Thursday, November 28

Silhouette Cameo Review and Monogram Ornament Tutorial

I was thrilled to be asked by the makers of the Silhouette Cameo to try out the cutting machine and create a tutorial for my readers. If you haven't heard of a Silhouette you will be amazed at all the wonderful crafts and gifts you can make! Check out what this nifty machine can do:
 “The Silhouette is a digital cutting tool for personal use. It connects to your computer just like a printer, but instead of printing designs it cuts them with a small blade. With the machine connected to your computer, you’ll get access to all of the fonts on your PC plus the thousands of cuttable designs found on the Silhouette Online Store.“ –

Did you read that? The Silhouette will allow you to use your own computer's fonts and doesn't require you to purchase additional expensive cartridges. And you can use a variety of materials to cut with including paper, cardstock, vinyl and even lightweight fabrics (up to about .8mm in thickness).

And TODAY is your LUCKY DAY! Silhouette is running a 
BLACK FRIDAY PROMOTION just in time for Christmas!


This is THE biggest savings event Silhouette has ever held making it the perfect time to put this at the top of your Christmas list and order soon! Just look at your choices during this amazing HOLIDAY SALE (Thursday November 28-Sunday December 8):

  1.  A Silhouette CAMEO®, Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition Software, a dust cover (the color is decided by Silhouette), a $25 download card, a hook, a scraper, a spatula, and a pick-me-up® tool for $229.99. Retail price for all of this would total $406.93 (over 40% savings!) 
  2. A Silhouette Portrait®, Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition Software, a dust cover (the color is decided by Silhouette), a $25 download card, a hook, a scraper, a spatula, and a pick-me-up® tool for $129.99. Retail price for all of this would total $286.93 (over 40% savings!) 
  3.  A Silhouette CAMEO®, a Silhouette Portrait®, and two $25 download cards for $299.99. That’s right: If you buy a Silhouette CAMEO® at full price, you get two $25 download cards and a Silhouette Portrait® ABSOLUTELY FREE! Retail price for all of this would be $406.93 (over 40% savings!) 
  4.  40% off consumable products at This excludes machines, subscriptions, download and gift cards. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Rain checks not available. 
  5. FREE SHIPPING on orders over $25. 
Now for my review...

  • No need to purchase fonts or cartridges - includes software
  • Many materials can be used such as paper, cardstock, lightweight fabric, vinyl, heat transfer, glass etching material, etc.
  • You can adjust settings to only cut through the adhesive layer and not the backing layer of sticker papers
  • The blade adjusts depths so no need for keeping up or purchasing different blades
  • Silhouette offers inexpensive shapes and designs for projects at their Silhouette Online Store ($.99 or less) 
  • Each week the Silhouette Online Store offers a free shape to download
  • Some materials with a backing can be cut out without the mat
  • You can resize items easily
  • Has a pause button if you need to stop to correct something
  • Cuts both large and small detail crisply
  • Can use 12"x12" scrapbook paper or card stock which is great for larger projects
  • Materials with a backing, such as vinyl or heat transfer material, can be cut without the mat.
  • Replacement blades and mats are priced similar to other die cutting machines on the market.
  • The Silhouette Blog has a lot of great project ideas and tips.
  • Takes some trial and error to figure out settings for some different materials depths
  • Mats are very, very sticky at first and can damage paper when trying to remove it from the mat
  • Replacement blades and mats can be hard to find in stores so will have to order online

Great! I hope this one will make your Christmas gift giving for friends easy and fun. My girls and I are making these for all their friends, and I love that this is a project that is easy enough for them to help with. 

Paper mache' ornaments (I bought mine at Hobby Lobby on sale 50% off)
Spray paint
Mod Podge
Paint brush
Wrapping paper (mine is from Hobby Lobby)
Ribbon & tulle

Purchase your supplies including the paper mache' ornaments. If you can't find these, any circle, square or rectangle flat pieces of wood from the wood working aisle at craft stores can work too.

