How to cut on the Silhouette {without a mat}… Or cut vinyl on the roll. {Tutorial}

Remember how I used to have a Cricut? And it was fine. I really liked it, because I’d never had a craft cutter before, and it seemed to worked how it was supposed to. But then one day I realized that even though it worked fine, it didn’t do everything I wanted it to do. I hated being tied down to cartridges, or using a program (scal) that didn’t really work flawlessly with the machine. And so I sold it and bought me a Silhouette Cameo. And ever since I’ve had my Cameo, my life has been so much more complete! (And I promise, they didn’t even pay me to say that!)

One of the things I’ve loved the most about my Silhouette is that I can cut without a mat. Why does this matter? Well, instead of being limited to only cutting as big as my mat is, I can cut as wide as my Silhouette (12 inches on the Cameo, and 9 inches on the portrait), by as long as my material is. Which is pretty awesome, right???

And since maybe you’re getting yourself a Silhouette with the promo I am running (or, if your name is Allison, and you won my giveaway for a free Silhouette Portrait), I wanted to show you how to cut without a mat too.

This is the PERFECT way to use those long rolls of vinyl that are 25% off right now (until April 26th- use code CORDUROY). That’s a good deal for a bunch of vinyl.

I am going to show you, using the Silhouette Studio program that came with your Silhouette.

Step 1: Make sure you are cutting something with backing, like vinyl. If you cut something like paper without a mat, the piece you cut out won’t have anywhere to go, and it will be sliding around in your machine without any rhyme or reason… which is no bueno.

Step 2: Change the cutting mat option to “none”.

Step 3: Change width and height to match your size of vinyl. {I always add an inch or two to the vinyl, just to be sure it has enough material to cut. So if my object is 12 inches long, I’ll cut my vinyl 13 or 14 inches long}


Step 4: Set your rollers to the width of your vinyl. The roll of vinyl I’m cutting here is 9 inches, so I moved the right roller over the the 9 inch spot.

Step 5: Feed your vinyl in the machine nice and STRAIGHT. If it’s a little crooked to begin with, it will be A LOT crooked after several inches.



And go for it! Play around a little bit, and I guarantee you are going to love this feature too!

And yes, I use Casey’s ping pong table as a craft table. Haha!

10 Responses to How to cut on the Silhouette {without a mat}… Or cut vinyl on the roll. {Tutorial}

  • I am so frustrated! I made a design using the cameo before I updated it. Now with the “new and improved” version I can’t get the cut mat to change from 12 inches to anything longer. I need my design to cut on a 12 inch roll of vinyl and be 32 inches long. I set the page settings to no mat and change the width but the cut mat on the screen never changes. It stays 12×12. and goes from landscape to portrait without me clicking it??? Any ideas what I am doing wrong? All the tutorials I see online show the old version not the new one. Thank you for any help you can give me. I need to finish this project for a raffle prize! Agh!

  • When i cutting my vinyl i find that i m cutting through the vinyl my blade is set at 2 what am i doing wrong

  • When I go to the Cut Settings page, I see the roller bar vertical at the left of my drawing sheet. Hoe do I move it to be horizontal at the top of my drawing sheet? I.e. Where I expect it to be in relation to the vinyl fed in.

  • thank you so much! I was having problems with my Silhouette. I would have 3 of the same design going across, the first one would cut perfectly and the 2nd one would make a loud grinding noise and not cut right, never making it to the third one. I tried it without the mat and I guess the mat is bad, because it worked good until it got to the bottom. Thanks for your tutorial!

  • Hi! I am trying to cut letters with my Silhouette but the blade curls up and tears the edges of the vinyl(especially on curvy letters). what am i doing wrong?

    • Kandy, I’ve never had that happen, so I’m not sure. I would make sure you’re cutting with a sharp blade. Sorry I’m not much help, but good luck! Let me know if you figure it out.

    • You maybe cutting letters that are to small or detailed for the blade, cut the same thing different sizes and find out how small you can cut it. Also make sure the blade is “clean” under the plastic cap, this would keep the blade from rotating freely and pulling the vinyl off the backing.

  • I tried moving my rollers, but can’t figure out how to do it. I am sure it is something very simple, but I can’t seem to figure it out. I have a Portrait, so maybe the Portrait isn’t adjustable. But I would love to be able to cut stuff that is smaller than 9″ inches and as long as I need it to be. And not worry about cutting mats for these projects. Do you know if they are adjustable on the Portrait?

  • Thank you so much my friend! I am going to bookmark this so I can come back and use it. You know what is sad? I not only have a Cricut Expression, my kids gave me a Cricut Imagine for Mother’s Day one year! Then I got the Cameo Silhouette for my birthday and I have never looked back. I love it so much. Words can not express how much I love this machine. I use it every day! I sold my Cricut Expression on e-bay. I thought it might bother my kids, but they said it was okay.



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