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The only reason I feel the need for this post is because I rode the struggle bus when I was learning to how to line up my Silhouette Cameo mat myself. I felt like everyone was like ‘line your mat up and press LOAD. Okay Miss Lady, I’d love to…. but where do I line it up?
Silhouette Cameo Mat Settings
I honestly didn’t even think about cutting anything bigger than 12×12 for the longest time. Then once I was considering it, all of the sites I read about cutting without a mat were daunting. Researching cutting without a mat is the only reason I found the setting for cutting with the mat.
You’ll find these settings under the ‘Page Setup’. Depending on which version and edition of Silhouette Design Studio you’re running, it should be the first icon on your toolbar. The icon looks like a piece of paper that’s dog-eared at the bottom.
Under the ‘Page Size’ header, check to make sure the a first drop down box next to ‘Size’ says ‘Automatic CAMEO)’. Make sure that the dimensions under the drop down aren’t any bigger than 12×12. You can make it smaller to help with planning placement for your design, but anything outside of the 12×12 won’t cut when you’re using a mat.
Under the ‘Cutting Mat’ header, make sure that it says ‘CAMEO’. The cutting mat settings determine where the blade drops to start the first cut. If this says ‘NONE’, your blade will drop further to the left and depending where your design starts, you may cut your mat instead of your vinyl/paper.
Lining Up Your Mat
I always lined up my mat like this:
But you really need to line your mat up like this:
Line the edge of the mat up with the blue line. I lined the edge of the sticky area on the mat with the blue line…. and then wondered why my cut always went off the edge. Duh!
Feeding The Mat
Feeding your mat is as important as how to line up your Silhouette Cameo mat. You need to make sure that you hold the mat steady and straight as you press LOAD. If you don’t hold the mat when you press feed, this can happen:
This is how you need your mat to look after you press LOAD:
Double Checking & Cutting
- Check your Page Size settings.
- Make sure the Cutting Mat settings say ‘Cameo 12×12’ (or 12×24 if you have that mat.
- Check the alignment of your mat along the blue line on your Silhouette.
- Send to cut and check material/cut settings.
I also suggest making sure that your mat is tacky enough to have a firm grip on whatever you’re cutting. Even if you’re lined up right, this is a quick way to ruin a cut. Glitter heat transfer vinyl tends to wiggle around my mat regardless of how tacky it is, so I always use painters tape to hold it down for the best cut!
If you load your mat right, you would be shocked at how close to the edge of your design space you can cut! This will save you hassle and vinyl along the way!
Thats all for now, folks! Thanks for hanging on for what may have been a boring post- but I really hope that I helped someone who may have been struggling as bad as I did.
Also, if you’re interested in cutting without a mat, read my post here.