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Silhouette Cameo Tools You Need To Craft With

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These 10 Silhouette Cameo tools will help you work smarter, not harder in your craft room.

When I first started out with my Silhouette Cameo I bought only the basic tools: a weeding tool kit, some vinyl, and cutting mats.

I figured I didn’t need anything else at the time and when I did need something I could just buy it and add it to my collection.

To be honest, that resulted in me spending way more than I should’ve. And I bought duplicate tools because as I learned more about my machine I realized that the cheap tools I rushed out to buy didn’t work as well as I would’ve liked them to.

While there are things you should always have extras of; like cutting mats and blades, you just don’t need 4 different types of weeding tools.

Like, why? Why did I think I needed so many?

Lots of Silhouette machine bundles you see on Amazon, So Fontsy, and the Silhouette America website add tools as part of their bundles. While the Silhouette America tool bundle works and isn’t a bad set, there are better tools out there.

So I put together a list of Silhouette Cameo tools that’ll save you some money up front and give you a list of the best tools you can buy for your machine.

The Basic Silhouette Cameo Tools

1. Weeding Tools

I have two weeding tools that I love and use for everything. The first one is this Siser Weeding Tool from Expressions Vinyl. It’s sharp, easy to grip, and picks up everything with ease. I use it for 95% of my projects.

The second one is this pin pen weeding tool from 651vinyl. If I am weeding a design that has a lot of very tiny pieces (like this cutting board Christmas gift) I like using the pin pen. It is super sharp (so be careful with your fingers!) and picks up very small pieces easily. I also love that it comes in a ton of different colors.

3D Paper Flowers - Sometimes it seems like all I do with my Silhouette Machine are crafts with vinyl. But I'm starting to make myself use paper more because it's easy and cheap! Like these 3D paper flowers, they're a quick craft to do on a rainy day and there are so many different kinds to make!

2. Cutting Mats

You can never have too many cutting mats. There are ways to prolong the life of your mats but eventually you will need more. And it’s always good to stock up on mats when they’re on sale.

I really love the Nicapa mats on Amazon because they’re cheap and come in packs of 3. But if you use them you void the warranty on your machine. My warranty is up so this isn’t a concern to me but if your machine is new you should stick to the mats from Silhouette America. They work just as well, but they are a little more expensive!

And depending on what type of material you cut you will need different mats. Light tack is perfect for paper projects, the regular and strong tack are what I use for glitter paper, vinyl, and glitter vinyl.

So make sure you double check what type of mat you’re buying before you pay!

3. Silhouette Cameo Blades

With the release of the Silhouette Cameo 4 came the release of new blades that only work with that machine. So if you are using an older model of the Silhouette Cameo make sure that you check which blades you are buying. You don’t want to accidentally get one that won’t work with your machine.

I primarily work with the Deep Cut Blade and have a few of them in my craft room. They just seem to work better for me most of the time.

You should also keep one of the Autoblades on hand for your projects as well. I like to use it for paper products.

How to use transfer tape for your Silhouette and Cricut projects

4. Application Tool

I love my application tool from Expressions Vinyl!

The reason I love this one more than the one that comes with the basic tool kit from Silhouette America is because it’s bigger.

I use this any time I need to make sure my vinyl design is sticking to a material (like wood or tumblers).

5. Paper Trimmer OR Utility Knife

Expressions Vinyl loves their utility knife and uses it a lot when they cut their vinyl. (you can see what I mean here)

I don’t know about you guys but I am absolutely terrible at cutting straight lines freehand so I reach for my paper trimmer instead.

This really is personal preference. I have a utility knife in my craft room but I typically don’t use it for vinyl. Pick whatever works for you!

6. Silhouette Design Studio

When you buy your Silhouette Cameo machine you typically get a credit to the design studio. As someone who is first starting out with the machine this is a great perk because you can buy different SVG files and play with them in the Silhouette software.

This isn’t something that you need to buy yourself since it’s a perk that comes with your machine, but I feel like it needs to be mentioned here.

After you use all of your credits you can buy a subscription but I don’t suggest doing that.

I suggest finding files from a few of my favorite places instead:

The Best vinyl to use with your Silhouette Cameo Tools

You’ve got the basic tools you’ll need to start crafting, but what about the materials? I’ve found that having a small stock of “extras” is always a good thing. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve messed up and didn’t have what I needed to continue.

It’s frustrating having to put a project on hold while you wait for new supplies to be delivered.

7. Heat Transfer Vinyl

I love heat transfer vinyl. I’m obsessed with it. Patterned glitter, metallic, or smooth…it doesn’t matter. I use it and love it all.

