Are you ready to learn how to cut, weed & transfer car decals with your Silhouette Cameo 4?
Today I’m going to be teaching you how to cut, weed (with some tips on how to weed), how to apply transfer tape (with some tips on that), and how to install a cute little butterfly car decal onto your car.
Now before we begin…if you’re putting the decal on the paint of your car, you could end up with some color differences. The Sun fades your paint on the car. So if the decal is on the paint, whatever is behind that decal isn’t going to fade. So the rest of your car is going to fade, and when you take the decal off , you have the outline of that design now with the darker paint. So just be aware that could happen.
So anyway, let’s get started!
DISCLOSURE: Some links in this post may be affiliate links. I may get paid if you buy something or take an action after clicking one of these, but it will not cost you a penny more. Read my full disclosure.
- Silhouette Cameo 4 with Bluetooth, 12×12 Cutting Mat, Autoblade 2, 100 Designs and Silhouette Studio Software – White Edition
- Silhouette America KIT Silhouette Tool, White
- Oracal Assorted 631 and 651 Vinyl – 48 Pack of Top Colors – 12″ x 12″ Sheets
- Con-Tact Brand Shelf Liner and Privacy Film, Clear Cover Self-Adhesive Semi-Transparent Liner, 18” x 20′, Clear Matte
- Frisco Craft 12″ x 50 FT Premium Clear Transfer Paper Tape – Application Tape Roll for Perfect Alignment of Silhouette Cameo, Cricut Adhesive Vinyl for Decals
Step 1 – Choose A Design
First, let’s pick a design that you want to use for this project from the Silhouette Library. So go down to the bottom left-hand side and click the Library icon.
We’re going to pick this cute little butterfly design. So double click on that.
Now that we have it on our mat, let’s close the library.
Step 2 – Prepare Design For Cutting
Now we don’t need this blank butterfly, so we’ll delete that.
Then if you click on the bits here, you notice that it’s not together.
So let’s Select the whole design, then right click, and choose Make Compound Path.
That way it’s an entire design, as one piece.
Step 3 – Size Your Design
So now we’re going to size it. Let’s bring it down to about roughly four to four and a half inches. That’s a pretty good size for our decal.
Now we want to place our butterfly just a bit over because I’m going to put a little one-inch strip down the side so that I can test out my cut before I go ahead and cut this whole butterfly out.
You don’t want to have cut the whole butterfly and have to throw it out because it didn’t cut or it just cut right through the backing. So what we want to do is also include a spot where you can put some vinyl to test.
Step 4 – Prepare The Cut Settings
Now that we’re ready, we’re going to go over to click Send, and make sure it’s on Cut.
We’re using Tool One, and we’re going to use Vinyl Glossy because the vinyl for car decals is usually the glossy.
It’s the Oracle 651, and the way you can tell is because it has a gloss to it. The temporary vinyl usually has a matte finish. So we’re going to choose Vinyl Glossy, and we’re going to set it to Cut. Then we’re going to make sure it’s on Auto Blade.
So here’s the settings that it picked for us.
Step 5 – Place Your Vinyl On The Mat
Now we want to go and place the vinyl on our mat. First let’s put the one inch strip in place on the mat. I didn’t cut it exactly straight but that’s okay. Just make sure that’s on there real good. You can get your scraper out if you need to.
Then we’re gonna put the butterfly over just a couple inches. So go back into Design, and resize. We’re going to make sure the design starts at the two inch mark. So now that we have that ready, we want to just double check and make sure that our butterfly is going to fit on our piece of vinyl that we have on the mat. I shrunk mine down a little bit.
Step 6 – Double Check Design Fits On Vinyl
Now let’s go back over to Send.
Step 7 – Send To Test Cut
Make sure your mat (with the vinyl on it) is in your Silhouette machine. We’re going to do a test so just click on Test.
