Engraving on Acrylic and Faux Leather Earrings with Cricut

Engraving on Acrylic and Faux Leather Earrings with Cricut main article image
Posted on May 10, 2021 by Candace Sanders

These instructions assume that you already know how to use a Cricut cutting machine (or similar) and the Cricut Design Space program. Detailed instructions on using these are not included so you will need to refer to YouTube videos or online lessons before proceeding if you are not familiar with how to use these machines. If you are just starting out, I would recommend waiting to do this project until you have some experience using your machine.

Engraving on Acrylic: Making a Nightlight

Supplies needed:

  • Cricut Maker with engraving tip
  • Purple strong grip cutting mat
  • Blue painter’s tape
  • Acrylic disc (5-inch was used here and purchased on Amazon)
  • Colored light base (also purchased from Amazon)
  • SVG file of choice

Select an image that would work well as a drawing. The image used here is Butterfly Mandala Graphic from designer Cnxsvg and was purchased from Creative Fabrica. There are many images on the Creative Fabrica website that will work well for this project. Upload your image into Cricut Design Space. Change the operation to “engrave.” From shapes, select the circle shape. Size the circle to the same size as your acrylic piece. Make the circle white then drag your image to the circle. If it is necessary, select image and send to front. Size your image so that it fits inside the circle leaving at least ½ inch of space around the edge. Once you are happy with the size of the design, hide the circle image by clicking on the eye icon on the right of the canvas.  Now you are ready to make it.

Center your acrylic disc in the middle of the purple mat. Remember to remove the protective covering from your disc. Line it up using the center cross on the mat. You can use a ruler to check the distance on the sides on the 6-inch mark or just eyeball it.  Use blue painter’s tape to tape the disc to the mat. Make sure you do not tape where the piece will be engraved. See photo below. Insert the engraving tip into the B clamp of your Cricut Maker.

Select “make it” on your screen. When the page preview comes up, move your image to the center of the mat. This will line up the image to where you have placed the disc on your mat. Search for “acrylic” in your materials menu and select “Acrylic Thick 2mm.” Move the four white star wheels on your machine all the way to the right. You are ready to load your mat and engrave.

When the machine is finished remove the disc from the mat and brush off any loose dust. You can also rinse it in water and dry. Insert in your base and enjoy! A very simple project.

Making Faux Leather Earrings with a Cricut

Supplies needed:

  • Cricut cutting machine (Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker)
  • Purple strong grip mat
  • Faux leather
  • SVG file of choice
  • Blue painter’s tape
  • 1/16-inch hole punch
  • 2 shepherd hook ear wires
  • Green cutting mat (optional)
  • Iron-on vinyl (optional)

There are many places to find designs for making earrings. You could also make your own designs using shapes or images found in design space. This is entirely up to you. You can find images at Creative Fabrica if you search for earrings. Upload your file to Cricut Design Space. If you want to resize your image, click in the lower right corner of the design and drag to size. I will be including instructions for covering the back of the earring with vinyl, but this is optional. If you are going to put vinyl on the back, highlight your images and duplicate. You will then need to flip your design that you have duplicated. Select a different color for the vinyl layer.

Cut a piece of faux leather to the size of the area of your image.  You will also need to cut a piece of vinyl for the backing (optional).  If your design has more than one layer, cut faux leather for each layer.  Place the leather face down on the purple mat.  Tape around the edges with blue painter’s tape to help hold the leather in place.

Select “make it” to cut your images.  You will want to mirror all your layers.  This isn’t as critical with symmetrical images, but it is a good habit to get into when making earrings, so you will remember to do it on shapes that are unique. Select “faux leather paper thin” setting on the Cricut Maker (use custom on the Cricut Explore) and use more pressure.  You will be using your fine point blade for this project.  The machine will do a double cut. Load mat into the machine and cut (“C” button).  Before removing the mat from the machine, it is a good idea to make sure the leather is cut all the way through.  Use your weeding tool to lift the piece to check the cut before ejecting the mat. If you need to cut it again, just press the cut (“C” button) again. Repeat for all layers.  If you are using the vinyl, remember to place the vinyl face down on a green cutting mat.  Use the corresponding settings for cutting HTV vinyl.  I always use more pressure for most all of my cuts.

If you are backing your earrings with vinyl, you will need to iron the vinyl on before continuing. Place the vinyl piece on the back of the leather and cover with a Teflon sheet (parchment paper can be used in place of a Teflon sheet if necessary). I used the Cricut Mini Press to attach my vinyl, but other heating presses could be used. Use the low setting and heat to the proper temperature. Press for about 10 to 12 seconds. Let cool then remove the backing sheet from the vinyl.

Line up your layers for each earring and use the hole punch to make a small hole to insert the hook.  I used a Shepherds hook that did not require any special tools to attach. Just slide the layers on the ear wire. (Sorry I couldn’t get a very clear picture of this.) You could use other types of ear wires with jump rings (5 mm or 6 mm) if you are familiar with making jewelry. This would require two pairs of jewelry pliers to attach. You would also need to twist the loop on the earring wire, so it is parallel to the earring. Attach with the jump ring.

This was the first time I have made earrings with my Cricut, but it won’t be my last. It would be fun to make earrings to match all your outfits or for the different holidays. I am just getting started!

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