12″x12″}. As far as other sites, check Amazon for vinyl and OhMyCrafts for tools {not sure if they’ll carry the new mat yet though}. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any more questions.

  33. 30

    Hi! Just one quick question: Does the Silhouette Cameo leave (very) clean edges on cutout cardstock? Thank you!

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    1. 30.1

      Just jumping in with how to stop the Silhouette SD while cutting. Instead of unplugging, just turn the machine off with the power button. Then turn it back on and go to Unload Media to get the mat out. No need to pull and tug

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  38. 31

    I think I’d be cutting a lot of vinyl… but maybe paper… and fabric… and whatever else I could get through there!!! I want one of these SO.BADLY.!!!!!!

  39. 32
    Vennita Wilson

    I would be cutting fabric and vinyl on this bad every day!!

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  42. 33

    Wow! So Cool you can paint with the stencils. Your own screenprinting machine. So you make a stencil with your artwork you design in the software for silhouette. now that rocks!

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  44. 34

    I have a question — can you use the Cricut mats with the Cameo.

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