Step 8 – Check Your Test Cuts
Now check to see if your vinyl test square cut properly. After playing with my vinyl a bit testing it, it turns out that my vinyl needs a number five for the Blade. The rest is the same, but I needed a number five because it wouldn’t quite cut through. It depends on your vinyl. Let me show you my test cuts here:
So I had to try a couple of times because the inner triangle of the test square came right off with the first square. The second one worked much better. You just have to test it. I didn’t use Oracle vinyl for this. I’m using some vinyl I got from a relative of mine that owns a sign shop so he uses whatever kind of vinyl this is for his signs. So you just have to give it a test. It’s a good idea to have a strip here to test first just so you don’t ruin your your design.
Step 9 – Ready for Actual Cut
So let’s put our mat back into the Silhouette to cut our pretty little butterfly. So instead of tests we’re going to go down to click Send,
and if you get this little yellow band here at the bottom don’t worry about it. Just be patient because sometimes you get some little glitches with your computer and it’s not really getting the design sent as quickly as you would think. So just leave it and it will cut.
Step 10a – It’s Weeding Time (Weed The Outside)
Now that you have done your design you want to go ahead and weed. First, I want to get the outside of the design. So you can see here, with the butterfly, we want to get all this outside area off.
So we’ll do that first. Just catch a little corner with your weeding tool. Sometimes it might take a few minutes to get it started.
Now if you’re having some trouble with the design pulling up, just hold it down with the weeding tool. But take it easy because it depends on the vinyl how easily it’s going to weed. Sometimes you have to coax it.
I could have tried cutting it again with a bit more force or one more in the blade depth, but I decided to just go with what I had. So, I was still having a few little problems but I just took my time weeding.
Weeding is supposed to be relaxing apparently, and it can be when it goes right. But sometimes when it doesn’t, it’s kind of annoying.
I haven’t used this kind of vinyl before, so I’m not really used to what it’s like to weed. It took me a little bit, but I finally got the outside done.
Step 10b – Weed The Inside
Now we want to do the inside. We’ve got little inside bits here that have to be taken out. Just make sure to move slowly and carefully because you don’t want to be pulling out the wrong piece.
We’re just gonna start on the first wing here. And when you’re weeding, just remember to leave it on your mat. If you have some intricate pieces, it’s best to keep it on your mat while you’re weeding. If not, you could get pieces lifting up. Even though mine was lifting up, I think it’s to do with the kind of vinyl it is.
Step 11 – Use Contact Paper
Now we are done weeding, we are going to use some transfer paper. If you don’t have the actual transfer paper, you can use Contact brand contact paper. It’s Clear Matte from Walmart. It was pretty cheap.
Now if you are using this Contact brand paper, just realize that you can’t leave this design on the contact paper for too long. If you do, you will get adhesive covering your design before you put it on your car. It leaves residue on your design if you leave it on the contact paper too long. But if you’re going to put it on your car right away like I am, then you can use the Contact brand paper. Otherwise, use ACTUAL transfer paper that you can get from your vinyl distributor.
You want to make sure you got your contact paper about the size of your design. Because what you’re going to do now is you want to get it onto your contact paper…onto your design, and lift the design off this base paper. The contact paper is what you’re going to use, or the transfer paper as it’s usually called, to transfer your design onto your car window.
So you want to just peel back some of the contact paper backing because it’s sticky on one side.
Now to get the contact paper to go on your design properly, I would first place it just on the top section of your design here:
Use your scraper tool because you want to make sure it is pressed on there really firmly as you’re pulling the backing off the transfer paper. You want to be pushing it down really well. Just burnish it right on there. Make sure that’s on there really well and there’s no bubbles.
When you’ve done that you want to peel it off the mat. Pull the vinyl backing, the butterfly, and the clear contact sheet all together off the mat.
Now it’s time to put it on your car!
Step 12 – Installing the Decal On Your Car
Make sure the glass is clean before you put the decal on. Then peel off the white backing.
Place it where you want it. Now take your squeegee/scraper and just burnish it really good onto the glass. You don’t want to have any bubbles under the vinyl.
Once you think it’s on there really good then you can start peeling the transfer/contact paper off.
Holy macaroni! Guess what?! You are done your car decal! I’m so proud of you!
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