Stencil with Contact Paper

Yes… I think I have finally perfected it.  I have now cut many stencils on Contact Paper using these settings and have had success each time.  So, I thought I would share.

I showed you my DIY Roman Shades in my last post.  I added the stencil to the top of them.  Here is how I did it.

I started by picking a design from the Silhouette Online Store.  This is the one I went with.

It’s called ‘2 quatrefoil borders’

Because I only needed one of these borders I had to ungroup the items like this…

Then it grouped them like this.  I selected the one I didn’t want and pushed delete.

Now I rotated it…

And I set my dimensions on the side like below.  Be sure to click no cutting mat.

I then dragged my shape to fill the new dimensions like this.

This is the important part… Your speed will be set to 8 and your thickness to 3.

You are ready to cut, but you will need to adjust the bar on your machine to the shorter size unless your contact paper is larger.  It is super easy to do.  It actually shows you how to do it on your machine.

Insert your contact paper directly into the machine without a mat.

That’s it! My final steps were attaching it to my fabric and painting with acrylic paint.

And the final result…

Hope this is helpful!

If you liked it I would love for you to Pin it and Share it below 😉

Happy Monday! Can’t wait to share my latest project with you tomorrow!



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  2. angie on July 7, 2017 at 1:10 am

    Thanks for sharing, I use the Cameo 3, it won’t cut through the vinyl. I use as you suggested, the material from dollar 3. Appreciate your reply 🙂

  3. Jess on June 26, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Ahhhhhh! It worked! I love you woman, you just made my projects so much cheaper. Wall decals here I come (grins maniacally).

  4. Brenda on July 10, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Great tutorial…thank you so much! I made the mistake of putting my contact paper on the mat the first time around and had a very hard time getting it OFF of the mat…but not using the mat is the key! Perfect settings and it’s so awesome!!!! Thanks!

  5. T Bailey on May 21, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    thanks for this tutorial – I had to laugh when I saw it – I am sitting here with that exact same contact paper from dollar tree!!

  6. Annotated Audrey on February 24, 2013 at 2:55 am

    I just thought of this idea and I was wondering if it would work. Thanks so much for this post, I found it to be very helpful and I will be trying it tomorrow.

  7. Georgia Petty Ferguson on January 11, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Okay, so after trying this a number of times getting mostly botched results with the contact paper bunching up, including much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, I finally discovered that if I put the contact paper on the sticky mat with the front-side down (I got the clear plastic contact paper), it would not bunch. Because I got the clear plastic kind it peeled away from the mat nicely. Furthermore, it made my stencil SOOO much easier because from there I could just remove the contact paper backing and then stick the sticky side of the contact paper right onto what I was stenciling directly from the mat. I made sure to reverse the text first. I also had to use a thickness setting of 4.

    Thanks for the brilliant tut, yo!

  8. Elite Design on October 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    This is great, LOVE the screen shots, so easy to follow. I can apply this to other objects. Thanks so much!

  9. shaunnaRooskie :) on August 31, 2012 at 1:36 am

    love this Whitney!! was about to try to do Con-tact with my Silhouette before really thinking about it – your blog post just saved me a lot of frustration 🙂 thanks for all your hard work & research in coming up with this 🙂

  10. Shirley on August 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Do you just use store bought contact that you would put on a shelf? What about the contact from the dollar store? have you ever tried that? It would certainly be cheaper than the vinyl from the Silhouette store! Great site..thanks for all the tips

  11. Chantel on May 16, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Thanks for the awesome tutorial and specific setting for the contact paper. I too had trouble with it slipping a bit at first and realized that I needed to make my paper at least an inch or two bigger than my project because the design was too close to the edge and the Cameo had nothing to grip on to as it cut around the edges. Thanks again!

  12. Beth on April 26, 2012 at 10:45 am

    I’m having the same problem as Sarah. The machine takes the paper in but then it bunches. I bought just regular contact paper and it is pretty thin. Did I get the wrong kind? Is there a trick to loading the paper? Thank you for any help you can provide!!!

  13. Sarah Johnson on April 1, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Hi! Found your blog via my cousin’s recommendation. He came over to use my cameo to cut stencils with the contact paper and we used your settings but kept having problems with the paper getting caught and shredding in my machine. You didn’t have this problem after adjusting the rollers?

    Which side did you cut on (how did you load the paper)? I’m not sure why we were having so much trouble!

  14. Christy on February 18, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Thanks for sharing your project, it looks great! I just got the cameo and am having problems with the contact paper wiggling around while it’s cutting. Have you had that problem?

