Introduction: We Love Letters: Scrabble Wooden (bamboo) Brooch

About: I'm a fanatic of self-fabbing!
Hi there!
Next 6th of September, I'll have to find a gift for my aunt who's also my godmother (I'll also have to find another good idea for my cousin whose birthday is on the same day, but it will certainly be the subject of another Instructable). 

************* UPDATE (Aug 31) 
Finally I've also fabbed a box for it: Wooden jewelry/gift box with living hinges. Go try and comment it also!

As my she is a fanatic of Scrabble®, I've thought about something related which should please her: a brooch with her first and last names, laser cut in a thin (2mm) sheet of bamboo, with a pin and a transparent varnish (see photos).

Here is the needed material:
  • a vector drawing application (Inkscape, Illustrator or CorelDraw for instance)
  • an appropriate font, like Scramble
  • a sheet of wood (bamboo in my case)
  • a laser cutter (see your nearest Fablab, Hackerspace or web provider like Ponoko)
Quick & easy guide to fab it yourself:
  1. Install the chosen font on your computer (on Windows: download it then right-click on the downloaded TTF file inside the ZIP + Install, you must have the administrator privileges)
  2. Run your favorite vector drawing application
  3. Write the message or text with the above font
  4. Convert the letters to objects
  5. Rotate some of them slightly (to make more human-made)
  6. Arrange them so that they form a cross (like on a Scrabble board...)
  7. Space them unevenly (also to make more human-made, see photos)
  8. Group them all (select all + group)
  9. Resize the group to a reasonable size (6 cm or 2 inches)
  10. I personally preferred to cut slightly outside of the edges of the Scrabble letters, so I draw the cutting line further: make a copy of the group object, ungroup it, unite all the selected shapes (ie.: everything except the original group), change the outline color to red (or cutting line color), width 0.01 mm (or cutting line width), fill color to transparent, then grow the shape (contour tool in CorelDraw, Path->Ouset in Inkscape, warriors know how to do it in Illustrator, I'm not a warrior ;-)
  11. Print it on your favorite laser cutter or order it online appropriately 
  12. Stick the pin on the rear side
  13. Apply your varnish
  14. Offer the brooch
  15. Get lots of congratulations for your gift! :-)
  16. Make a comment on this Instructable, below, to thank me for helping you becoming being such a local hero ;-D

Well, I hope I didn't forget anything. I'll perhaps also design a nice box before offering it. Or it may be a leather pouch... wait and see (follow me for further instructive Instructables)!

Bye and take action. Leave me your comments, it's always welcome (improvements suggestions really appreciated!)

I'll read to them all with interest and answer with passion. As always, I design them basic so that you fab them custom.

Hurricane Lasers Contest

Participated in the
Hurricane Lasers Contest

Cabot Woodcare Contest

Participated in the
Cabot Woodcare Contest