4 Tips and Tricks For Faux Enamel Pins With The Xtool Laserbox

Digital Fabrication Laser Cutting Maker News

I got really excited when I found out we were partnering with xTool, to show off their Laserbox Pro. It’s a very nice desktop laser, and you know how much I love lasers, so I was pretty pumped. I’ve also had a project in mind I’ve wanted to do for quite some time; faux enamel pins.

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The first time I saw these was when Mandy Stultz gave me this cool looking pin at a makerfaire that was part of the happy bunny army. I asked her how she got the nice shiny tough finish on it and she just explained it was simply nail polish.

Now that I had a laser and an idea to pursue, I needed a visual idea and frankly, I just can’t get enough of Among Us. This game is spreading like wildfire. The simple “crewmates” lend themselves perfectly to this style.

In exploring this idea, I came up with a few tips, which I’ll outline below. for the rest, watch the video!

1- deep outlines

When you engrave your outlines, go deep. The deep trough will help separate the shapes, making it easier to achieve the effect. If you’ve got a steadier hand than me, this tip may not really help you that much. A deep outline can be super helpful if you do a solid black coat first. See point 3 for more info on that.

2 – simple shapes

The more complex your design, the more of a pain painting it will be and the more confusing it will end up visually. Those happy bunnies work so well because they’re extremely simple.

3 – plan ahead with your blacks

If you really want black outlines, plan ahead. If you intend on putting a clearcoat over everything, don’t use a sharpie. The nail polish dissolves the sharpie causing it to bleed and smear. Another approach is to simply do a layer of black nail polish over everything first. If you did nice deep outlines, you’ll still see your design perfectly and can add your colors after it dries.


4 – go small

Hey, you can go big if you want, but I found it was easier to get a perfect covering if I had small designs.

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I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity I see in makers. My favorite thing in the world is sharing a maker's story. find me at CalebKraft.com

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