One of the first projects I designed for my GF, about a year ago, was a tray to hold a water bowl and a food bowl for our little dog. However, once I got my GF, in order to maximize the use of the thick Draftboard PG material I was using for the project, I had to reduce the height of the piece because 12” (2 pieces 6” high) is outside the GF current cut area. And where I once hoped to have all of the pieces cut on a single board, I now needed to use a good part of one and a portion of another. That’s ok. I can live with that.
I originally used a tax box generator to create a PDF, loaded it into Illustrator and modified it, making the bottom edge flat instead of tabbed because the bottom will be open.
I found a font with open loops for our dog’s name so that when I cut it out, I would not cause the inner circles to drop out, too, from the loops in certain characters (a, p, y) due to a curious force known as gravity. You can’t tell from the picture but the name Cappy is cut all the way through.
The only test cut that I made was the cut out for the bowls. I wanted to make sure they would be a good fit for the bowls before I started forging good material. I isolated the circular cut-outs, ignored everything else in the SVG in the GFUI, and zapped a piece of cardboard to make sure it would be workable. It was just slightly small so I enlarged them 1/8" so the tapered sides of the bowls would rest further into the holes.
I then set the interface to score the paw prints and cut our dog’s name, and cut out the sides and top. Afterwards, I used some gorilla tape to pull the masking up from the paw prints, leaving the rest of the mask behind. A quick blast with a spray can painted the decorative paw prints.
I am not a big fan of the look of tabbed joints so I cut the masking off the tabs, and spray painted them dark brown, too, to match the laser burnt edges. So the tacky tabs were converted into classier looking trim.
Waited for it all to dry, then peeled off the rest of the masking. Checked to make sure the fit of the tabs would be ok, applied some glue and fit it all together. Applied a coat of polyurethane, and voila – a new tray for our dog’s feed and watering bowls.