The Best Laser Cutting & Engraving Ideas for Gifts or Your Business

Thứ sáu - 26/04/2024 23:11
Fun and profitable projects to create with a laser engraver or cutter Looking for some DIY laser projects to gift or get your engraving business booming? Whether you're just learning how to use a laser engraver or you're a seasoned side...
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Looking for some DIY laser projects to gift or get your engraving business booming? Whether you’re just learning how to use a laser engraver or you’re a seasoned side hustler ready to laser cut full-time, we’ve put together a list of the most popular, in-demand, and creative items to engrave and sell. Check out the list below for inspiration and laser engraving tips, plus learn about some of the best laser engravers on the market from xTool.

Things You Should Know

  • Engraved jewelry is incredibly popular. Design custom earrings, engrave messages onto rings or pendants, or personalize jewelry boxes and pouches.
  • Leather goods are also in demand for laser cutting. Try journals, wallets, valet trays, belts, photo albums, or luggage tags.
  • Get the most advanced lasers, accessories, and design templates to grow your engraving business from xTool.
Section 1 of 10:

Home Decor & Household Items

  1. Step 1 Coasters
    Customize a set of coasters with any design you like. Place the same graphic on each one, or make each individual coaster a unique work of art. You can even cut the coasters into irregular shapes that fit together to create one piece of art like a puzzle.
    • You can even laser cut custom designs to celebrate the recipient’s special occasions, like weddings.
  2. Step 2 Maps
    Pay tribute to a customer’s favorite places with a unique laser-engraved map. Try world maps, closeups of city blocks, topographical maps of lakes and rivers, or even fantasy lands from famous novels like The Lord of the Rings. The world (literally) is your oyster!
    • Try staining or painting wooden maps to add extra detail and flair. Or, leave them colorless for a more rustic, old-school look.
    • Tip: Use a program like Snazzy Maps to create a custom map image to upload to your laser’s software.[1]
    • Upload your map image (or any design image) as an SVG (scalable vector graphic) file. This is the most common file type for laser-cutting software to read.
  3. Step 3 Wooden signs and wall hangings
    Put a new twist on classic slogans like “Live, Laugh, Love” that can hang year-round, or create seasonal decor or holiday decorations to pique customers’ interest at certain times of the year. Sign-making is a popular craft, and signs of all sizes and shapes are some of the most common and profitable items there are.
    • Tip: Depending on the thickness of your wood, you may have to laser cut several copies of your design and glue them together for sturdiness.[2]
    • Don’t forget to paint or stain your creation to make it more appealing and eye-catching.
  4. Step 4 Wood photographs
    If a picture’s worth 1,000 words, what does a laser-engraved picture go for? Etch a customer’s personal photo onto a beautiful, rustic wood background to make sure their memory really lasts forever.
    • Tip: Try engraving a wooden photo “frame” with a base or stand to hold the photo upright so your customer doesn’t need to buy any other accessories.
  5. Step 5 Key holders
    Laser cut a decorative wall piece with pegs or hooks for recipients to hang their keys or knick-knacks when they walk in the door. Or, cut keychain “puzzle pieces” that folks can put on their keys and insert into a specially fitted slot for a cute and snazzy touch.
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Section 2 of 10:

Jewelry Making Ideas

  1. Step 1 Custom earrings
    Butterfly wings, flower petals, feathers, monograms, animated characters, text, logos—there’s no limit to the designs and shapes you can engrave on earrings. Lasers allow you to make intricate designs and patterns for a truly mesmerizing, personalized look.
  2. Step 2 Rings and pendants with personalized engraving
    A classic! Engrave sweet messages, quotes, memorable dates, initials, or names onto rings, pendants, bracelets, or any piece of jewelry big enough for some text. Try marketing your jewelry during the holidays or Valentine’s Day season when sentimental, precious gifts are on everybody’s mind.
    • You might even consider specializing in engraved jewelry for special events like weddings and engagements. There’s always a demand since the engraving can be done so quickly and the result is highly personal.[3]
  3. Step 3 Personalized jewelry bags or boxes
    Cut designs, artwork, or initials into the sides or lid of wooden jewelry boxes, or customize hearty jewelry pouches made of materials like leather or suede.
    • Tip: Laser cut suede looks fantastic, but it’s a more delicate material than regular leather. If the laser’s power or resolution is too high, the fibers may tear.
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Section 3 of 10:

