A Few of My Favorite Silhouette Supplies & Giveaway!

Sung to the tune of “My Favorite Things” from the classic musical, The Sound of Music:

Heat transfer vinyl and rhinestones for onesies,

Printable foil in gold: also fun-sie.

Tattoos to print out and cut ‘n any size,

These are a few of my favorite supplies!

(Rogers and Hammerstein are rolling in their graves right now, so we’ll stop there.)

The reason for my lame attempt at a song parody?  Well, one of the most frequently asked questions I receive from new Silhouette users is:

In terms of Silhouette supplies, what are the essentials?  The must-haves?

And so, when I learned about Silhouette America’s special 30% off sale which kicks off today in honor of the The Crafts & Hobby Association’s (CHA!) Mega Show, well the timing couldn’t be more perfect for me to share about my favorite Silhouette tools and materials.

First, here’s a quick run-down of what the 30% off discount covers when you use my affiliate code CLOSET over at the Silhouette Shop:

  • All physical tools, materials, and supplies that are in stock.
  • The Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition Software (no shipping costs on this one!)
30% Off Silhouette Supplies using the code CLOSET from Jan 11 - 18!

Start shopping HERE.

Pretty sweet, right?  And while the sale doesn’t cover machines, gift cards, download cards, shapes, subscriptions, or out-of-stock items, I do have the awesome opportunity to give away a Silhouette Portrait to one lucky Thinking Closet reader!  So, stick with me to the end of this post to enter to win!

Lauren’s Favorite Silhouette Supplies

Since I know that some of your are newbies and others might be more experienced Silhouette users, I’ve created a few different recommended supply lists to cover different experience levels and interests.  You’ve got what I would call, “The Essentials,” then “The Spice of Life Variety Pack,” then “The Fabric-Lover’s Wish List,” and lastly, “The Supply List for the Seriously Obsessed.”

My hope is that I can use my experience with a vast number of Silhouette supplies to help newbies and veteran Silhouette users alike determine which supplies are worth their while.

Now things to remember as you review my favorites:

  1. I’m only recommending tools and materials I have had the opportunity to try out myself.  So there may be some additional supplies not mentioned that are worthy of trying…I just want to be sure I can stand behind my word.
  2. Since I’ve worked with all of these supplies before, you can see them in action over in my project gallery, The Mother Lode of Beginner Silhouette Tutorials, which is organized by both material and project type.  There, you’ll get a sense for the process of using each material or tool.
  3. Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase using one of them, I may earn a small commission.  Thanks for supporting this site!  Read all the fine print here.

The Essentials

Here’s what I recommend for ALL Silhouette users.  So, if you could only purchase a few things, these are what I would highly suggest!

Recommended Silhouette Supplies for Beginners: "The Essentials"

  1. 1 EXTRA BLADEI recommend having at least one extra blade on hand for when the blade that came with your machine goes dull.  I was able to make it through 8 months on my first blade, but it will all depend on how frequently you use your machine and what materials you’re cutting.  You’ll be glad to have a back-up blade on hand when you need it!  (And it’s always right in the middle of a project, isn’t it?)
  2. 1 EXTRA CUTTING MATThe same goes for the cutting mat; I recommend having at least one extra mat on hand.  There are some creative ways to prolong the life of your mat (cleaning it with baby wipes or warm water and soap, for example), but after 8 months of using and abusing my first mat, I needed to bust out my back-up!
  3. HOOK: This is an essential tool if you ever want to work with vinyl or heat transfer vinyl.  It will help you weed out (or remove) the unwanted parts of your design.  If you decide to invest in any of the starter kits, just be sure to check to see if they come with a hook tool.  Many do!  (Like the Vinyl or HTV Starter Kits.)
  4. SCRAPER: Another tool you’ll need if you work with vinyl is the scraper; you use it to smooth out the vinyl and transfer tape.  While you can use a credit card as an alternative, now that I have an actual scraper, I much prefer it!  It’s not as flimsy.  If you decide to invest in any of the starter kits, just be sure to check to see if they come with the scraper, as many do!  (Like the Vinyl or Glass Etching Starter Kits.)
  5. DUST COVERTo protect your machine from those dust bunnies, I recommend investing in a dust cover.  Or if you’re sewing savvy, you could DIY your own!  Though Silhouette has some pretty fun colors that might catch your eye….
  6. CARDSTOCKThe very first cuts I made on my Cameo were on cardstock!  Between cards and banners, you’ll find endless uses for this material, so it’s best to have a nice stack on hand.  Silhouette America doesn’t sell plain cardstock on their site, so you’ll want to hit up your local craft store; just be wary of “cheap” or textured cardstocks as they can be difficult to get a clean cut with.  American Crafts cardstock cuts really cleanly.

