The Silhouette Challenge: A New Series

My husband Mark is pretty much one of the best gift-givers on the planet, but this year, he really outdid himself.  I think my jaw dropped to the floor when I ripped open the wrapping paper to reveal this beauty:

The Silhouette Challenge: A New Series on The Thinking Closet

My very own *Silhouette Cameo!

The Silhouette Challenge: A New Series on The Thinking Closet

In case you’re wondering, a *Silhouette is an electronic cutting tool that connects to your computer, allowing you to cut fonts and images on a variety of materials from paper to fabric to vinyl and more.  With it, you can create scrapbook pages, cards, custom apparel, vinyl decor, etched glass, temporary tattoos, paper crafts…the list goes on and on.

Ever since Christmas, my head has been spinning with possibilities for how to put my new Silhouette Cameo to use.  And one day, I came up with an idea: if I really want to be committed to getting to know this machine in 2013 and learning all that it can do, I need a goal…an objective…a CHALLENGE!  So, here it is, folks:

The Silhouette Challenge via The Thinking Closet

With The Silhouette Challenge, I plan to tackle at least one new project for each month of the year.  By the end of 2013, I’ll have 12 unique projects completed – - “unique” meaning no repeats!  Only one wood sign, one t-shirt, one glass etching, etc.  Of course, I’ll share these projects with you lovelies here at The Thinking Closet each month, so you can track my progress and hopefully glean some inspiration yourselves.  {UPDATE:  Here’s the gallery where you can view my Mother-Lode of Silhouette Tutorials for Beginners!}

And please don’t think that just because you may not own a digital craft cutter like a Silhouette or Cricut that none of these projects will apply to you!  I’ll be certain to share suggestions for how to complete each project without a digital craft cutter.  And remember: never underestimate the power of a freshly sharpened x-acto knife!

Now, those of you who follow me on Pinterest may have had a premonition of this post because I started a new board recently called Silhouette: Projects and Tips, and I’ve been pinning to it like a madwoman.  Here’s an inspiration board with a round-up of a few projects that caught my eye:

Silhouette Inspiration Board - A Project Round-Up by The Thinking Closet

Clockwise, starting top left: Numbered Chair by Craftaholics Anonymous / Stenciled Galvanized Bucket by Reloved Rubbish / Stenciled Wooden Map by Twigg Studios / D.I.Y. Heat Transfer Tote by How About Orange / Temporary Tattoos by Sugar Bee Crafts / Monogrammed Hand Soap by The Idea Room / Leaf Stenciled Shirt by Make It & Love It / Motivational Quote Mirror by Twigg Studios / Rhinestones Tutorial by The Idea Room / Front Door Welcome by Craftaholics Anonymous / Advent Calendar by Crap I’ve Made / Glass Etching by Make It & Love It

After swooning over so many fantastic creations like the ones above, I can’t wait to dive in and make my first cuts on my new machine!  I’ll be back before long to share the first Silhouette project in The Silhouette Challenge, so stay tuned.  {Update: click HERE to view my “A Thousand Thanks” cards!}

Do you have a Silhouette?  Wanna collaborate?

I would be elated if anyone else wanted to join me in The Silhouette Challenge!  I’ve created a Facebook Group for beginner and veteran Silhouette users alike where we can share inspiration, trouble-shoot ideas, and participate in the monthly Silhouette Challenge posts.  If you’re interested, fill out the form HERE.  I love-love-love collaborating with other creatives.

Have a great rest of your weekend, everyone!

{I link up here.}

*Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase after clicking through, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Thanks for helping to support this site!

This is Lauren, signing off.

Lovely comments so far...

  1. Wow, I had not heard of one of these yet (only Cricut), but I am definitely interested! Just clicking on the link you posted filled my mind with possibilities! I might drop a hint or two for my husband (he’s a great gift-giver, too!). What fun you will have with your challenge! Can’t wait to see what you will accomplish! :)

  2. Sounds like an awesome challenge! AND it does explain a lot about your pin board ;-)
    Kenley

  3. What an awesome gift! Go, Mark!!! I’m super jelly. Can’t wait to see all the lovely projects you come up with.

    • Thanks, Bethany! Yes, Mark certainly rocked my socks off with this one. I guess I didn’t realize how much I had been talking about wanting one…. Tee hee. Looking forward to seeing all of your jewelry creations in this new year. That’s a whole other aspect of crafting I haven’t yet tapped into, but I’m sure I would love it.

