My mom likes to throw design challenges to me. Now that I have a Glowforge laser cutter, it makes them even more fun.

On October 13th, I got my first laser cutter challenge from her. A coworker at her elementary school had some décor with three bats that she thought would be fun to have at home. Along with the photo was a pun, “I wood love one”. Challenge accepted.

The first step was quickly tracing one of the bats in Adobe Illustrator. I also needed to find some nice lettering to go with it. I don’t like my laser cut projects to look like they have been laser cut. I wanted the “Happy Halloween” to look like plastic lettering coming out of a wood block.

Adobe Illustrator: Bat cutouts and Happy Halloween lettering

I wanted a solid block for the base, but didn’t have any big pieces on hand, but I had a few feet of leftover 2×4. The actual size of a 2×4 is 1 1/2″ by 3 1/2″. The plan was to glue two pieces together, giving me a block that is about 3″ deep and 3 1/2″ tall. Before gluing the pieces together, I engraved “Happy Halloween” into the base…a separate set of letters would be painted white and tapped into place.

Engraved 2×4

The remaining steps:

Glue the 2x4s together to make a sturdy base block, laser cut three bats, find some strong wire (this ended up being upcycled metal hangers in a closet) that was cut to three different lengths, and paint it all black.

I cut out a separate set of “Happy Halloween” lettering and spray painted them white.

Once everything was dry, I drilled some holes in the base block and in the bottoms of each bat and assembled it all.

I think I missed a big opportunity – the bats should be flying out of a bowl of soup…much more relevant to 2020.

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