I am getting married and me and my fiance are massive Star Wars fans so we wanted to include it in our wedding but not go crazy and have a themed wedding, so we are including little hints of star wars into our day.
one of the ways we are including it is through the gifts we are giving to the males in the wedding party. we are going to give them a little gift set of cufflinks and a tie clip that will be in some way star wars themed, in the gift set will also include the wedding party tie and pocket hanky (for those who will wearing our colours, bride and grooms fathers will be wearing their own ties)
This instructable is how i went about making the gift sets.
Step 1: Tools and Materials.
laser cutter. (these can be found at local schools or find a friend who has one) i used one at the office i work at.
computer (with some vector design program, i used illustrator)
cufflink findings (i got mine on ebay)
tie clip findings (again ebay)
card gift box. (ebay again)
scrap card (for draft crafting)
ink or permanent pen
brasso or polish .
2 part epoxy glue
there are probably some more little bits i can't think of at the moment but i advise you read the whole instructable before taking this on to see if there is something i have missed.
Step 2: Designing the Cufflinks.
I used illustrator to design the cufflinks.
wanting to make the cufflinks star wars themed but also useable and quite classic, i decided to do a range of helmet designs for the cufflinks, with a couple of logo designs and a death star set.
first i went to the font of all images (google) and searched for different star wars helmets. stormtrooper, darth vader etc.
once i found some good ones i drew around the pictures and filled in the places that are going to be etched as they will hold the colour or add the detail of the helmet
Step 3: Cutting and Gluing the Cufflinks.
i decided i wanted to give the cufflinks a little thickness to them, more than just one layer of the helmets, so i decided to put a round disk behind the designs to give some of the more delicate designs a little strength and it makes them look better, also it give me something to glue the findings to.
lets take the death star design as an example to go through.
picture one - etching the lines of the design into the plastic.
(between picture 1-2) - taking the plastic out of the cutter.
picture two - using a permanent pen to ink in the lines of the design. you can also use ink or paint to do this step.
picture three - using the brasso polish to remove the surface ink and leaving the ink in the line behind, this gives the design detail.
(between picture 3-4) - put the plastic back in the lasercutter, make sure its in the same place as it was when we took it out.
picture four - run just the cutting lines of the design so the death stars are being cut out.
picture five - cutting the back disk of the cufflinks. i etched a deep circle in the middle of each back disk the same size of the plate on the cufflink finding.
(after picture 5) - glue the design into the center of the back disk using the solvent glue. once that has all dried its time to glue the findings to the back disk.
mix up a small amount of the two part epoxy and dip the finding plate into the the glue and get a little bit on the end then press the plate into the hole that was etched into the back disk. make sure the cufflink is correctly placed in regards to the design of the cufflink. leave the cufflink alone for the glue to set. depending on the epoxy you got the time will differ.
now repeat this process with all the other cufflink designs you have made. different designs will need different coloured plastics for the design and the back disk. some designs dont need the ink step. The logos and the black helmets dont need the ink steps.
Step 4: Designing the Tie Clips.
The tie clips are pretty easy to design after you have designed the cufflinks as i decided to make matching clips and cufflinks.
so the design of the tie clip is the same logo, helmet etc. as the cufflinks but slightly smaller. on some of the designs i had to simplify the details as when its shrunk down so small some of the lines will over etch and ruin the small details. the scout trooper was pretty similar apart from the 'nose' section had to be simplified and some stuff taken out.
Instead of a round disk to act as a back plate i decided i would cut a rectangle to cover the tie clip finding and then attach the helmet or design onto the rectangle.
so in the picture you see the small tie clip design in comparison the the cufflink design and back. all above the rectangle that attaches to the tie clip finding.
Step 5: Cutting and Gluing the Tie Clips.
cutting the main designs of the tie clips is the same as cutting the designs of the cufflinks.
after you have all the parts cut use the solvent glue to glue designs to the rectangle. i glued them off set, as the ties i am going to be using these with will be wide, you can glue the design anywhere along the tie bar, its up to you.
once all the designs have been glued down and dried its time to glue the bar to the finding.
i sanded the top metal surface of the tie clip finding and the back of the bar to give the glue something more to stick to.
