This is a Poundland money box (or money bank!) – I’m in the UK, and Poundland is a place where you can buy things really cheaply (mainly for…you guessed it… for £1!). There are equivalents around the world – such as Dollar Tree in the US and Daiso in Japan. Oh how I love these places! Anyway, I think this particular ceramic money box or bank is a really good shape – a heart tipped on its side – and I know the printed design will work for a lot of people, but it isn’t really my thing, especially since I don’t have a wedding or a wedding fund in the works. But…brilliantly…the design can be wiped off meaning the moneybox can be transformed for any occasion… And hopefully this article will show you how you can modify similar items available in other places or at other times of the year in the same way.
PLEASE NOTE: Not all designs can be removed from ceramics with acetone, so I highly recommend you buy one item to begin with (if it’s a pound or a dollar or 100 yen shop then it hopefully won’t break the bank; excusing the pun!) and try it out first. (Other products may work on other designs, though).
You will need:
- An item that you can attach our design to. A lot of things will work, but I used this moneybox (or moneybank!) from Poundland. I really love this moneybox because it’s really FLAT and the design is easy to apply!
- Acetone (often known as nail varnish or nail polish remover)
- Cotton wool
- Plastic container
- Vinyl (for this project I used the Cricut baby blue colour, though for the other versions shown I used Oracal 651 in mint green, pink and yellow)
- Transfer tape
- Spray varnish
- Our pattern svg(s) – whether it’s the rubber duck pattern, the daisy pattern or the leaf pattern – but we have a great combined deal on all three designs! They consist of the larger print that you can work with to use on all sorts of things, but each pattern file includes a version in the shape of this moneybox to help you along. However, I am going to do a tutorial on how to cut the pattern out in the shape of whatever moneybox/other item you have.
- If you’re going to modify the pattern into a different shape, you will need to use Illustrator or Inkscape – tutorial to follow!
- Weeding tools
- Cutting machine (I used my trusty Cricut Maker!)
Preparing the Moneybox for Customisation:
To get the moneybox ready (i.e. transform it into a ‘blank’!) I squirted a small amount of acetone (more commonly known as Nail Polish Remover, or Nail Varnish Remover!) into a large plastic container (which I use STRICTLY for crafting – do not put toxic liquids in stuff you eat out of!) I then laid the money box design face-down in the acetone. I left it for a short amount of time (sometimes things start happening straight away!) and then removed it and rubbed at the surface with kitchen towel (cotton wool would work just as well).
The design came straight off and left me with a blank money box (or money bank!) ready to craft with!
It’s really easy at this point to apply text and personalise your box, but I wanted to make a simple, ’60s-influenced graphic design. I created a simple floral design, as well as a design featuring rubber ducks (I did this for myself but it’s been brought for my attention that it would make a good gift for a baby!) and a leaf pattern. All of these designs are available in my Etsy shop and can be used to create digital papers or vinyl designs for projects. I’ll be showing you how I created an accurate heart shape to apply to this particular item (a technique you can apply to create any shape for any item) in another tutorial. However, these files in my Etsy shop come complete with versions that will cover this particular moneybox!
Preparing the Cut File for Your Moneybox or Moneybank:
Our rubber duck pattern file can be modified into whatever shape you wish, but, just in case you’ve got the same heart-shaped moneybox, it comes complete with a version perfectly suited for it! – as do the Mod flowers cut file and the retro leaf design file! (You can get all three moneybox files in our shop as well).
- Open a New Project and click on ‘Import Images’.
- Choose the file you’ve downloaded – if you’re making the rubber ducks pattern in the heart shape it’ll be ‘Rubberducksmoneybox.svg’ (or whatever format your machine uses). Your canvas will show the design.
- Click on the design on the canvas and choose ‘Ungroup’ from the top of the right-hand margin.
- Now, click and drag over the whole design and, at the top of the right-hand margin, select ‘Attach’.
5. With everything selected, right-click and choose ‘Copy’ from the dropdown menu.
6. With one of the pieces selected (as shown), choose ‘Flip’ from the menu at the top of the page.
7. You’ll now have two pieces – each a mirror image of the other. Once cut from vinyl, this is enough to make two moneyboxes (or moneybanks!) That’s because the design is asymmetrical – that means you can’t just cut one heart shape and weed it carefully so you can apply the other half (i.e. the relief version – that is, ducks on one half, background with ducks cut out on the other) of the design to the back of the SAME moneybox. However, if you use your transfer tape carefully, you can produce two sides of two moneyboxes with a small amount of vinyl!
Now, you’re ready to cut! Design Space will show you the mat layout before you go ahead:
At this point you can click ‘Edit’ and move things around but I’m happy to proceed and let the machine do its stuff! (I was using
Weeding and Making the Moneybank or Moneybox Design:
- Once the design was cut out, we had to separate the two hearts with scissors, as they’re going to be two different sides of the same moneybox and they won’t work while they’re joined together! Once we’d cut them apart, we applied transfer tape to the top of one of the hearts, and rubbed down on top of it – mainly on the duck shapes, as we want to lift the background away on the transfer tape, and leave the ducks behind on the backing paper.
2. We could then start to lift the vinyl…you’ll find that some of the vinyl sticks down but you really need some sort of tools (I find the Cricut weeding kit really useful for this) to ensure that the background lifts and the ducks stay on the transfer tape (or vice versa!) I do find my Cricut Brightpad useful – but any other lightpad is good too!
3. Once complete, you will have something that looks like this! Again, though – because the moneybox (moneybank!) is asymmetrical, you can’t cover both sides of it with these designs. You need to do the same again, and then you’ll have enough for two moneyboxes (or moneybanks!)
4. Apply transfer tape onto the top of the vinyl design.
5. Press your design (which still has transfer tape on top) on top of the moneybox, matching the edges and corners carefully (and again, because this particular item is asymmetrical, make sure you’ve got the correct version!) and rub over the whole design to ensure it’s fixed strongly. Once you’re sure of this, carefully peel away the transfer tape.
6. Depending on the vinyl and its instructions – let it cure (I’d leave it 72 hours to be sure).
7. Repeat the whole process for the other side (again, you’ll need to do a mirrored version!)
8. Apply spray vinyl to the whole thing and leave for a while.
That’s it! You’ve made a fantastic moneybox. Or indeed moneybank!
Made anything using this method or these files? Don’t forget to let us know how you get on making this or our other projects in the CraftAGoGo Crucial Crafting Facebook group!