I collect fridge magnets, but the places I’ve visited most recently don’t sell any! I might have to offer my services…
Rob and I are on holiday in the UK at the moment, and I’m recharging my ‘creative batteries’ by going to lots of museums and lovely English towns and castles.
The other day we went to the town of Nantwich, and none of the shops or museums that we visited seemed to sell fridge magnets. There is surely a gap in the market for them, because I actually know quite a few people who collect fridge magnets.
Here are a couple of examples below of buildings that I think would look nice as fridge magnets:
Heck, you could even make your own mix-and-match village of cute little black and white buildings on your fridge or freezer if only you had a few of these buildings cut out as fridge magnets.
I am now on a mission to create some magnets for myself, to see if they come out as well as I imagine they will…
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.
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
Laser Cut Fridge Magnet Souvenir – Bucharest
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?:
If you know what the process is, please give me a shout – I would be very interested to find out! You can use the contact us form, or Twitter or Facebook or the comments section below. Thanks!
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.
Dover Books: Royalty-free laser cutting resources
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.)
William Morris alphabet birthday cards. Card toppers. Laser cutter ideas and inspiration.
William Morris Style Laser Cut Birthday Cards
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:
Where to find images and inspiration for your laser cutter
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.
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.