Introduction: Personalized Laser Necklace

I was asked by my sister to design a necklace for her mother-in-law Dawn that would reflect her personality. Being a "newbie" to the laser and Glowforge community, I thought about how to express the many facets of her life in a tiny pendant. My final result was a necklace and earring set customized with engravings that represented her life and talents. Dawn's necklace included symbols for her love of dogs, nursing and Jimmy Buffet as well as her ribbon for courage beyond belief! I share this design in hopes it will inspire you to design your own necklace and share with others your own story!

Step 1: Begin at the Beginning

I designed this necklace using a a dahlia flower svg. I liked the openness of the design for the top layer and the wide shape to engrave on for the bottom. Cut one piece open for top and one solid piece for bottom. Be sure to add a small hole to bottom layer to accommodate the chain you will be using.

Step 2: Engrave Designs

The hardest part of making the necklace is deciding what symbols to engrave. This step is only limited by your imagination! Once you have downloaded your symbols, place the solid bottom shape back into the Glowforge and add each symbol to the "petals". It takes a little time to adjust the size and position of the symbols. I also upload the top dahlia cutout and use it as a guide when placing my symbols. Although I will not use the upper dahlia pattern to cut again, it allows me to place it over my bottom layer while designing to ensure my engravings are the right size and right place. Once I am satisfied, I click on ignore for the upper dahlia design so Glowforge does not cut it again. But with the new improvements to the Glowforge program, you adjust the symbols easily. Once each petal has the a symbol, then engrave away! When finished you should have a flower with symbols distributed in center of each petal.

Note: You do not want to score the symbols as they will not show as nicely in finished product.

Step 3: Assembly

Assembly is easy! Simply take the cut out top dahlia layer and place it over the bottom engraved layer. It should line up perfectly. Each symbol should be centered in the dahlia's outline. After I have tested it, I simply glue the top to the bottom using Gorilla Glue and a brush. Using a brush will keep glue runover to a minimum. Then allow to cure.

Step 4: Additional Pieces

I decided to use the dahlia file to also make earrings to match. I simply resized the original svg and added a basic earring loop. In addition I cut out the letter "D" to personalize it for Dawn.

Step 5: Let Your Imagination Run Wild!

Once I glue the "D" and add a leather rope for the "chain" the necklace is complete. This is when your creativity can really shine! My final product I left natural wood but in this demonstration I colored the top dahlia with a green alcohol pen. I have also added sparkly baubles instead of the D to give it a different look. It is totally up to you!

Step 6: Finally...Tada!

My final necklace had a third layer which I made from cutting a third earring shape. Again, it was applied the same way with Gorilla Glue. This gave the finished product a little more dimension. With a little know how and a full imagination this necklace template can be the starting point for endless customized jewelry. Let your creativity carry you away!

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