March 5, 2023
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If you want to see the full two part tutorial please check out my YouTube videos below! In part one we will work together to create the SVG file for the project and in part two we will execute the project with both a Cricut and with an xTool M1 hybrid laser.
Before you begin, make sure you have all the necessary materials at hand. Plus, a graphics program such as Inkscape, and either a Cricut machine or a Laser engraver. I also show in the tutorial how to use procreate to create the map. You will also want to gather the map photo. I got mine off of google maps simply by researching the name of our first date.
To begin, you will need to open up a graphics program and create the digital image for your map. In my YouTube tutorial you will see how to create the map image on both Procreate for iPad and within Inkscape. If you are new to SVG designing make sure to check out my Youtube Inkscape 101 playlist and my blogs on Inkscape. You'll start by finding and importing a map of the place you want to replicate. You'll go through with lines to create the major streets and roads and mark your location with a heart. Make sure to save your file as an SVG to upload to Cricut Design Space or your Laser Software.
If you are using a Cricut, select vinyl as your material and be sure to weed out the streets and not the other way around. We are essentially creating a stencil. After it's weeded out you will use transfer tape to move the stencil over to your wooden sign. Remove the transfer tape, and go in with your scorch marker. Go lightly with this to avoid bleeding. Remove the vinyl stencil with a weeding tool. Then pop on your heat gun - I went with the higher setting and moved constantly over the image.
For a laser machine, you can use a variety of materials including different woods, leathers, and acrylics. Follow all safety instructions for these machines and the directions since all lasers are different. For my xTool I used my 3mm basswood standard setting on triangular prisms. It took around 35 minutes to complete the project with the laser.
For Cricut, I used a small permanent vinyl heart to mark our spot and for my laser I cut a wood heart and painted it with acrylic paint. You can do anything you would like for this! I love this gift because it can be so personal. Where you met, where you got married, where got your dog! Endless possibilities! It's a great gift to give to someone you really care for.
Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter for new tutorials every week! I am also constantly adding new SVG files for you to craft with!