Laser Etched Journal Covers for Less Fortunate Kids

I have a journal project I’m working on for a local non profit. It’s a journal for kids from less fortunate/abusive situations. I was hoping to have my glowforge last December to complete the project, but have been trying to find someone who can get the job done for us in the meantime. The journal cover is made from chipboard; design is approx. 5"x8". The few local laser peeps I’ve connected with in town say ot takes too long on their laser to make it cost effective: 12 minutes each. Our budget is $1.50 a cover, 1000 total covers. Can someone refer me to anyone who can get this done for us? The other alternative is to screen print, but it looks SO cool laser etched. And, it’s for these awesome kids!


you maybe able to farm the work out on a site like this

or someone in this community that already has a laser may be of interest


Where are you located?

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When do you need them?
I will verify at work but I should be able to do a few (start with 100) for free. Assuming you can cover shipping.


How thick is the chipboard?

I wonder if we could start some sort of group (or different thread/section) where people with lasers who are willing to volunteer their laser time get matched up with people (organizations) who would like to have some things cut/engraved but can’t afford it.

Considering how much idle time my machines have I do a fair amount of volunteer lasering while I’m on the computer working on designs. Bet there are others here like that.


Great idea but mine would have to be to a charitable group so I could write it off on taxes. Since I work at home and a regular job any effort must be worth it financially.

Family time is valuable

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I agree.

Any local makerspace or school/college laser may be able to help?

I am in Richmond, VA.

And, thank you, Clone. I will check out that link.

That’s a good idea… There’s a makers space about 2 hours from here, I believe. Thank you so much!

It can definitely be a write off!

That’s awesome, James. Where are you located? I’ll do the math and see if shipping there and back would be economical. Thank you, though, so much for the offer! We don’t have a deadline, but as soon as we can get them done the better.

December is right around the corner. I would just hate to wait and not have it show up. So, ideally I can get them done sooner and within our budget.

It is 30 ply.

Definitely talk to an accountant - but I haven’t found a way to write off pro bono work outside of a few miscellaneous expenses like material cost and travel. Definitely not time or equipment time (in my experience).

I love dick blick, but who is measuring things in .1 inches? Internet conversions are telling me that’s 2.5ish mm, which sucks because it’s about .5 mm too thick for most craft room digital cutting machines. I don’t know how exact they are, but that seems a bit too thick to risk it.

If you can buy slightly thinner chipboard, you could buy a used digital cutter for $200-400, some deep cut blades, and do the whole thing yourself with a bunch of money left over.

Or you could use all the money to buy a pro one which would definitely cut that thickness. I think knk makes one that’s $1300.

Edit: good grief, I have to stop reading things when I’m tired. I just noticed you want them etched. Ignore everything I just said. Well, ignore parts, because depending on the design you can achieve an equally cool look by die cutting the design on a piece of card stock/cover stock or the thinner 14ply from Blick, and sandwich it on top of the thicker board. You could use pretty much any digital cutter.

Or, ridiculously messy and totally left field, you could flock them. It’s cool and textural and different, so maybe a little more interesting than silk screening. I had little flocked animal toys as a kid, and I’ve been obsessed ever since. I may be the only one. This is probably a terrible suggestion.

Edit 2: it’s so late, it’s early. I’m braindead. You could also heat emboss them. It’s less messy than flocking (this is still relative. In the way dogs are less messy than kids) but still cool and textural. And fairly cheap.

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I god I hate flock so much. When I worked at a gift wrap factory we used to run it down from massive multi mile rolls to 5 foot retail rolls. We would have to create a containment room for the elsner (the machine) from ceiling to floor with heavy plastic and then Have to dawn a Tyvek suit and respirator for our 8 hour shift. The stuff was horrible and got every where.

I’ve never used this before. Do you have a file that you’d like to engrave? There’s a Dick Blick near me that I can get a piece of chipboard to see how it works.

Thanks, James. Here is the file: cover.pdf (2.2 MB)


You are funny, Erin. Thanks for your feedback. I thought about die cutting, but I think that might be a lot of manual work, glueing pieces together… And, then I would worry that they would peel apart. But, that is a good idea. Thank you.