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Silhouette Tutorial: Cutting Longer Than the Mat

If you checked out my post a few weeks go on the Faux Vinyl Garage 'Windows' I installed, than you got a quick and dirty mini tutorial on cutting longer than the Silhouette mat. But since it was kind of just a footnote I figured it was worth repeating here since I know many of you don't want to be limited by the 11 or 12" cutting mat when cutting vinyl.

One of the nice things about vinyl is that you don't have to cut it with the cutting mat.  That means your only limitation is the width and even that we can get around.  You have seen my tutorial on cutting over-sized stencils, right? The same basic principals work for vinyl, too.  Anyway, since vinyl comes in 10 foot rolls you could hypothetically cut the entire roll in one cut. 

But how to do that...the key to cutting vinyl longer than the cutting mat is your settings. You have to make some adjustments to them because if you cut like the defaults are set for, only the part of your design inside the cut area (basically most of the mat) will cut.  You can see in this example, where I'm cutting out my 'window panes', only the first two panes and a portion of the third will cut because the cut line is currently set to 8.5 x 11 (standard Portrait).

To change this, click the Page Settings icon.

First adjust the page size.  Since my vinyl is 20" long I change the width (from the standard 11") to 21" (just for extra padding).  Adjust this number to account for however longer your vinyl piece is.  Once you do that, you'll  see the white area, that indicates the vinyl, has extended.

However, at this point the machine will still only cut 11" wide because you can see the cut border is still halfway through the 3rd block. That's because, by default, it's limited by the size of the cutting mat. Once I change the cutting mat settings to "None", the cut border will be extended to 21", as well to match the length of the vinyl.

Now you're all set to cut your piece of long piece of vinyl without the cutting mat!   As a side note, Silhouette now sells 12x24" Cameo cutting mats so it's now possible to cut more materials than just vinyl that are longer than the standard mat.  No such luck if you're a Portrait user.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I received a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine! 

Thanks for coming to class today at Silhouette School.  If you like what you see, I'd love for you to pin it!

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  1. Thanks for the tutorial on using the cameo to cut long stuff. What you left out is the hard part: How do you get the material to run exactly straight through the cameo? I'm cutting something 4' long and there does not seem to be any way to systematically square the material with the cameo. If it isn't very close to perfectly aligned, the cut out part will be in the wrong place, or worse, the roller will get off the edge of the material and I'm afraid it will shift. Do you know any tips or tricks to get the material to align perfectly in the cameo?

    1. I read an article that said to take your blade out and do test runs until you get your material lined up perfectly! If that helps any :)

  2. Any one have any experience "cutting longer than the mat" with the curio (because although it has great features it is limited by a 8.5" x 6" mat and doesn't have rollers to "catch-up" the material)?

    1. You can not cut longer than your mat with the curio. That is the disadvantage of it.

  3. Can you only cut vinyl longer than the cutting mat? Or can you cut contact paper too?

    1. Anything that the cameo or portrait will cut can be cut longer than the cutting mat.

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  5. this article is full of useful information.

  6. cool technique, I found the 12 x 24 matt and have used it in some of my larger projects or gang sheets.

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