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Cricut Engraving Hack – How To Engrave Acrylic Without A Maker

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Eager to try out Cricut engraving, but don’t have the Maker? I’ll show you my Cricut Hack for engraving with the Explore Air 2…


Hi, lovelies!

Who’s homeschooling this Fall?

*Raises hand slowly*.

We’re not totally sure about how things are going to go this Fall with our school district and the health concerns our state is facing, but we are open to the idea of homeschooling the boys this year.

It saddens me because my kids really benefit from the social interaction they get at school, in different ways.

But that may not even be a thing when schools reopen.

Regardless of what happens this Fall, we’re already implementing some at-home learning techniques with the boys.

Max is loving working with workbooks, and Jax is loving anything with crayons or markers.

For Jax, I decided to create something just for him with some leftover pieces of acrylic I had from my DIY $25 Acrylic Calendar project I completed last week, and I came up with trying to engrave a writing worksheet of sorts for him. 

I wanted to make something that he could easily write on with dry-erase markers and wipe off so we could practice writing. 

And I came up with this engraved writing sheet, with some inspiration from existing writing sheets online.

Now, technically, you’re not supposed to be able to engrave with the Explore Air 2.

So this is a bit of a hack, and it’s honestly a project that needs babysitting. 

You won’t be able to just put the acrylic on the mat to cut and leave the room.

Aaaaaand it takes a bit of time, depending on your design. 

And finally, you’ll need to re-calibrate your machine once you’re done!

So if I haven’t scared you off with my honesty yet, I’ll be sharing with you how I made this DIY Engraved Preschool Worksheet!

*This post contains affiliate links, however, all opinions are my own, as always. 

What You Need To Engrave With Your Cricut On Acrylic (Cricut HACK)

Here’s what you need to make this and engrave using your Cricut Explore Air 2…

Design And Cut Your Preschool Worksheet in Design Space

Create the design you want in Design Space within the measurements of your selected acrylic sheet.

You can create an outline of your acrylic sheet like I did in my DIY Acrylic Calendar post to ensure your design stays within the edges of the sheet. 

Alternatively, you can access my design featured in this post HERE and skip the design process entirely!

For Jaxson’s acrylic writing sheet, I chose to put a cute Preschool design at the top – Cricut access has a ton of designs you can use!

Engraving settings on Acrylic For Cricut Explore Air 2

I tried a test cut on a piece of random acrylic to ensure my cutting settings were accurate –  highly suggest you do a test cut as well!

I turned the dial on my Cricut machine to ‘Custom‘, and selected ‘Wood Veneer’ as the custom material setting, with ‘More Pressure‘ selected because I was working with a piece of acrylic that was 0.080″ thick. 

Before cutting, I decided to Mirror my design so Jax could write and erase freely without worrying about the different grooves for the letters and shapes. This is a personal preference, so you can do this if it suits you. 

I laid the acrylic sheet on top of a StrongGrip mat with the ‘front’ facing down onto the mat and still protected by its plastic covering, and pressed it firmly to the mat with a brayer.

Leaving the protective plastic covering on the acrylic sheet before applying it to the mat will ensure you won’t have any sticky residue to clean off from the mat.

You can also secure the four edges to the mat using painter’s tape if you wish. 

For each letter or shape, the Cricut will execute the cut FOUR TIMES. 

That means the Cricut will outline each letter four times. 

As the machine is cutting (here is where the babysitting comes in), you’ll need to WATCH it cut and ensure that the front edge of the acrylic sheet doesn’t lift up off the mat and butt into the housings.

This will jam your Cricut machine.

You can simply lift the end of the Cricut mat closest to you UP to ensure the mat and acrylic sheet stays under the housing.

Painter’s tape may help secure the edges more, but babysitting the cut is the best method to ensure a safe and accurate cut.

Finished Engraved Acrylic Sheet With Cricut Explore Air 2

My pictures a little darker in this post than usual, but that’s because I want you to see the cut design better.

Once your Cricut has engraved your acrylic sheet, feel free to cover the edges in washi tape, foam, or sand them down to eliminate any sharp or rough edges. 

Help your child practice writing their name, the different letters of the alphabet, and basic shapes they’ll need to know for Kindergarten.

You May Also Like: Easy DIY $25 Acrylic Calendar

And here’s what it looks like with a colored piece of paper behind it so you can see the cut letters even better…

As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, you’ll now need to re-calibrate your machine – you can read more about that in this post!


Thanks so much for reading – what other Cricut Hack posts would you like to see? Let me know in the comments below!
Also, feel free to tag me on Instagram (@slayathomemother) so I can see your finished creation.

*Post originally published July 2020, updated February 2021.

How To Calibrate Your Cricut Machine - A Detailed Screenshot Tutorial
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Amanda

Wednesday 2nd of December 2020

I'v e been searching for Acrylic blanks for a week now, never thinking to try Hone Depot! Thank you, one question though... if I wanted to use my Maker and cut my name into the acrylic, is that possible also? Kind of like name plates for weddings etc

Corinne

Monday 7th of December 2020

Hi Amanda, no problem! This should also work on the Maker as well! :)

DOMINIQUE Flora-Kamis

Monday 9th of November 2020

Thank you for writing this! I have been trying to find a hack you and gave me hope! I bought the chomos blade and am now returning without even giving it a try. I attempted your hack and it worked on my acrylic rounds. I used the light chipboard setting and it worked just fine. Thanks again!

Kylee

Thursday 22nd of October 2020

Hey, I'm hoping to try this out within the next week, but my acrylic is 3mm thick, so I'm.not sure if it will work. Also, did you just use the regular fine tip blade? Thanks!

Bets

Wednesday 28th of October 2020

Hi Kylee, I want to try 3mm acrylic tomorrow and was wondering how it went with your project. Thanks!!

Corinne

Thursday 22nd of October 2020

Hi! My acrylic was only about 2mm thick, and yes I used the fine point blade for this project. :)

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