Posted on 35 Comments

How to cut fragile paper with your Silhouette Cameo

How to cut fragile paper on your Silhouette Cameo : Just Vintage Home

Do you have the problem I had with cutting fragile paper like old dictionary pages on your Silhouette Cameo? I wanted paper strips. Fillers. Like this:

Dictionary paper filler strips : Just Vintage Home

I kept getting a mess. The paper stuck to the mat and tore. An internet search didn’t help much at all. The suggestion I saw most was to use a mat that had lost most of its sticky. So I used a mat that wouldn’t hold card stock in place.

Note: I show all the trials and errors first. To quickly see the solution, scroll past all the small pictures.

How to cut fragile paper on your Silhouette Cameo : Just Vintage Home

Ever seen that before? I bet you have. (Oops. Didn’t mean to show any of the mess under the desk. Blushing.)

But even that was too sticky for this fragile paper. I don’t fully understand the relationship, but it even caused the knife to drag and pull. Not clean cuts at all.

How to cut fragile paper on your Silhouette Cameo : Just Vintage Home

Which, actually is kind of OK for what I was doing but, well, not really. And what happens when you try to get the strips off the mat?

How to cut fragile paper on your Silhouette Cameo : Just Vintage Home

Pulling it off like normal? Ugh. No. Maybe the spatula will help:

How to cut fragile paper on your Silhouette Cameo : Just Vintage Home

Not a bit. Ooo! I’ve read to bend your mat and sort of peel the mat off your paper with the spatula! Let’s try that!

How to cut fragile paper on your Silhouette Cameo : Just Vintage Home

So far so good…….

How to cut fragile paper on your Silhouette Cameo : Just Vintage Home

Arghhhh! The paper is still too fragile! Oh, I know! Maybe the scraper?

How to cut fragile paper on your Silhouette Cameo : Just Vintage Home

Okay, okay. Bad idea. So what to do?

Here is what you’re here for. The method that worked for me. It’s so simple! What will you need?

Krylon Easy Tack

  1. Give the sheet of card stock one, maybe two, very, very, VERY quick sprays of Easy Tack. We’re talking about less than a second to cover the sheet. Spray it once and if it feels like the fragile paper will stick to it stop there. If not, give it another very quick spray.
  2. Put the paper on the card stock. Go ahead and line up the paper to the card stock edges. If the paper is smaller, line it up with the top and left side. Or wherever your image will be cut. Is that clear as mud? Yeah. Thought so. Um… treat the card stock and paper as the one single piece that will be cut.
  3. Place the card stock on the mat. Fragile paper side up, of course.
  4. Adjust the cut settings. I use settings of — Print paper — Speed 4 — Thickness 2. I think the thickness is the most important thing here. You might have success with a thickness setting of 1. You just don’t want to go much, if any, higher so it won’t cut into your card stock.
  5. Cut.

Hopefully it’ll come out looking like this:

How to cut fragile paper on your Silhouette Cameo : Just Vintage Home

Yes, that has been cut into strips AND using the same blade as before!

How to cut fragile paper on your Silhouette Cameo : Just Vintage Home

What a difference, huh? It peels right off. No scraping, no tearing.

Hope this helps some of you who are struggling with the same problem. I haven’t tried this on anything other than the dictionary pages here, but the same technique should work on paper with similar rag content. I’d love to hear if it works on Bible pages, tissue paper, etc. Let me know!




35 thoughts on “How to cut fragile paper with your Silhouette Cameo

  1. I can’t believe this doesn’t have any comments. Thank you so much for sharing. Most info on delicate paper with the silhouette just says “don’t” which is purely unacceptable. 🙂 Great job figuring out this trick. Have you had further success?

    1. Hi Trinity. Thanks for the kind words and I hope you have success with the fragile paper fix. I haven’t tried it with anything else yet. I do hope to have the time to craft more in the coming year. Just didn’t get to do much this past year.

  2. GENIUS! I need to try this now! Thank you!

    1. Hope the Silhouette fragile paper fix works for you as well as it did for me!

      1. Can you please tell me if it leaves any sticky residue on the paper you’re cutting? Thanks!!!

        1. Hi April. It didn’t. I think the light hand in spraying will keep that from happening. We’re talking just a faint misting. It’s better to start out with not enough than too much. Good luck!

