The Makery

Silhouette Cameo 3


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What is it?

The Silhouette Cameo is an electronic cutting and drawing machine. Using a connected computer, it uses a small blade to cut a design you created on the computer out of some material sent into the machine. It cuts paper, cardstock, vinyl, and fabric.

There are two models in the Makery:

  • Silhouette Cameo 2
  • Silhouette Cameo 3

Both models will do the basics, but the Silhouette Cameo 3 includes a few new features that make it more unique than the previous model.

What can I do?

What does the Makery provide?

  • Silhouette Cameo 2
  • Silhouette Cameo 3
  • Silhouette 12″x12″ cut mats
  • Silhouette Blade
  • Silhouette Embossing Tool, fine and wide
  • Weeding tools
  • Clamshell Heat Press

What do I need?

  • A design prepared in Silhouette Studio
    • Silhouette Studio is available on the Makery laptops
    • Silhouette Studio will upload a variety of file types: JPEG, PNG, DXF, EPS
  • All materials to create your project (See Below)
  • Additional transfer tape, cardstock, or butcher paper for applicable projects (See below)
  • Anywhere from 30 minutes for a small design to several hours for a larger/more detailed design.
  • The library currently does not sell materials, including copy paper or Silhouette pens, to use with the Silhouette Cameo.

What materials can I use?

Material must fit within the size of the work area:

  • Width: 12 inches maximum
  • Length: 10 feet (120 inches) maximum

Common materials include:

  • 20 lb. Copy Paper (white, patterned, printed, etc.)
  • Cardstock (adhesive, chalkboard, glitter, etc.)
  • Vinyl (printable, adhesive, matte, glossy, stencil, etc.)
  • Heat Transfer (Iron-On) Vinyl
  • Plastic Shrink Paper
  • Temporary Tattoo Paper
  • Fabric
  • Vellum
  • Silhouette Pens and Markers
    • Must be Silhouette brand to fit in machine

Silhouette has a great supply of materials you can purchase for use. Find a current catalog list here, but you can also purchase non-silhouette brand materials elsewhere (see below)


Where Can I Buy Materials?


  • You can buy designs online from the Silhouette Design Store or other online sources like Etsy or Craftsy
  • Check out the free designs from the Silhouette Design Store.
  • Silhouette Studio will upload designs from a variety of file types: JPEG, PNG, DXF, EPS
    • Silhouette Studio will not upload SVG files


Elmhurst Public Library does not endorse nor profit from these links. These are suggestions of where you can purchase items to use in the Makery but are by no means an exhaustive list. 

Tips and Additional Info

Adhesive Vinyl Projects

Adhesive vinyl is great for decorating and customizing everyday items like wood signs, cups, picture frames, laptops, and more! This vinyl comes with a layer of adhesive so it is ready to stick on your item, both in permanent or removable options. Avoid tiny or thin lines in your design. You will need transfer tape to move your design onto the item you are decorating.

Materials you will need to complete your project:

  • Vinyl
    • Permanent is recommended for outdoor or washable items
    • Removable is recommended for laptop or wall décor
  • Transfer tape

Heat Transfer (Iron-On) Vinyl Projects

Heat transfer (iron-on) vinyl is great for customizing t-shirts, bags, or other fabric items! Unlike regular vinyl, it does not have a layer of adhesive and is meant to adhere to fabric using a heat press. The end result will have a layer of vinyl on top of the fabric. Most brands (Cricut, Siser, Silhouette) of heat transfer (iron-on) vinyl have built-in heat resistant transfer tape. The heating process for each brand can vary, so read carefully.

Materials you will need to complete your project:

  • Heat Transfer (Iron-On) Vinyl
  • Heat Resistant Transfer Tape (only if not built-in)
  • If there is no transfer tape, patrons need to supply butcher paper or cardstock to protect the heat press and their project


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