Introduction: Laser-etched Baby Blocks
Are you looking for a unique baby shower gift? Something that the mom and dad will like almost as much as the baby?
Make custom baby blocks to suit the parents' unique interests and geeky fandoms!
These personalized baby blocks are now our go-to gift when friends announce that they're expecting.
For this project, you'll need:
- short length of 2x2
- sand paper or power sander
- laser cutter
- cutting board oil or similar food safe sealer
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Step 1: Cut and Sand Wood
We purchased a nice looking 2x2 from the hardware store.
The length of 2x2 was cut down into cubes with a band saw.
Next, all the edges were rounded on a router table and smoothed out with belt sander.
Step 2: Design
The hardest part of this project is choosing the images you want on the baby blocks. We picked a word that would be meaningful to our friends for every letter in the alphabet and found icons to represent each word on the Noun Project. When selecting the icons, we were looking for simple, bold images that would be easy to read on the small blocks.
A sampling of what is on some of our baby blocks:
Once we had the icons selected, we set up a file in Corel Draw with all the images and letters broken into 6 groups to etch the 6 sides of each block.
We added a hairline outline around all the images so the laser cutter would make a deeper burn and better define the shapes.
Step 3: Laser Etching
We cut the outline of 9 squares into a piece of scrap wood so we would know where to line up our blocks.
We then positioned the blocks and etched one side. The blocks were rotated, we etched the next side and then repeated the process until all the sides were done.
The grain on the wood we used produced a really interesting pattern when etched. Unfortunately the visible grain detracted from some of the etched images. When choosing wood for this project, you may want to pay close attention to the grain and select a wood where it will have less of an effect.
Finish the baby blocks with a food safe oil and present them to the lucky parents or child.