  4. kelly thompson says:

    cool, can’t wait~I’m sure it will be good

  5. you’re going to love it!!

  6. Im So glad my mirror and map inspired you. I love my silhouette I wouldnt be without it now. I look forward to see your creations xxx

    • It was all I could do to limit myself to just two projects from Twigg Studios – - you have so many fantastic Silhouette projects! I’m sure I’ll be referring to your tutorials as I navigate these new waters with my machine. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Awesome! Mark is so thoughtful and supportive of all your endeavors. I know you will be gracing all of us with your brilliant creativity soon. Can’t wait to see what you make. Leap, girl!

  8. I was wondering what Mark got you for Christmas! He really LISTENS and observes, and got you what you’ll enjoy very much and utilize, too! I also look forward to seeing your projects with this and the alternative ways to make them. Thanks for all of your inspiration! Let’s chat soon!

  9. Hi Lauren, new visitor over from the Sundae Scoop link party. I LOVE my Silhouette. I purchased it last year with some Christmas money. Pinterest has some seriously amazing ideas for using it. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

    Debbie

    • Glad to have found another lover of their Silhouette. (And I have yet to meet anyone who is less than enthusiastic about it.) You’re right about Pinterest, Debbie. The supply of Silhouette pins is endless! I have to limit myself or else that’s all I would pin. :-)

  10. Oh, my gosh… I got one of these too!! I had mentioned it one time that I would like to have it and like you, I have an awesome husband, who got me one for Christmas. I’m so glad I came upon your blog… I am so excited to learn along with you!! I can’t wait to see what “we” will create this year! My husband actually already created HIM a decal for his truck! I think he wanted it just as much as I did! :)

    • Hooray! Great to know that I have a Silhouette-buddy in you, Gaye. Ha ha, and I love that your husband has already used it himself! That’s great. I think Mark hopes to make a decal for his boat…that might have to be one of my monthly tutes! Thanks for introducing yourself, Gaye, and don’t hesitate to shoot me an email with any questions (that we can answer together) or fun discoveries!

  11. That Mark is a keeper, Lauren! A man who supports crafting is a good one in my book. Looking forward to seeing what you create this year!

    • I’ve been blessed, that’s for sure! This might have been his way of thanking me for giving him a drill press for Christmas last year; I think it kinda rocked his world. ;-) Thanks for your support, friend!

  12. Wow really cool tool, I really admire the silhouette and wish that I can be so lucky one day to own one. Thank you for the inspiration and have a great day

  13. Unfortunately, I waited until after the holidays to catch the Silhouette bug, so I missed out on getting it as a gift then but I actually spent this morning’s breakfast trying to convince my hubby that I need one, like yesterday, as I have about 3 projects I want to do that would be soooo much easier with one. Excited to have found your blog on Live, Laugh, Rowe Link Up and will definitely be following your projects, hope I can join you on some soon!

    • It’s amazing how many fun projects you can do with a Silhouette machine…my mind keeps thinking of new ones each day or after each visit to Pinterest (which is more frequent than I like to admit). Lesley, if you do end up getting one, let me know! I’d love to collaborate on some projects together. :-)

      • I must have put on my best pretty please smile because my hubby ordered my Cameo off Amazon for me! It is scheduled to be delivered Monday morning and I can’t wait to get started. I really look forward to doing some projects alongside you,

        • Eek! This is SO exciting, Lesley! What a sweet hubby you have. I can already say after working with mine for just a few hours that you’re going to LOVE it. If anything, you just might be overwhelmed with how many projects you want to do with your new machine and might not know where to start. ;-) In fact, you’ve given me an idea for a way for us new Silhouette-ers to help each other out…look out for an email from me in the next day or so.

