Creating the Custom Coasters Design in Procreate
I first created the design in Procreate and exported it as a jpeg. (If you’re looking for a tutorial on how to use Procreate, I highly recommend my Procreate for Makers course!) I then opened the Lightburn software for the Thunder Laser on my MacBook and imported the jpeg file into Lightburn. After the file was imported, I was able to select the image, click “Tools” and then “Trace Image”. This is a quick way to create a vector graphic from a jpeg that can be cut in Lightburn.
Preparing to Engrave on the Custom Coasters
Using the circle tool I drew out 4″ circles. I cut these out of a scrap piece of cardboard to create a jig for my coasters. By using a cardboard jig, I am able to get the artwork and coasters perfectly aligned in the Lightburn software. This means there is less of a chance that I will mess up my coaster by having it in the wrong spot.
Once the jig is cut, remove the cardboard circles that were cut, being very careful NOT to move the outer cardboard piece as it needs to stay in the exact same spot so that the wood coasters are lined up with the designs. I then sized my artwork to 3.5″ and used the align and distribute functions to perfectly place it inside each of the circles that are already on my screen. Before cutting, I toggled off the circles so they would not cut. They are just there as a reference point. I set the artwork to engrave at 450 speed and 60 power.
A Completed Set of Custom Coasters
Once the Thunder Laser is done engraving you’ve got some beautiful coasters ready for your coffee table or to give to a friend! I just wiped the soot off of each coaster with a baby wipe when they were finished. Each coaster is unique due to the variations in the wood grain. I am even more impressed that there is no need for using a masking material.
DIY Your Own Custom Coasters
This whole job only took about twenty minutes for four coasters! I love how fast the Thunder Laser Nova 24 can get a job like this done. If you have a Thunder Laser head to your local craft store or Hobby Lobby and pickup some of these coasters for your next DIY custom coaster project! There are so many possibilities as to how you could customize them!