Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Playing with Tools

Ok, I've been discussing acrylic techniques for the last couple of weeks. If you missed these posts you can find them here and here. Today we're playing with tools to create interesting looks in acrylic.

All of these techniques require you to handle your acrylic pieces, resulting in acrylic pieces covered in fingerprints and dust. Once you are done with the heavy-duty techniques and are wanting to start adhering photos and paper, simply rinse your acrylic pieces in the sink (both sides) and dry with an unused coffee filter. This will get rid of fingerprints and dust (and streaks). Don't use Windex on acrylic, it will make your acrylic dull.

Technique 1 - Acrylic Etching

Step 1 - Print. Print or draw a "go-by" of what you want to etch into the acrylic (although you can always free hand the design if you want to). Adhere your go by to your work surface (to prevent shifting) and lay your acrylic piece on top.

Step 2 - Etch. Use a pointed griding tip for your multi-tool (I'm using a Dremel) to etch your design into the acrylic following your "go-by". Use short back-and-forth strokes (as if you were coloring in the template with a marker).

No multi-tool? A similar etched look can be accomplished with a template and sand paper. Templates can be created with the Cricut, Wishblade, or other die cutter or hand cutting. Templates should be created out of transparencies because paper templates will tear when sanded.

Faux etching liquid (think cloudy translucent paint) is available as well.

Technique 2 - Custom Acrylic Shapes

Step 1 - Draw. Use a Sharpie to draw the desired shape on your acrylic piece. Any Sharpie marks that remain can be removed with alcohol ink blending solution. Keep in mind that the multi-tool cutting disk can only cut straight lines.Step 2 - Cut. Use the cutting disk attachment for your multi-tool to cut along your lines. Take it slow and wear eye protection.
Technique 3 - Imprinted Acrylic

This technique uses paper cutting dies to imprint acrylic. I used Sizzix Sizzlit dies, but this technique would also work with Sizzix originals and potentially other low profile dies.

Step 1 - Sandwich. The acrylic sheet is thinner than the standard Sizzix die cutting acrylic base, so you'll need to use Tab 1 on the multi-purpose platform (Tab 2 is typically used for Sizzlits dies). Place your acrylic piece on top of the multi-purpose platform. Place your die, cutting side down, on your acrylic. Place a standard Sizzix acrylic base on top of the the die.Step 2 - Imprint. Run through the Sizzix Big Shot or Big Kick as normal. Note the cracks in the acrylic in the picture below. This is what happens if you try to put the die face up and your acrylic piece on top :) .
Next week I'll be talking about acrylic page design techniques.

Happy humpday!


Angel Gurl said...

Amanda I love the etching.

nancy said...

As always, WOW. I don't know how you think of this stuff! Your brain must work on an amazing crafty level. Very cool.