Spray paint or use acrylic paint to paint the unfinished ornament

Using Mod Podge, coat the ornament on one side with the glue. Trace the ornament shape onto the back of your wrapping paper and cut out 2 circles for each ornament. (You may also use your Silhouette to make this set even easier if you don't want to trace and cut your paper yourself. NOTE: I tried this with my new Silhouette matt board and it was too sticky for the wrapping paper and I could not remove it well so I traced my shapes and cut them out).

Apply cut circle to glued ornament. Press down to secure.

Apply Mod Podge on top of paper to seal. Now repeat Steps 3-5 for the back side of ornament. Mod Podge dries quickly and in 10 minutes you may apply another coat to each side if you would like. Then hang ornament to dry.

Using your Silhouette you can now cut out your monograms. I used the "Pointedly Mad" font from DAFONT HERE. My monograms were about 2.5" tall. I purchased vinyl from Hobby Lobby because my Silhouette brand vinyl wasn't the color I needed. I found the vinyl from Hobby Lobby needed to be applied to the matt board to run it through the machine. Peel off the monogram from the vinyl sheet.

Apply the monogram to the ornament.

Apply more layers of Mod Podge to seal the ornament.

Cut ribbon pieces to about 6" in length. I put a striped red ribbon over a green burlap ribbon with 4 pieces of white tulle underneath. Pinch center to gather.

STEP 10:
Using one of the white tulle pieces, tie a knot around all ribbons to make bow.

STEP 11:
Tie ends of white tulle around ornament hanger to attach. Dab some hot glue onto the top of the ornament below ribbon center to secure bow to ornament.

STEP 12:

Finish by notching ends of ribbon.

Soooo easy and each ornament was made for about $1.50! Great, inexpensive, personalized gifts for all of my teenage girl's friends for Christmas. I think I'll make some for neighbors and teachers, too.

So guess what? I think the Silhouette is the most versatile cutting machines on the market. I love it and it's cost effective, too. I can't wait to use it to try out even more projects for parties and gifts, too. Take advantage of this FABULOUS EVENT and order today before the SALE is over (Just remember the PROMO CODE: AMANDASPARTIES). You won't be disappointed!

Be sure to check out the SILHOUETTE PINTEREST PAGE for fabulous crafting and gift ideas!

*Disclaimer: I was given a Silhouette Cameo to review and create a project for my readers. All opinions are my own and no one asked me to give a positive review. 

Monday, November 4

Thanksgiving FREE Printables!

Thanksgiving FREEBIE!
Get ready for the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday with the Amanda's Parties to Go FREE Thanksgiving Printable Set! This one is huge and full of great decorations and activities for the kids, too.

Just take a look at these inspiring photos from Crissy's Crafts using the Thanksgiving FREEBIE SET. About the party Cris says, "For our Give Thanks play date, I set up the kids table outdoors since the weather here in Phoenix is very mild during Fall. I purchased a few pumpkins to use as center pieces and embellished them using silk flowers, ribbons and painted polkadots.

Using the coordinated paper and turkey icons from the set, I made cute crayon holders using toilet paper roll that was placed beside each place setting along with an activity sheet from the printable set. I also used the coordinated paper as placemats, the larger turkey icons from the set were used to decorated the back of their chairs.

The dessert table was as colorful and fun as the kids table. Using fabric that coordinated with the printable, I created the backdrop by covering a piece of foam board and added the Happy Thanksgiving banner. An orange polkadot fabric was used as a tablecloth.

The kids enjoyed some yummy cake pops, sugar cookies, trail mix, cupcakes and turkey sandwiches. At the craft station, kids made turkey hats using the coordinated paper from the printable, painted wooden indian masks, made cute turkey decorations and colored the turkey printable also from the set.

Favors were displayed on an old kid's fence decorated with color coordinated paper bunting. The kids had so much fun. If you have good weather in late fall, staging this party outdoors might be a fun way to do a kids’ table at your Thanksgiving dinner. "


Styling and Photography: Crissy's Crafts
FREE Thanksgiving printable: Amanda's Parties to Go
Custom turkey shirt: *Golden*
Turkey cake topper: Edible Details
Turkey Cookies: Astonish Cakes
Adhesive labels/papers:
Popcorn container: Oriental Trading
Wooden utensils: Katarina's Paperie
Push up pops and mini cupcake stands: Petite Party