15 Jan 2016

Top 10 Tips for using pens with the Silhouette

Did you know that your could use the Silhouette Cameo to write instead of cut? I used mine to make this faux chalkboard kitchen plaque.





The word art on this sign was made by swapping the cutting blade for a pen holder and using a white gel pen on smooth black card stock.  The pen follows the exact path that the blade would, and so just draws the outline of the letters. I used a chalk marker to partially colour the larger letters and the coffee beans and a fine white gel pen to add a pattern to the coffee mug.

I thought I'd share a list of tips to help you achieve a pleasing effect.


10 TOP TIPS for using pens with your Silhouette:


  1. Invest in a pen holder - it allows you to use your favourite pens.
  2. Use a smooth cutting mat. I use the mat that I usually reserve exclusively for vinyl. A rough mat will cause your pen to skip.
  3. Scribble a little with the pen to get the ink flowing before installing it in the pen holder.
  4. Don't use too high a pressure setting, this can result in unwanted carriage lines, blotches and even cause the roller in a roller ball pen to close and prevent ink from flowing.
  5. Use a flat lolly stick or tongue depressor under your pen nib to set the correct height in the holder for your pen ... and don't forget to remove it before you hit  'Send to Silhouette'!
  6. Smooth card stock gives a more even result. Don't use textured card stock unless you are wanting a more distressed look.
  7. Pens generally work best on card stock, so adhere your card to your item after it's printed (and had time to dry). The newer Curio machine allows for thicker items to be placed in the mat area.
  8. Try to make your design small enough to fit between the rollers. The rollers may smear slower drying inks.
  9. Select the best position for the card on your mat and match its location on your screen. N.B. there is a bigger space without rollers to the right of the mat. 
  10. If you do get smears across your work leave them to dry a little and then remove excess pen marks gently with an adhesive eraser.

Do let me know how you get on if you try this - I'm happy to add additional tips too if you have any to share!

Details on this Coffee Lettering SVG file from Sanqunetti Design are in my previous post.  










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