I’m always on the lookout for cool laser cut or etched projects, so when I found these great wooden maps of U.S. lakes from Below the Boat, I was blown away. They’re made to be bathymetric charts (the underwater equivalent of a topographic map), so each layer is laser cut as its own piece and then glued.
Of course the Great Lakes maps are the best looking, but maybe I’m biased?
An addition to the A-Frame dollhouse I built for my niece, the other Christmas present I spent some time working on this year were these wooden circus-themed blocks for Mary’s nephew, Henry.
I made similar blocks for my niece last Christmas, but this time I used an orange wood so the lettering and pictures would stand out more against the wood. I also laser-etched them to save myself some time and give them a much cleaner look. The laser-etching allowed me to do much more detailed images too.
Mary and I collaborated on a project recently, making some Southwestern-themed wooden coasters. Mary designed them in Illustrator, and then I laser-etched them and cut them out. I only made an initial test-batch so far, but we’ll soon be making more for our Etsy store.
I liked the way my Detroit rulers turned out well enough that I decided to make another set to represent my hometown of Ypsilanti, Michigan, along with the town’s slogan “Pride. Diversity. Heritage.” Also, it will make a good belated Mother’s Day gift.
If you’d like a ruler with your own hometown, feel free to request one as a custom order in our Etsy store!
I’ve nearly completed my newest project, a Buildings of Detroit Peg Puzzle. The buildings are all laser-etched, so the real challenge was trying to get the design right.
I used Adobe Illustrator and at first just dropped in the color photographs and etched them as they were. What came out was mostly a brown blob that bore some resemblance to a building. Since the key is to have contrast, I went and made each image black and white and increased the contrast so the blacks were really black and the whites were really white.
The image above was one of my final tests. I was starting to get some more detail, but there were still some areas, especially on the Belle Isle Aquarium at the top, where parts looked sort of smeared out. I tinkered with the file a bit more, and finally got it to where I liked it. They’re still imperfect and kind of look like rough sketches, but I think I like it that way.
Now I just need to glue, sand, and attach some pegs.
I completed my first project at Tech Shop this past weekend and I made these Detroit-themed rulers you can now find in our Etsy store. I was really happy with the way they turned out, and it’s only the beginning of many new projects to come!
We’re also starting to apply to some of the spring/summer Craft Faires, which means ramping up production along with it. I’m excited to get back into the swing of things after the post-holiday lull.