This has been, for me, the most satisfying part of my laser cutting journey since I started eight months ago. There's something about having two pieces fit together juuuuuuuuust right.
plywood, acrylic, epoxy, chain, jewelry findings
1. Decide on your word and font
2. Create a transparent file in Photoshop, typing the word in a text layer.
3. From the Layer menu, select Layer Style > Blending Options. Under Styles, select outer glow. Make sure the contrast, adjustment and colors of the text and glow create a sharp line. Save for Web as PNG-24 file.
4. Open Illustrator and create a new file in RGB mode. Place your PNG file, then do an image trace. Expand and ungroup.
5. Group letters together, then create two copies. One copy should be solid black, the other should have a .01 point outline in RGB red.
6. The outer glow you created in Photoshop should be all one shape, with the words cut from the shape. Select the glow and the original letters, go to the pathfinder tool and select Unite. This should create one shape with no cutouts. Select .01 point outline in RGB with white fill for glow.
7. Center black fill letters in your glow shape using the Align tool.
8. Create two circles (aprox .05in diameter) with .01 point in RGB red with white fill and center them on the left and right top side of the glow. You can do this by spacing the circles as far apart as you want them, using the align tool to put them on the same plane, group them, then center using align tool.
9. Just to recap, your first cut job should have an RGB outline of the glow and holes with black fill letters. I would recommend checking the dimensions in inches before printing, and also make sure the RGB outlined letters are hidden from your layer.
10. Printing settings may vary based on machine, please research machine before proceeding with cut. You'll want to use wood for this portion of your necklace, and the words should be etched fairly deeply into the wood.
11. After completing your first print job, return to the file to print the RGB outlined letters. You'll want to use acrylic for this portion.
12. Return to etched wood piece. Clean thoroughly with an alcohol wipe and let dry. Peel paper from acrylic or clean bare acrylic with soap and water.
13. Once everything is dry you're ready for assembly! Mix a small amount of epoxy and apply to etch with a toothpick, then carefully place acrylic into each etch. Remove any extra epoxy around edge with a wet Q-tip.
14. Once the piece is dry, attach chain and clasp with jump rings and you are ready to wear!