The Spice of Life Variety Pack

If you’re just starting off and are wanting to experiment with a few of the most popular Silhouette mediums (that are also my favorites), here’s what I would recommend:

Recommended Silhouette Supplies: "The Spice of Life Variety Pack"

  1. VINYL STARTER KITThe nice thing about the vinyl starter kit is that it comes with the hook tool, scraper, and a nice variety pack of vinyl in 4 different colors; plus you get a roll of transfer paper!  So, you have everything you need to tackle vinyl projects galore.  You can also buy vinyl and transfer paper by the roll if you become obsessed like I am; I have rolls of black, white, frosted glass, chalkboard, silver, and gold!  Plus a few rolls of transfer paper, which is essential to have when working with vinyl.
  2. HEAT TRANSFER VINYL STARTER KITI’ve gotten great use out of the HTV in my starter kit (which comes with 5 different colors, with both smooth and flocked HTV). Flocked HTV might be my favorite because it is fuzzy to the touch and extra easy to apply with a hot iron.  This starter kit also comes with the hook tool.
  3. ADHESIVE CARDSTOCKOkay, this stuff might take the cake for my all-time favorite supply.  It cuts like a dream and is so easy to use!  I can’t sing its praises enough.  I’ve plowed through most of my essentials 16-pack and already purchased a 20-pack of black for my upcoming projects.
  4. SKETCH PENSSo, if you’re new to the Silhouette, you may not know this yet, but in addition to cutting pretty much any font or image imaginable, your machine can also sketch those designs!  You just replace your blade with a sketch pen (it’s a lot like a gel pen), and let your machine work its wonders.  The glitter and metallic pens are my favorites.
  5. PRINTABLE FOILIt’s funny, at first I was scratching my head about how to use the printable foil, and now I can’t stop thinking of opportunities to use it!  Jar labels, paper bag seals, certificate medallions, advent calendar numbers…this stuff is fantastic!  And it’s also a great way to dip your toe in print-and-cut projects.
  6. PRINTABLE TATTOO PAPERWhen you see how easy it is to create your own temporary tattoos, you’re going to wish there were more than three sheets of it in one pack!  A must-have for anyone with kids, nieces and nephews, or a child-like spirit.

The Fabric-Lover’s Wish List

For those of you who are really excited about creating apparel items or embellishing canvas totes and pillows, this is your wish list!

Recommended Silhouette Supplies for The Fabric Lover!

  1. FABRIC BLADEJust like you have a separate pair of scissors for cutting fabric, so you should have a separate blade for cutting fabric.  This is exactly the same blade as your regular black one; it’s just blue to help distinguish it.  If you want to cut fabric (and who doesn’t?), definitely invest in one of these.
  2. SEWABLE FABRIC INTERFACINGThis is thin iron-on material that allows you to temporarily adhere your fabric cut-out onto a soft surface while you sew or stitch it into place (i.e. appliques).  You’ll apply it to fabric prior to cutting it with your Silhouette!
  3. CLEAN-CUT FABRIC INTERFACING: This is thicker iron-on material that allows you to adhere your fabric cut-out onto cards and scrapbook pages or hand-stitch it onto other materials (i.e. fabric flower embellishments).  You’ll apply it to fabric prior to cutting it with your Silhouette!
  4. HEAT TRANSFER VINYL (HTV)You could try the starter kit that I linked to in the previous supply list or if you have some favorite colors that you know you’ll be using more frequently, you can buy HTV by the roll.  I recently purchased some metallic silver HTV that I’m eager to try on black apparel.
  5. FREEZER PAPEROkay, this is not an item you’ll find in the Silhouette Shop, but I had to include it nonetheless.  You can usually find it at your grocery store, local Walmart or Amazon.com, but it’s a really inexpensive medium that you can cut into a stencil using your Silhouette.  Then, just iron it on, paint on your fabric paint, and you’ll be surprised at how crisp the lines are when it’s all said and done.  Be sure to check out my gallery for some freezer paper stenciling tutorials.
  6. FABRIC MEDIUMThis is also not in the Silhouette Shop, but I recommend picking up a bottle of fabric medium at your local craft store or from Amazon.com.  This stuff is amazing because it allows you transform any kind of acrylic paint into washable, dry-able fabric paint.

Supply List for the Seriously Obsessed

These are supplies I would recommend for someone who has had a little bit of Silhouette experience under her belt and is ready to broaden her horizons with some fun, new supplies!  These are more challenging materials to work with, but are worth your while to learn how to use!

