XKCD Ornament




About: I'm a full stack web developer focusing on security and privacy.

Christmas time is here, that means your favorite webcomic will most likely make an x-mas themed comic.

This happened with XKCD, and it made me laugh. I thought it was so clever i wanted to make an ornament so i can hang a little big of nerdyness on my tree this year. All this took was a laser cutter and acrylic!

You can use this to transfer any comic into a fun and festive ornament!

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Step 1: Preparing Your Images

The first step is to prepare you images for the laser cutter.

I had to first take out the color from the image using an image editing program. Next i used illustrator to put the image into curves.

Putting the image into curves allows the laser cutter to make the lines more clean and crisp.

Lastly i used corel draw to layout how it would be engraved and cut. I had a nice border and a hole for an ornament hook.

Step 2: Cutting the Image

Next you want to cut out your image, this won't be too hard if you know how to use your laser.

It took me a few tries to get something that i liked. I found that the images on clear turned out a lot better than those on the colored acrylic.

Don't have a laser cutter available? Try Ponoko or another laser cutting service.

Step 3: Add an Ornament Hook

Next you want to add an ornament hook, This will allow you to use your ornament on a tree!

Step 4: Hang It on the Tree

Lastly all you need to hang it up on your tree.

The clear acrylic ones allow the lights to shine through which is pretty awesome, but they are horrible to photograph.

Show off your own geek ornaments in the comments!

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    16 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I gonna use one of those car air fresheners ( Christmass Tree Kine ) and make it an orneryment .


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I have used the original xkcd "tree" as my screen saver and it makes me smile every time I see it. It is , in my eyes, beautiful and very witty. Frenzy. I love your "etching" and am jealous of your skills. I will never own a laser cutter and most certainly don't have the skills to use one. Very good work all round.

    Clayton H.D00M99

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    A "heap" is a computer term where B is a child of A. So referring to the comic, A is the large present and B is the smaller present, and if you can remember back to a kid, you always wanted to open the big present first, so take away A and B, C, and however far it goes, dies because B can not exist without A in computer terms. And about the tree, I don't know

    The Christmas tree is a binary tree, a common data structure in programming. Each node on the tree can have 0, 1 or 2 "children" below it and one "parent" above it, with a special exception - the "root" node has no parent. The root is actually at the top, and there can only be one root.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    The "tree" is a bunch of lights hung on the wall with "presents" hung underneath them.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    This is fine, but I'd prefer to see an actual version on somebody's wall (before you ask, I have already been banned...)

    3 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, kiteman, we would LOVE to see this ;-)

    actually if you do it, i'll send you a patch