Monday, November 7, 2011

Saving money with the Silhouette

I love my Silhouette machine. I don't love that it costs so much to use it. The supplies are downright expensive and most of the bloggers I read that use a Silhouette machine, have deals with Silhouette so they only talk about Silhouette's exclusive products.

Not me. No deal here (don't think I haven't tried!), so guess what? You get the inside scoop on some of the tricks I have learned with using non-Silhouette supplies.

First up, the tool kit.

I picked this tool kit up at a garage sale for $1. I don't know how I lived without it. I've been doing a lot of vinyl and heat transfer and the hook has been priceless!

You can find the Cricut tool kit for around $20. Silhouette sells a few of the individual tools, but for three of the most used tools you are looking at over $18 not including shipping. If you can find the Cricut tool kit on sale, it's well worth it!

I've been making a lot of t-shirts so I needed some good heat transfer paper. Silhouette sells rolls of 9x36 paper for $14.99.


I recently purchased Siser EasyWeed from Speciality Graphics Supply

It comes in HUGE rolls that are 15"x 5 yards. You can have them custom cut it down to size to fit in your machine before they ship it. A roll this size is $35 and in my opinion, it actually cuts better and irons on much easier than the Silhouette brand.

If I bought 5 yards of the Silhouette brand it would cost me $75!

I've heard that the Expressions brand works really well too. I haven't tried it, but it's worth a shot if you are looking for something different.

At the same garage sale that I bought the tool kit at, I also purchased several rolls of adhesive vinyl as well. She used to make and sell vinyl signs at craft bazaars and she told me that the Oracal brand was the best and cheapest she had found.


You do need to cut it to size to fit in your machine, but there is a graph on the back with easy to follow lines for cutting. I've been using this vinyl and again, like it more than the Silhouette brand vinyl.

Silhouette vinyl comes in rolls that are 9"x10 feet for $14.99. Oracal sells rolls that are 15" x10 YARDS for the same price. Remember, there are three feet in a yard, so Silhouette is selling you around 3 yards, you get 3 times that with the Oracal brand for the same price!

These are the few things I have found that I love and that work for me. Have you tried anything that works that is helping you save money while using the Silhouette?

19 comments:

terri said...

thanks for the info!

Jamie said...

pinning this right now!!! thanks so much for the tips!

Beth @ Sand To Pearl said...

I also use the Cricut mats. I cut them down and draw my own "keep inside the lines" with permanent marker. My cricut mats we like 1/3 of the price of the silhouette version.

sstone said...

That's very helpful to know. Thanks for the tips.:)
Shiloh
everydaygameplan.net

Lindsay said...

Thanks for sharing this! I have a Silhouette and want to start using it more frequently... thanks for the tips on saving money!! :)

Emmy said...

Oh thank you!! A Silhouette is on my Christmas list so this will be very helpful soon hopefully :)

Jamie Lott said...

You are my new BFF! ;)

Samantha said...

Thank you so much for this info! I bought 2 rolls of the easy weed by siser. Have you had trouble with the transfers peeling off? Did I not iron it long enough? I made about 30 tee shirts and half of them had peeling issues :-( I thought maybe the shirts should have been washed first, but it happened on the pre washed shirts too....

Cath said...

Thank you for info about Oracle.
I have a cricut but only the cartrides that came with the pkg. I use a separate program which allows me to cut literally anything I can come up with on my computer. Saving money in supplies will surely add to my savings.
Thanks for sharing.

Mari said...

Thanks for the info! I just got a silhouette and am looking for cheap materials too. So far i have found a wine cork and small cake spatula work just as good as the hook and scraper. And you can get them at the dollar store. Also I am using glad press and seal for transfer paper (works great) and contact paper for vinyl!

Lindsay Matthew said...

Where do you buy your Oracal vinyl? I can't find it anywhere as cheap as you've mentioned! Please help! Thanks! :)

ElleC said...

For those of us who unfortunately can't find a tool kit for $1 8-), I use a dental tool I got at an auto tool place for $2. I'm sure it works as well as Silhouettes.

sharin said...

Boy, there was a lot of good info shared here besides that of the original poster. Thank you all and especially Thank You to the blogger! What cool tips!

Laurel Sund said...

I buy my oracal vinyl from sign warehouse. They are very reasonable and always ship out within one day of purchase.I buy 50 yard rolls of the black and white, and 10 yard rolls of all of the other colors. I also buy the 24 inch wide vinyl and cut it in half, so I really get a lot for my money.

sara said...

I also use contact paper in place of vinyl for etching projects or stencils. I also have used freezer paper to make iron on stencils for fabric...Thank you for the helpful tips

Erin said...

Love the tips, too. I use an inexpensive dental too, kit for weeding my vinyl and get my Oracle vinyl at www.expressionsvinyl.com. They have always been very easy to work with and ship quickly!

Erin said...

Love the tips, too. I use an inexpensive dental too, kit for weeding my vinyl and get my Oracle vinyl at www.expressionsvinyl.com. They have always been very easy to work with and ship quickly!

Amber Swann said...

I just ordered my Silhouette Cameo!! WooHoo!! Can't wait.

Amber Swann said...

I just ordered my Silhouette Cameo!! WooHoo!!! Can't wait!