Here is the finished version:
So far this year I’ve been experimenting more with making automata and mechanical toys. Here is a seagull automaton kit from Rob Ives’ website.
Tutorial on how to laser cut a child’s door plaque
This is a quick and easy way to make a personalised door plaque for children (or yourself!).
As mentioned previously in an earlier post, this is the start of an “A-Z” resource of laser-cutting business tips and information. We’re starting with ‘Alphabet’ because there are so many ways to personalise objects with a laser cutter, and this is a great way to start earning money with your laser machine.
If you’re interested in creating your own designs then Pinterest is great for picking up inspiration from the different types of door plaques …
… but in the meantime here is a quick project if you are looking for instant gratification 🙂
1) Download the free .pdf file below, of “Alphabet Door Plaque”. (If necessary, copy or import the designs into your blank file ready for cutting.)
2) Create your required (capital) letter of the alphabet in whichever font you prefer. (The “K” in the sample file happens to be in a Jasmine font, but please do experiment with your own; maybe the child you have in mind deserves a more delicate, refined-looking font, or perhaps they are more of a straightforward sans-serif person?)
3) Make sure the letter you just created has got a “hairline” width of outline, and preferably no colour filling (this is a lesson I’ve learned from accidentally etching a lot of items instead of just cutting them…)
4) Check that the initial letter will fit inside the frame of the plaque. (This is down to personal preference, really, but as a guide the inside of the frame on the .pdf design is 50mm wide, and the “K” example letter is 35mm wide so it fits nicely inside the frame.)
5) Decide how big you would like the whole plaque to be. The example in the .pdf sample file is 60mm across, but you might like a bigger or smaller version. (Remember to change the size of the backing piece as well as the frame piece, if you are making the design larger or smaller.)
6) Decide whether you would like to include a hole in the piece, for hanging it on the door. If so, then keep the red circles in the cutting design. Otherwise, remove the red circles before you cut the pieces out.
7) (Optional) Cut out the blue circle as a test piece, to make sure you have the correct settings for the laser.
8) Cut out the plaque pieces
9) Glue the frame and letter onto the backing.
10) Paint/spray/decorate/sell the plaque.
If you have found this useful (or if you’ve got any suggestions for making the resources better), or if you’ve created a door plaque yourself, please comment, tweet @LaserSister, or share your photos on instagram.
Top 20 laser cutting business blogs
Following on from yesterday when I was excited to find my blog in the top 40 of laser cutting blogs, I have been checking out other blogs on the list and here is a digest of my own favourites (along with the country they are in, in case you are looking for laser cutting services):
Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts (USA) is a lovely blog, with regular updates and lots of craft ideas. They sell laser-cut craft items.
Dragon Powered (UK) has got laser cutting files for sale, to save you having to spend hours designing your own. The blog includes interesting and original information, and technical advice.
Nice Cuts (UK) provide a laser cutting service, and have ideas about how you can use laser cut designs for your own business. They also occasionally have guest bloggers, who share their own experiences of using a laser cutting service.
CUT-TEC (UK) are a laser cutting service and they create really varied laser cut items – including in metal.
Mekkit.com (UK) are another company who produce really varied laser cut products, and have some great photos of their work.
The Altered State (UK) have got at least one great big laser and can cut and etch reeeeally big items.
LaserSister (UK) That’s me! I provide a laser cutting and etching service, but the blog also has technical information about laser cutting, plus news and trends from the lasery world. And will shortly include links to cutting files.
MBJD Laser (USA) seem to pick a different font colour and overall style for every blog post, but I forgive them because they are real people and giving real news about their laser cutting service and products.
Laser Flair (UK) have a laser cutting service and look like they can etch metal and giant pieces of wood for you.
Dot Laser (UK) produce really nice-looking and varied work for clients.
Bespoke Laser UK also produce great looking products, and do an especially nice line in laser-etched bespoke rubber stamps.
LASERCUTIT (UK) have a laser cutting service, for wood, acrylic, paper and card.
Just Add Sharks (UK) have got an article on making a totally mind-blowing ‘phenakistiscope’.
CutLaserCut (UK) work with artists and other businesses to make some really original pieces.
Ponoko (USA, NZ) allow you to upload your artwork, get an instant quote, and then cut and ship the item on the same day. WOW.
Reddit (www) has a thriving laser cutting community and this is a great place to browse and/or ask questions. It does contain quite a bit of spam, but you can easily lose hours just browsing if you are really into laser cutting.
MLC (AUS) have a laser cutting service in Australia, and the blog includes latest trends and news from the lasery world.
Able Engraving (UK) have a traditional engraving service as well as laser engraving, and are experts in signs and awards.
Google News (www) chews up and spits out laser-related news for your information and delight.
(OK, there are only 19 in my current Top 20 list. But the Top 40 list only had 33, so I win!)
New laser-cutting business blog
After years of running Key Crafts (which covered several crafts including polymer clay, papercutting, jewellery, cardmaking, and laser art), I have now spawned a new company, which will concentrate specifically on the laser side of the business.
“LaserSister” is the new branch of the business, and will cover the laser cutting service for other artists, plus my own laser-cut jewellery, gifts, cards and toys.
I’m aiming to create a blog which will share:
…but if you’d like to request or recommend any laser-cutting-related posts or content, please give me a shout and I’ll see if they can be added to the blog.
In the meantime the first item to come out of the new business is this kitten brooch, with its little dangly bead instead of a ball of string for the kitten to play with. It should soon feature on my new Etsy and Folksy shops (now all I have to do is create the shops…)
Thanks for reading, and please do comment/subscribe if you’re a fellow laser enthusiast. Cheers!