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Best Materials to Use for Outdoor Silhouette CAMEO Projects

If you're looking to create a little added curb appeal or outdoor decor - your Silhouette CAMEO can help you if you know the materials that will hold up outdoors.

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Silhouette School monthly contributor Kati from Houseful of Handmade is here today to share six different materials you can cut with your Silhouette machine for outdoor projects!

Best Vinyl for Outdoors

Not all vinyl will hold up to outdoor use. However, that doesn't mean you have to skip your favorite vinyl project for the backyard, you just need to know what vinyl to use. Look for vinyl listed as permanent or outdoor. My favorite is Oracle 651 for basic outdoor use. It is listed as approved for up to 6 years. The other option is Oracle 751 for even more staying power (unfortunately there are less color choices). If you have a bunch of vinyl and don't know if it can be used for outside, check the back. Oracle tells you on the back of all their vinyl what type it is so you don't have to guess.

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You can use outdoor vinyl for wood signs, car decals, door decals, and more. You can also use vinyl to make stencils to paint your outdoor projects like I did for our outdoor treasure chest toy box. Make sure to use outdoor paint and/or sealer or be prepared for it to fade from the sunlight.

silhouette cameo vinyl permanent vinyl oracal 651 outside

Cutting Thin Plastic Sheets with Silhouette CAMEO

I originally bought these .007 thick plastic sheets to create DIY wall stencils. However, it is plastic, so it also works great for outdoor projects. I used it to make decorative solar lanterns for our backyard. I have discovered that the plastic sheets can be hard to cut when you do not have a new blade or if the design is too intricate. I use the deepest cut settings (speed: 1, blade: 10, depth: 33) and select double cut. Then after the design is finished, before you unload the mat, click start again. It will complete a second cut in the exact same spot because you didn't unload the mat. After the second cut, unload the mat and the plastic will be cut cleanly.

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Once you cut the clear plastic sheets, you can spray paint them any color or leave then clear. I used sea glass spray paint for our outdoor solar lanterns and love that they are still slightly transparent. You could also paint them to look like metal.

Cutting Binder Dividers with Silhouette CAMEO

Plastic binder dividers are super easy to cut with your Silhouette. You can create fun outdoor projects with the colored plastic sheets. I used them to make these outdoor pinwheels and this monogrammed door hanger. The plastic from the binder dividers is flimsier than the .007 plastic sheets, but depending on the project, flimsier may work better. And with lots of fun color options and a price tag of less than $3 for a pack, they are a great option for outdoor decor.

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To cut the binder dividers set the blade to a depth of 6, speed to 3, and thickness to 33. Place the binder divider on your cut mat and let the fun begin.  

Cutting Fabric with Silhouette CAMEO

Fabric is always a great option for decor. You can use fabric to create all kinds of outdoor decor like pillows, signs, door hangings, and more. If you want your fabric project to hold up over years and years of use, I suggest buying outdoor fabric or bringing them back in the house when not in use. Outdoor fabric will resist fading from the sunlight and hold up better to the weather.

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When cutting fabric with my Silhouette, I iron on fusible web before cutting out the design. Then once cut, the cut out design can be ironed onto other fabric. The fusible web will adhere the fabrics together, but you can also sew around the edges of the design for a more permanent solution.

 silhouette cameo fabric interfacing iron on silhouette cameo 3

Using Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) Outside

I have not tested the limits of HTV outside. But it does last through many washes on clothing that my kids are very hard on, or on mugs that are dishwasher safe, so I am sure it can last on outdoor projects. Create perfect pillows with HTV and outdoor fabric. Or create wreaths or walls hangings too. But be aware the HTV may fade in sunlight so display things in indirect sun or bring them inside when not in use.


I love making stencils with my Silhouette. It's probably the way I use it the most. And when you want to create projects for the outdoors, why not make stencils that can then be painted or cut out of other outdoor material. I used paper to make a stencil for this wood pool sign that I then was able to cut out with my router for extra dimension.

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Whatever outdoor project you want to make, let your Silhouette help you make it even better!

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Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive 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!

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