Today I have something for both the craft and tech nerds out there, myself included. I wouldn’t say I’m a huge tech nerd but it’s kinda part of the job and when I got the chance to combine crafts with lasers, well that was a no brainer. When the cool people at Hot Pop Factory reached out asking if I had any creative projects that we could collaborate on I immediately thought of Merry Mag and our upcoming holiday issue, which happens to be coming out tomorrow! Consider this a sneak peek.
Hot Pop Factory is in the laser cutting and 3D printing biz which seems so technical and perhaps not the most obvious pick for a handmade holiday guide. But this is where crafting and tech come together and mingle. I came up with a cover design and some holiday ornaments and Hot Pop helped to bring them to life with their awesome laser cutting skills. I’m keeping the cover pretty under wraps but here’s a sneak peek at the ornaments that you’ll find in Merry when it comes out tomorrow.
Pretty cool right?! I feel like this was me just getting my feet wet when it comes to laser cutting so I kept my designs pretty simple but I love how they turned out. They have a very Scandi vibe to them and I decided to add some pops of neon pink just make things a bit more interesting.
Here’s some behind the scenes at Hot Pop Factory and how these ornaments came to life. When it comes to laser cutting there’s a bunch of options to think about before you sit down and design. Hot Pop offers laser cutting, laser engraving and 3D Printing and have a variety of cool materials to choose from depending on what you’re doing.
For my first laser cutting experience I stuck with wood cutout and a simple design. You don’t have to be a graphic designer to create something like this but you do have to keep in mind that it’s a cut out so there can’t be any floating pieces. You’re also dealing with a laser, which is pretty awesome, but it also can fry your material if your design is too delicate so keep that in mind when you’re planning.
Just in case you’re wondering, this is what a laser cutting machine looks like. It’s big, clunky and kinda smells but man it can create some pretty cool stuff.
Oh and this is what a 3D printer looks like. I didn’t get to see this in action this time but maybe for a future project.
Ok, back to the creative stuff.
Here’s a look at the machine in action cutting one of my ornaments. It’s kinda mesmerizing to watch and it’s a fairly quick process. Most impressive is that it’s totally accurate and laser sharp, unlike me sitting at home attempting to cut these out by hand with a glass of wine standing by.
If you want see this guy in action, grab some popcorn and watch this short clip of an ornament coming to life right before your eyes. Laser cutting magic.
In a matter of a few minutes my 2D design turned into a 3D ornament. Below you can see the pieces laid out before assembling with a pop of pink to add some interest.
I just love how they turned out. I loved them so much that I decided to create something laser cut for the cover of Merry. The cover is a big deal so I wasn’t going to mess around. I was feeling so proud of myself and maybe a little cocky after my ornaments so I kinda jumped to something a bit more complicated (read: I had no idea what I was doing). Without giving too much away here’s a sneak peek. I like to call it, Merry Cover Deconstructed.
That’s all your gonna get, you’ll have to wait one whole day to see the final result.
What I did was maybe .00001% of what’s possible with laser cutting. I can’t stop thinking about it since leaving Hot Pop Factory. Everywhere I turn I see and think about laser cutting ideas. Take your creativity to the next level by taking your craft or DIY ideas and think of how you can incorporate laser cutting or how it could help or improve you design.
Thanks so much to Biying and Hot Pop Factory for the one-on-one demo, answering my never-ending and nosy questions and introducing me to the world of laser cutting! This is definitely not goodbye.