House numbers: faux mosaic in acrylic

No on on my street has easy-to-see house numbers, you have to match mailboxes to the right driveway. I had pity on the package delivery people who often work after dark. These numbers will reflect light back to the observer; they will also be mounted on a white background so the number shapes can be identified even without direct light.

“Tile” shapes hand-drawn on the top-side masking; cut by hand and “grout lines” peeled off.

Grout lines painted with black acrylic. The reverse side was colored with alcohol inks.

Reverse of the ‘3’ will be painted metallic silver to seal the ink and reflect light; designs of the other numbers.

Peeling off the masked tile shapes.

Finished numbers waiting on white mounting board.

I cut the numbers out on the GF, then cut the masking by hand. Yes, I could have done it all on the GF, but I needed to avoid the rabbit hole of over-thinking everything and not getting it finished [that is, not beyond the design stage on the computer]. (Next one will all be cut/scored by laser.)

Once I’ve got them mounted to the house, I’ll post an update on how they look at night.

Edit: You’ll notice I cut the numbers in reverse–at that time I was going to design the tile shapes in the GFUI and score them for easy removal. This is where I realized “Done” is better than “Pure”.


That is a lot of work, but worth the effort for sure.


This is a labor of love. The alcohol ink looks cool, though. I’m interested to see how it looks with the painted back. I did not have success trying to do something similar with alcohol inks and I didn’t have the patience to troubleshoot. I’m going to have to learn from you!


In my haste, I didn’t create any attachment holes. However, the acrylic sheet is still in the GF, pinned down. I could put the number shapes back into their spaces, put masking tape only over the place for the holes, set the location of the holes and zap!

Before I cut the holes, I will eyeball their locations so they support properly and don’t make the mosaic hard to ‘read’. Then I’ll place the circles in the GFUI; should come out great since nothing has moved.

I’m going with mounting holes (to a backboard) since it’s physically the simplest thing to do. Just in the last 5 minutes I’ve come up with three neato-really-cool-wow ideas, but none of them would be finished this year.


I made a piece with a similar effect:


I engraved the “leading” away from the masking, used a deep engrave to help prevent colors from bleeding over from one segment to the next. Spray-painted black, then removed masking and colored with alcohol inks.



Thanks for the description, it helps in my plan for how I’m going to translate a stained glass design of mine. R’amen!


They’re beautiful. Mine are incredibly basic (Practical cuts - #24 by chris1 - holy cow, 2017?!) but we get positive comments all the time from delivery people.

I think what I did to mount ours was to put these keyhole hangers on the back with weld-on.


Yours are wonderfully practical, and years ahead of mine. I just made mine ‘impractical’ practical cuts.

Right now my numbers are painted on the back and have no supports or protection. I’m going to mount them onto a white board, and that will use a nice hanger design like yours.


This looks very nice!


Beautiful! I can’t wait to see them in place!

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Those are so pretty!! I love them! I had been toying with some ideas for making some kind of mosaic but hadn’t been thinking of alcohol ink (which I have a ton of) - great idea!