  14. Sweet! I just got a Cameo too! I haven’t opened yet, because I’m a little overwhelmed and have been looking for tutorials. I have a long Pinterest inspiration board of ideas as well! I love vinyl art, so I will be using it for that the most. Can’t wait to see what you do!

  15. Love my Silhouette! I’d love to participate in the challenge or guest contribute sometime!

  16. Hi Lauren,
    Found my way here via your wonderful Thank you cards tutorial using the Silhouette, which I found on Amanda’s (Serenity Now) weekend bloggy reading party! :) And so I glad that I did because: My husband gave me a Silhouette for our anniversary and I’ve been so busy that I have yet to truly use it, other than cutting a few things out here and there for other projects. I’d definitely love to take on the challenge with you, although I can already feel myself getting a bit nervous about it! LOL But since my goal this year is to step out of my comfort zone more often, this sounds like a good challenge indeed! Thanks so much! –Laura

    • Laura! I love your words for 2013…”my comfort zone.” In fact, I visited your lovely blog and read your post on it. I thought you were so wise to mention that while there are times when we need to step out of our comfort zone, other times it can be really good for our souls to step back into our comfort zone. And how wonderful that you’re committing yourself to being more in tune with when it’s time to take a risk and when it’s time to take a step back and seek restoration this year. I think that’s an interested and oh so important distinction.

      Annnnndddd…I am ELATED that you’re interested in joining me in the Silhouette Challenge! Whoo hoo! When I threw that call out there, I wasn’t sure anyone would be interested, so you can imagine my delight at reading your comment. It is SO much easier to accomplish goals when we have buddies by our sides, making strides along with us. Doncha think? I know I’ll be all the more inspired to accomplish my projects knowing I’m not the only one staying up late, trying to figure out the ins and outs of the Silhouette. Will be sending you an email with more crafty conspiring!

  17. I never knew that you could do so much with a silhouette!!! Printing on T-shirts as well as glass?? No wonder you’re so inspired…the ideas/projects could be endless! I love that you made yourself a challenge to keep up with, and that others can join in with you. Can’t wait to see your January project, sis, and any collaborations that result!

    • Yes, the Silhouette really is a “magic machine.” (Makes me think of that “Music Machine” movie you were obsessed with as a child…it had the “Have Patience” song. Might have to sing that song to myself as I figure out my new Silhouette. Tee hee.) I’m hoping that the “challenge” will really motivate me to learn my machine’s many functions and also inspire some collaborations. I already have a few bloggy friends interested in joining me in The Silhouette Challenge, which I’m thrilled about. Feel free to send any special project requests my way, sistah!

  18. Christina at I Gotta Create! says:

    I don’t have one. I sure wish I did. I will live vicariously and look forward to your creations!!

    Thank you for partying with the Wildly Original Crowd.
    <3 Christina at I Gotta Create!

    • I’m doing my best to make my posts applicable to folks who don’t have a Silhouette (with alternative methods – - usually involving an x-acto knife), so hopefully, you can not only live vicariously, but find some applicable tips! Thanks for stopping by, Christina.

  19. Great goals to have Lauren! I am thinking I want one as well. Kudos to your hubby. Thanx for joining THT.

  20. I got one for Christmas too!!! I’ll be following, and stumbling along with you.

  21. Got a Cricut first….did many many projects…Felt trapped and limited to what I could do…So I bought a Silhouette!!! Could not be happier!!!! It is a toss up which I like better. But if I have to choose it would be the Silhouette – because what you can do are endless!!!! I have been providing my family and friends with cute and fun gifts for them and their friends. Let’s just say it was a profitable Christmas!!! Loving my Silhouette!! Can’t wait to get new ideas!

    • Thanks for your comment and enthusiasm! How wonderful that you’ve already put your Silhouette to great use in creating gifts for your family and friends! I bet they were just lovely; I’d love to know which ones you were most proud of…. I’m sure I could glean a lot of new ideas from YOU!

  22. I just got my cameo yesterday and I am already in love with it!! It is Amazing!! I can’t wait to see all your projects!

