I’m just going to come out and say it. This project was not easy as it involved a LOT of new materials and techniques for me. As I mentioned on my FB page, I learned how to do several ‘new to me’ things on my Curio I purchased earlier this year when I attended the ATSC this past June.
Some of those new to me things I will share another time, but for this article I am focusing on etching acrylic blanks. Why? This one seemed to be the easiest one in reference to time, materials and technique. Sorta, kinda right.
I purchased quite a few acrylic blanks while at the ATSC (All Things Silhouette Conference) this past June at the Craft Chameleon booth. I ordered some online after I etched a few more at home with my Curio. This is going to be a very fun obsession!
Two of the big hang-ups for me were the alcohol markers (what exactly makes a marker alcohol bases, what brands, and the cost) and resin (again, what kinds, the cost and HOW???). My friend the internet stepped right up to help me find answers. One of my class instructors at ATSC, Cindy Pope, taught my acrylic etching class and introduced me to alcohol markers. She was using another brand, which was a bit steep in price for what might be a fleeting foray in my crafting life, so I purchased a more affordable brand for me, Spectrum noir. I was able to buy quite a few colors and some of their Sparkle ones to begin my etchings.
The easiest part for me was making templates, choosing a design and setting up my Curio to begin etching. Some designs, depending how detailed and the etching parameters in the software chosen can take a LOOOOONG time. I recently did some acrylic clipboard and each one took about 35 – 40 minutes. I’ve determined that I will definitely need to watch for another great deal on a Curio so I can get more done.
The hardest part for me was coloring. I am not that kind of artist, but the alcohol markers are quite forgiving and easy to blend and clean up (a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab). I had cut the square ones from some extra plexi we had laying around. I was able to round the corners and smooth the edges easily with a rotary tool that is also used for acrylic nails!!
Once I researched resin, I was a bit more confident that I could ‘dome’ my artwork so that the marker would be sealed and give a glass-like finish to the pieces. You don’t have to use resin, but the finish is gorgeous. Again, based on Cindy Pope’s recommendation, I used resin from Little Windows. They have great videos on their website and clear instructions on their product. I was able to mix up two separate batches without any issues.
These are fun and addicting!! I need to drill a tiny whole for attaching to the key-chain hardware and chains, but I will definitely be making some more of these. So many blanks…….
What should I work on next?