Tips for Working With Acetate

Hello, everyone! My name is Kelley and I am one of the new Fall 2020 Design Team members for 12x12 Cardstock Shop. I am thrilled to be working with one of my favorite paper supply companies, alongside other very creatively talented women, and I am looking forward to what these next few months with 12x12 Cardstock Shop will have to bring.

quatrefoil acetate with cardstock and adhesive supplies

For my first blog post, I thought it would be fitting to share with you all my first experience working with acetate! I love creating paper party decorations (checkout my Instagram @paperslittlehelper) and if you are familiar with what is on trend in the paper party decor world, you'll know that it’s actually not even paper! Shaker toppers, made with acetate sheets, are all the rage and I don’t see it fading anytime soon. If anything, shaker toppers are getting bigger, better and incredibly flashy - literally!

For months, I have been dying to try my hand at creating a shaker topper, but I felt intimidated and didn’t know where to begin. I watched a few YouTube videos and came across some helpful tips by other crafters, but it wasn’t until I saw Michelle from 12x12 showcasing this beautiful Silver Quatrefoil Acetate by DCWV that I knew I had to get my hands on it and give it a go. Now, this was my first time ever working with acetate sheets and by no means do I consider myself an expert. I did, however, want to share with you a few tips about what I learned throughout the process:

Choosing and preparing your acetate: There are several types of acetate available on the market with lots of fun colors and patterns. I really loved the heavy feel of this acetate sheet by DCWV and the holographic shine pattern definitely grabbed my attention. I chose to gently wipe the acetate with a dryer sheet to help with static and then went over it again with a water dampened paper towel. I also removed the manufacturer’s sticker at the bottom, but be careful with what tools you use; I first tried removing it with a scraper and noticed it left scratch marks!

Cutting samples for cutting acetate

Cutting materials and settings: I used a cutting machine, but a sharp pair of scissors and a template are equally just as good. With my Cricut Maker, I used a standard grip mat and a deep point cutting blade. I chose the “Acetate” materials setting and first cut out a small circle. Please, remember to do a test cut before you cut out a whole sheet’s worth of material. My first attempt didn’t cut all the way through, so I adjusted the acetate setting to do an extra pass and it worked perfectly. 

Various types of adhesive

Adhesive: Low heat hot glue (high heat was too hot and melted the sheet) is what worked best for me. My go to liquid glue would not stick and although my favorite tape runner held a strong bond, it showed through the clear acetate sheet.

Quatrefoil cake topper shaker

I may have felt intimidated prior to the start of this project, but seeing the final outcome and knowing what I know now about working with acetate only encourages me to keep practicing. I truly enjoyed learning each step of the process and am excited to do more with acetate sheets. This isn’t a tutorial, so I won’t be sharing every step I took to design and create my shaker topper, but there are several great tutorials on YouTube and I encourage you to do your research if you are interested in making one. I hope when you do, you’re able to use my tips and find them helpful!

-Kelley

Kelley Villamor Design Team Photo

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