I like to craft and make my own scrapbooks and cards from time to time, but sometimes it’s difficult finding stamps that I actually like. If you’re a small business owner or a general hobbyist like me, you can understand how frustrating that can be, which is why I want to introduce the rather nifty Silhouette Mint.
This handy machine fits right in the palm of your hand and prints custom stamps that you can design yourself! Its thermal printing technology results in 3D designs that you can use to personalize cards for any occasion or embellish the family scrapbook.
It’s also fairly easy to use and prints your design in just minutes. You don’t have to worry about using any complicated programs and don’t need a dozen wires to power it up. If you’re looking to have a much easier time creating your own stamps, you can continue below to learn more about how helpful the Silhouette Mint can be.
Using the Silhouette Mint
When first booting up the machine, all you have to do is plug in the power cord and the USB cord. Then on your computer, you open up Mint Studio (the program the Mint comes with) and from there you’re ready to start creating your own designs. When first opening up the program, there are 50 free premade designs that you can install, use and test out.
You can also change the font style and size, add shapes and decorative borders, draw freehand, curve the text, and even change the size of the whole design. To create multiple variations, the color style or patterns of shapes and text can be changed.
Minting Your Design
After you’re done with your design, you’ll have to send it to the machine for printing. You have to feed special stamp sheets through the machine, prompting it to print the image in reverse using its thermal printing technology. While it’s printing, you’ll see a blinking light, and once printing is done, the light will stop blinking.
Afterward, you’ll be able to mount the new stamp on a base (which comes with the Silhouette Mint kit or is available to buy separately). Thankfully, the bases are reusable as you can easily peel off the old stamp. Once you’ve mounted your stamp, you can now move on to inking it.
Inking Your Stamp
I found it a bit odd that these stamps don’t work like regular stamps where you press them onto an ink pad, but the process is rather simple. You have to apply ink from the bottle onto the stamp’s bottom and then wait about 10 minutes for the stamp to fully absorb the ink. It’s definitely more of a wait rather than just pressing a stamp onto an ink pad, but it’s not too inconvenient since I’m in no hurry.
Once the stamp soaks up the ink, you can stamp on some scratch paper to test it until you get a clear print. You’re able to stamp up to 50 times before having to re-ink the stamp (although I’ve found you can stamp even more than that). In a way, this saves a lot of time compared to traditional stamps since they constantly need ink reapplied to work.
If you want a very clear and bold impression, you’ll have to use a bit of elbow grease and press hard onto the paper whereas you can press lightly if you want a pastel or soft effect. If you wish to use different colors for the same stamp, I have to say that it’s a bit tricky.
You can definitely make a multi-colored stamp by using your ink bottle to carefully deposit ink into certain parts of your stamp. You, unfortunately, can’t change colors until the stamp runs out of its 50 turns. With this, the Silhouette Mint is not too practical for individualized projects. It’s best designed for those that mass-produce cards, wrapping paper, logos, tags, etc.
To briefly sum up what I think about the Silhouette Mint, here are some positive features that are worth mentioning.
- Fast and Quiet Operation
It only takes about a few minutes to both make and print your design, which comes in handy if you’re a small business owner and you’re under the stress of demand. If you work from home and in the evenings, you don’t have to worry about bothering others since the machine is relatively quiet. If you wish to take it with you for travel, it’s also very light and small enough to fit in your backpack.
- User-Friendly Design Program
The Silhouette Mint comes with its own Mint Studio software or you can download it for free from the website. The free version is pretty basic, so if you want to upgrade for more features, there’s also the Designer Edition, Designer Edition Plus, and Business Edition. You can choose fonts, shapes, and colors you want to use with the user-friendly interface of the program.
- Reusable Base
Fortunately, you can re-use the stamp base if you ever want to use other stamps by simply peeling your stamp off. Before this, you should make sure the ink in your stamp has fully run out to avoid mixing ink.
Inking your stamp may not be the quickest way compared to simply pressing a stamp onto an inkpad, but you can use it over 50 times. As mentioned before, this is quite the benefit for small business owners when making tags, labels, cards, and more.
- Multiple Colors on One Stamp
You can create multi-colored stamps by using the inking bottle to insert ink in specific areas of your stamp for a creative touch. Mixing ink colors is possible as well, but I didn’t find it to work too well.
- 50 Free Designs
I actually highly appreciated the 50 free designs the Mint Studio program came with. While they’re less than impressive, they were nice to have for those just starting out with designing stamps.
Here are some negative things I’ve noticed about the Silhouette Mint.
After inking your stamp, it takes about 10 times before I ever got a clean look. Take this as a precaution and have some scratch paper nearby to test out your stamp before using it on your project.
- Fonts Can Be Small
Depending on how big your stamp is, sometimes the font turns out very small since it’s hard to judge how big the font will turn out to be on the final stamp. Be careful not to go too thin with your lines or else you won’t get a crisp print.
- Cost of Additional Stamp Kits
By no means does the Silhouette Mint help save you money on stamps, and in most cases, you’re actually paying more per Silhouette Mint stamp sheet. With this, it’s not meant for the casual user since you’d be paying more for the cost of the Mint and the stamp kits than you would for a regular stamp.
- Can Potentially Waste Ink
As mentioned before, you can stamp up to 50 times or more, but if you don’t have much merchandise or projects to stamp on, you’ll find yourself trying to get rid of the ink by stamping 30 or 40 more times before completely clearing the ink.
Overall, the Silhouette Mint is quite the nifty little machine that can be very useful for the everyday Etsy seller or a small business owner. You can make custom projects such as cards, gift tags, logos, and a lot more.
It’s definitely worth the investment and is easy to operate so pretty much anyone can use it. If you’re looking for a machine that’ll fit right on your desk and can create custom stamps, I’d highly recommend looking into the Silhouette Mint.
Hello there, my name is Carole Lokey from Texas. I am a die cutting and scrapbooking enthusiast and I have been sharing my passion with my friends and likeminded folks for close to 15 years now. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me via the contact page. Learn More>>