You’ve bought a Silhouette, now what? ~ 5 tips for new users

So you’ve bought your new Silhouette… now what??

It can be overwhelming and a little intimidating, no fear we’ve all been there. In no particular order here are 5 tips to get you started:

1. Download Silhouette Studio: The Silhouette Studio Basic software can be downloaded at no cost from the Silhouette America website located here: The great thing is, you don’t need your machine to download the software so if you purchase online you can download it before your order even arrives. Take some time to get familiar with the program, the more comfortable you are with it the less intimidating it will be when you layout your first cut.

Silhouette offers a paid upgrade to the Studio Basic called Designer Edition. You don’t NEED the Designer upgrade and there is no need to get it off the bat, however I highly recommend it if for no other reason then it will give you the functionality to open SVG (Vector files) directly into Silhouette Studio with no need to trace. If you decide to purchase do a quick Google search there are online merchants that offer it cheaper than Silhouette directly.

2. YouTube is your friend: If you’re a visual learner like me, YouTube videos are awesome, there are a ton of excellent tutorials that fellow Silhouette users have taken the time to produce that can prove invaluable. I highly recommend starting with “Tracing Without Tears in Silhouette Studio”… watch and learn … you can thank me later.

3. Silhouette Store: Once you register your machine you will have access to the Silhouette Store. It’s full of designs you can download at a minimal cost. Every week, they offer a free download, take advantage. It’s a great way to build up your library when you’re just starting out.

4. De-Stick your cutting mat: I know this tip is random but it’s important. Before you make your first cut take the plastic protection sheet off of your cutting mat and use a non lint cloth (like a t-shirt) to blot it and take away some of the sticky. If you don’t do this you’re setting yourself up for a great struggle when you try to remove your pretty cut designs from your mat, paper will rip and vinyl will curl beyond recognition… trust me on this.

5. Have fun: Last but not least.. Have Fun!! I’m not going to lie there will be times you want to throw your machine out the window … don’t do it! It’s fun, I swear. I suggest you look for some Silhouette Groups on Facebook. There are a ton of good ones out there… find a few that fit your personality the best and join. Fellow Silhouetters (yes, I just made up that word) are great trouble shooters, they offer great support and help remind us how much FUN we’re having!

I hope these tips help a tiny bit… there are so many more, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed practice makes perfect! If you have tips of your own, please share them in the comments, I’d love to see them!

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