Engrave Your Own Pet Tags
For pet owners, our furry loved ones are just as important as any other family member. That being said, many big-box companies overcharge for some much-needed pet supplies, and let’s face it, family expenses are already considerable! This pet tag project can save you a few bucks while helping to keep your fur babies safe in case they get lost or wander off to explore!
- Blank aluminum bone-shaped tag (or other)
- Digital Product: 100 Dog Tag Clipart Bundle
- Cricut engraving tool
- Measuring tape
- Masking tape
- Cricut Maker
- Cricut Strong Grip mat
- Black enamel pen or outdoor acrylic paint (optional)
- Small paintbrush (optional)
Cricut Design Space
Creating Your Template
If you are using a bone-shaped dog tag like mine, you’ll first need to head over to Creative Fabrica and grab the 100 Dog Tag Clipart Bundle. Once you have downloaded and extracted the file, open up Design Space and start a new project. Upload one of the tags (it doesn’t matter which color) as a cut file, then reduce the size to the same dimensions as your blank tag. With this, you will be creating the template upon which you will be engraving.
- 👉 Different Tag Shapes: If you are using a different shape for your dog tag, such as a circular or square shape, you can simply insert this shape onto your canvas from the Shapes Library and follow the same steps in creating your template.
Next, change the operation to pen, don’t worry, you will not be writing on this at all. This is strictly to create the template and to easily center your engraving.
Choosing Your Font
You’ll need to be careful when deciding which font to use for your engraving. Using just any font can result in outlines only unless you use a hatch fill. Because of the small size of our templates, I wanted to try a simpler font – but if you want to try to create a fill, you can read my Engrave on Acrylic or PET with Cricut Maker article. While it is a different project, the steps to obtain a hatch fill apply to most engravings. I personally prefer the look of a writing font as the lines are almost always sharper and clearer.
Go ahead and insert a text box and type out the name of your pet. I have three dogs, so I made three tags with three different fonts. You can easily determine which fonts are writing fonts by using the Font Filter.
Whichever font you choose, Just make sure that it will sit nicely on your tag – meaning, not too wide, stretched, or too tall.
If you like the fonts that I used on my tags, they are:
Miley – Zig Zag Font
Casey – Bookmark Font
Finnigan – DTC Porch Chair Font
Once you have chosen the font you want on your tag, just resize the text box to fit on your “draw” template, then align it.
- 👉 Alignment Tip: Using the “align>center” may not work, depending on the shape of your tag. In this case, just place it vertically as best as you can, then “align>horizontally”.
Next, change the text operation to “Engrave”, keeping the template as a “pen” operation. At this point, if you want to add a phone number on the back, just duplicate the template and add it on – but then hide the sides with the phone numbers so that you can run them through AFTER the names have already been engraved.
Now just attach the tag together with the font and click on that “Make It” button!
Centering Your Tag
I discovered this little tip from Abbi Kirsten’s blog about centering for flawless engraving. All you need to do is align the tag 1” across and 1” down from the top of the mat. If you are making multiple tags, just choose 1” across and 3” down, and 1” across and 5” down, and so on.
When you have it aligned digitally, now you’ll need to physically create the same alignment on your strong grip mat.
After you have everything aligned, use a little masking tape on the corners to ensure that nothing will move during the engraving process.
I have personally tried multiple different materials for engraving, and I find that with this kind of metal, the “Tooling leather 2.4 mm” material setting works best to get a nice and deep engraving. If you want a lighter engraving, feel free to choose the metal settings – but just bear in mind that with these “unhatched” fonts the text may be more difficult to see. Adjust your settings and go!
You will be prompted to insert the pen into slot A – just ignore this. The Cricut will go through the motion of drawing but then quickly finish and start the engraving process. For my project, I ran it through once and it gave me a nice deep engraving – but for an even more bold result, you can try to process it two or three times if you like.
Once completed, grab another small piece of masking tape and use it to lift off the excess engraving dust. This will help to prevent any scratches from attempting to rub off the debris.
With everything is completed, just flip the tag/s over and repeat the exact same process for the phone number on the reverse side.
If you are happy with the result, you can stop there. But depending on the color of the tag you are using, such as silver, you may find it difficult to clearly see the engraving. There is a solution to this! Using either an enamel pen or outdoor acrylic paint, you can darken the lines. I prefer to use acrylic paint because I find it wipes off much easier, so to do this, simply dab a small amount of the paint onto a small paintbrush and brush it over the engraved text. Next, take a paper towel or rag and wipe it off. The paint/enamel will remain in the grooves of the engraved lettering, leaving the rest of your tag clean.
Voila! You have just created your very own dog tag for your furry loved one. Now you can both enjoy the flashy new accessory while out on your daily walk! 🐶🐾
Keep on Crafting! 💖