Recommended Silhouette Supplies: "For the Seriously Obsessed" or more advanced Silhouette user!

  1. DESIGNER EDITION SOFTWAREThe first thing I’d recommend for the serious Silhouette user is the Designer Edition software.  You can read all about the features of the software HERE, but I really like it for the built-in ruler for precise measurement, rhinestone tool, and enhanced eraser and knife tools.  Also, if you want to open, manipulate, and cut svg files, you’re going to need it!  I love that you don’t have to pay shipping on it either; when you buy it, you get an electronic code to access a download of the software.
  2. 12″ x 24″ CUTTING MAT: If you’re seriously obsessed, chances are, you’re going to want to cut some designs longer than 12″.  I personally really like having a longer cutting mat on hand for moments like those!
  3. GLASS ETCHING STARTER KITGlass-etching is all the rage these days, and it’s no wonder.  You can transform even the simplest piece of glass into a personalized elegant gift using stencil vinyl and etching cream.  The Glass Etching Starter Kit has everything you need to see one of these nifty projects through to completion!
  4. DOUBLE-SIDED ADHESIVE STARTER KITFor glitter-fanatics like myself, the double-sided adhesive is a fun material to play with, allowing you to create intricate glitter or flocked embellishments.  The kit comes with everything you need, including the glitter and flocking powder.
  5. RHINESTONE STARTER KITIf you like a little bling in your life, then you’ll want to try out the Rhinestone Starter Kit.  It takes a bit of patience, but is worth the effort to create some of the cutest onesies you ever did see.

So, these lists should keep you plenty busy as you explore the Silhouette Shop, drooling all over the fun supplies there are to play with.  Don’t forget to use the code CLOSET at check out to get that 30% off of all supplies that are in stock! And that includes the Designer Edition Software.

Silhouette Giveaway!

Silhouette Portrait Giveaway at The Thinking Closet!  1/11 - 1/13.

It brings me great joy to have the opportunity to giveaway a brand new Silhouette Portrait machine to one lucky Thinking Closet reader!

This giveaway has a short-run: from today through Monday, January 13th at 11:59 p.m. eastern and is open to anyone with a U.S. shipping address, 18 years of age and older.  Be sure to check out the rest of the giveaway terms and conditions in the Rafflecopter widget below.  And here’s to hoping it’s YOU!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase using my code or after clicking on an Amazon link, I receive a small commission.  Please rest assured that as always, I only recommend products that I use and love like my Silhouette Cameo!  (In fact, I would fall in the Seriously Obsessed category.)

P.S. I like to link up at these parties!

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Lovely comments so far...

  1. You have truly become a professional Silhouetter in a short time! Look at you busting out all the supply lingo. I was lost..but enjoying it!

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      Ha ha. It wasn’t long ago that I was lost, too. And hopefully I didn’t bog this post down with TOO much jargon. But I’m just glad to see your sweet name and positivity gracing my blog wall today! What a treeeeeat!

  2. I’ve been thinking about trying the adhesive cardstock, but would love to see a project where it was used. Can you point me to one you have done? Thanks :)

  3. Wow! What a great post about the silhouette! I haven’t long had my Silhouette Portrait and am making baby steps into how to use it but i didn’t know you could get so much! wow! I have the Silhouette stamping starter kit as a Christmas prezzie and am a little daunted as i haven’t learnt it all yet! But this post makes me want to grab it with two hands and yell “i can do this!” I need to have these products in my life! so exciting!

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      The Stamping Kit was going to be the next graphic to include in my “Seriously Obsessed” supply list but it was getting a little crowded up in there, so it got the boot. But I tackled a few different stamping projects this past fall and LOVED it. There was definitely a learning curve, but I think the most important thing is to just recognize that you’ll probably make some mistakes, but that it’s all part of the process. Yes, you CAN do this, Rachel!

  4. Maddie Davis says:

    I so need to win this, my hubby has said that in 2014 and our 3 year goal is to pay off all debt and if we do not need something we don’t get it. Well I don’t need a silhouette, I just really really really want one! Thanks for the chance.

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      Way to go with plowing forward on your goal to be debt free! (Any chance you guys listen to Dave Ramsey? My hubby and I love his podcast, and have learned a lot from him.) And here’s to hoping you can win one in a giveaway so you can really keep that family goal at the forefront! Best of luck, Maddie.

  5. Karen Lewis says:

    You can now declare yourself a “holey person” because I pinned everything on today’s blog!

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      Everything?! Wow. (And I *think I get the “holey” reference. A play on “whole”? Sorry, it kind of kills the joy when you have to explain a pun…I’m sure it’s just because it’s late and I’m a bit foggy! Lol.)