Grow Your Engraving Business with xTool

  1. xTool makes a variety of quality lasers to meet all your engraving needs.
    xTool supports your creativity with professional engraving solutions and an advanced selection of laser engravers, accessories, and design templates, whether you laser cut for fun, as a side hustle, or as a growing small business. Complete your studio with some of xTool’s best products, such as:
    • The P2 55W Desktop CO2 Laser Cutter
    • The S1 Enclosed Diode Laser Cutter
    • The F1 Portable Laser Engraver with IR + Diode Laser
    • All of these lasers are closed and provide air purifying during operation.
Section 4 of 10:

Game & Puzzle Ideas

  1. Step 1 Custom dice
    Most types of plastic dice won’t do well under a laser, but eye-catching wooden or metal cubes make a great and unique item. Laser cut classic dots or engrave other symbols instead, like small stars or Xs, to stand out. You could even skip the dots and add decorative designs or artwork to each side of the cube to make these game pieces a work of art on their own.
  2. Step 2 Game boards
    Tired of flimsy cardboard games? Craft a durable, rustic wooden game board of any shape to wow your customer’s friends on game night. Monopoly, Settlers of Catan, chess boards, checker boards—the options are endless. You can even make custom game pieces or add personalized artwork or initials to make these games one of a kind.
    • Tip: Research any copyright or legal restrictions around selling copies of name-brand games, like Settlers of Catan, before putting your work up for sale.
  3. Step 3 Jigsaw puzzles
    Turn any photo, work of art, or design into a memorable puzzle that recipients won’t ever want to take apart. Engrave any image onto a slat of wood, then laser cut it into puzzle pieces of any size—the smaller, the more challenging!
    • For extra difficulty, leave the wood uncolored.
    • Consider making puzzles for small children, too. Colorful images cut into large pieces make great toys and gifts for young ones.
  4. Step 4 Puzzle boxes
    Who says a puzzle has to lay flat? Laser cut wooden pieces with interlocking teeth that your customer has to fit together (like a puzzle) to create a box for game pieces, knick-knacks, or just for fun. Add latches or locks to hold the box together long-term, or build in rotating or sliding pieces that make it more difficult (and fun) to assemble or take apart the box.
    • This craft might take a little woodworking know-how, but the final result is worth the extra effort!
  5. Step 5 Playing cards
    Create custom playing cards of any design or engrave classic playing card artwork onto materials like paper or cardboard, thin anodized aluminum, or even thicker materials (if the cards are meant to be decorative and not played with). You can even engrave a custom box or pouch to hold the set, too.
    • Tip: Both bare and anodized aluminum can be laser cut. For bare aluminum, use a fiber laser. For anodized aluminum, use a fiber, CO2, or diode laser; the S1 Enclosed Diode Laser Cutter by xTool is a great option!
  6. Step 6 Custom game accessories
    Craft personalized boxes, playing card holders, poker chips or chip holders, game pieces, pouches, and more. Boardgamers will love being able to personalize their favorite pastime (and flex their cool collection the next time they have company over to play).
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Section 5 of 10:

Kitchen Utensil Ideas

  1. Step 1 Cutting boards
    Personalize a rustic wooden cutting board with custom designs or text to sell or give as a memorable housewarming gift. Incorporate any design, from nature scenes to the recipient’s favorite foods to a “Congratulations on your first home!” message. Engrave a classic rectangular board with rounded corners, or trim the edges into a custom shape.
    • Tip: Sand the cutting board (including the edges) after laser cutting with very fine-grit sandpaper, then brush the dust off. Dampen a cloth with cutting board oil and rub it into the board to condition and seal the wood. You may need multiple coats.[4]
  2. 2
    Cooking utensils Cooking is all about creativity, so why not use some custom utensils? Add names, food-inspired designs, or a country representing the recipient’s favorite cuisine to large serving spoons, spatulas, rolling pins and more.
    • For extra fun, try engraving silly messages like “Stand back! Dad’s cooking.” on a large utensil.
    • Wood engraving is the most popular option for utensils, but metal, silicone, or some plastics are good options too.
    • Tip: If you’re engraving wood, sand the utensil with fine-grit sandpaper and condition it with cutting board oil, food-grade wood balm, or food-grade mineral oil.
  3. 3
    Bottle openers Engrave the handle of wooden or metal bottle openers with custom designs, names, or fun drinking catch phrases like “Bottoms up!” Keep in mind that your space is limited and you’ll be working with a long, narrow surface, so plan for a design that can fit neatly into a small rectangular shape.
  4. 4
    Valet trays Who says the tray where you throw your random odds and ends has to be plain? Add a custom design to the basin of wooden or leather catchall trays so they make a statement even when there’s no junk or decor items sitting in them. Since you have a fairly large surface area to work with, go for as big and detailed of an image as you like!
    • Most popular valet trays are sealed wood or leather, but feel free to laser engrave a tray or platter of any material that’s laser-safe.
    • Tip: If you’re engraving leather, dust away any debris and clean the leather with mild leather soap. Let it dry, then condition it with leather conditioner.[5]
  5. 5
    Mugs A classic! Engrave porcelain, glass, or ceramic mugs with photographs, custom designs or sketches, commemorative dates for a trip or milestone, or of course, a silly quote about needing your coffee in the morning. Anything goes when it comes to everyone’s favorite caffeine vessel.
    • Tip: If you’re using a diode laser, wrap the reflective surface of glass and ceramic mugs with laser marking paper or spray before engraving. Afterward, soak the engraved mug in water to loosen and remove the coating. A CO2 laser engraver is your best option for these materials.[6]
  6. 6
    Glassware Memorialize weddings, anniversaries, special holidays or trips, and more with laser engraved glassware. Wine glasses, tumblers, shot glasses, beer steins, or even large glass platters, dishes, or spice jars all make great options. Include images, designs, dates, the names of newlyweds, or whatever you like!
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Section 6 of 10:

