How to Cut Craft Foam Using Your Silhouette Machine

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Craft foam provides the perfect finishing touch for many projects, especially those made with ceramic tile, and it’s easy to cut into the exact shape needed with the help of Silhouette Studio and your Silhouette machine. Let me show you how!

This is Part 2 of a three-part tutorial on creating monogrammed tile ornaments. You can find the other tutorials by clicking on the links below:

Part 1 – DIY Monogrammed Tile Ornaments

Part 3 – How to Engrave Tile Using the Glowforge

What you’ll need:

Step 1: Hand-trace outline of the tile onto a blank sheet of white paper. Follow the outline of the tile as closely as possible. This is a trick I learned from my friend and fellow Silhouette instructor, Becky Dykes. Hand-tracing the tile works much better than taking a photo of the actual tile on a PixScan mat because the thickness of the tile will create a shadow on the image that makes it hard to trace accurately in Silhouette Studio.

Photo of hand tracing an Arabesque tile
Hand tracing of Arabesque tile

Step 2: Scan the image using a computer scanner or place the paper on a PixScan mat and take a photo.

Traced outline of Arabesque tile on Silhouette PixScan mat

Step 3: Import the image into Silhouette Studio. If using a scanned image, be sure to scale the imported image to match the dimensions of the paper (usually 8.5 in x 11 in).

Screenshot of PixScan import to Silhouette Studio

Step 4: Use the Trace tool in Silhouette Studio to trace the outline of the tile shape. Edit the points as needed.

Traced outline of Arabesque tile on Silhouette PixScan mat
Screenshot of point editing in Silhouette Studio
Delete any extra points, such as the one shown here on the corner.

Step 5: Select the traced image and create a small (0.15 in) internal offset. Delete the original trace line and use the offset as the cut file.

Screenshot of traced cut lines in Silhouette Studio

Step 6: Using a Deep Cut Blade, cut the shape. The default settings for Craft Foam worked best for me, but may need to be adjusted for your machine. (Note: I did experiment with the 2mm Kraft Blade but got much better results by using the Deep Cut Blade.)

Blade: 20
Speed: 4
Force: 4
Passes: 2

Screenshot of Silhouette Studio settings for craft foam

Tips for Cutting Craft Foam

  • Use a piece of craft foam that is narrower than your mat. Place the foam in the middle of the mat and adhere well, using a brayer if necessary.
  • Slide the spring-loaded rollers to either side of the craft foam so that they don’t roll over the foam. (The white rollers should be on the edges of your mat.)
  • Make sure to leave some margin around your design, rather than placing it close to the top, bottom, or sides of the foam.
Craft foam loaded into Silhouette Cameo 4
Craft foam loaded into Cameo 4
Foam loaded into Silhouette Cameo 3
Craft foam loaded into Cameo 3

Even after all these years, it still gives me a bit of a thrill when I see how accurately my Silhouette machines can cut! I hope you’ll give this technique a try and let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Finished back view of tile Christmas ornament

If you’ve found this tutorial helpful, please be sure to share it on Pinterest!

Until next time,

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  1. What is a brayer? I wish I had known how to do this years ago. I cannot tell you how many kindergarten crafts I have cut out over the years! Thanks!

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