Using stencils for cookie decorating is a fun way to add creativity and a unique touch to your cookies! One of the questions I get asked over and over is, "What do I need to start cutting stencils?" So, I've compiled a list of things you will need to get going!
When we start something new, there is always a little anxiety. We worry that we don't know what we are doing. What if I break this thing? It wasn't cheap. What if I waste stencil material? You will waste a few sheets, but probably not as many as I did when began learning. Thank goodness that anxiety won't be around long, because when you begin to learn and cut your first few stencils, you will be asking yourself why you did not get your machine out of the box sooner! I love to take the guess work out of designing and cutting cookie stencils to make things as easy as possible so that you can focus on the fun of it all!
I am going to be sharing a list of things in the next few blog posts that you need to cut stencils and also a list of things that would be nice to have but aren't totally necessary.
1. Cutting Machine
It goes without saying that you will need a cutting machine to cut your stencils. I love both the Cricut and the Silhouette Cameo cutting machines. I love each machine for different reasons and deciding which one to chose comes down to personal preference. People always ask me which machine they should buy. Because I want to help them make the best choice for themselves, I give them all the information I can based on my experience with the machines that I use every day. To learn more about the benefits of each machine, check out my post on how to decide which cutting machine to buy! Here is a link to Cricut Machines and here is a link to Silhouette Cameo machines.
2. Cutting Mats
The cutting mat is what you lace the stencil material on and then you load it into the cutting machine. It has an adhesive that holds the stencil material in place and this also allows for easy and clean removal of your stencil after it has been cut. I like CRICUT MATS for both cutting machines, although, I use both Silhouette and
Cricut mats. I buy whichever is on sale. If I use a Cricut mat in my Cameo, I trace the outline of the SILHOUETTE MATS onto the Cricut mat and cut it down so it is the exact same size. The Silhouette mat is just a little shorter than the Cricut mat. I prefer the PURPLE mats for traditional cookie stencils and BLUE mats for the vinyl that is used to make silk screen stencils. There are generic brand mats. Some are better than others, but I mostly stick with Cricut and Cameo mats. In this case, you get what you pay for :0)
3. Cutting Blades
Cutting blades are what your machine uses to cut out your stencil. Having a clean sharp blade is very important. If you use your machine for materials other than traditional stencil materials, such as vinyl, you will want to keep a separate blade for each of those materials. You want a sharp blade to cleanly cut your materials. Keeping blades designated for each type of material helps.
Here are my preferred blades: Cricut--Premium Fine Point Blade
Silhouette Cameo--Autoblade or Premium Blade
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Next up will be stencil materials and tools that you will need to get the job done and a few tips and tricks to help you :0) Then we will discuss the software for each machine.