New Design: Laser-Cut Filigree Heart Wedding Card
Congratulations to my cousin Andrea! She got married last weekend to Dominic, so I made a laser-cut card for them:
Congratulations Andrea and Dominic! Here is the card I made for my cousin and her husband; it’s a laser-cut filigree heart wedding card.
This is papercut 085 (only 15 more to go!) of my papercutting project (using the “922 Decorative Vector Ornaments” book. I am adapting the designs for papercutting, and then practising by cutting out 100 designs in 100 days. Eventually I may may incorporate them in future papercuts that are made by laser and also by hand.)
Because of the many repetitive elements in this design I think it might be one of the designs that would look better if cut by laser.
However, I’m not too disappointed by the hand-cut version. The ‘sun ray’ bits are quite crisp, actually.
As well as the central sun/flower design, I can also see things in this design that remind me of fish. (Or sharks. Or maybe birds.) When I move onto my next epic papercutting project (of creating all of my own designs from scratch) then I might remember this one, and try to hide some fish or animals in an abstract-looking design.
This week I’ve been experimenting with designs for a personalised laser-cut jewellery holder. Free cutting file included for you to try it yourself!
Here is something I’ve been playing with this week – the design of a laser-cut jewellery holder.
I made one for my mum last Christmas…
As you can see, it can hold lots of different types of jewellery (rings, necklaces, bracelets, watches, earrings). However, it still needs some tweaks.
As a very basic version though, this is the design that I used:
If you’ve got a laser cutter and you’d like to have a play with this design yourself, I’ve made a vector file available below.
Hope you found this post useful! If you think it might be of use to other makers/designers, please feel free to share the link to the post via Twitter (@LaserSister), Pinterest, Facebook (@LaserSister), etc…
A laser-cut souvenir pop-up card from Venice.
Wherever I go my eye is always drawn to laser-cut and laser-etched items, and (as I mentioned in the last post) I was really pleased to see plenty of good quality laser-y products while I was on holiday earlier this month. In fact I was so pleased to see them that I even bought a few laser cut souvenirs.
This is a card that I bought in the Doge’s Palace. It’s got a nice simple front…
…and then when you open it you get the “wow” of the pop-up effect:
Here is a close-up of the inside:
This is the back of the card:
The makers are a bit mysterious – I can’t find them anywhere via the usual search engines – so if you can point me to their website please let me know! You can do that via the contact us page or Twitter (@LaserSister), or Facebook or the comments section below. Thanks!
Following on from yesterday’s post, here is another laser-cut souvenir that I picked up on holiday
I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I’d come back from our recent holiday with a few laser-cut souvenirs that caught my eye while we were away. Here’s another one. We visited Ceaușescu‘s bonkers giant palace while we were in Bucharest, and it was amazing and frightening in equal parts.
This piece is a bit more complex than the previous fridge magnet, because it’s also coloured, somehow. I’m not sure how it’s made, to be honest, apart from the shape itself being laser-cut from a sheet of wood. Maybe it’s a transfer/decal applied to the surface of the wood?:
Laser cut souvenir fridge magnet: I went on holiday away from my laser cutter, and ended up buying some laser cut souvenirs.
Laser Cut Souvenir Fridge Magnet – Belogradchik Rocks, Hungary
We got back from holiday last week and only just finished unpacking today – and I’d forgotten that while I was on holiday my eye had been caught by several laser-cut souvenirs.
This one is a laser cut souvenir fridge magnet from Belogradchik Rocks, in Bulgaria. Mmmm, laser-y!
I like the way that it has two layers to it. But whoever made it has left quite a bit of scorching/smoke-marking on the front, and I’d be really disappointed if I sold a piece like that. On the other hand, I’m too much of a perfectionist. Weird how it didn’t stop me buying a piece, but it would stop me selling one. Maybe I’ve got things the wrong way round?!
My current favourite resources and inspiration for laser cutting designs. Dover Books royalty-free illustrations.
