Silhouette Cameo: using the right paper makes all the difference!

Is all cardstock created equal? Uh…no-o!

I was busy making a birthday card for my mom, today, when I discovered–or, let me say, confirmed–that the Cameo definitely works better with some papers than others. Here is a perfect example…

Shown in this first photo, is what happened when I tried to cut out some small autumn leaves, using Michael’s Recollections 80 lb. cardstock. What a mess!  I’m using the Silhouette Studio Designer software, with the upgrade that Silhouette America released, recently.My settings were: Speed 5; Thickness 30; Blade 6.Pretty disappointing results, right? In fact, I couldn’t even get it off the cutting mat because it wasn’t cut all the way through. Also, because this cardstock has what I call a “looser construction,” it pulls the paper fibers apart very easily and clogs the blade housing.

In this second photo, you can see that the cuts are very clean and the excess paper pulled away from the mat easily. I used exactly the same settings as I did with the Recollections cardstock. Just to give you an indication of the sizes, the smallest leaf is the size of the top third of my baby finger.

This time, I was using Stampin’ Up Whisper White 80 lb. cardstock. What a difference! This particular cardstock, along with Stampin’ Up’s Very Vanilla, is smooth and always cuts like buttah! I think of this cardstock as, “tighter, smoother, shinier,” and it doesn’t pull apart and leave bits of paper debris in the blade housing.

Does any of this make sense. As  you can tell, I am struggling to articulate exactly how the paper feels. I hope you kind of “get it!”

So, a rose is a rose is a rose, as they say…but not all cardstock is created equal.

Final thoughts:

  • Recollections cardstock from Michaels is great for the card base and for many other crafting projects–it just doesn’t work for me, when it comes to running it through the Silhouette Cameo.
  • Stampin’ Up cardstock is very reliable in the Cameo.
  • Before you blame your blade, try a different cardstock!

I hope this helps those of you who have been experiencing similar problems. If you have any suggestions or advice, please, oh please, let me know so we can help other crafters.

By the way, you can see my finished card in the next post. I came it quick and simple!

14 thoughts on “Silhouette Cameo: using the right paper makes all the difference!

  1. I just bought a silhouette and I bought 65lb cardstock. I want to do word stencils with it as I find vinyl expensive. Is the 65lb cardstock not good to use on a silhouette? I cut one stencil and it worked fine but when I went to print another stencil with a different, more cursive font it didn’t cut right through. I’m getting quite frustrated. l also don’t understand how I can figure out if I should just change the blade size or add more “weight” to the blade or what speed I should use for that matter. I thought if I picked “plain cardstock” that it should do all the work. One stencil was great and one was horrible, same cardstock just different fonts used. Also is there a way to keep centers in letters attached… the letter “O” so that when I do the stencil on wood, it sitll has the center (if that makes any sense)…..

  2. I use the 110 lb.Georgia-Pacific cardstock (white) sold at Walmart. It has a nice smooth finish and is inexpensive, I think less than $6 for 150 sheets. It was first recommended to me as being very good with Copic Markers. Since then, I’ve discovered I really like it for different Silhouette projects. As someone else said, if your mat is too sticky, you’ll have problems no matter what card stock you use.

  3. Iuse recollections paper all the time. you just need to adjust your cut settings. if you click ADJUST CUT SETTINGS on the cut screen, and change the Material Type. OR manually change the speed/thickness/blade.
    you said you used Speed 5; Thickness 30; Blade 6.
    I would recommend doing speed 3, and thickness 25, blade 5

    • This worked great for my 110# Georgia Pacific White Premium Cardstock. I was having trouble with the default settings after a couple of cuts. Thank you! I do two passes and dabbed my new mat with a cotton tshirt.

  4. Any other recommendations on different card stock types/brands that you have worked with that cut well? I am having a heck of a time getting clean cuts out of a multi-color pack that I randomly picked up at the store. I am going to be working on things for my best friends wedding, so any and all suggestions would be helpful. Thank you for all your great tips!

  5. Solid color Paper Studios (Hobby Lobby brand) is the worst paper to use in your machine. I bought a pkg of black and it was the most horrible paper ever. It peels and separates like an Oreo cookie. Only there was no sweet filling! What I cut was in shreds and my mat was covered in black stuff, even after I attempted to scrape it off. It was such a mess that not only were my cuts a total waste but I ended up throwing away my mat.

    • Hi, Susan,

      I know what you’re experiencing. It pays to buy a higher quality paper, such as Stampin Up Whisper White. I had exactly the same experience with Michael’s Reflections paper. What a mess!!

      What crafters need to remember is that you can colour and assemble the Silhouette Images right on your screen before you cut them out. Or, you can assemble them and colour them after you cut them out. For some images, you may want to assemble them after you have cut them out and coloured them. But, whichever way you choose to do it, your best results will be with quality cardstock.

      By the way, it’s too bad you threw away your mat, you could have washed it off and dried it…unless you were just too frustrated at that point (in which case, I probably would have thrown it away, too!! LOL!!

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Susan!!


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  6. I just got a Cameo….it’s tough to get small cuts off the mat. Any suggestions?
    – I use Stampin Up colored cardstock.
    – I have a little spatula from my previous Cricut.

    • Hi, Aurora,

      Congratulations on your new Cameo!! The problem you’re having might be because your mat is new and very sticky. The mat will become less sticky after you have used it a few times and it will be much easier to remove your images from it. If you want to remove the stickiness a bit faster, lay a piece of 12″x12″ cardstock on it and press it down, then pull it off. Do this a few times and it should be just right.

      If you have more problems, feel free to drop by, anytime!!

      Good luck!


  7. I have been working on my wedding items for the last couple of months and discovered the exact same thing. I purchased a pack of paper with 5 different colors paper. I really wanted white and yellow cards, one pack both colors would cut nice, the next pack only the white, it really was a case of trying a paper from the pack, if it didn’t cut nice I put it aside and cut from the next pack, thankfully I was picking up the paper from the dollar store and paying $2 for 50 pages so it didn’t cost as much as picking paper up from Micheal’s.
    Cheers and happy cutting.

    • Thanks, for sharing your experience, Samantha. Isn’t it weird how some paper cuts beautifully and others don’t? There’s so much trial and error in paper-cutting…but, we love the craft and we do persist!!

  8. Oh, how true! I experienced the same problems. I’ve learned that when using the cameo always test cut and make sure the mat is clean.

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