So, I have to start by saying that I definitely did not get either of these machines for free or as a promotion. However, I do have to share my barely-contained excitement over my new Silhouette Cameo (Cameo) and Scotch Thermal Laminator (Laminator). The Silhouette can be purchased here, and the Laminator here. You can also click the links above. These sites are where my machines were purchased.
I had been debating for a while about whether or not to purchase the Cameo. It is not inexpensive, and depending on what you plan on doing with it, you may be better off not purchasing. (If you only want to make a few vinyl items, or you only one to create a couple heat transfer / iron on shirts, I would just purchase those items.) I knew that I wanted to bulk up (i.e. stock at all) my Etsy store and add a few listings to my website shop. I also knew that I would be making a lot of personalized gifts, shirts for my little on and crafts, so I / my husband took the plunge and we ordered on Black Friday.
It seems from my research that the best time of the year to purchase a Cameo is Black Friday or during December. They have deep discounts on the machines, and on all designs and materials. In addition, they offer free shipping during this time.
As for the Laminator, I bought that during an Amazon deal, but there are plenty out there that aren't that expensive.
And now for the projects! A little caveat here: this is my first time using anything like the Cameo or the Laminator, and these were my very first projects. I am really happy with the results, and can't wait to see what else I can do.
Vinyl Monograms: the main reason (aside from heat transfer shirts) that I wanted a Cameo was that I love to monogram everything, and was tired of paying the ridiculous prices for my own monogram. The Cameo was extremely easy to use, and I applied the monogram without any transfer tape. I think that the whole thing turned out pretty well. I also added a couple chevron circles, because who doesn't love a chevron circle?
I did purchase vinyl from Amazon, a basic starter sample pack which can be found by clicking here. Aside from that, I only used what came with the Cameo bundle pack - the machine and the weeding hook. I had a font installed already - Monogram Script - and pretty much played around with the Silhouette Studio (included on a disc with your machine) until my monogram looked how I wanted. I believe the important part in doing a monogram is "welding" everything together. One day I might try to post more instructions.
Letter cutouts for projects: I really wanted to be able to recreate all those cute subway style signs and canvases that I see everywhere, and I already have a bunch of canvases - thanks to a great AC Moore deal forever ago. I just needed to be able to cut out all the tiny letters and designs. Thanks to an adorable Silhouette design, I got to try out my first attempt at those letters. I chose an "Elf" quote since it is so close to Christmas and it is my husband's favorite Christmas movie. I think that it came out pretty well. Since this was merely a test, and my first try at cutting anything with the Silhouette, I just did this on construction paper. Next time, vinyl!
Laminated flash cards: I really love the Baby Signing Time package that we bought for our son. I feel that it has taught him so much, and he really loves the cards that came with the set. (I purchased our set here.) The only downside is that while the cards are really heavy duty, he still loves to put everything in his mouth. I really wanted something that he wouldn't potentially chew to pieces, that wouldn't break the bank, and that I could customize with words he loves. Enter the laminating machine. For the first try, I just printed cards I found at www.mrprintables.com onto a regular sheet of paper, used the laminating pouches that came with my machine, ran them through (you literally just insert the paper into the open end of the pouch and then put the end that is already together into the machine) and cut them out. Success! They turned out great, although next time I might actually use card stock or a heavier paper.
So, I hope that this didn't come out too "salesy" - definitely not my intent - I am just really excited to see what else I can create with these machines. I also hope that it helps if you are on the fence about purchasing either type of machine.
I have a feeling Christmas crafts are coming soon...
Here is where I will rant about my daily mommy life, give some insight into a brain tumor survivor's musings, and hopefully offer up some fun as well.