Making a laser etched notebook

I attended another laser etching workshop put on by Women.Design.Build and MAKEatx.  In a previous workshop we etched pint glasses and in this workshop we etched cardboard covered moleskin notebooks. Because I already have a number of notebooks for notes and drawing, I decided to etch a notebook for my sister. In preparation for the class, I drew a design using her name and scanned it into a jpg file that could be converted to black and white and loaded into the software that controls the laser.

Hand drawn design for the notebook cover.

A shelf full of laser-etched goodness at MAKEatx.

Love the mustaches on sticks and the jackalope.

A jackalope etched notebook made before the workshop.


The notebooks were placed in the laser and the cover weighted with large washers since the cover is a bit lightweight.

The laser doing its thing.


An awesome idea for a notebook cover made by one of my friends at the workshop.

A french bulldog cover, made by another friend.


My notebook, ready to send to my sister.

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Etching pint glasses with Women.Design.Build

Recently I learned of  Women.Design.Build, a local organization that encourages women to get involved in their community through design and construction activities. One way that they do this is through workshops where you can try out a new skill. Last week I attended a glass etching workshop at the MAKEatx studio. You know how we etched our pint glasses? With a giant LASER! Right up my alley, reminding me of days spent in the basement of the UT physics building working with lasers. The MAKEatx laser is much more awesome than any laser I used in the past.


Laser etched / cut designs are located all around the studio

Yep, that’s a giant laser. CO2 apparently.

Prior to etching our glasses, we had to create a small black and white graphic to etch on the glass. With Father’s Day right around the corner, I decided to make a gift for my Dad. He’s got a thing for motorcycles so I incorporated that into my design.

Placing the pint glass in the machine required a bit of calibration.


Pint glass loaded and ready to go

After the pint glass was loaded, the file from the controlling computer was opened to send the design to the laser. We closed the lid and pressed the go button and the laser whipped out our designs in no time.

The laser in action. You can see one of the motorcycle wheels.

My finished glass


There were about 12 of us in the workshop and many had to create their designs on the computers there. We had plenty of time to browse around the workshop and drink some wine. Everyone was very friendly and it was an enjoyable evening. I look forward to attending more events in the future.

Seen around the workshop:

Another etched glass – a mason jar that says classy. For drinking wine of course.

Amazing groomsmen gifts – hatchets etched with initials.


So true.



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