          1. Great!! Thank you SO MUCH!!!

          2. You’re welcome! I can’t do much with the Silhouette, but was so excited to figure that out, I had to share. 😀

  3. Thank you! I’m debating buying one, but my primary purpose would be to cut old book pages and fragile, thin paper. I found very little info researching whether it could handle jobs like that. You’re a genius and a gem for sharing your knowledge 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for this tip. I tried it with tissue paper last night and it works perfectly.

    1. Wonderful! So glad it worked!

      1. Ahh that’s what I was looking for, woohoo!!! Big pieces of tissue paper confetti, here I come! Thanks!

  5. OMG….you are a genius and a life saver. I use vintage sheet music and books in my crafts and I was having so much trouble trying to get decent cuts, that I had almost given up, but now I am on the right track, still a way to go with documenting the performance with all the different types of paper but at least now I have a starting point. I could hug you I’m so happy :-)))

    1. This ended up working for me 🙂 Thanks so much for posting this!

      I was having trouble making an intricate cut on copy paper. I was getting a lot of rips and tears no matter how slow I set the speed. I did have to up the thickness, but I FINALLY got useable cuts!

      1. I’m so glad it worked for you! Thanks for letting me know!

  6. Thank you for sharing this wonderful tip!!! I am no longer pulling faces trying to figure out how to cut delicate paper! Not to mention the money you have saved me! THANK YOU THANK YOU!

  7. This is genius! I can’t wait to try it!

  8. Thank you so much! Your research saved the day. We made a mobile for my first grand baby out of The Lord of the Rings novel pages and had the same difficulties.

  9. I try with tissue paper was unsuccessful! Can someone post a video of how to do it with tissue paper?

  10. Thanks so much for sharing this! Can’t wait to try a few idea on book pages and tissue paper … awesome!

  11. Thanks for this post! I just used it to easily and perfectly cut large pieces of tissue paper confetti. Can’t wait to put them in balloons for my sister’s baby shower!

    1. I’m so happy it worked for you, Kimberly! Thanks for letting me know. 🙂

  12. I <3 you. Thank you thank you thank you. Wish I'd thought to look this up 2 years ago xD

    1. LOL Lea. You’re welcome! I get a good idea that actually works every great once in awhile. Happy to help!

  13. Hello, I am attempting to cut high grade crepe paper in the Silhoutette cameo. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you so much!

  14. I know this is an older article but I’m hoping it’s the answer I need. This project is for my daughter’s wedding. She doesn’t want the item printed.
    I have 100 very thin paper placemats (thin as doilies are) to cut their married initials out old, including a heart. These are set on the table with the table linens peeking through.

    Thanks for posting this. If you or anyone else may have other suggestions for me, please let me know.

    [email protected]

    1. That sounds lovely, Judy! I hope this works for you, I believe it should. I have no other suggestion.

      Good luck and try to relax and enjoy the wedding. 🙂

  15. You saved my ass. Thank you!

    1. LOL You’re welcome!

  16. Thank you for this post!
    I’ve been trying to cut freezer paper stencils and the freezer paper is so thin these days. I’m going to have to try this. Nothing that I’ve tried works. Now off to the store for Easy-Tack.

    Thanks again, you’ve been a blessing

    1. Hope it works for you!

  17. I like that you used an adhesive to take care of the fragile pages of your book. My mom would love to try this. We would like a supplier of blank newsprint paper to help us out on this.

  18. Well this thread has some great info and although I am getting off the subject a little ,I would like to give another KRYLON product a mention . Now to print on transparent clear film you need a Laser Printer because if you print on Over Head Projector clear transparent film using a printer that is not a Laser Printer the ink will not set and will smudge but most printers will print on the clear OHP film ! So to stop it from smudging if you use the KRYLON UV- Resistant Clear Acrylic Coating spray in a can to spray over the top of what you have just printed it will set the print and it will not smudge ! Just remember do not spray heavy coats or wet coats ! fast light coats only and let each coat dry before adding another one ! usually two coats will be enough ! But I am a spraypainter by trade ! you need to experament !

  19. Hi! Thanks for the great tips! I was wondering if anyone has tried this with crepe paper? I’m trying to make crepe paper flowers using my cameo 3. I know the 4 can do it, but I really don’t want to purchase another machine. Thanks!

    1. Oooo! Crepe paper flowers! I’ve never even thought about that, but how handy if it will! So, my answer is, I don’t know. But I may give it a try when I get a chance. If you do it, please check back in and let me know how it went.

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