Step-by-step tutorial on how to create a simple Christmas tree ornament for laser cutting.
OK, it’s February right now as I write this post, so Christmas is long gone! But that doesn’t matter, because you could be reading this on Christmas Day 2024, for all I know.
Also, if you came here wanting to find out about making Christmas decorations using a laser cutter, then chances are that you will be interested in selling them, too – which means that you will need to start working on them a long time before Christmas, so that your buyers themselves can purchase them in time for Christmas.
This post is a step-by-step tutorial on how to make a mega-simple round bauble shape – e.g. that you could cut from a sheet of wood, and then either etch a message/image onto it, or could decorate it by hand (or give/sell to someone else so that they can decorate it by hand).
I’m using CorelDraw because that was the software recommended for my particular laser machine, but most other vector-drawing software has similar commands and effects (although the commands and menus might be called something slightly different).
Step-by-Step: How to Make a Simple Christmas Bauble Shape With a Laser Cutter
Start a new blank document in CorelDraw.
Mine uses millimetres as the measuring unit. If you want to change that, just click somewhere on the blank document and the “Units” dropdown should appear:
1) Use the Ellipse Tool to create a circle 80mm wide
(Tip: Hold down the Ctrl key at the same time as you are drawing, to make sure you end up with a circle instead of an oval)
If the circle didn’t come out at exactly 80mm, you can change it. Make sure that the ‘Lock Ratio’ button is selected, then type “80″ into the width for “x:”
2) Use the Rectangle tool to create a rectangle 15mm wide by 9mm tall
If you don’t get exactly that size it doesn’t matter, but if you want to use precisely those dimenstions then:
Use the Pick Tool to select the rectangle
Un-select the ‘Lock ratio’ button so that the x and y measurements can be changed separately to each other
Type in “15″ for the x measurement, and “9″ for the y measurement
(then it’s usualy best to go back and re-select the ‘Lock ratio’ button)
3) Centre the two objects
Use the Pick tool to select the circle and rectangle. Then press “C” on the keyboard to make sure both objects are on the same imaginary central line
(You can also go via the menu: Arrange> Align and Distribute> Align centers vertically)
4) Move the rectangle
Use the Pick Tool to select just the rectangle.
Move the rectangle until the bottom corners are just inside the circle:
5) Create a 5mm circle
Use the Ellipse tool to create a circle with a 5mm diameter
(Remember to hold down Ctrl + C to make it a perfect circle instead of an oval)
6) Create a 12.5mm circle
Use the Pick Tool to select the 5mm circle, then duplicate or copy it*.
Then change the second circle so that it is 12.5mm across:
*To make a copy of the design, you can do this by selecting the design then:
using the shortcut of Ctrl + D
… or by copying and pasting (Ctrl + C then Ctrl + V)
…or by using the Step and Repeat menu and clicking ‘Apply’. (If you can’t see the Step and Repeat menu go to Edit > Step and Repeat)
7) Link the two circles to convert them into just one object
Use the Pick Tool to select both circles.
Then press Ctrl + L to link the two objects together to make a ring (this is important for a Step 12 later, when the ring is ‘welded’ to another shape)
8) Centre the ring and rectangle
Use the Pick Tool to highlight the bauble and the rectangle.
Press “C” on the keyboard to centre them.
9) Reposition the ring
Use the Pick Tool to select the ring, then move it down (using the cursor key, or hold down “Ctrl” button at the same time as dragging the object down) until the bottom of the circle overlaps the top of the rectangle:
10) Make a copy of the design
Use the Pick Tool to highlight all 3 shapes (big circle, rectangle and ring), then make a copy of the design.
(As in Step 6 you can do this by copying and pasting or by pressing Ctrl + D, or by using the Step and Repeat menu and clicking ‘Apply’)
11) Use the Boundary tool to combine two shapes
Use the Pick Tool to select a rectangle-and-big-circle pair…
…then use the Shaping Tool to create a boundary
You can find this tool via Arrange > Shaping > Boundary (make sure that you un-select “Place Behind selected” and “Leave Original Object(s)”):
12) Weld two shapes together
Use the Pick Tool to select the ring, then click the “Weld to” button
(If you can’t see the Weld To button, you can find it in Arrange > Shaping > Weld)
Then click on the outline of the bauble…
You should now have a simple bauble shape, ready for cutting!
Now you can put a personal message or an image onto it and make it into a quick gift for someone
Speaking of Christmas – here is a gift for you! I’ve created a free download below for you to use, if you like. Regarding licences and copyright: please feel free to make multiple copies and to sell any items you create with this shape – however:
Copyright remains with Kay Vincent (me)
Please attribute me as the copyright owner
Do not distribute or sell the actual design or file (e.g. by uploading it to stock image sites or using it in collections of clip-art)
If unsure what any of that means, feel free to ask 🙂