Create your own custom teacher plant gift using this tutorial for laser engraved and cut wood plant stakes. I’m pairing these stakes with potted succulents for the cutest teacher gifts this year.
This post may contain affiliate links, view my full disclosure policy.
How can you possibly say thank you to a teacher in a way that sums up everything? Teachers deserve the world and I try to give a small gift at the end of the year to express our family’s thanks and appreciation.
This year I’m using the xTool M1 to laser engrave and cut wood stakes for a teacher plant gift. I am sharing how you can make your own custom design using Canva to add your child’s name to each plant stake.
Here are the tools I’m using for this project and a little about each one.
xTool M1 laser This machine can cut and engrave with a laser as well as cut finer materials with a blade. It’s an all in one craft machine that is a huge asset in my craft room. Learn more about the xTool M1 and what it can do.
Canva is an online graphic design tool packed with features to help you create presentations, social media posts, holiday cards and more. I’m using Canva Pro for this project, for under $120 a year you upgrade to millions of free graphics, magic write capabilities, and SVG creation just to name a few.
Take a look at the Canva free vs Pro breakdown to see which would work best for you. And take advantage of the free trial to test out all the features.
There is a full step by step video in this post that walks you through the entire process, be sure to watch that and follow along to make your own plant stakes.
How to create an SVG with Canva
For this project you need a Canva Pro license.
Open a blank canvas. Here you can add graphics and text to create your design. I used a line drawing wreath and text using the fonts Moontime and Glacial Indifference.
When choosing designs, opt for those in a single solid color. These will translate best to engraving and cutting. With Canva Pro you have access to so many more graphics and fonts.
Anything with a crown in the corner is part of this plan, and these come with a commercial license. Please read the license terms in full to ensure you understand how to appropriately use these designs.
SVG stands for scalable vector graphic. It’s ideal for web graphics but also works really well for graphics that will be cut with a laser or blade. These graphics can be scaled up or down without losing clarity like a jpeg or png.
You can use this process to create designs for Cricut, Silhouette or a laser cutting machine.
Once the graphic is designed it’s time to export it. Click the share button in the top right, then click downlod. You want to choose SVG and tik transparent background. Then save the file to your computer.
Upload an SVG to xTool Creative Space
Open xTool Creative Space, or XCS, and import the SVG you just created. It will be large and in a few pieces. It’s best to select everything and group it together while you work with it.
I want to engrave the design I just created and cut a shape around it with stakes at the base to stick into a plant.
Highlight the deisgn and click offset, set it to approximately 0.3. This will add a shape around the engraving that can be cut.
To add stakes, use a shape and size it appropriately, these are about .25 x 3 inches. Overlap the stakes with the outline and unit them to create 1 piece.
xTool cut and engrave settings
We are going to score and engrave the design on these plant stakes, and cut the outer edge. To do this, duplicate the design you made and imported. Set one to engrave and one to score. Then align both so they sit on top of one another.
At this point it’s best to connect and set up the xTool M1. Turn it on, and connect it to your computer. Inside, add a few triangular prisms to lift the material off the base, then lay a piece of 3mm basswood on top. Close the lid and the camera will show you what is in the machine.
In XCS use the panel on the right to change the settings. Choose 3mm basswood as the material, indicate that the height is raised then select auto measure.
For this project I found that the built in settings for scoring, engraving and cutting basswood work really well. If you want the words to be darker, change the engrave settings to 80/140/1 140.
Why score and engrave? Scoring outlines the words and wreath shape, engraving fills them in. Doing both creates a deep and dark image that looks great.
With all these settings in place hit process and frame up the design. Then click start and let the M1 engrave and cut the piece.
Painting a wood plant stake
These basswood plant stakes look great just as they are, but to add a little color to this teacher plant gift I’m painting them with watercolor.
A few tips. Use very little water and paint, the wood will soak it up and it can run. If your engrave lines are deep enough the paint should stay within their boundaries but not always.
I’m painting the flowers and leaves, then adding lines of metallic pastels. Let this dry completely then add a few coats of a sealer like Polyacrylic to protect the wood.
You learned how to use Canva to create your own custom SVG, how to set up the SVG in xTool Creative Space and how to cut and engrave a plant stake. We made a really cute teacher plant gift using this process.
If you found this helpful, be sure to save and share it.
Thanks for visiting!