For both of my sons’ first Christmases, I was disappointed with the selection of baby’s first Christmas ornaments out there. They all seemed impersonal and generic, so when I got the chance to try out one of Silhouette’s amazing cutting machines, the Cameo, I knew I wanted to try making my own ornaments. This electronic cutting machine can be used to cut paper, vinyl, fabric, etc. in intricate shapes.
If you aren’t familiar with these machines, they are almost like printers with a tiny blade inside instead of ink. You use the included Silhouette Studio software to select images that you want to be cut, feed the material into the machine and the blade goes to work. You can select images from their extensive collection (some are included with the machine, others can be purchased) or you can create your own images or text.
To create the baby footprint ornament above, I took a picture of my son’s footprint from the day he was born and uploaded it to my computer (or you could scan it). I used the Silhouette Studio software to shrink the image down to the size I wanted and to select the outline that I wanted to cut. Trying to cut a stencil this small and detailed by hand would be torture. The Silhouette cutting machines can do it in seconds. I removed the foot from the adhesive vinyl to leave the negative space, which I used as my stencil. I applied it carefully to the glass ornament and smoothed down the edges around the image.
I then applied etching cream to the exposed glass footprint. Now etching cream is not for the faint of heart. It is seriously caustic stuff, so be sure to follow the directions very carefully. I’m a safety first kind of gal, so I made sure to wear protective gloves, a mask and glasses, and I worked on them after the kids were up in bed. I love how the irregularities of the etched surface mimic the actual inked footprint. I think it makes a darling baby’s first Christmas ornament.
Don’t forget about that little foot that I removed to make the stencil. It, too, would make a great ornament, especially in the luxe metallic vinyls available from Silhouette. Plus, if you’re nervous about using the etching cream, this ornament is just as sweet. I just placed the adhesive vinyl directly on the glass and smoothed it down. The adhesive vinyl was easy to manipulate and reposition.
While I was at it, I created a silhouette from a photograph of my son when he was just six weeks old (here are some tips on how to create a silhouette from a photo) and used the Cameo to cut that out in adhesive vinyl as well. This time I used a white paint marker to dot inside of the stencil and removed the vinyl when the paint dried.
I’m so pleased with the results that I was able to achieve using the Cameo from Silhouette. I’m looking forward to using it for all sorts of crafting projects.