There.... I said it. Yes, I am CHEAP and I am not ashamed of that. I like to save money, so, I've put together a list of tips/tricks I've discovered while working with my new Silhouette Portrait that are the CHEAPER alternatives to the products currently being offered.
(You can see some of the projects I have completed here.)
1. VINYL: Use contact paper instead of vinyl when you can get away with it. Making a sign? Cut your letters from black or colored contact paper - and then use clear contact paper (instead of "transfer paper" to transfer them onto the wood. Vinyl is too expensive for me to paint over then peel it off and throw it away. I have even used black contact paper on a mirror and it looks great!
2. TOOLS: There is no need to buy the expensive Silhouette tools. Buy a dental pick at the Dollar Store to use to pull off vinyl/contact paper. This will do the same thing as the Silhoutte pick for a fraction of the cost. Use a credit card to smooth your vinyl or contact paper onto your project to get it to adhere to your surface, rather than the smoothing tool Silhouette sells. If the tools come with your Silhouette, as some are sold as bundles, then great. But if you have to replace them - then why not save a little money?
3. FABRIC INTERFACING: Regular old interfacing (lightweight) works just fine when cutting fabric - rather than the "Silhouette" brand of interfacing. Iron it onto your material and then stick the material to your mat and cut. While I am by no means an expert here.... I've used both and in my experience, they work the same.
4. CUTABLE FILES: The online Silhouette Store is AMAZING! Be sure to download the FREE weekly file, whether you can use it now or not. It's FREE and it will grow your library. Who knows, some day you may have a use for it! Also, regularly do a seach using the word FREE. From time to time, Silhouette offers other FREE files that aren't advertised.
5. FONTS: My favorite place to view and download new fonts from is DaFont.com. This is an easy to use website with so many incredible fonts and new ones are being added the time! Anything that you download to your computer will show up in your font section when you open your Silhouette Software.
6. CUTTING MAT: To make your mat sticky again, use Krylon 'Easy Tack' Repositionable Spray or Aleen's 'Tack It Over & Over'. You'll not only save money over the cost of a replacement mat, but you'll be able to use these multiple times and/or on other projects.
I'm sure this list will grow, the more I work with the Silhouette Portrait - but for now, these tips have saved me some money - and that makes me very happy!
What other money-saving tips have you found when using the Silhouette?
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