I used the same epoxy glue to stick them together in the same way as the cufflinks. once you have positioned them let the glue set, once its dry you will have a set of tie clips and cufflinks.
Step 6: Making Box Inserts.
Take the bottom half of the gift box and layout where you want the cufflinks and tie clip. (for the box thats just for the cufflink and tie clip)
Draft up a card insert that holds the cufflinks off the bottom with little rectangles cut into the insert, cut a little rectangle that's half the length of the tie clip grip.
The measurements of the insert will change depending on the size of the box so if i were to give you the measurements here they would mean nothing. but if you look closely at the photos the measurements are on there.
Test fit your card insert.
For the gift set that has the tie and hanky in its slightly different.
Roll/fold the tie up and put it in the box, slide the tie clip on the tie, fold/roll the pocket square and lay out where you want the cufflinks to go. this will be on a card insert to the side of the tie.
Draft up another card insert, this on will only fill a little bit of the whole box.
Test fit the card insert. (the pockets square is folded/rolled up inside the card insert.
once the draft card parts had been finalised i drew them out in illustrator because i want to cut them out on the laser cutter because i don't want to do it by hand for all six large boxes and two small boxes but its easily done it just takes time.
i cut them out of black card as we are sort of having red white and black as our colour scheme and the red card didn't work with the red ties and white gets grubby and i didn't want that.
I'm not gluing the card inserts into the boxes as the cuff links need to be inserted and then opened so if it were glued in they either wouldn't stay in the box or would not come out.
Step 7: Filling the Box.
Things needed to fill the box.
- the box.
- the card insert.
- the tie and pocket square.
- the cufflink and tie clip set.
How to fill the box.
- start with the empty box (with out wadding that came with it)
- fold/roll up the tie neatly as to minimise creasing pop it in the box on the left hand side.
- slide the tie clip onto the tie from the left.
- fold up the card insert and push the cufflinks through the holes and turn the cufflink catches to make sure they wont fall out.
- fold/roll up the pocket square so it will fit underneath the card insert and place it into the box next to the tie or the right hand side.
- now slide in the card insert over the pocket square and make sure that the tie and pocket square arent trapped by the card insert.
Smaller box. similar to the large box but skip the first 3 steps.
- fold up the card insert and push the cufflink through the holes and turn the cufflink catch.
- slide the tie clip into the hole until the middle grip grips the card.
Then you have a nice little gift for your grooms people.
Step 8: Decorating the Box.
As these will be a gift for people i wanted them to be special and relatively one of a kind so i decided i would etch the top of the box.
with this type of box (mass produced) there will be differences between each one which can cause problems when etching in batches (6 boxes at a time) so i design my laser file with a bleed of 3mm around the edge of the measured size of the box. (im not going to be etching up to the edge of the box but its always good to keep the bleed in mind when designing the the etch file.)
i did a design for the top of the boxes. each box will have a different design. (bar the two grooms men, they will have the same)
take just the lids of the boxes, i guess you can use the box lid on the main box but i took them off because the main box had the items in and i didn't want to make a mistake and damage what i had already done and i was too lazy to take it all out :)
One step that's pretty important is to check that the lid will sit flat on the laser, so place it on a table and lightly tap each corner to check for movement. If there is some movement bend and manipulate the lid until it sits good and flat on the table. This is important as if the box lid is not flat it will engrave really badly as the force of the laser will move the box and ruin all your hard work.
Etch the out line of the box lid onto a scrap bit of card so you know where to place the box lids.
focus the laser to the top of the box lid.
start your etching off, keep an eye on it for a little bit to make sure the mark is the correct power and not burning the box lid.
I did my boxes 2 at a time. (ive etched more than 2 boxes at one time before but the setup time and run time of the laser takes longer than doing them in small batches. it depends on if you have time to stop every 10 mins to reset and start the etch again, if not do them all in one go (also depends on the laser bed size.))
Gently dust off the scorch smoke from the box and you will have a finished gift box for your wedding.
i will be adding a little personalised note on the inside of the box lid but that's for me and the people getting the gifts, so its not on here.
Step 9: Finished Boxes.
when you have etched all the lids and done any personalised stuff you are doing you will have a great little gift set for your wedding party peeps.
Get gifting :)
(this is going to be published before i give the gift sets to people so there will be no photos of that just as of yet)