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How to Engrave with your Glowforge

Every crafter has her favorite tool. It might be a pair of knitting needles. It might be a crochet hook. It might be a sewing machine. In my case, my favorite tool changes from day to day based on what I’m creating. Lately, I’ve been crushing hard for my Glowforge.  If you’re unfamiliar with this powerhouse machine, you can read all about it. The Glowforge allows you to do some heavy duty crafting like cutting through wood, acrylic…and it even does some stellar engraving…which brings us to the reason for this post. Engraving is cool and that’s all there is too it. The only problem with engraving is deciding what the heck to engrave, right? Engraving with your Glowforge opens up an entire world of personalization and gift giving options. If you’re anything like me, engraving with the Glowforge means you’ll never buy another personalized gift again. You’ll make it.

Right now, I’m about to tour you through a series of life-changing engraving projects that will forever alter the way you wander the aisles of IKEA. Every single engraved project in this post is a product I purchased from IKEA! See – the awesome thing about IKEA is that most all their items are packed flat…which means most of their items can be engraved in the Glowforge before being assembled! Genius, right?!

Before we dive into all the awesome items I engraved with my Glowforge – let’s talk briefly about how the heck you do it. You see, the easiest materials to engrave in your Glowforge  are their Proograde materials.   Proofgrade materials have been pre-calibrated to the machine so you don’t have to tinker with the settings. When you work with other  – non-Proograde materials (i.e. stuff from IKEA), there’s a little bit of trial and error that has to happen. Don’t be afraid! I’m about to show you how it’s done.

  • You’ll need to remove the crumb tray from your Glowforge and place it on a flat surface.  Then follow the guide to create your own “crumb tray” using boards as a base
  • I’ve only used this technique for engraving! Cutting through non-Proofgrade materials requires a different technique.
  • TIP: Purchase duplicates of any non-Proofgrade materials that you’d like to engrave. This way, you can test the settings on one of the materials until you have it just right. Then you can use the duplicate for your final project.

Now – let’s take a look at some of the projects I was able to create using IKEA products in my Glowforge!