Expressions Vinyl has been my go-to supplier for years because they always have sales and their shipping is ridiculously fast.

I also love that they are now offering vinyl boxes. I typically get the mystery box but if you’re new you should pick up the beginners vinyl box.

I ordered one and love what they included in it. It’s perfect if you’re just starting out and want a variety of vinyl to work with.

Use heat transfer vinyl on wood
Use HTV on wood
Mike Wazowski and Sully from Monsters Inc family Halloween costumes made with heat transfer vinyl and a Silhouette machine
Layer HTV on shirts
Harry Potter Tote Bag made with Cricut's Rainbow colored Infusible Ink
Use Infusible Ink on Totes

8. Adhesive Vinyl (also known as permanent vinyl)

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t use adhesive vinyl as much as I should. I just feel that you can only have so many tumblers and mugs.

But did you know you can use patterned adhesive vinyl on wood? I decorated a wood pumpkin with it over on Instagram last year and it was a huge hit! Plus, it was really cute.

9. Patterned Vinyl

If solid colors just aren’t working for you there is patterned vinyl too.

Seriously, you can fall down the rabbit hole and spend hours looking at different colors, designs, and patterns. It’s insane.

I’ve used patterned vinyl on a very popular gigantic coffee mug, a Sherlock Holmes canvas, a Gilmore Girls t-shirt, and a very cute wood pumpkin on Instagram.

I like getting the HTV and adhesive vinyl boxes from Expressions Vinyl because I always get a variety of things I probably wouldn’t have picked on my own.

But I wrote a whole blog post on where you can buy patterned vinyl and if you’re in the market for some fun prints, you should check it out.

It also gives you tips on how to use it, because if you’re using HTV there’s usually no carrier sheet and so you have to cut it differently.

Rolls of Heat Transfer and Adhesive Patterned Vinyl to use for projects
Don't be nervous to craft with vinyl! I've got 15 beginner projects for you to try and tips to make the beginner vinyl crafts easy and fun!

10. Stencil Vinyl

I only have one type of vinyl that I use for stencils: Oramask 813.

It is the best stencil vinyl I’ve used and will never use anything else. It sticks to absolutely everything and if you take precautions you will very likely have little to no paint bleeds underneath your stencil.

You can also use removable vinyl for stencils if that’s all you have. I’ve done it before but I very much prefer Oramask 813.

While there are a ton of Silhouette Cameo tools you could buy, these are the most important ones when you first start out! Always invest in quality materials first, your wallet (and partner!) will thank you.

Just stick to the basics and slowly add on from there.

learn to use your Silhouette with our HOW TO SILHOUETTE series!

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8 Comments

  1. Where do I buy the rolls that I attach the vinyl to so I can use my cameo roll? I have looked everywhere. I want to attach the ends to the ends of my vinyl rolls to keep them on rollers and rolled up. Thank you

    1. Hi! Are you looking for the roll feeder to attach to you Cameo so that you can cut one long continuous piece of vinyl? I’m not sure I’m understanding the question so if I have it wrong please let me know and I’ll try to help! 🙂

  2. Thank you! I just purchased a used Cameo 2 and I had no clue what I needed to buy and you just gave me a list 🙂 If I’m primarily doing wood pallet signs and wooded crates do I buy vinyl for my stencils? Again, I haven’t even got my machine yet but I’m trying to have everything ready to go 🙂 Thanks for your help!

    1. CONGRATULATIONS! You’ll love your new machine!

      I love using Oramask 813 for all of my stencil vinyl projects. It is (in my opinion) the best stencil vinyl around and works great with wood signs. I highly suggest checking out this post to help you stop your paint from bleeding underneath the stencil. You’ll get all the tips needed to get clean lines with your projects. The biggest issue I had when I first started doing it was with paint bleeding through the vinyl and it would ruin all my signs.

      Good luck and reach out if you have any more questions! I’m so glad you found the post helpful. 🙂

  3. Hi there I have a Pro 4. So excited 😄. I make wood signs but I need to use the stencil many times over. The vinyl doesn’t work well for me for that reason. Can you please make suggestions for me pleaseease?
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hello! I’ve heard laminator sheets work really well for reusable stencils, though I have never tried it myself. I’m not sure what would work for a machine as wide as the pro but I’ll research it and get back to you!

  4. Great post, thank you! I agree with you about most of your recomendations, but I would add one more. I also use a good pair of crafting tweezers-I find they work even better for me than the Pin Pen. They are invaluable to me for weeding those tiny pieces of vinyl!

    1. Thank you! I’ve heard that about tweezers are great for weeding but I’ve never tried it, I probably should since I’ve heard so many good things about it!

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