DIY acrylic cake topper, keychains, and other accessories are super easy with a Cricut cutting machine.
There are a few different ways and materials to use to achieve that acrylic transparent look for various accessories.
Which acrylic cake topper cutting machine is best?
The best cutting machine for acrylic is actually a laser cutter but even the personal laser cutters like a Glow Forge cost thousands of dollars. Fortunately, the same effect can be done with materials using just a Cricut or any other cutting machine.
Can the Cricut cut acrylic?
Acrylic is just a form of plastic and they make acrylic sheets in all different thicknesses. The Cricut can cut up to 2.4mm thick sheet but you will need a deep point knife blade at that point.
If you have a Cricut Maker and have the Rotary Knife blade accessory, that might be able to go a little thicker than 2.4mm but I wouldn’t recommend it.
I find it is much easier to just use thinner plastic sheets or buy the premade blanks.
My favorite method is actually to use shrink film. Shrink film is very thing before baking. You can easily cut the shrink plastic using any Cricut cutting machine. After it bakes, it becomes a much thicker acrylic like slab.
Materials for Acrylic Keychains and Cake Toppers
Mylar Sheets – These are not quite as thick as the Acrylic blanks but they get the job done.
These acrylic keychain bases and pattern templates are all free and available in my resource library.
How to make acrylic keychains
First cut out all your plastic sheets and vinyl templates.
For mylar sheets and shrink film, I like to use a standard grip green mat and cut with the Plastic Packaging settings. I find this is sufficient for even the most intricate designs.
Keep in mind if you are cutting shrink film, it will strink to about a quarter of its original size. If you are decorating shrink film with vinyl, I would advise you bake the shrink film first and then remeasure to cut your vinyl decorations to size.
Otherwise, I like to resize the vinyl pattern to just slightly smaller than the base.
To transfer the vinyl decorations onto the base, use transfer tape. You can either transfer one layer at a time or layer then all together and made the final transfer all at once.
There are other ways to decorate your acrylic keychain. The butterfly and J on the right in the photo below are done with alcohol ink and shrink film Check out my tutorial on alcohol ink if you are interested in working with alcohol ink instead of vinyl. There are also other ways to decorate shrink film in this tutorial here.
How to Make Acrylic Cake Toppers
For Cake Toppers, you can elect to cutout the base pegs as part of the design. Alternatively, you can just glue on a coffee stick or chopstick afterwards. If you are interested in learning how to make knockout text, check out my Cricut Knockout Text tutorial here.
Because I use mylar sheets, they can be a little bit more flimsy which is not good for cake toppers. Here, I’ve made a shaker cake topper with 2 sheets of mylar with some sequins sandwiched in between.
To make this acrylic shaker, you will need some foam paper. I used a sheet from this assorted set I got from Amazon.
First, cut out all your layers using your Cricut cutting machine. For foam paper, I recommend using a standard grip mat. I tried using a light grip mat here and it snagged a few times. I still manage to salvage the cutout but it would have been better to use a standard grip mat. You will need a deep point blade for cutting foam paper.
In terms of what you want to sandwich in the shaker, you can use sequins or any self-made confetti. Any type of glue works here.
After cutting all the different components, glue the foam layer to the base plastic layer first. Then fill the middle with sequins or confetti and glue the rest of the layers on accordingly.
If you are interested in free Shaker Card templates to try yourself, check out my Shaker Card tutorial here.
How to seal acrylic keychains
As mentioned earlier, the easiest way to seal your acrylic accessory is to use spray sealant. Since most of these accessories don’t need to be washed, I just don’t bother and it lasts just fine.