Can you etch acrylic with Cricut? (Best tutorial)

Welcome to a new tutorial with the fantastic Cricut! In this new step-by-step “Can you etch acrylic”? I will show you that it is super easy and you can do it quickly.

Another good news is that you can use both Cricut maker and Cricut Explorer 2, as both machines work perfectly to etch acrylic. 

Undoubtedly acrylic is one of the best materials to work with, as it has great durability, can be recycled, and has high impact resistance, among other ideal features for all kinds of crafts.

If you are thinking of making design objects, decorations, souvenirs, and even key chains for an enterprise, this is an excellent way to carry them out at a low cost.

You will also see that having your Cricut and the Engraving tool will make everything much easier and your acrylics will have luxury details.  

Let’s see how this type of acrylic etching technique works!

Let’s etch!

Can you etch acrylic with Cricut? (Best DIY)

Another very important detail is that the acrylic you choose has to be a maximum of 2 mm thick because if it has more millimeters it will not fit through the grooves of the machines. So if you buy your acrylics through Amazon, you have to keep in mind this detail about the thickness of the material.

Acrylics usually come in a transparent form when you buy them, but they come with a cover that you remove (sometimes brown). This is to avoid scratching the acrylic surface before starting the process.

Now let’s see the essential materials for your etched acrylic or ” acrylic etching”:

  • Cricut maker or Cricut explorer 2
  • 2.0 mm Acrylic Plates
  • Cricut Etching/Engraving Tool
  • Adhesive Tape

Once you have checked everything you need to start, let’s go through it step-by-step so you don’t miss any detail.

Remember that before you start you can make a test of your engraving, so you don’t make mistakes later.

Can you etch acrylic

8 easy steps for acrylic for Cricut ( Step by step )

  • Step#1.

    With the Cricut hook (or hook tool, which is a tool that is also used to clean the textile vinyl and adhesive vinyl) you will proceed to remove the cardboard cover that comes with the acrylic plate (acrylic for Cricut) both in the front and in the back (first only the front).

    Here try to be careful, because you have to do it in a very soft and delicate way because as I said, you can scratch the acrylic without wanting to.

    Ideally, you should lift it a little and then peel it off gently (always make sure to peel off only the top part first and not the base, as you will do this when the Cricut engraving is finished).

  • Step#2.

    When you are going to put the acrylic on the mat, do not remove the backing from the base because if you stick it without the backing, the adhesive of the mat could stain it (that’s why I recommend you to remove the backing from the base when the acrylic is already engraved). 

  • Step #3.

    You can choose any of the Cricut cutting mats, i.e.: purple, green, pink, etc. Once you choose it, place the acrylic on the top left side of the mat, as you already know, and secure it with tape on the edges. Here try to leave the area you want to engrave free.

  • Step #4.

    Once your acrylic is ready on the mat, you load it into the Cricut project and mount the Engraving Tool in the slot where the blade goes (i.e. you remove the blade), and then close it.

  • Step #5.

    Now in the Cricut Design Space, choose the shape and size that you are going to engrave on your acrylic and press “Attach” (so that everything comes out on the same mat), and then make sure that the mode you should be in is “Cut” (not draw or score), because the slot where you place the Engraving Tool is in slot B, where the cutting blade is. Finally, finish with “Make it”.

  • Step#6.

    Don’t forget to put the design where you placed the acrylic on the mat. Always make sure that they are in the same place so that the design comes out perfectly on top of the material. 

  • Step #7.

    Now select the machine you will be working with (Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore 2) and look under “All Materials”. Perhaps if you are working with the Cricut Maker you will not see the “Acrylic” option, so you will have to look under “Manage Custom Materials” and then you will see on the screen all the materials that this machine can cut.

    Once you are there, go to the bottom and add “2.0mm Acrylic” and save it.

  • Step #8.

    When you have added the material, you can now choose the cutting pressure. Be careful at this point, as the acrylic you have is strong but only 2 mm thick, so if you apply too much pressure it will crack or break when the engraving is done.

    Ideally is to set the pressure to 170, since it is an ideal pressure (I have found that this parameter works), and then press “Save” and “Do it”.

    Then look for the option “Acrylic 2.0 mm” and send it to engrave. 

Now you have your acrylic etching ready!

You can watch a tutorial on “can you etch acrylic” here: 

When you remove the mat with your etching, you can pass a brush or just your finger over the residues and you will see that your design is perfectly clean on the acrylic.

I hope this step-by-step on “can you etch acrylic with Cricut” has delighted you and will get you excited to keep trying out the functions and materials of this wonderful machine that is Cricut!

If you also want to know how to engrave leather, click here.

Happy crafting!

You can do it!