Materials + Tools
- Colored cardstock (2 or more sheets)
- Glue (recommendations: rice starch paste, white glue)
- Small craft paintbrush
- Fine grit sandpaper (220)
- Clear acrylic varnish or liquid medium
- Inkscape (download)
- Silhouette Cameo
Create your design (or download a premade template)
- Open a new Inkscape document with dimensions matching the size of your cardstock.
- Create the ring’s inner shape. more
- Select the Circle tool from the left menu. Hold down the Ctrl key, then click and drag to draw a circle.
- Change to the Select tool and select the circle.
- Use the Fill and Stroke panel on the right side of the screen to change the circle’s appearance:
- In the Fill tab, select any Flat Color other than white or black.
- In the Stroke Paint tab, select No Paint.
- In the Stroke Style tab, set the stroke width to 0 pt.
- The circle will be the inside of the ring. Set its size:
- Convert the circle to a path: with the circle selected, go to Path in the top menu and choose Object to Path.
- Create the ring’s outer shape. more
- Select the Bezier curve tool.
- Click where you want to start the curve. Hold down the mouse button and drag to change the point’s handle (shown in blue). Release the button to set it. Now you have your first node (aka point).
- After you release the button and move the cursor away, you’ll see the first potential segment of your curve in red. Notice how the shape of the curve changes depending on where you move the cursor.
- Place the next node by clicking, holding, and dragging. The curve between the first node and the next now appears green.
- Continue placing nodes around the circle until you’ve almost created a closed curve. When you are ready to close the curve, move your cursor over the first node. The first node will change from a white square to a red square. Click on the first node to complete the curve.
- Duplicate the ring’s shape. more
- Select both shapes and go to Path > Difference to cut the inner circle out of the outer shape. Move the resulting shape to the upper left corner of the canvas.
- Copy the new path and drag the duplicate to the upper right corner of the canvas.
- Select both shapes and go to Extensions > Generate from Path > Interpolate.
- Leave Exponent at 0.
- Set Interpolation Method to 1.
- Uncheck Duplicate endpaths and Interpolate style.
- Now set Interpolation steps to 4 and check Live Preview. You should see 4 more copies of your shape appear between the two original shapes at either end of the canvas. If the shapes overlap, reduce the number of Interpolation steps; if there appears to be enough room for more copies, try increasing Interpolation steps until you have the maximum number without any overlap.
- Copy this row of shapes until you’ve filled the entire canvas with ring shapes.
- Save your design as the format Desktop Cutting Plotter (DXF) for use in Silhouette Studio.
Set up your design in Silhouette Studio
- Open Silhouette Studio.
- Set the page size and display settings. more
- Open the Design Page Settings panel from the upper right corner.
Set Page Size to size of the DXF file created in the last step, either using the sliders or entering the dimensions directly. This should be the same as the size of the cardstock you will cut. Silhouette Studio automatically scales DXF files when loading, so matching the dimensions saves you from needing to re-scale your design
Set Cutting Mat to Cameo 12 x 12”.
Check Show Cut Border. Make sure your entire design fits within the cutting area, indicated with a red box. If it doesn’t, select the entire design, and move or scale it to fit.
- Load your DXF file: go to File > Open and select your image; or import the image to your library and double click to add to project.
- Set cut settings. more
- Open the Cut Settings panel from the upper right corner (open image)
Set Cut Style to Cut. Your design should now be outlined in red, indicating the path of the blade.
Select Cardstock under Material Type.
Scroll down within the Cut Settings panel to find the appropriate blade setting for your material (in this case, 4). You’ll use this number in the following steps for machine setup.
Set up the Cameo machine
- Set the blade, using the blade adjustment tool. more
The blade and adjustment tool are stored in a compartment on the left side of the Cameo. The blade assembly is a black tube with numbers along the bottom, corresponding to different blade settings. Don’t touch the white part of the blade assembly; it’s sharp.
The blade adjustment tool is a grey, plastic barrel with an arrow on one side. Align this arrow to the red dot on the bottom of the blade and insert the white part of the blade into the narrow end of the adjuster. Now use the adjuster to turn the blade to the appropriate setting: turn the adjustment tool until the arrow points to the number indicated in the Cut Settings panel (in this case, 4).
- Install the blade. more
Lift open the front of the machine. Find the white barrel on the left that will hold the blade. Turn the locking mechanism on the front of the barrel to the left, so the blade can be installed (or later removed). Insert the blade numbered-end-first and push it down gently (the ridge on the blade between the smooth and ribbed plastic will rest on the top of the white holder).
Lock the blade in place by twisting the mechanism on the front of the blade holder to the right until it stops. You shouldn’t be able to move the blade now.
- Load the cardstock, using the 12 x 12″ cutting mat. more
- Align the upper left corner of your first sheet of cardstock with the upper left corner of the cutting mat grid. The top of the mat has a black arrow for orientation. Press down to secure the media to the mat.
Insert the cutting mat sticky-side-up and arrow-first into the Cameo. Align the left edge of the cutting mat grid with the teal arrows on the left side of the machine’s feed area. Push the mat in gently until it just reaches the silver roller shaft.
- Press the Load Cutting Mat (or Load Media) button on the Cameo LCD screen. The rollers should pull the mat into the machine partially. If it doesn’t grab your material, you may need to adjust the position of the rollers or insert the mat a little further.
- Double check cut settings. If you aren’t sure they’re right for your material, you can perform a small test cut:
- The Test Cut button is at the very bottom of the Cut Settings window. You must have a material type selected for this option to appear.
- The test cut is a small square about 1 cm across. You may want to perform a test cut on a scrap of material.
- Click Send to Cameo when ready (at the bottom of the Cut Settings window).
- When the machine finishes, press the Unload button that appears on the LCD screen.
- Peel off your pieces from the cutting mat.
- Load a new piece of cardstock in a different color and cut another set of ring shapes.
- You may wish to sort your ring pieces by color first, plan the order of colored layers, or just start gluing.
- Brush glue onto one side of the first cutout, align the next piece so the inner circles match, and press the pieces together.
Continue layering cutouts and glue until your stack reaches the desired thickness. Let the ring dry completely (this may take several hours).
- Smooth and contour your ring with fine-grit sandpaper (220 works well). Clean off any dust which accumulates while sanding.
Apply a clear coat to your ring with a small paintbrush. Gloss acrylic varnish is a good choice, as it is durable, nontoxic, and cleans up with water. For best results, apply multiple coats, allowing the varnish to become dry to the touch between each application. Once the ring is thoroughly covered, it will be water-resistant and shiny.