For years, my mother refused to go rafting, despite the fact that my dad, my brother, and I took at least a trip a year as we grew up.  Finally, when both my brother and I became guides, she caved and, though apprehensive right up until we finally pushed off from the put-in beach and on edge for a good part of the trip, ended up LOVING IT.  Ever since, it's all she can talk about.  She proudly tells everyone she's a river rafter, even people she passes on the street, telemarketers, or Verizon support representatives.

So as Mother's Day 2013 approached during my Artist-in-Residency, I figured I had to make her something, and why not have it be rafting-themed?  After considering a number of other options, I settled on designing a simple license plate frame with appropriate, slightly ironic text.  Why this?  My mom loves her car and even though she doesn't drive a huge amount, it's enough to make a auto accessory a reasonable idea.  She didn't have a license plate frame before, so there was an opportunity too.

Overall, a super simple but fun project with a great result!

Step 1: Supplies

1. ~ 7 x 13" acrylic (bigger if you want more of a buffer so your laser doesn't go off your piece).  Nice to leave the protective paper on the acrylic during cutting - helps keep the surfaces nice and as randofo pointed out, it would allow you to paint the background (etched part) a different color if you please, and THEN remove the paper. I chose red because it's one of my mom's favorite colors and it would go well with her black car.
2. Laser cutter
3. Computer with Illustrator or similar
Very nice!

About This Instructable




Bio: Always looking for things to improve, repair, improvise, or modify. Studied mechanical engineering and physics at Stanford with a focus on robotics and international development ... More »
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