    • {Happy dance of excitement for you.} I have yet to meet someone who is not THRILLED with the machine. It can be intimidating at first, but just dive in, splash around, and you’ll soon be doing laps around the rest of us beginners, I’m sure.

  23. Thanks so much for the invite! I’ve found some great deals on vinyl, but still haven’t got my Silhouette hooked up yet! I have lots of plans for it, though! Thinking about a Valentine’s Day Mantle project, however, the Super Bowl is first on the calendar…so maybe I’ll do something for that. Just need to find the time to get busy…but I’ve got a LOT of ideas in my head! Already put in my request on the fb page. I’m so excited! P.S. I’ve been sewing for years so maybe I can give you a hand with some of that stuff! :-)

    • Love to hear that your mind is swirling with ideas – - mine, too! So many cuts to make, not enough time, right? Looking forward to collaborating together in our lil Facebook group! And you’re so kind to offer assistance in the sewing department! I’ll keep that in mind when my machine acts up or when taking on a new sewing endeavor. Cheers.

  24. I’m interested for sure.

  25. You are so lucky Lauren to have one of these! your hubby really outdid himself! :-)

  26. I’m so excited to follow this series! I got my Silhouette Cameo (from my husband, love him!) for my birthday in October. I’ve been toying with it ever since and I NEED more inspiration.

    • I love connecting with other Silhouette users! It seems there are so many great ideas out there…it can be hard to know where to start. Our lil Silhouette Challenge FB group will be a great place for you to find inspiration and motivation. Will send you the details on it shortly.

  27. Okay, so as of today I have become obsessed with Silhouette and am dying to own one. I have been stalking all your Silhouette projects today, woman! Ha! Too freaking cool… Have you ever cut felt with it, or would that work? Now I’m just anxiously waiting for another awesome giveaway on your bloggy… ;))

    xx Monica

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      Yay! Stalk my projects all you want. Come over to the dark side, Monica. Ha ha. Seriously, though, it really is quite an incredible machine. I hope to be able to host another giveaway, so you’ve got a shot at winning one! And to answer your question, I had to do a little digging, but I found a YouTube with video evidence that the Silhouette can indeed cut felt. Who’d have thunk it! (Is there anything this machine CAN’T cut? I’m continually amazed….) Hope you can get your hands on one soon, Monica! I know you’d come up with some really creative projects.

  28. Julie Hussain says:

    Are you going to do this again for 2014?

Trackbacks

  1. [...] my first completed project in my new series, The Silhouette Challenge: a thank you card a la William Shakespeare.  What I love about the shape of this stationery is [...]

  2. [...] it started as a wild idea in my head, and somehow I figured out how to bring it to fruition on my new Cameo.  Here it is, spreading the love on our living room [...]

  3. [...] I eventually decided to the purse could use some gold polka dots on those main panels.  So, I used my Silhouette to create a quick stencil.  My first attempt looked a little too much like Swiss Cheese, so I went [...]

  4. [...] received a Silhouette Cameo for Christmas this past December from a certain hubby and challenged myself to create at least one new Silhouette project each month.  Let’s just say that I’ve [...]

  5. […] transfer vinyl for her onesie, which I’ve had great success with, but as part of my year of The Silhouette Challenge (at least 12 unique projects in 12 months), I wanted to try a new medium: freezer paper stenciling […]

  6. […] actually had my eye on etched casserole dishes since creating my Silhouette Idea Board in January.  Check out this beauty created by Ashley from Make It & Love […]

  7. […] the giveaways, I did find one under my tree Christmas morn.  ”Santa” heard my song!  {Click here to read that first post…and learn more about what a Cameo can […]

  8. […] crazy, right?  I could have never accomplished this much if I hadn’t done “The Silhouette Challenge,” which was a goal I set for myself to try one new project or material a month for 12 months.  So […]

  9. […] to ensure I would actually use it and not let it just sit in the box, I gave myself a challenge.  A Silhouette Challenge.  And that was to use my new Cameo to complete 12 unique projects in 12 months.  And, I’m […]

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