Boho Earrings Tutorial with a Glowforge
So you have a Glowforge laser and are wondering what magical things you can create for yourself or to sell? Well, the Glowforge is one of those exquisite tools that pays for itself (if you know what you're doing). And while it's quite the investment, you can pay it off quickly even with some simple designs like earrings!
I own the Glowforge Basic so my settings may vary from yours. You'll need to do a little bit of testing with your own machine to find the sweet spot, but you can use my settings as a reference point.
To help you get started, I've included a FREE SVG earrings file for you. I designed this on my iPad using Affinity Designer. These are sized to be 1.5" in diameter. I also don't like to waste material, so you get a few extra earrings within the center. Yippee!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
- 1/8" Baltic Birch Plywood
- Wood Stain (Optional)
- Earring hooks
- 3mm cotton cord
I purchased 1/8" baltic birch plywood from Ocoochhardwoods. I was very pleased with how quickly they shipped and their competitive prices. I have noticed a few of my sheets have contained "voids" which means the glue between the layers of plywood was missing in a small area. When you run into these voids with the laser, it can cause it to not cut all the way through. Or if it does cut all the way through, you'll notice a gap in the layers on the edge of your design. Unless you buy plywood with an MDF core, it's pretty common to find a few voids in plywood here and there. Also, I purchased my sheets in the 12x12 size just because that is my preference. It makes it easier to pin down in the laser bed if it doesn't take up the whole space. Overall, I'm sure I'll be purchasing from them again.
I stained both sides of my wood with Flagstone from Rustoleum. This stain can be purchased from almost anywhere (Walmart, Home Depot, Amazon, etc.) I found mine in a small container at Walmart. I wanted to make sure I liked the color before I purchased more.
**Let the stain dry for 24 hours before using it in your laser. I did not coat my wood with a sealer, but if you do you will also need to let that dry 24 hours before putting it into the laser. This is done for safety reasons. From what I've heard, the laser can heat up the chemicals and create toxic gases if they aren't properly dried before lasering. The other option would be to stain your individual earring pieces after you have cut them out.
For earring hooks, I used these. I LOVE the color selection of these hooks and the little organizer box they came in. They come with pliers to make it easy to open and close the jump rings. There were only a couple of hooks that were damaged or broken but I am very satisfied with this purchase.
I ordered my 3mm macrame cord from here. The spool is HUGE! I had no idea from the picture that I would be receiving a spool that large, but I was pleasantly surprised. Macrame cotton cord can be expensive, so I tried to find a budget friendly option for my first purchase. I did a lot of searching before I came upon this company. If I run out of this cord in my lifetime, I'd order from here again.
Let's get started!
Using my free svg file, upload the vector into your Glowforge dashboard. Pin down your wood so it lays completely flat. Adjust focus height to 0.125 inches (or the exact thickness of your chosen material). Select cut and 200 power / full speed / 1 pass / auto focus. The wood shouldn't have any char. Adjust your settings if the wood doesn't come out clean and golden.
Every machine is a little different, so test your material settings in a small discrete corner of your material before cutting out your projects.
Cut 8 to 10 pieces of macrame cord to about 6 inches each. Fold each string in half and place it over (or under) your earring and pull both ends through the loop with your fingers. Repeat for each cord on each earring.
If you want to fringe your cord, use your fingers to help unravel each end. Once unraveled, use a comb to fluff and fringe your cord. Cut to desired length. Voila!
You've got a beautiful pair of earrings, so what are you going to do? Well, you can keep them or sell them. I do both! If you do your research, you'll be able to price them accordingly. While these are a popular item, a lot of designers also sell these. AND department stores have also started selling mass produced versions as well because they are so popular.
One thing I've learned is it's important to put your own spin onto the things you sell. Make them your own and you'll stand out from the crowd!
Let's get crafting!