If you follow me on Instagram, then you may have seen my stories last week when I shared the whole step by step process of creating a DIY rainbow heart decoration with the GlowForge live. I promised that I would share the steps here in a blog post too, so that you can see the step images and get a little more details about the GlowForge and how it works.
First off, let me say that I am in love with my Glowforge and while I realize that very few, if any, of you have one, I still feel it is worth while to share how fun it is to use to both craft with and to make products to sell. So if you want to start making craft kits, find the need to make your own laser cut wood, acrylic, or leather pieces, or want to start selling laser cut jewelry, accessories, or party goods, you may want to look into getting one for yourself. That link will take you to my referral page where you can get a large discount on any of the glowforge machines. I myself have the middle tier, Plus, model. But even the basic will get you started cutting all the things! And they now offer financing, so you can get one for as little as $116 a month for 36 months.
Anyway, back to the craft at hand! This laser cut rainbow heart decoration is just one of the many things you could make on the glowforge, but is an easy beginner project. And I love the retro 70’s feel of the colors. It almost reminds me of a Care Bear tummy, doesn’t it?
Initially when I was making the heart, I tried to just etch in the lines for the rainbow so that I could use them as a guideline for painting. That is the method you will see in my instagram stories glowforge highlight. But then I after realizing I don’t have as steady of a hand as I thought, I tried a different method of cutting two hearts. One I cut solid, and one I cut into the rainbow pieces. Then I simply painted all the pieces and glued them together. So much cleaner and easier!
If you have a Glowforge, or just want to know how it works, follow along below for the full tutorial. If you want to recreate this look without one, try finding a large mdf wood heart at the craft store and use a curved bowl to draw lines on the heart and paint in the segments with craft paint.
Making the Heart
To begin, I designed by hearts in Illustrator and created a PDF of the images. Then I loaded the images into the Glowforge program at app.glowforge.com. Once you have a machine, the set up instructions will take you through the steps of setting up your machine and connecting to the app.
Once I had the images uploaded. I added my piece of MDF to the Glowforge machine. Next, I selected the lines in the second heart and told the glowforge to ignore them so that it would cut just a solid heart. As you can see on the left hand side of the screen shot above, the first set of lines is ignored, then the heart outline is set to cut at a speed of 185 and full power (which I find is the best for cutting 1/8″ thick materials). The second heart has the heart outlines and the rainbow lines instead all set to cut so that I could have the rainbow pieces to paint.
Once the size and cut speed and power level were set, I simply pushed the ready button on the top right hand side and waited for the glowforge to process the image. Then you will see the screen below pop up with the time the cut will take.
Once you see this, you will press the glowing button on the Glowforge itself and the machine will start the cut. Once the machine finished and went into idle mode, I removed the wood and was ready to start crafting with it.
Painting the Heart
At this point, it is a fairly straight forward craft of removing the paper liner from the wood (this prevents the laser burns of the Glowforge from affecting the wood itself), painting the pieces and gluing them onto the painted heart.
Once the glue was dry, I added removable wall mounting adhesive strips to the back of the heart and hung it in my Valentine’s Day gallery wall.
I love the rainbow heart and it was so easy to make with my machine. Plus, since I used MDF, the whole thing only cost $2 to make! Such a good deal! And now that I am thinking about it, these would be fun to make in miniature and put the pieces plus a few crayons or markers into a clear poly bag as a fun valentine’s craft for kids to hand out instead of candy!
If making things and selling the finished product isn’t for you, you may be wondering if you really need a Glowforge, but there are so many other was to use the machine besides just crafting. For example, you can cut products for other people, or even make your own craft kits to sell on Etsy. The possibilities with this machine really are endless. As I mentioned above, be sure to check out my link if you are at all interested so that you can save $$$ on yours.