Using your Silhouette Cameo to Make Templates for Wood Cutouts

One thing I love about my Cameo, is the ability to quickly make a template for wood projects.  Whether I'm cutting out a state, the whole USA, or a random shape, the Silhouette Cameo 3 makes it very easy! In this video, I explain how you can use a Cameo 3 to cut templates for woodcrafts.  I have a complete list of materials used at the bottom of this page, along with links.  I'd also like to thank Silhouette America for sponsoring this post and video! 


First, you want to find the image you’d like to cut out.  I am using my home state, Pennsylvania as my example.  You will need to IMPORT your image to the Silhouette Library. This image should already be saved to your computer or flash drive.  From there, double click the image to transfer it to the DESIGN STUDIO. 


Now, you need to TRACE your image.  Head over to the menu on the left side of your screen and find the TRACE tool, the icon looks like a butterfly.  Next, click SELECT TRACE AREA.  This is where you use your mouse to make a box around your image.  Including all parts of the image you want a template for.  Now, this is where you will have to play around with the trace settings.  For me, it is easier to ZOOM in on the image to get a more accurate trace.  For this Pennsylvania cut out, I kept the High Pass Filter OFF, and just needed to adjust the THRESHOLD up until I had a clean trace.  Different images will require more adjustments, but since this is a simple image, we don’t need to go crazy.  Now you’re ready to TRACE, all I want out of this image is the outer edge, so I click TRACE OUTER EDGE. Voila! Your image has been traced.  Move your original image aside, and you have your “red cutable” image.  Make your sizing adjustments according to your project dimensions and you’re ready to send it to your Cameo.


For the actual template material, I bought a pack of 12x12 white cardstock, and layed it on my 24” cutting mat.  Since my project is longer than 12” I had to add a little extra cardstock, which I will tape the seam together at the end.  Using an AUTOBLADE, I found the setting for CARDSTOCK, PLAIN.  Load your mat into the Cameo, and you are ready to hit the BLUE SEND at the bottom LEFT.  The beauty of the autoblade is you don’t need to stop what you are doing and change the blade depth.  Also, there are so many types of materials preloaded into the Silhouette Software, you don’t have to do much changing to the cut settings. If at all! Now you have your template! And what I like about white or colorful cardstock (vs black or brown) is it’s easy to find.  I am the queen of misplacing things, so having something bright-makes it harder for me to loose it!


Now you are ready to use your template for wood crafts.  I simply trace the template onto the wood, trying to allow the woodgrain to go horizontally through the detailed areas, rather than vertically.  This greatly reduces the risk of the wood breaking during cutting or down the road. 


I am choosing to use a jigsaw for this cut.  I work outside of my shed, and don’t have much space for tools, so for me the jigsaw is super handy.  Other options would be a bandsaw or scroll saw.  The scroll saw would be an excellent choice for more detailed projects. 


After cutting, I quick grab my sander with a 120 disc on it and sand the face real quick.  Other than a little touch up sanding on the edges,  your cut out is complete! And ready for stain or paint. 

I’ve included a complete list of materials used, all the way down the sand paper.  Feel free to drop a comment if you have any questions!

Silhouette Cameo 3:

The link below is for the Business Edition for the Silhouette Software.  However, the free version will work as well.

Silhouette Auto-Blade:

Silhouette Cameo 24” Cutting Mat:

12x12 White Cardstock:

Dewalt Corded Jigsaw:

Dewalt Scrolling Blade:

Dewalt Orbital Sander:

Gator Sanding Discs-120 Grit: