Hi there, Nadine here with a little plaque I made for my granny's birthday. I decided to decorate an acrylic plaque with some coral coloured vinyl. As acrylic is non-porous, it's suitable for the wet application method. In this technique, a little water spritzed on the surface helps when applying vinyl as it allows a little play when aligning and it also helps prevent air bubbles. As my design fills the plaque, I also have some hints for appligning the vinyl. I think acrylic plaques look very pretty and can represent good margin for those cutting for business as my plaque cost just 99p!
What you’ll need:
- Self-adhesive vinyl
- Transfer tape
- Acrylic blank
- Water spritzer
- LD Elegance Font
- Button pack Design ID #4979
STEP ONE: Acrylic Black TemplateMy acrylic blank came with an SVG showing me the template size, including the circle holes, so this step was super easy for me. If you don't have a file, make the template by measuring your blank and using the rectangle and ellipse tools.
STEP TWO: Back Button FrameMake each button from design ID 4979 into a compound path and size to about half their original size. This is necessary as we will be welding into a frame and if we don't do this step, we will lose all the inside shapes upon welding.
Arrange in a jaunty frame, with each button touching the next. Once you are happy with the frame, select all the buttons and Weld (right click or use shortcut key Cntl+Shift+W).
STEP THREE: PersonaliseI used the font LD Elegance in font size 175 to write my Granny Dilys' name. My top tip here is to use the offset tool. Not only does it weld your overlapping parts of the letters together, but allows you to make a slightly bolder font which can be much easier to cut.
STEP THREE: Alignment TrickI offset the outside outline of the plaque's rectangular template by 2mm and made into a frame by selecting both rectangles and making a compound path. This part of the design will be too big for the plaque, but allows me to perfectly align the vinyl on the acrylic. The holes also help to align. I have incorporated the left hole into a daisy shaped button. For the right-most circle, I made a ring, but on reflection, just the centre circle would have been easier!
STEP FOUR: Cut and WeedI used a blade 1, thickness 8 and speed 7 to cut my vinyl and the weeding tool to remove the unwanted parts of the design.
STEP FIVE: Wet Application MethodRemove the protective film from the acrylic and use transfer tape to apply the vinyl using the hinge method described in my apply vinyl to glass tutorial. The outer frame and hole circles will let you align the top centimetre of the design.
Pop a drop of baby shampoo or dish soap into a water spritzer. Sign supplies shops sell specialist liquid for about £10, but for such a small project, I couldn't justify the purchase. Spray a very fine mist onto the plaque and then smooth down the remaining vinyl.
Alternative Reverse Hinge Approach
I love talking about methods, hints and tips with fellow crafters. My friend also makes the frame and uses the holes to align her plaques. To apply though, she recommended another option, which is a Reverse Hinge Method. Start in the same way by weeding the vinyl and applying the transfer tape, but this time place the vinyl flat on the table, sticky side facing up. Then you can line up the acrylic to butt against the alignment frame at the top. Use the top edge of the acrylic to hinge and lower the rest onto the vinyl.
Once you've applied, whether with the regular hinge, or Danielle's reverse hinge method, now use the squeegee tool to squeeze out all the extra liquid and make a strong, air bubble free bond. Remove the transfer tape and dry the plaque.
Remove the protective back film and add some ribbon.
Tie the knots at the front so that the plaque lies neat to the wall or door. Carefully run the flame of a lighter over the end of the ribbon to seal it.
The Finished Product