Office Item Ideas

  1. Step 1 Custom sticky note holders
    Engrave your design into two wooden squares or rectangles that are larger than a standard pack of sticky notes, then cut a sticky note-sized square out of one of the pieces. Glue the piece with the cutout on top of the full piece so the design flows seamlessly into the depression where customers can secure their sticky notes.
    • Use the frame surrounding the sticky notes to add names or company logos or slogans.
  2. 2
    QR cubes Engrave a wooden cube with QR codes, company names and logos, and a call to action or a slogan to get people engaged in your customer’s business. These cubes make great, functional decorative pieces for restaurant tables and menus, casual meetings with links to share, or branded trinkets for consumers to take home.
  3. 3
    Aluminum business cards Laser cut a customer’s name, contact info, or even a QR code that links to their website or social media onto an anodized aluminum card blank. These durable, sleek cards leave a lasting impression on whoever sees them and make great gifts for people who love networking or following the latest trends in business.
    • Tip: Speaking of business, are you an engraver on the go? Cut business cards anywhere with xTool’s F1 Portable IR + Diode Laser Engraver.
  4. 4
    USB keychains Cut custom text, logos, or art into a wooden or metal USB holder or case and put it on a keychain for a handy (and personalized) flash drive. Depending on the material and thickness of the USB drive, you may also be able to engrave directly onto the plastic or metal surface of the drive itself.
    • Initials, names, or company names or logos are all great fits for USB keychains.
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Section 7 of 10:

Lighting Ideas

  1. Step 1 LED acrylic night lights
    Engrave a custom design onto an acrylic sheet with a tab at the bottom that fits into the slot of an LED light base. Dust and clean the debris off of your acrylic, stick it into the base, and turn it on—your design will light up the room (and make sure no one stubs their toes in the middle of the night!).[7]
    • Tip: For clean acrylic engraving, opt for a CO2 laser like xTool’s P2 55W Desktop CO2 Laser Cutter.
  2. 2
    Projector boxes Engrave custom designs and art into the sides and top of a wooden cube, then pick one side to fully cut out the silhouette of a shape, name, or phrase. Install a lightbulb inside the box and bam!—you’ve got a laser-engraved projector.
    • Get creative with your silhouettes. Make seasonal or festive projections for the holidays, or cut beautiful designs like nature scenes or constellations to enjoy year-round.
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Section 8 of 10:

Special Event & Holiday Ideas

  1. Step 1 Paper invitations and covers
    Laser cut intricate designs like snowflakes or decorative lace patterns into cardstock invitations, paper covers for invites and cards, or other paper items you might need at a party like name plates for seating. It’s precision laser cutting at its finest, and a great way to combine your laser cutting crafts with the world of stationery to create unique, standout party items.
    • Tip: Use low laser power or a fast engraving speed to avoid burning or destroying delicate paper and cardstock.
  2. 2
    Festive toppers and signs Cut festive holiday designs, song lyrics, or well wishes into hangable wall signs, or make figurines of snowmen, snowflakes, presents, Christmas trees, menorahs, jingle bells, and other iconic holiday items that can sit on top of cakes and desserts. You could even cut entire phrases like “Merry Christmas!” into 3D toppers.
  3. 3
    Ornaments Get creative and make show-stopping tree ornaments your buyers will love to display year after year. Cut any design, shape, or material you like, or take inspiration from some of these crafty ideas:[8]
    • Laser cut clear acrylic snowflakes
    • Engraved balls or baubles with personalized text
    • 3-dimensional tree topper
    • Flat shapes with holiday song lyrics, well wishes, names, or scripture verses
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Section 9 of 10:

