When I started playing around with the Design Space Software, I could not find any information about making cookie stencils. I saw one post on the Silhouette School blog. I could only find a few YouTube videos about making stencils from vinyl, but they were not much help. The there are a few things that make cookie stencils unique. They aren’t sticky on the back to hold them to the surface of the cookie. Everything has to be attached to something or it falls out when the stencil is cut. That’s why you need a stencil frame(there is a post to show you how to design a stencil frame). I wasted a lot of stencil material learning how to keep everything attached! I don’t like making a trial cut on paper because parts of the paper stick to the mat or it tears as it comes off. I can’t always tell if it is going to cut correctly by doing it that way. Sometimes I make practice cuts on cardstock. It does work better than paper, but it can still be hard to tell if the stencil will be a success. I like to wait for Michaels to put out a coupon for the Dura-lar and Amazon to drop the price on Grafix .007in the 12×12 inch sheets. That way, I don’t feel so bad if I waste a few sheets. Stock up if you have a Michael’s coupon or they lower the price on Amazon. Trust me when I say you want to stock up on both of these materials. Hopefully, this blog will keep you from wasting as much as I did!
After I learned how to use the software for both cutting machines, I had to learn how to get the machines to cut through the thick material. I started out cutting the Dura-lar .005 clear and Dura-lar .005 matte which are both made by Grafix. After I successfully cut the .005 stencil material, I moved on to cutting the .007 thickness. It took more practice to find the correct settings on the thicker material, but I finally got it! I did learn that no matter the thickness of the stencil material, it is best to start out cutting with a new/newer blade and when it starts to get dull, replace it. Don’t try to cut your very first cookie stencil with a dull blade. You may think the problem is in the cut settings. More than likely, it is the blade. I can get a lot of stencils cut with one SILHOUETTE Premium Blade or one CRICUT German Carbide Premium Blade before I have to get a new one.
Cut Settings for Silhouette Cameo 3
Updated cut settings–I created a new custom setting for my 005 stencil material that works well for me. Try it. If it doesn’t work, check your blade to make sure it is sharp. If that doesn’t work, make adjustments to the depth of the blade accordingly. The 007 material will not cut on my Cameo. I have tried every blade and every setting possible. It was frustrating to keep trying so I gave up. Some people say their Cameo will cut it, but mine will not. It just does not have the cut pressure/force to slice through it. Give it a try on your Cameo though. I always tease and say that my Cameo was made on a late Friday afternoon.
Clear Dura-Lar .005 material thickness
**Matte finish Dura-Lar only needs 1 pass**
Grafix .007 material thickness
Cut Settings for Cricut
Cut settings are chosen by turning the dial on the top of the Cricut machine. The dots are called “half settings”. For the .007 stencil material that I use, I created a custom setting. Many thanks to Shirlyn Leong of Cookies Art by Shirlyn for sharing her cut settings for that material. We now have the perfect setting for the Cricut to cut this thicker material!
If you cut the .005 DuraLar on your Cricut, you can use the Smart Dial and set it to Cardstock if your blade is new or newer. As your blade dulls, you will need to turn the dial up a little at a time.
For the .007 Grafix, turn the dial to Custom.
When you are ready to cut, click Make It and follow the steps in the photos.
Click View All. Look at the bottom of the screen.
Click Material Settings.
Scroll to the bottom. Click Add New Material. Name your material Grafix .007. Click Save.
After entering the material name and saving, drag the green dot over to 350, turn Multi-Cut to 2x, Choose Fine Point Blade. Click Save. Scroll down to the bottom. Click Done.
Click View All again.
Click the toggle button and then click My Materials.
It will scroll you down to the “My Materials” section under the gray bar.
Click Grafix .007 to select it and then click Done. Now your Cricut machine is ready to cut your stencil.
These are the settings that work for my machines. If these setting don’t work for you, adjust the settings a bit until you find what does work. If you have questions, feel free to contact me.
Disclaimer: The Grafix .007 and Dura-lar(polyester) stencil materials are not FDA approved food safe at this time. Use at your own discretion. The Grafix Acetate is safe for food contact.