Creating Handmade Pins Using the Glowforge

It's been about a month since our Glowforge arrived. We had some hiccups at first, but we got a warranty replacement and it's been ~*knock on wood*~ smooth sailing ever since.
  
I haven't used it for any large-scale projects yet, but the smaller projects I've been working on have been SO much fun.
  
If you've been following along on my Instagram, you'll probably already know that I've been working on a range of hand painted pins. I never - let me repeat that for emphasis - NEVER thought I could hand paint something so small, but it has been a surprisingly fun process.
   
sam's pins shown on a denim jacket pocket
   
How it works is pretty simple: I draw the design on my iPad, usually in Procreate (best $9.99 app I've ever purchased, by the way).
    
sam's ipad with the lucky cat drawing
 
Once I have the line art, I upload it to my laptop (usually through Google Photos since I don't have a Mac) and then import it into the Glowforge software.
 
Right now they are beta testing the Pro subscription, which has a handy little "outline" tool that draws a cut-line around your design so you don't necessarily have to turn your art into an SVG file. The Glowforge can engrave based on JPGs & PNGs, and the only time it absolutely needs an SVG is if you want the entire design cut out. For pins, I usually use a PNG for the design and let the software do the cut-line for me.
  
I size my drawing to a little over 1 inch in size (some variations depending on the artwork) and then arrange however many I want to cut on my work area.
  
showing glowforge design software with ten lucky cats laid out to be cut
Once it is laid out to my satisfaction (with the most minimal waste possible - very similar to cutting stickers on the Silhouette!) I send it to the machine and let it work away at engraving and cutting out the pins.  
  
  
After they've been cut, I hand paint each pin, seal it with UV resin under a nail lamp, and apply a clutch back pin using e6000 adhesive.
  
Lucky cat pins in process of being painted     lucky cat pins in the UV lamp for curing the resin
  
After that, I put the pins on one of my pin cards for easy packaging and it's ready to be sold!
  
What designs do you want to see next??
  
xx Sam
 
 

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