Beginner Cricut Project - Layered Vinyl Tile Name Plaques
Have you ever layered vinyl in a project? It is not hard at all. In fact, I used this method with my very first Cricut project. All you are doing is putting one layer of vinyl over the top of another layer. There is no special trick to it.
The important thing is to use two different colors for the text, so they can both be seen clearly. I used two different text fonts. The placement of the text can also make a difference. Here are the two plaques I have made so far. As you can see, they are quite different.
I got the idea for these name plaques when I saw some building tiles at my local Restore. The individual tiles cost very little, and I chose several different sizes and styles. My plan was to make one for each of my children as Christmas gifts, and I decided to make one for us first as a trial. I was very pleased with how it turned out.
Cricut Maker or Explore Air 2
Cricut Permanent Vinyl - Medium Blue
Cricut Permanent Vinyl - Black
Cricut Felt Sampler - Spring Rain
I found the idea for the full last name being layered over the first letter of the name on Pinterest and decided I wanted to do that with my plaques. All I had to do was choose the fonts for the letter and the last name. That took me a while, but I finally figured out what I wanted.
In order to make sure the name could be read easily, I chose to make the capital letter in the background a lighter color and the name black. Since there were two different colors, I cut each design with my Cricut separately.
Since I did not document my process with the first plaque, I did with the second one I made for my daughter. She loves cats and has one of her own, so I knew she would love a plaque with her cat's name on it. I chose her favorite color for Darci's name in bold letters, with the other letters in black in a more delicate design.
First, I typed my text into Design Space and searched for the font I would use for 'Darci'. The font I chose was Eagle Bold, as you can see from the photo. (Please forgive my amateur photos.)
Then I typed the text, 'lives here', and chose the 'ITC Kumquat Std Regular' font.
I typed the two different texts on the same Design Space canvas but moved them around while choosing my fonts. I also made them different colors, so I could place one set of words over the other one and see how they would look overlapped. I wanted them to be readable.
I asked someone at work how to change the color of my text in Design Space, then felt pretty silly because it was so easy. I should have been able to figure it out myself. In my defense, there is no label that says 'color'. There is just a small black box next to the 'Operation' drop-down above the canvas that you click on to select a color, as shown below.
I selected a blue color for the word 'Darci' and that was that.
I moved the words, 'lives here', over the word 'Darci' to figure out the best placement on the tile. Then I put them together, one under the other, for the cutting process. I did not group them into one design since I was using two different vinyl colors and would cut them out separately.
Before I could go ahead and cut out my text from the vinyl, I needed to size the text to fit on the tile where I wanted it. The tile had a kind of raised area that I wanted to center my text in, so I measured that in order to size the text just right. If you look closely, you may be able to see the raised area on the tile.
After I measured the raised area, I sized my text in Design Space to fit. I had to unlock the Size dimensions to make it the height and width I needed to fill the tile area I was using. I also had to account for one word being placed a bit higher up on the tile than the other one.
For this plaque, I found that it was more readable with the words, 'lives here,' layered only slightly over the name. I was able to line up the letters 'L' and 'H' with the 'D' and the 'R' to make it look better. I promise I did not purposely size the text to be able to do this. I am not that smart. It just worked out that way.
Before cutting out my design, I cleaned off the tile with rubbing alcohol to make sure it was clean and had no bumps to interfere with the vinyl sticking. (I had read about doing this in another post). I let the tile dry while I cut my vinyl.
First, I attached the blue permanent vinyl to my Light Grip mat and loaded the mat into the machine. I pressed the arrow button to allow the mat to be pulled in.
Notice how Design Space showed two mats in the colors I chose. I clicked on the blue one, which was Mat 2, because I decided to cut that one first, and followed the directions to cut out the letters from the vinyl. Then I had to go back and select Mat 1 to cut out the black letters.
Now it was time to weed my vinyl designs. Here is where I goofed up a bit. When I was ready to weed the blue design, I apparently got too excited, because I went ahead and placed the transfer tape over the cut design before I had even weeded it. I burnished it and everything, which simply means I rubbed it with my scraper to make sure it was adhered well.
When I realized what I had done, I couldn't believe it. Now I had to try to remove the transfer tape without pulling the letters up with it. I managed to do it, but it was not easy. I thought later that maybe I could have just pulled the transfer tape off with the letters on it. That probably would have worked. Oh well, live and learn.
Next, I weeded the black letters. This was a little tricky since the font I used was quite delicate and thin. At times, I had to hold part of a letter down with my weeder tool while I pulled the vinyl off away from it.
And here it is all done.
This time I applied the transfer tape to my design after weeding. Yay!
Once I was ready to apply the vinyl to my tile, I discovered another issue. It was quite difficult to place the word 'Darci' on the tile within the raised area as planned. It was simply too hard to see the outline of the raised area. I had a bit of extra blue vinyl left after cutting, so I decided to cut thin strips and stick them to the tile as a sort of guide for the letters.
It worked like a charm! I was able to place the letters on the tile right where I wanted them. (The blue guides don't look straight in the photo, but they did while I was doing the project. Really.)
I tried not to burnish over the guides so they wouldn't be hard to remove afterwards, as I wanted them in place when I applied the black letters. This meant I had to be careful not to pull the guides off when I removed the transfer tape. I did remove the top one, though, since I wouldn't need that one again.
After I applied the blue vinyl letters, I was able to place the black letters where I wanted them using the blue guides. I pressed the letters onto the tile slightly, and this time I removed the guides before burnishing the letters, so I would not get the guides stuck to the tile too much.
And here is the finished product.
But wait! I wasn't quite done yet. I thought about adding one or more small cat paw prints to the tile. However, I liked it the way it was and did not want to add too much. I settled on just one small paw print in the bottom right corner. It seemed like there was room there for something.
I went into Images from Design Space and chose the print I wanted in Cricut Access. Then I sized it to fit on the tile and cut it with my Cricut. I think it turned out pretty cute with the paw print added, although I liked it just as well without it.
Sometimes just because you can add something doesn't mean you should, although there is no right or wrong when you are creating. My daughter knew about the plaque, and she liked the idea of adding the paw print, so I went with it. She loved it when it was done, so that's all that matters.
To finish up, I wanted to put something on the back of the tiles to cover them up. They were kind of rough, and I wanted a cleaner, more finished look.
I chose to use a piece of felt for each one. I chose a gray color from the Spring Rain Cricut Felt Sampler pack I had on hand . I thought this would match my first tile as well as the second one.
I used the tiles themselves as templates to cut the felt pieces to size. I just drew around them with a pen and cut them out with a scissors since they were simple rectangles.
Then I glued the felt pieces onto the backs of the tiles using a glue gun.
I had originally intended to add some type of hanger to the back of the plaques to hang them on the wall but later decided to put them on stands instead. I was concerned the tiles might be a bit too heavy to hang, but it would probably work with the right hardware. Below is a photo of the stand I found at Joann Fabrics for my first name plaque.
I could not find another one like this small enough for the second plaque, but I found a small, clear easel stand to use for that one. I like it because it doesn't take away from the plaque itself.
And there you have it. Another fun and easy project created using my Cricut Maker. I can't wait to do the next one!
I still have more tiles, so I will make more name plaques for the rest of my children. Maybe by next Christmas I can have them all done. Has this given you any ideas of ways to decorate building tiles?