Had a friend who threw a housewarming party last night, and I wanted to surprise her with something custom-made for her (because, you know, ). And I knew her favorite thing in life is swinging kettle bells. So I decided to make an icon for her house, and deliver it to her in coaster form.
The Noun Project contains tons of vector images representing all kinds of stuff. You can use icons freely (including commercially) under the Creative Commons Attribution license, but if you don’t feel like putting their name on the back of your pieces, you can also buy a Pro license for $40/yr, which I think is a smoking deal.
Downloaded house and kettle bell icons from The Noun Project.
Opened Illustrator, told it to draw a ~4" hexagon, then offset another one from there.
Placed and centered the two icons on different layers, and put different fill colors (and no stroke) on them.
The first one I did was the one in the middle. I saved it as an SVG (export with “Responsive” unchecked, to avoid it appearing 3/4 sized in the app), and it recognized and separated each layer. The end result was that it engraved the kettle bell, and then the whole house icon, so the kettle bell got zapped twice. Still looked fine, but I wanted to try again.
Second one is on the left. I knocked out the shape of the kettle bell from the house, set one to the lighter engrave present and the other to the darker one, and watched it meticulously cut out the kettle bell, then meticulously cut the house around it. Which was awesome.
Third one was the easiest: I set new colors for each layer, then flattened the thing, and played with some custom power settings for the engrave. One thing I learned was that 30 is just enough power to ablate the PG paper, but not the glue underneath it. A little Goof Off cleaned that up. (The dark part is 91, and it looks like walnut.)
All told, probably an hour exploring Illustrator and the app, and an hour and change of cutting time (~18 for the lighter ones, 38 I think for that added dark layer). She was stoked. So much so, in fact, that she was cool doing the final coat of polyurethane that I skipped in order to get to the party.
(BTW, this project is making me cave and set up a product photo area in the basement so I don’t have to take pics on paper towels…)