  6. I just wanted you to cut to the bridge!

    When the vinyl jams, when the blade is dull, when the power’s ouuutttt
    I simply just gaze at my favorite supplies and then I just waaaant to shooouuuuut!!!!!!!!

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      Oh my gosh. Guess who is going to be my go-to-girl the next time I’m struggling to make words rhyme in one of my silly parodies? YOU ARE! You are a pro! And you’ve redeemed my feeble first efforts. You’ve done Rodgers & Hammerstein proud, Jessica! And I bow down to you and your song-writing skills. #yourearockstar

      • Love how you inspired Jessica to continue the Sound of Music parody! Congratulations to Liberty T. I am pinning this because you never know….these may be some of my favorite supplies, too!!

  7. Like your enthusiasm and am looking forward to learning to tips and tricks. I have had my CAMEO for awhile an rarely use it. I would like to learn more on how to use the different media.
    Thanks,
    Fran

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      So glad you enjoy the enthusiasm and it doesn’t scare you off! Lol. And that’s neat that you have a Cameo. Which media are you excited to try? I’d love to steer you in the right direction of some helpful tutorials! Welcome to The Thinking Closet family, Fran!

  8. Great lists Lauren! I think I am also in the seriously obsessed category. I really wish they would do an all colors sampler of the adhesive cardstock. I didn’t get the essentials pack during the Christmas sale, but I am going to order now.

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      Me, TOO! Seriously, should we like tweet-attack Silhouette about that? Because I’ve thought the same. Oh, the projects I would do with that rainbow pack of adhesive cardstock….

      The essentials pack is great…though I ran out of the black so quickly, I figured it merited it’s own 25 pack. Looking forward to excuses to use it!

      #SeriouslyObsessedSilhouetteUsersUnite!

  9. tanya-faye says:

    Very helpful with the things you can do with the Silhouette. This is awesome. I’ve saved this post for future reference. Thank you again :)

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      You are so welcome, Tanya! Hope it’s a helpful resource for you in the future…and let me know if you have any questions. I may not always have the answer, but I’ll always do my best to help you find one!

  10. Okay..I TOTALLY sang to your song as i was reading it!

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      Ha ha. I love that! Did you see Jessica’s amazing bridge that she wrote in the comments below? WAY outdid my first verse! Ha ha. Maybe you can write us verse 2? We’ll make it a group effort! Lol.

  11. I LOVED your song parody, and sang the whole thing to myself. You are so talented. Thanks for sharing about the Silhouette. I’ve always wondered if its something that I would enjoy but you have me convinced!

  12. I can’t agree with you more about the adhesive card stock! I just ordered more of the black! For something so simple it is just so wonderful!’n

  13. I hope I win. My bestie has been hankering for one of these babies, and didn’t get one for Christmas. I’m hoping to score one for her so we can dork out together!

  14. I love all the products , it’s awesome

  15. Leslie Kiley says:

    I love all the projects you show us done with your silhouette! The decorating projects and organizing ones too. The kits of extras really excite me and make me want to experiment! I would love a machine to play with!

  16. I am so thankful to find your blog! Full of inspirations and helpful tutorials on creating with Silhouette!! Thank You so much :)

  17. Jean Garroch says:

    I’m so excited to find your blog!! I’ve been drooling over a Silhouette for ever. With a family wedding scheduled for January 2015, so many cool wedding crafts to make! I love your cute pictures & that you live in Orlando – I’ve lived here 98.2% of my life. Hope you settle in comfortably! I didn’t know about Forum2014 until now – missed it by only a couple days but Fl Blog Con is on my radar as is Haven. I’m a (young) Grandma who’s flirted with blogging, stalemated & now fired up again! Hope to meet you sometime! (I’m in Avalon Park in East Orlando).

  18. Julie Allred says:

    Ooh, today is my Birthday and as I am up at the crack of dawn I decided to seek out some tuts on my new Silhouette Cameo. Thank you thank you thank you for this great site and 30% off code. I loaded up on some of the essentials you recommended. Happy Day :)

  19. Such a great resource, Lauren! Thank you! Got my Silhouette for Christmas, so bring on the projects!

    • thethinkingcloset says:

      Whoo hoo! Congrats on the new Silhouette! I’m thrilled for you, Alexis. Cannot wait to see the creative projects you unleash.

  20. Well… my amazon cart just went from $270 to $350 because of this post lol!! But I am SO EXCITED ABOUT IT! Thank you so much for all of this information, it is amazing!!

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  1. […] Not sure what the “essential” Silhouette supplies are?  I’ve gotcha covered with four different supply lists depending on your interest and skill level.  Check ‘em out HERE. […]

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