Step 1: Materials
- Some scrap 1/8" acrylic (translucent colors will give you a back lit effect - ie. classy)
- A map that you like (your home town perhaps?)
- Spray adhesive
- Spray on gloss clear coat (most spray paint companies make a high glass clear coat)
- Aleene's Laminate IT (or some other comparable liquid laminate - look for anything made to stick and seal paper to plastic or "decoupage")
- A brush
- A laser cutter (or an exacto knife, a stencil, and some patience)
- Phone book and wax paper (optional)
Step 2: Cut Out Your Maps and Glue Them Onto the Acrylic
Once you have your map sections cut out (about a 3x5 section with the best stuff in the middle) you can arrange them on your acrylic and glue them down.
Acrylic can be a hard surface to glue things onto because it's so non-porous. I found that the best way to stick paper onto the acrylic was by using 3M spray adhesive. The bottle is a little pricey in my opinion, but it actually goes a long way.
Spray down the adhesive, wait and second, and then slap the maps down on the glue. Work out any wrinkles and make sure they lie nice and flat.
I used a piece of wax paper (waxy side down) with a weight on top to keep things pressed while they dried. I think this part is optional since it didn't really seem like the maps were going anywhere.
Step 3: Seal It to the Acrylic With Liquid Laminate
The craft store hooked me up with Aleene's Laminate IT clear gloss laminate. It brushes on milky white and then dries clear. All in all I think it works pretty well. You can also sand the acrylic surface lightly before gluing down your maps - although I couldn't tell if this really made a difference or not in helping the map to hold on.
Brush the liquid laminate on and wait for it to dry.
Step 4: Spray on a Clear Coat
Go outside and spray down a nice even layer of the stuff to make everything look nice and shiny.
Step 5: Laser Etch the Address and Vector Cut the Tag
The vector cut goes all the way through the acrylic and cuts out the outline of the tag. The etching process only burns away the surface of the acrylic and reveals the color of the acrylic below in contrast with the laminated map surface above.
Step 6: Behold the Final Product
Because I used a partially translucent piece of acrylic the luggage tags have a slightly back lit effect to them when you hold them up.