Did you know that with the new engraving tip that acrylic engraving with the Cricut Maker is possible? It is quick and easy and makes cool decor!
Have you tried engraving with your Cricut Maker yet? With the release of the engraving tip, making a cool light up acrylic sign is quick and cheap!
Awhile back I made a fun engraved teacher sign but I really wanted to try and make an acrylic sign that lights up. I figured Christmas was the best time to try it since I love all sorts of lit up DIY Christmas decor.
In all honesty, this project did not end up perfect by any means. Sometimes projects don’t turn out how you planned, but that’s ok! It happens to all of us and I have had to learn to accept that fact and embrace it.
Engraving acrylic with the Cricut was easy peasy it was cutting the acrylic to fit in the light-up base that I had issues with. I’ll get into that later…
Can The Cricut Engrave?
Yes!! And Yay, right? Cricut released the Cricut Maker engraving tip in the summer of 2019. The engraving tip is part of the QuickSwap housing tools only available for the Cricut Maker. These tools require an advanced cutting technology that only the Maker has.
You only need one QuickSwap housing and then you can buy the tips and blades separately. The tips themselves aren’t too expensive, you should be able to get one under $15 when it’s on sale. You can read all about them at Cricut.com.
The engraving tip is able to engrave kraft board, poster board, glitter cardstock, aluminum sheets, anodized aluminum, brass, bronze, stainless steel, faux leather, leather, watercolor paper, sparkle paper, vellum, acetate, foil acetate, metal, vinyl record, and acrylic (thick and thin). YOU CAN NOT ENGRAVE GLASS WITH IT!
Can You Engrave Acrylic?
Yes! And again, yay! With the Cricut Maker you can engrave 1 mm and 2 mm thicker. Any thicker and it won’t fit under the roller, I tried! Unfortunately, you can’t cut acrylic with the Cricut Maker but acrylic engraving works perfectly!
The nice thing about using your Cricut Maker is that you can design anything and have it engraved on an acrylic sheet. And it engraves pretty quickly. It doesn’t do a bunch of passes like cutting through thick materials.
So let me show you how easy engraving acrylic is!
Materials Needed for Light Up Acrylic Sign
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- acrylic sheet – I found my 2mm thick 8×10 acrylic sheet at Lowe’s
- Cricut Maker – always check prices between Amazon and Cricut.com
- Engraving Tip
- Strong GripMat and blue painter’s tape
- Light Up Base
Designing in Cricut Design Space
If you’d like to use this Christmas image I used you can find my project here. Or you can insert whatever image you want.
Once you insert an image, click on it, and then select “engrave” under linetype drop-down.
Size it to fit your acrylic. Mine is about 7.5 inches wide by 9 inches tall. Click Make It.
In the prepare screen, you need to move the image so it will be centered on the acrylic sheet on your mat.
I centered my acrylic sheet so it was in between the 2″ line and 10″ line on the mat and 1″ inch down. Note: My engraving did not come out exactly centered. It’s hard to tell unless you are Type A like me, but some machines cut slightly to one side from the preview screen.
Preparing for Acrylic Engraving
Remove one of the plastic backing sheets from the acrylic. Leave the backing on one side and place that side down on a stronggrip mat. Leave the plastic on so the acrylic doesn’t get all sticky from the mat! Tape down all 4 sides.
Move the white rollers on the Cricut Maker to the edges. (Make sure to watch the video at the top or side to see all these steps in action!). Load the engraving tip #41 and the mat when CDS prompts you.
Press the flashing C button and let the Cricut Maker engrave away!
When it’s done, upload the mat, remove the painter’s tape and gently wipe away the debris.
How Do You Cut Acrylic?
So this is the part that didn’t go well… womp, womp… Since I wanted this 8×10 sheet to fit into a 3-inch slit in a light-up base I needed to cut two sections of the bottom off.
I first tried to use a glass cutter but that didn’t work. It made some indentation, so I’m not sure if this was part of my problem when I finally cut it.
Then I bought a plexiglass jigsaw blade and planned on using that. I read to tape around the part you’re cutting to prevent splitting. Then I measured!
The base’s slit was 1/2 inch deep so I measured a centered 3 inch wide section at the bottom of my acrylic sheet that was 1/2 inch tall.
I secured the acrylic sheet to a table and used my jigsaw to cut the two sections.
And crack it went!! I think I did a couple of things wrong. First, I’m not sure if the previous indentations caused it to bust early. Second, the very bottom is hard to cut when the other side it not secured. If it was secure on both sides, maybe it would have worked better.
So, it cracked a bit! Not enough that glue didn’t fix. I grabbed my tacky glue and glued the section that broke and it stands up in the base just fine. Granted you can see the cut in the bottom, but it’s really only up for a month and it’s not too bad.
So if you have tips on cutting acrylic, I’d love to hear them!!
I just found some 3×3 acrylic sheets on Amazon so I will do my next engraving acrylic project with those.
But it still stands up and I love how it lights up!
If I figure out how to cut acrylic better, I’ll let you know!
You can always paint the back as I did on this acrylic sign made with the Maker blades.
If you’d like to save this idea for later, simply hover over the top left of the image below and PIN It now!
Thanks for stopping by and have a creative day,