Custom name plate necklaces are very special to the wearer and also easy to make. Whether you make them with your own name, or just a cute word or even an inside joke with all your friends, they're a personal project and make great gifts!
I currently work at a laser cutting company called Outfab.com and you can lay out many of your custom designs and have them all cut at once. It's a great way to make custom projects without owning a laser cutter or worrying about sourcing different colors of acrylic.
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Step 1: Choose a Font
Do you have a vector graphics program like inkscape, coreldraw, or illustrator? If not, you can get inkscape for free at www.Inkscape.org
First you need to decide what font to use. I like to write the word out several times and set a few different fonts I like before I decide. I'm going to go with the top font because it's kind of curly like a seashell.
For fonts, I like dafont.com or 1001fonts.com - careful though! It's so easy to get carried away!
Step 2: Merge Your Text
The next part in file set up is merging the text together. Make sure you remove the fill and add a blue outline that is .25pt thick. This is the line the laser will use to cut out the piece.
- adjust kerning so the letters all touch
- convert to outline (aka break apart aka convert to object)
- weld together (In inkscape it's called union)
Now you will have the whole word cut out and be attached together. It is very delicate, so the next step will show you how to create a contour to glue this delicate piece onto.
Step 3: Create a Contour
Create a contour in your program. Below are the names of this function in various programs:
corelDRAW - contour
inkscape - union
illustrator - offset path
Once you create this path, break it apart from your main text and set aside. Now is the time when you must decide on your final size. I'm going with 2.5" because that's pretty big and showy but not ridiculous. If you put the holes before you resize, your jumprings might not fit in the holes.
Add some holes at the top (and at the bottom if you want to put a hanging charm)
A good rule of thumb for hole size is .063" hole .152" from the edge.
If you want to cut a whole bunch of pieces at once, you can lay them out for cutting at Outfab.com
Or you can even try the service for free for a 2"x2" piece of acrylic of your choice. That's enough to do a BFF name plate set!
Step 4: Assemble Your Pieces
Once you get the cut pieces in the mail, you will need to clean them! Peel the protective mask off the front and/or back.
Glue the delicate letters onto the back plate.
Attach the jump rings to your choice of chain.
Attach the little hanging charm if desired. I put a seashell on my mermaid necklace.
Ta-da! You're finished with a wonderful, unique laser cut name plate necklace that you designed.