Laser etched plaques with color

Picture of Laser etched plaques with color
I made it at TechShop

I purchased Halloween costume contest trophies to use as bowling trophies for a bowling outing. After peeling the 'Best Costume' sticker off the trophies, I was able to customize them.


CLEAR acrylic sheet with paper backing
Spray paint
Masking tape (optional)
Hot glue (optional)

Laser etcher
X-acto knife, pin or nail (optional)

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Step 1: Etch the image

Picture of Etch the image
Create the appropriately sized plaque and text with your graphics program, and be sure to flip it, so that the image is reversed (mirrored).

Leave the paper protector on the acrylic. If your acrylic has a plastic film protector, peel it off, and replace it with a single layer of masking tape.

Laser etch and cut the plaque(s). Before removing from the etcher, inspect the plaque to be sure that all of the paper or tape has been burned through. It may be necessary to make a second pass.

Step 2: Paint the letters and graphics

Picture of Paint the letters and graphics
Using the lettering color of your choice, spray paint the plaques, with the paper/tape in place.

For best results, paint several thin coats, to keep the paint from creeping under the tape.

Step 3: Weeding

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After the paint is sufficiantly dry, remove all of the paper/tape.

It may help to use an X-acto knife, or pin to lift off small piece of tape.

Step 4: Background color

Picture of Background color
Using the color of your choice, paint the plaques again, covering the text and graphics.

Step 5: Install

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After the paint is dry, peel off the paper/tape from the front of the plaque. Both the color of the text and the background will show through the clear acrylic.

And because the paint is on the back side, the color and image will be protected.

Attach the plaques as you see fit. (We used hot glue.)
rimfire132 years ago
Yeah I tried to do this just this past weekend with powder coat instead, etch it deep then dust powder in the etching then melt it with a fast pass on the laser so we went back and just did this instead. Very easy way to color something. I didn't think to flip it and do it from the backside.
Haha! Very awesome! How fun :)