Ways to Use a Laser Machine for Art Businesses

Ways to Use a Laser Machine for Art Businesses

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Two of my favorite things about being a creative person is finding new ways to make artwork and new products to put my art on for my business. To my surprise, I recently discovered that a laser machine might be the tool to help me with both of those! I found myself in a rabbit hole of a seemingly infinite number of project ideas, so after getting my hands on the S1 20W Laser Cutter and Engraver from xTool, I decided to find out which would be best for me as an artist. Here’s what I discovered:

To begin with, I’d say there’s a spectrum for each person as to how much they’re willing to DIY something for their business. Some people are very hands on, and some people would rather have the product made for them. I’m probably somewhere in the middle. Until I know a new design or product is going to sell well, I like to make it myself and test the waters. I tried to include a variety of quick and easy to difficult and time consuming, as well as a variety of options for different art styles.

Engraved Products

I tested out several different engraved products that I think would be great for my artwork and fun for my customers. I used mostly 3mm Baltic Birch Plywood for these, though other woods and materials like acrylic, metal, and stone could be options as well.

  1. Pins, Keychains, and Magnets

    The main products I’m excited to start making! All simple, small products that are fun to see your art on. It’s easy to buy pin backs online, and takes only a bit of strong glue like E6000 to attach them. For keychains, there are many different ring options and it takes just a pair of needle nose pliers to attach them. And for magnets, you can attach them the same way as the pin backs, or even buy magnets that already have adhesive.


    In addition to making a wood or acrylic bookmark, I also tried Laserable PU (faux leather that is safe for lasers) and loved the result! Would be fun to add a little tassel to either of these as well.

  3. Plant Stakes

    An adorable little accessory to potted plants, these plant stakes or markers are perfect for nature inspired artwork.

  4. Notebooks

    I’ve always wanted to make notebooks with my artwork, but never thought about wooden notebooks until getting a laser machine. Absolutely love how high quality these feel and the many ways you could make these. I went for an engraving and cut out with a sheet of printed cardstock as the background. It took a bit more effort to edit the file, but if this was a product I was selling multiples of, it would of course pay off in the long run. And while I just used a notebook I already owned for this test, I think a binding machine would also be a worthwhile investment for this product.

  5. Tic Tac Toe Set

    A more fun idea, a tic tac toe set! For this idea, I used a drawing I made of a bee and a flower to make the pieces, and glued 2 bottom pieces for the board and two top pieces for a lid. It was easy to set up, and just took a little extra time for glueing. Then I used acrylic paint to add just a bit of color.

  6. Artwork

    I’ve made prints of my art on paper before, and now I have a way to make “prints” on wood! After having the laser make the engraving, I decided to try a bit of painting on it with gouache. I recommend sealing and priming, if this is something you’re interested in.

Adding images to wood

While I love the engraved products I made, I also wanted to try another method for making products with color without having to hand paint each piece. So I found a fun hack for adding an image to wood using temporary tattoo paper. I attempted this on two of the previously mentioned products: a Keychain and Notebook.

For the keychain, I first made an outline about 2mm bigger around than my artwork with a ring for the keychain and laser cut it from the wood. Then I mirrored my art and printed it with an inkjet printer to the matching size. I followed the paper’s instructions, and then sealed the image on to the wood using Mod Podge Dimensional Magic. I added a ring and clasp and viola, a keychain with my art!

For the notebook, I followed the same steps except I tried original Mod Podge as a sealer. Both turned out great, and I love them!

Art Ideas

Besides making products to put my artwork on to, I’m excited to find new ways of making art using the laser machine as a tool. The first basic way I plan to do this is by making custom shaped wooden panels. Additionally, there are woodcraft styles that I think would be fun to incorporate into my traditional painting style such as layered wood art or even intarsia. I’m looking forward to seeing what other artists create with laser machines as time goes on as well! Nothing like a good tool in the hands of a creative person.

Project Ideas for Business and Workspaces

Lastly, there are many things that can be made for my business and even my office and studio space that are not products or artwork. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Engraved shipping boxes, bags, and product tags.
  2. Shelves or storage bins for supplies.
  3. Custom rubber stamps.
  4. Signs.
  5. Displays for markets.
  6. Frames for art prints.

There are so many ways that a laser machine can be used, and I have only scratched the surface with ideas here! For more in depth details, you can watch my YouTube video linked here. Thanks for reading and thanks to xTool for sponsoring this post.

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