Customized Gifts & Hobby Items Ideas

  1. Step 1 Musical instruments
    Custom engravings on instruments like guitars, violins, or pianos (or anything with a wooden surface that’s large and thick enough to be undamaged by lasers) takes the magic of music to the next level. However, you’ll most likely have to engrave the pieces before the instrument is assembled, or you may risk damaging it.
    • Tip: Consult or collaborate with an instrument maker, like a luthier (violin maker). They’ll be able to tell you how deep to engrave without hurting the instrument’s performance.
  2. 2
    Phone or phone case Add artwork, quotes, or even the owner’s contact information to phone cases of any size or material. For the adventurous, you can even laser engrave the metal or plastic casing of some phones directly for the ultimate customization.
    • Tip: Apple offers free engraving for items like AirPods, Apple Pencils, and iPads, but not for iPhones.[9] This opens up a potential market niche to fill.
  3. 3
    Mini calendars Engrave a one-month calendar onto a decorative piece of wood, metal, or acrylic with a symbol like a heart, star, or circle over a special date (like a customer’s anniversary or birthday). These mementos are great ways to commemorate special occasions.
    • Add a small hole and a chain in one corner to turn this mini calendar into a keychain.
  4. 4
    Bookmarks Etch a custom design into classic cardstock, or go for a more durable, thin material like aluminum, leather, or acrylic. Avid readers will love keeping their place in style! Or, try creating designs reminiscent of specific genres, like fantasy or romance, or engraving famous quotes about reading and learning.
  5. 5
    Luggage tags Engrave someone’s name, address, and contact information onto a durable metal, acrylic, or leather tag. Sell your tags solo, or pair them with luggage tag holders.
    • Since luggage tag holders may vary in size, make sure to cut your blank tag to fit before engraving.
  6. 6
    Leather journals A custom leather journal is one of the most popular engraved items to sell. Decorate the front, back, or spine with artwork, engrave the owner’s contact information and name inside the front cover, or add the customer’s favorite quotes about writing and journaling to help them get inspired to write.
  7. 7
    Custom awards and trophies Engrave medals, plaques, trophies, or signs with custom text to celebrate your customer’s achievements and milestones (whether real or made up). These make great toys for children, unique awards for workplaces, or fun gag gifts for creative adults. For example:
    • A plaque saying, “This award goes to Braden for being the #1 rockstar in Ms. Johnson’s music class!”
    • An office medal for “Best Printer Repair Person”
    • A trophy saying “Best at Football” for the winner of a Fantasy Football league
  8. 8
    Leather wallets Cut artwork or someone’s name or initials into a quality leather wallet to make a beautiful personalized gift. Keep in mind that natural leather made from animal skin yields the best results.[10]
    • Tips: If you enjoy engraving leather, consider marketing additional products like belts, bags, jackets, watch straps, and more. The demand for leather crafting is high!
  9. 9
    Stencils and stamps Laser cut shapes or artwork to make custom stencils, or etch names, addresses, or other text and designs into rubber or silicone stamps. These make great gifts and accessories for artists, students and teachers, stationary makers, and more!
  10. 10
    Boxes for craft supplies or other odds and ends Why waste a coffee mug to hold pens and pencils when you could have a personalized, decorative box? Engrave an open cube or rectangle to make a pencil holder, or make a matching set of differently sized containers for paintbrushes, pens, erasers, and more art supplies.
  11. 11
    Garden tags Make and sell a set of signs to help avid gardeners label their flowers, plants, or garden crops. Engraving a tag is simple; take a long, thin rectangle of wood or another durable material that files down to a stake or point at the bottom, then etch the name of the plant (or an image of it in full bloom) on the wider end up top.
    • Try making jumbo sizes for tall outdoor plants and crops, or minis to stick in flower pots and planters indoors.
  12. 12
    Photo albums and planners Customize the front cover of quality leather photo albums with artwork, the recipient’s name, or the name and date of a special event like a wedding or engagement party. This is a sweet way to add a personal touch to keepsake photo albums, or even more mundane items like planners and organizers.
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Section 10 of 10:

Which engraved items sell the best?

  1. Jewelry, leather goods, and drinkware tend to be reliable best sellers.
    The options are truly endless when it comes to marketing engraved goods, but some items tend to sell more consistently all year long than others. Some of the best-selling laser cut products include:[11]
    • Jewelry: earrings, rings, dog tags, cufflinks, bracelets, watches, tie clips, necklaces, keychains
    • Leather: men’s wallets, pencil cases, travel cases, valet trays
    • Drinkware: beer growlers, whiskey barrels, rocks glasses, coasters, liquor bottles, tumblers

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