DIY Acrylic Trophies on the Glowforge


The advantage of having a few high-tech tools at your disposal is you will be much less reliant on outside services when you need something custom made! DIY trophies for an upcoming competition? No problem!

Our district does a battle of the books tournament, and the librarian who is facilitating this year asked me if I’d be willing to make the awards for the winners. In the past we have done engraved medals from a local trophy shop, which are nice, but then what do students really do with them after they pose for a photo wearing them?

I showed her a design that I had done a few years ago for the winners of my school-level battles, and she loved it. So I redesigned it a bit to use our district logo. The strange shape isn’t just a design choice…it’s to maximize the number of trophies I can fit onto a sheet of acrylic!

The part with the lettering is made out of a fluorescent blue acrylic. I used 3/16″ thick so it would have a bit of heft to it. The bases are a dark charcoal grey transparent acrylic that is 1/4″ thick.

The panel is just friction fit into the base, which can be a bit tricky (I discovered the hard way!) because there is a bit of variance between acrylic sheets. I did discover a nifty trick for making the slot the perfect width though, adjusting for kerf…stay tuned for a future blog post on that!

They were a hit at the tournament! Sadly my own school’s team members didn’t come home with one, but the winning team’s librarian did ask me to make her an extra trophy for their display case! I’m going to customize the base with their school’s name and the team members.

This process will work with any laser cutter; in my school (and home!) makerspaces I have Glowforge Basics. This post is not in any way sponsored by Glowforge–I just love my machines and am happy to answer any questions you might have, especially if you are considering purchasing one for a school setting. If you decide to purchase a machine, you can use my referral code by going to This is similar to a coupon or discount code, since it will save you $250 off a Glowforge Plus, or $500 off a Glowforge Pro…and I will get free materials so I can keep making projects to share on my blog, so you can share them with your own makers!

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