Laser cutters are so versatile that sometimes it’s really easy to get sidetracked, and think “I wonder if I could…” and then start on a whole new series of experiments. That’s how I ended up the other day wondering if I could create a birthday card with fairies on it. I’m not brilliant at drawing though, so I needed to try to find some royalty-free images that I could use as a basis for the designs, where I wouldn’t be infringing copyright and/or stealing someone else’s idea. At times like this, I usually turn to the brilliant Dover Books. They might just as well have “Royalty-Free Laser Cutting Resources” written all over them.
These books are absolutely great to use with art and design projects, including (of course) laser-cut and laser-etched projects. The books are specifically created for artists and craftspeople, to allow them to use the designs in their own projects. Once you have bought the book you may use the designs without having to pay royalties, and – more importantly – without breaking copyright laws.
As it says in the front of most of their books, “You may use them for graphics and crafts applications, free and without special permission, provided that you include no more than ten in the same publication or project…However, republication or reproduction of any illustration by any other graphic service, whether it be in a book, electronic, or in any other design resource is strictly prohibited.”
In other words, you can make artworks which include these images, but you can’t (e.g.) copy the images and sell them as stock images yourself.
The books used to just be in physical format, but in recent years they have included CD-ROMs with the artwork on them digitised as vector images and ready for you to incorporate in your own projects. (And now an increasing number of the books are available in eBook format.)
So I ordered a copy of Fairies and Elves Vector Motifs (Dover Electronic Clip Art) from Amazon, and it arrived the next day.
I found three images where I liked different parts of the fairies, and then combined them into one single fairy and added some “Birthday Wishes” text:
Finished design for the laser-cut birthday card:
Here is a link to the “Fairies & Elves Vector Motifs” book.
…and here are some other similar books, but they maybe don’t have vector-format images:
William Morris alphabet birthday cards. Card toppers. Laser cutter ideas and inspiration.
This week I’ve been developing William Morris-style laser cut birthday cards.
After a couple of days’ tinkering, I ended up with some really nice filigree designs of card toppers:
For the letters shown above, I bought the extended licence from Dreamstime, which is a website where you can buy royalty-free photos and vector-based illustrations.
Here are the art nouveau alphabet images that I used. Alternatively, you can enter your own search terms in the box below, to look for specific resources. For example, type “Art nouveau”, or “William Morris alphabet” in the box, and then click the ‘search’ button.
Another great resource that I’ve found for royalty-free designs is Vectorstock.com. They seem to have forgotten to use an apostrophe in the link/banner below, but they still do a brilliant range of illustrations. And because their files are all vector-based graphics, that means that they are usually very straightforward to cut with a laser cutter:
And at the moment (April 2018) both sites are even more useful if you have your own laser cutting business, because they can provide a little bit of extra income on top of your actual laser-cut products. You can either upload some of your own original designs and allow people to buy licences to use them, or can sign up as an ‘affiliate’.
For example, with Vectorstock I uploaded my elephant design so that other people with laser cutters can use it in their own designs. Then every time someone purchases a licence for the elephant, I receive a few cents, but there is no extra cost to the purchaser. Win/win!
Similarly, with affiliate links and referral schemes, you can also receive small payments just for pointing people towards something that they are already interested in. As another example, if you include the banners/ads for these services (like the ones shown above) you could receive a small payment each time someone signs up and/or purchases a licence.
Hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t forget to say ‘hi’ via the contact us page, or to tweet me @LaserSister if you’ve tried any of the above ideas or if you’ve got comments or questions.
Round up of this month’s visual research
Every month(-ish) I do a roundup of what I’ve been researching and saving to Pinterest.
I thought if I listed those findings here (and gave links to them) then these ready-made resources might save other people time and effort.
Hopefully you might even find some inspiration for your own craft projects.
So far this month I’ve created a Pinterest board for the following area of research:
Alphabet: Initial letters to display on children’s doors.
I then used this general inspiration about shield shapes to come up with a design for a shield-shaped door plaque (click here for tutorial on how to make a shield door plaque with children’s initials.)
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!)