1. a silhouette adhesive cutting mat
This is an adhesive mat that your vinyl sticks too and it keeps it from shifting while its being cut. Depending on how often you use one cutting mat can last from a few weeks to a few months. I have been cutting since January and I have only replaced my mat once in that time. But.. I'm not gonna lie, the sticky on my mat has been gone for quite some time, I just resorted to taping my vinyl to my mat using masking tape on the very edges because, the way my budget is set up i have to pinch those pennies until they squeal and that just hasn't been a high priority on my things I need list. I have read some things where people say they don't use a cutting mat at all.. But in my opinion the cutting mat is a must have. I've you've every had to throw away a mis-cut piece of vinyl because of slipping you know what I'm talking about.
2. Vinyl to cut
There are several different kinds of vinyl, and if you are starting a decal business to make decals for yeti tumblers, or cars and trucks, boats, any outdoor use, or thing that will go into your dishwasher on the top rack only, the you are going to want Oracle 651 adhesive vinyl. It lasts for 6+ years outdoors, is top rack dishwasher safe, is fine on cars even through a carwash, will adhere to any clean smooth surface. It is not recommended that you get the decal wet for the first 24 hours to allow it to cure. But after that you are good to go for 6 years.
3. transfer tape
also known as transfer tape, transfer paper, transfer film, and Rtape, You can buy transfer tape in various sizes and it comes in clear, or a paper material that resembles masking tape. I prefer the type that is like masking tape, I just like the tack of the paper, its not to tacky to use in layered projects, but is tacky enough to withstand being mailed.
4. an extra blade
The silhouette Portrait comes with a blade and it will last again dependant on how much you use it and what you use it for. If you are only cutting vinyl with your blade it should last quite a while, but if you plan to cut paper and other materials with it also, I would recommend buying a second blade, one for vinyl and one for everything else.
5. The tools
You can buy fancy kits with lots of different things and they may be useful, But these are the only tools I have ever needed. An Exacto Knife incase the blade misses a spot, which is rare but it does happen from time to time when your blade needs cleaning, and crafters tweezers for weeding the vinyl.
If you have all of these things, and a silhouette portrait then you are set to cut vinyl decals.
Check out my Etsy shop to see some of the things I have made with my Silhouette Portrait vinyl cutter.