Converting a chalkboard image into something laserable

My aunt has a chalkboard that her mother wrote on before she passed away, and now she would like the image of it to be engraved on something more permanent. She’s asked if that’s something I can do with my Glowforge (as I’ve done something similar with a handwritten recipe of my grandmother’s) - but I’m having trouble figuring out how to convert the image of a chalkboard into something the machine will recognize.

It’s far too big to be able to scan or put into the machine to trace, so I figure the best way is to convert a picture? But being very new to all of this, I’m struggling to figure it out. Can anyone help?

Here’s the picture she sent, so you can see what I’m working with:

chalkboard for aunt shelly

Thanks for any help! - Tisha

There are some folks that can work wonders with images but the image in your post is very low detail. 280 x 373 pixels. Maybe the image sent to you has a higher resolution. It’s possible the manner in which it is posted further degraded the image.

Don’t think you will have acceptable results with it. The only thing I can think to do is to print the picture and possibly hand trace it on tracing paper with a charcoal marker. It wouldn’t be the original, but if you take your time and after it is engraved on wood, or other material, it would likely be a good facsimile.


Agree with @rpegg, you might be able to do something with it…but you need to start out with the highest resolution photo that you can get. Your aunt needs to send you the original photo, then you can take it into a program like Photoshop, do some adjustments for contrast, and then invert the image. That will remove the text from the dark background, and you can further clean it up. (Not going to be perfect in any case.)


Same as Jules and rpegg. I can certainly turn a good high res pic into something you can engrave but it has to be high resolution. The higher the better. Even better would be to break it into two pictures because you could get even higher res and they can be stitched back together.


And I could see that looking fantastic engraved on black slate… in case you were looking for ideas.


I agree with everyone else that you need to get the highest quality version photo of this you can.

@jbmanning5 has a macro for several programs that do wonders with making photos better for engraving. After you decide what program you should check with him to see if that program is one of them.

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If you could get a nice hi-res pic, you might have something pretty good to work with for a conversion.


Pretty bird.

gotcha :ok_hand:

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