Tips & Techniques: DIY Acetate Borders

I love those acetate borders from My Mind’s Eye – the first ones that came out with their Bohemia range. The new ones are even better!

But even though they only cost a dollar or so each, I would rather save my money PLUS develop some that are a bit more eye-catching.

So, todays’ Tip is “Making your own Acetate Transparency Coloured Border”.

You Need:

A6 sized pieces of acetate – OHP sheets are fine.
Acrylic paint
Jar of water

My camera deleted the first shots of this technique, so I will describe it as best I can.

Step One:

Lay out your TWO pieces of acetate on a flat surface with a bit of cardboard underneath. We are going to paint one and lay the other one on top. You don’t want them stuck to the tabel and then can’t get them off while they are drying.
Mix up the colours of acrylic paint that you want to use. 1 part paint to 2 parts water. This provides a wash without it being too runny.

Step Two:

Dribble the acrylic wash/paint onto ONE piece of acetate at various places towards the centre, and then some other colours around the outside.

Step Three:

Place the unused piece of acetate on the top of the painted one, and using your fingers squash all the paint around so that it mixes and jumbles together. Remember those paint “butterflies” you used to make in school? It will look a little bit like that.

Step Four:

Pull apart the two layers GENTLY after you have finished smooshing. Lie them out to dry painted side UP and leave overnight in a safe place. You can’t leave them stuck together because A: they won’t dry and B: see point A.

The finished product:

Step Five:

Once the acetate pieces are dry, you can either cut the centre out to form a frame, or lay the whole thing on your LO against a white background so that it can be seen, or put some rub ons around the outside edges of the CLEAN side in order to make it have some more depth.

Adhering your acetate:
The best thing to use would be Vellum Spray, but failing that, small areas of glue stick in strategic places on the CLEAN side of the acetate, or sew them on, like I have in my example.

My samples:

I have done 6 x 6 versions, but they could easily be used in any format.


5 Responses

  1. I can’t get over the creativity you must have and the generosity to share all of this with other people, it certainly has inspired me for further designs – thanks AGAIN!!

  2. I am wondering just what to do or how to use my “Bohemia” borders. They are so pretty, but they are made of clear plastic/acrylic? and it is hard to cut them or do anything with them. They are the 12 inch borders and I don’t have a clue. Can you help me to know what they are for? Your site is awesome!

  3. Once again, fab idea. Thanks for taking the time to share your technique – and I know from experience of tutorials that it does take a time! ikki

  4. Hi Sarah , Your techniques are very good and practicable

  5. Dear Sarah , I am very eager to learn the Acrylic paint effect in fluid as you can see in google made by MArk chedwik colorful fluid paintinmg, Please e-mail me the process with steps of this effect in detail , and give me chance of heartly thank for your kindness, Nobody is goind to tell his technique but when i saw your web i have HOPE of knowing me that cherished fuide paint effect understanding, waiting your reply

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