Acrylic is an excellent material to use when you are making DIY keychains. It’s easy to work with and cheap, and you can customize it in many ways. But learning how to cut and drill acrylic can be tricky if you don’t have the right tools or tips. So here are tips for making a DIY acrylic keychain.
Use the right kind of acrylic.
Acrylic is a plastic made from polymethyl methacrylate. It’s strong and lightweight, making it a great choice for your DIY keychain project. It can be cut, drilled, and sanded with standard woodworking tools. You can also paint acrylic to give your keychains an extra color.
It has many applications beyond using it as a material for your keychain. Moreover, it’s used in picture frames and furniture fabrication for the dome. You can also use it in sculptures, as lenses in eyeglass frames, as the window panes on buses and trains, and it blocks UV rays.
Consider using a laser cutter.
If you’re planning to make a lot of keychains, or if you want to do it quickly, a laser cutter is a way to go. The best part about using a laser cutter is that there’s no delay between making your design and cutting the acrylic! With other methods, such as a router or drill, work is still left before it becomes usable once you cut into your material. You need to sand down rough edges and smooth out surfaces. A laser doesn’t have these problems because it burns through plastic rather than just cutting into it.
Use the right kind of machine to cut your acrylic.
This is the most important step of all! If you don’t choose the right tool, your keychains will be rough and jagged. The best way to cut acrylic is with a laser cutter or CNC router. If you’re not fortunate enough to have either of these tools lying around, use a rotary tool like a Dremel, a Dremel tool, scroll saw, table saw, or band saw instead. Use whatever machine you have access to. Just make sure it’s sharp. A dull blade will cause friction rather than cutting through the material cleanly and smoothly.
Leave enough time for your acrylic keychain to dry and harden.
These keychains can be a fun project to do with kids. The hardest part is waiting for them to dry. Ensure your acrylic keychains have time to fully dry before using them. Also, make sure you start with a clean surface. And then allow plenty of time before each step of the process. If necessary, put your keychain before a fan or in the oven at low heat, around 100 degrees, until it dries completely.
Combine acrylic with other materials, like wood or leather
Acrylic is a great base for other materials. You can use it to make a wood or leather base and then add details.
- Cut out a piece of your 1/8″ (3mm) thick acrylic sheet with your Exacto knife. It should be about 1/2″ x 2-1/2″ (13mm x 63mm).
- Use the same exacto knife to score lines around the edges where you want your wood veneer to go. This will help it look like one solid piece when you glue it on later.
Choose the right kind of paint or markers to use on acrylic.
- Acrylic paint is best for acrylic surfaces.
- Choose a paint that can be easily removed, as it may be necessary to start over if you mess up.
- Choose the right kind of paint for your surface. For example, don’t use oil-based glass or water-based wood.
- Choose a color that suits your needs and tastes. But remember more layers you add, the more transparent your keychain will become!
Transfer images onto acrylic keychains correctly.
- Use a laser printer to transfer images onto an acrylic keychain rather than an inkjet printer. Laser printers will produce better results and are less likely to smear.
- Make sure your laser printer is set up correctly. Confirm that it is printing at the highest quality setting possible and that you have good toner and paper installed in the machine.
- Ensure that your image is high quality as well. Use Photoshop or another editing program to ensure there are no jagged edges or blurry spots in your photos before printing them out on glossy photo paper.
- Glossier paper tends to work better. Take care of small details like this if you want clean-looking results when later transferring images onto acrylic keychains.
Make sure the drill bit you use is sharp.
You’ll want to ensure that the drill bit is sharp and in good condition when drilling acrylic. If a drill bit is dull or damaged, it may break down the material you are trying to work with. If a drill bit is too significant for the job, it will create more stress on your hands and the material being drilled than necessary.
In addition to being sharp, it’s also important that your replacement bits match up with the size hole you are trying to make. Otherwise, you could do some unwanted damage during your project.
When working with acrylic, it’s important to protect your hands. Acrylic is a polymer, meaning it’s a form of plastic and can be very dangerous to your health if you breathe it in. If you do not use the proper protective equipment, you could have an asthma attack or other lung problems. You should always wear gloves when handling acrylic sheets and rods.
Make sure you use a new blade when sawing acrylic.
A dull blade to cut acrylic can cause the material to crack and splinter. A new blade will make it easier for you to cut cleanly through your material, which means less mess and fewer mistakes.
We hope that these tips will help you make a beautiful acrylic keychain. It’s a fun project to try, especially if you’re looking for an easy way to make something nice with your hands. Anyone can do this with just a few materials and some careful planning.