Make a Spring Acrylic Plaque with Cricut
It’s that time of year again when the snow is starting to melt, leaves are starting to bud, and we can finally start opening the windows to let that crisp spring air rush in. What a perfect time to create this gorgeous flower-themed art piece that’s the perfect addition to your newly spring-cleaned bookcase!
- 5×7 Acrylic blanks (or other size): approx. 3mm thick
- Woodblock stand
- Permanent vinyl
- Transfer tape
- Digital products: Font: Predators Images: Roses (or other flowers)
- Weeding tools and scraper
- Square Ruler or Cricut Mat to align vinyl for application
- Cricut Explore Air 2 (or another cutting machine)
Creating Your Acrylic Spring Plaque
Get Your Crafting Workspace Ready!
In every tutorial that I write, I always recommend preparing your workspace before starting any project. Make sure you collect all of your tools and supplies and have them prepped and ready to go. This will save you a lot of time and stress when you are in the midst of creating your craft.
You will also want to prepare your acrylic plaque; it will most likely have a protective film on both sides. Remove one side only so that the underside remains protected from any scratches or dirt from the crafting table while you work.
Creating Your Art in Design Space
First, you will create your template. Open Design Space and insert a square from the shapes library. Unlock the shape and alter it to reflect the same size as your acrylic blank. I am working on a 5×7 piece of acrylic, so I sized my shape to exactly those dimensions.
If you have your own, upload an SVG file that you’ve chosen for this project.
To create the same flower design as mine, search for “roses” in the images library. Fair warning though, if you are not a Cricut Access member, the design does cost $1.99. Normally I try to always use free images from Cricut, but this was the only one that I liked for this project. I encourage you to be creative and use any image you want.There are also several SVG rose designs to choose from in Creative Fabrica’s graphics library.
Now that you have your image and/or SVG uploaded, place it where you would like on the template. Play around with the colors as well so that you will have a nice preview of what your final design will look like.
To create the text, I used the “Predators” script font available from Creative Fabrica. I love the curvature of this one and it works well with our spring theme; plus I found it in the freebies section so you can’t beat the price!
I recommend creating the text in Inkscape because you don’t have to worry about manipulating the letter spacing. However, if you are not familiar with the Inkscape program then you can still do this in Design Space; although not without some extra tweaking!
Create a text box in Design Space and type out the phrase you would like to add to your plaque. For my artwork, I took “blossom by blossom”, from the common phrase “blossom by blossom the spring begins”. To create this look, you will be creating two separate text fields so that you can easily move them around and fit them nicely on your plaque. First, only type “by Blossom” as we can duplicate it later for the beginning part of our phrase. Enlarge it so that you can see the letters and spacing clearly. Change the letter spacing to as close as you can without squishing the words together and compromising the natural look of the font; I adjusted it to -0.2. Now, in the advanced text dropdown, choose “Ungroup to Letters” and move the letters as needed. I find that if you select a small group of letters and move them all at once it makes this process much easier to maintain alignment.
Once you have the phrase the way you want it, select each word separately and weld. Do not weld both words together as we still need to duplicate it to create our first “blossom”. Once welded, duplicate the “blossom”word, and voila! We have our three words to build our phrase!
- Remember: When you resize all of your words, make sure to select them all together so you will only need to make size adjustments once.
Place the phrase on the template how you want it to appear, and adjust the size accordingly. Once done, group your words to ensure they don’t get separated as you are playing around with the look. Change the text to the color you want.
Now that we have created our design, it’s time to cut it!
Choosing vinyl colors that best reflect spring will make this artwork really stand out. Pastels, pinks, yellows, etc. will all work wonderfully – but because I want to display this year-round, I chose rose gold, silver, and white. Have some fun with your colors, get creative and make something that pops!
With your vinyl ready to go, make sure you remember to apply your layering techniques prior to cutting. You will also want to mirror the cut if you choose to place it on the backside of the plaque. This step is optional of course.
- Design Tip: Mirroring the vinyl to place on the backside of the plaque will add a professional seamless look and smooth feel to your final project.
Applying the Vinyl
Now that your vinyl is all cut, weed and apply the transfer tape. Grab your square ruler (or a Cricut mat) and line up your plaque so that it’s completely straight. If you need to, you can remove the protective film on the other side of the acrylic so that you can see it better.
Once you know exactly where you want to apply it, carefully lay down your transfer tape/vinyl. Vinyl loves to stick to acrylic so go slowly to make sure it gets applied exactly where you want it. Repeat for as many layers as you have.
Now that your vinyl is all applied, practically all that is left to do is clean up! Peel off the second protective film and turn your acrylic over if you mirrored it to reveal your new artwork. Grab a woodblock stand and you’re done!
Happy Spring Everyone and Keep on Crafting!