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

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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 Silhouette Cameo, and 9 inches on the Silhouette Portrait), by as long as my material is. Which is pretty awesome, right???

And since maybe you’re thinking about getting a Silhouette , or you already have one, I wanted to show you how to cut without a mat too.

This is the PERFECT way to use those long rolls 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 (PS- this is my favorite vinyl ever, and it’s an amazing price on amazon, with free shipping). 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. Most of my vinyl is 12 inches, but it still works if it’s on the 9 inches spot. Just make sure both rollers are on your vinyl the entire time.

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 my husband’s ping pong table as a craft table. Haha!

If you liked this post, please consider purchasing an item from my affiliate links. It doesn’t cost you any extra, but I make a little commission off of each purchase, which helps pay for this blog and support my family.

Silhouette Cameo 3

Silhouette Portrait

My favorite vinyl ever

Thank you for reading. If you liked this tutorial, please check out some of my other Silhouette projects:


How to cut Fabric with a Silhouette


DIY Santa Pillow- How to use Heat Transfer Vinyl


DIY Screenprinting (Using Freezer paper and the Silhouette)

diy stenciling


Pallet Deer Sign






  1. I used the steps outlined and not even 25% of my image was cut. I tried again with a mat and it worked fine. Tried a second and third time with more force (I have the cameo 3 with the auto blade) and still the same thing. The same design worked perfectly with the mat so I am very confused and frustrated

  2. I’m a 2 week old newbie and I’m loving my new Cameo 3. I’ve been cutting vinyl just fine without the mat withouit changing the mat setting. But, when I change it to “none” for the missing mat, my design cuts sideways. Even the little picture icon with the letter “F” is showing that my design is going to be cut sideways. Do you know how to fix this?

  3. When you are cutting permanent gloss vinyl (oracle 651) what are you using for cut settings? When using a mat I use:
    blade 2
    Speed 8
    Thickness 10
    I’m not sure what or how to adjust for no mat. What do you recommend?

  4. i tried not using a mat , 12″x4′ vinyl roll. cutting good and then at very last two letters in each of 3 lines of wording it starts to get out of line or off track. i tried it twice. same thing

  5. Looking for some advice – I am trying to cut without mat and have the settings as you say however it cuts right through the vinyl. Any suggestions?

    1. Don’t forget to also take the blade out of the machine and adjust it to match the setting. I know I’ve done that a few times, wondering why my mat was all cut up or why my material wasn’t cutting at all

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  7. My son was helping me move the white roller and he moved it way over into the groove where the black rubber ring was. Now I can’t get it out.. Any suggestions on how to get it out?

    I’m so new to this.


      1. Put something like cardstock or something thin, but sturdy under the teeth and pull on it. (You have to get all teeth to raise up just enough to get over the groove. Try even a small flat head screw driver to help get your material under the teeth

    1. There is a release leaver. Just above the roller. It will “release/lift” the roller so you can get your fingers in to move the white part

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  15. 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!

    1. I’m having a similar problem. When I cut without a mat and put “none” in my settings, but design changes direction…landscape to portrait. It’s making it hard to save vinyl and be conservative with it.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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?

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  20. 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?

  21. 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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