Crafters and do-it yourselfers everywhere threw their arms up in celebration when the Silhouette Company released their new Portrait model. The Portrait craft-cutting machine is compatible with Windows and Mac computers. You can download designs online or create your own unique art with the Silhouette Studio. The Silhouette Portrait will draw shapes and cut paper, cardstock, felt, fabrics, heat transfer paper, sticker paper, magnet paper, and of course, vinyl. Try some of these fun ideas with your Silhouette Portrait and you’ll be hooked.
Give These Simple Projects a Try
1. Add A Vinyl Monogram To A Mirror
Find a mirror with a frame you love, or purchase one from a secondhand shop. Then design a monogram with your initials, Mr. & Mrs., or a child’s name and apply to the mirror for a special custom piece.
2. Emboss Custom Cards
You can decorate anything from fancy wedding invitations to your five-year-old’s birthday card with the embossing tool. Emboss a background of “thank you’s” in an all-over pattern in simple fonts, then add a colored cut-out “THANK YOU!” for dimension and interest. The Portrait will also emboss tin or copper sheets!
3. Etch Glassware
Add a bit of class to your stemware with etched monograms, or permanently label a baking dish you frequently take to parties. Simply cut the vinyl and do a reverse weeding. Attach the vinyl to your glasses or dish and apply etching solution to the exposed letters. Let it work and rinse according to solution instructions. Remove the vinyl and enjoy a bit of fancy labeling.
4. Add Dimension To Your Holidays
Using an 8”x10” shadowbox frame, replace the photo with a cute winter scrapbook print cut to size. Then fill the empty space about one-third full of silver and red jingle bells. From black vinyl and using a fancy font, cut the phrase “Jingle all the way” and transfer it to the center of the glass on the front. What a creative way to enjoy the holiday season!
5. Iron-on Monograms And Designs
Using iron-on heat transfer vinyl, you can cut out your design or a clever phrase and lay it on a shirt, pillow or apron. Use an iron according to directions on the transfer sheets and you have an instant favorite t-shirt. Tip: print the design in reverse so that when you lay the transfer side on the fabric, it is right-side up.
6. Personalize Christmas Ornaments
Begin with a simple clear acrylic globe ornament. Remove the metal cap and feed small pieces of burlap inside through the hole at the top. (You could also use bits of straw for this.) Replace the top. Cut out the word “Believe” from self-adhesive vinyl and transfer it to the front of the globe. Add a tea-stained muslin bow to finish.
7. Wedding Decorations
Make a collection of small signs by collecting mismatched frames. Spray-paint them a simple black. Cut black foam-core board and fit in the frame. Using your Silhouette Portrait, cut out from white vinyl phrases such as “This way” with a pointing finger to guide your guests. Place these signs on easels or hang them on ribbons for fun, chalkboard-look decorations to add to your rustic or country-style wedding.
8. Address Your Mailbox
Dress up your rural mailbox by cutting your monogram and house numbers out of vinyl in the font of your choice. Cut fun paisleys and flourishes to decorate the top, or how about a surprise “Thank you!” placed on the inside of the drop down door so that the mail carrier is greeted with appreciation.
9. Label Kitchen Canisters
Whether your countertop canisters are clear glass or colored tins, you can give your kitchen an instant facelift by adding labels to them. Try these alternatives: Using any font you prefer, cut out the words “flour,” etc., to show the canister’s contents. Or, using black chalkboard vinyl, cut out fun frame shapes to transfer to the canisters and write on them with chalk as contents change.
10. Make A Silhouette Of Your Pet
Take a photo of your favorite pet and use that as a guide to cut out a silhouette of Lulu or Fido and transfer it to the doggy door with their name. You could do the same thing smaller and transfer it to the window of your car to show your pet off proudly everywhere you go.
11. Put A Flock Of Birds On Your Wall
Cut black vinyl into an entire flock of flying birds in a variety of sizes. Transfer them to your bedroom or nursery wall in a pattern that looks as if a flock is just passing through. Add a tree branch here and there for interest.
12. Create A Rustic Sign
Using your Silhouette Portrait cutter, cut out the letters for a laundry or kitchen sign, such as “Kitchen is closed.” Weed out the letters and rub the background firmly in place on a board that has been prepared by sanding, or adding a chippy or chalk paint finish. The board will show through the letters. Using a sponge brush and lightly dabbing, tap the paint into the areas where the letters are. Peel the background off when finished to reveal your new sign. This technique can also be used to embellish a stool or other wooden furniture.
13. Cut Out Gift Tags
Using a simple tag shape, cut tags from paper-bag brown cardstock. Then cut out the appropriate shape for the occasion (snowflakes, wedding cake, diaper pin, etc.) and apply in the upper corner opposite the end with the hole. Loop some striped butcher’s string through the hole and you have a tag that is as fun as your gift.
14. Stencil A T-shirt
Place a piece of cardboard inside a t-shirt to make working on it easier and to prevent bleed-through. Cut the design or lettering you would like to have on your shirt. Weed out the letters, keeping the background intact. Apply in the desired position and press firmly around the edges of letters. Using fabric paint and a sponge brush, gently tap paint into the letters and design. Get creative and use a rainbow of colors if you like.
15. Monogram Hand Towels
Apply iron-on double-stick interfacing on the back of some mini plaid or polka dot cotton-poly fabric. Use your Silhouette Portrait to cut out bold monogram initials in a simple font from the fabric. Iron them lightly onto towels to hold in place while you do a satin stitch around the entire edge of the letters. These monogrammed towels make great wedding gifts. This would also work for quilt blocks, baby bibs, and more.
16. Wrap A Present In A Special Gift Bag
Oftentimes the only way to wrap an awkwardly shaped item is in one of those oversized clear cellophane gift bags. Dress it up a bit first by cutting out a greeting such as “Congratulations Bob and Sue!” in a fancy script and a fun color, then apply it where the front of the bag will be and tie a bow in a matching hue for a unique and fun way to give a gift.
17. Make A Cute Halloween Candy Jar
Buy a cheap candlestick from a department or secondhand store. You also need the ever-popular canning jar — use a large one with a lid. Spray-paint the candlestick and the jar lid matte black. Glue the top of the candlestick to the bottom of the jar to create a pedestal. Cut a spiderweb design from black vinyl and transfer to the glass jar. Fill with candy corn and tie a cute orange and black checkered bow at the top of the candlestick for a sweet Halloween decoration.
18. Label An Ice Chest
Going to a family reunion or the beach and want to keep track of your cooler? Cut your name from outdoor-grade, weather-resistant vinyl and place on the lid or a smooth side of your cooler. Add a watermelon slice or beach ball design for a touch of whimsy.
19. Design Your Own Cupcake Wrappers
Using the pattern in the Silhouette Studio or anywhere online, cut out custom wrappers for fancy cupcakes. For a wedding, cut the name of the bride and groom from the side. For a girl’s birthday party, cut out a lacy pattern so that your treats are princess-worthy. For a young boy, cut out a train or clowns or dog shapes to dress up a humble cupcake.
20. Make A Silhouette With Your Silhouette
Trace your family’s faces in silhouette, then with the Portrait, cut them from black matboard. Using floating frames, sandwich each silhouette, centered, between the two sheets of glass and fasten the backs. These are unique as they are, but you could also add each person’s name on the glass in a contrasting color for a personal touch.
Whether you use this crafty cutting tool for work, school, a home business or just for fun, the only limit to its versatility is your imagination. With thousands of user-recommended projects available online for inspiration, it’s easy to see why the Silhouette Portrait is the favorite tool of many crafters.