    • Shanty2Chic on February 18, 2012 at 11:03 am

      Not if I adjust the little white rollers to fit the paper 🙂

  15. April on February 13, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Love the shade! Great tutorial!!! Where did you get that beautiful contact paper? Thanks!

  16. Janna on February 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    I cannot locate this border in the online store 🙁

  17. Jan on February 7, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    I, too, am unable to locate this 2 quartrefoil borders. I love it. Any other name?

  18. Nan on February 7, 2012 at 5:34 am

    What machine did you use to make the stencil?

    • Shanty2Chic on February 7, 2012 at 6:26 am

      Silhouette Cameo

  19. Becca on February 7, 2012 at 3:26 am

    I loved you tut- thanks for sharing! I just shared a contact paper stencil tutorial. Yours is totally awesome- I am so envious of your Silhouette! I cut out a 40 in x 50x stencil- by hand! I never want to see an exacto knife again!!

    Here’s the link, if you’re interested- { }

    • Shanty2Chic on February 7, 2012 at 6:25 am

      Thanks Becca! I can’t imagine hand cutting… I wouldn’t want to see that knife again either! 🙂

  20. Claire on February 6, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Thank you so much, Whitney! I spent several hours trying to find the best Silhouette settings for cutting contact paper over the weekend as I prepared a stencil for my first ever etching attempt. I will be pinning this and adding your findings to my cheat sheet of settings (that I found on Pinterest). You share so many inspiring projects and have made me want to attempt more of the woodworking parts myself. Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Shanty2Chic on February 7, 2012 at 6:23 am

      Thanks so much for your sweet comment Claire! Glad I could help 🙂

    • Elite Design on October 14, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      Please send the link or board of cheat sheet settings. I just got a Silhouette and can use all the help I can find. No local classes:(

  21. Peg Miller on February 6, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Whitney, I just love your blog! Would you mind explaining the difference between a Cricut, a Cameo, and a Silhouette? I am new to crafting and wondering what would work best for me.

    • Shanty2Chic on February 7, 2012 at 6:23 am

      Hey Peg~

      I used to have a Cricut, but got rid of it when I discovered the Silhouette. The main difference is how you purchase your items that you cut. Cricut sells them in cartridges that take up space and cost lots of money. Silhouette sells the items individually in an online store much like iTunes. You pay per download and the selection is endless. The Cameo is the new Silhouette machine. They have discontinued the older, smaller one. You can still find them, but if you are going to invest I would for sure go with the Cameo. You will love it! Hope this helps!


      • Peg Miller on February 7, 2012 at 6:23 pm

        Thanks for the info! I know what I want for Mother’s Day! 🙂

  22. gail on February 6, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    l love using contact paper in my SD. I haven’t used it in my cameo yet. 🙂 I use a thickness of 3 for the sd. good to know that it’s the same for the Cameo.
    great tute!

    • Shanty2Chic on February 7, 2012 at 6:19 am

      Thanks Gail!!

  23. Thien on February 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    so glad you posted this! after your quick reply to my email (thanks so much!), I picked up some contact paper from Wal-Mart today! Still waiting on my Silhouette but going to do this with the Cricut for now. Do you have to add a fabric medium to the acrylic paint?

    • Shanty2Chic on February 6, 2012 at 1:05 pm

      I don’t! I just use the acrylic paint and have never had a problem with it. Thanks 🙂

  24. katie on February 6, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Could i ask what to search for on Silhouettes site as i can’t find a shape like the one you have used please.

    Would love to try this on some pillows 😉

    • Shanty2Chic on February 6, 2012 at 12:07 pm

      Hey Katie!

      It’s called 2 quatrefoil borders. Hope this helps!

      • katie on February 6, 2012 at 4:44 pm

        Thankyou so much! going to scoot off and download it now~ I hit the follow button love your blog x


  25. Jeannie on February 6, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Thanks. This really got my mind going. I have a cricut. It’s amazing what you can do with these machines. Looks great!


    • Hillary Tyner on January 4, 2020 at 6:39 pm

      Hi there,
      Thanks for the tutorial! My contact paper is still not cutting correctly. I had to use my matt as it would load unevenly, and then the settings you provided did not work for me. Also I’m having a trouble finding where to adjust the thickness on my Silhouette settings. Any tips would be appreciated as I’m just a beginner!

  26. Windy on February 6, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Thank you so much for this! I got a Cameo with my Christmas Amazon gift cards and one of the things I want to do is make fabric paint stencils using contact paper! Now I don’t have to guess at the settings to use! 🙂

    So you have any tips for freezer paper? hahaha

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