A colleague/friend of mine got her first solo apartment was lamenting that she was needed a bunch of household necessities, including a napkin holder. Since she hadn’t been in a while, I suggested suggested she could make her own at Nova Labs. Annoyed, she told me to make her one; I thought the best gift was one she’d regret asking for…
The first thoughts included some messy clipart faces (think Garbage Pail Kids stickers), but I quickly settled on some nice type and alliteration.
The design. Font is Avenir Next Ultra Light
Edge view of the napkin holder
The design for the napkin holder itself was whipped up in Illustrator using a simple tabbed box type design.
Production happened using the laser cutter at Nova Labs.
Cutting the first napkin holder on Mongo, Nova Labs’ 100w CO2 laser cutter.
Before pulling the parts out of the laser cutter.
Parts after a light sanding on the downdraft sanding table.
A less vulgar version was created for a neighbor who commented on Facebook that they wanted one, but would have to wait 10 years before their kids could be exposed to the original!
We have a set of IKEA drawers in our basement with all of our wrapping paper and gift bag type stuff. On the wall above it was a pegboard that we have have hung all of the scissors, tape, etc.
My wife used hooks to hold dowels for rolls of ribbon, but they didn’t extend far enough from the pegboard (given the diameter of the rolls at least) so the hooks would often fall down when you pulled on the ribbon.
I whipped up these dowel holders in Illustrator to securely hold two 3/8″ dowels far enough from the pegboard to accommodate the ribbon.
Small tabbed feet keep the holder from falling over, and small holes were included to thread zip-ties through to attach it to the wall.
They were cut from scrap lite plywood at NovaLabs on their 100w laser cutter.
Overall, it is working great! Check out a vectored PDF here: Ribbon holder.
A week and a half ago, I created a slotted together Christmas Tree decoration as a test. My older daughter saw it and asked if she could decorate it, but I couldn’t let her as I needed it for work. Given how easy it was to create, I went ahead and made her several more to color.
These were laser cut out of not-quite 1/8″ lite plywood. The Christmas Trees are 6″ tall, and the Snowflakes are 4″ tall. The flat ones were jammed into the open spaces on the sheet of wood so I didn’t waste as much material.
The items were downloaded from Shutterstock as they had several vector graphics containing multiple Christmas Trees, so I’d only need to buy one image. Same with the snowflakes. I looked for ones with simple, symmetrical designs.
If you want to make these, here are the steps (it’s really simple):
Size the tree to whatever you want in Illustrator, Inkscape, whatever…
Measure the thickness of your material.
Make a rectangle that is half the height of your tree, and where the width is the thickness of your material (in my case, 3″ x .11″).
Center align the tree and rectangle.
Duplicate the pair of items.
On one, ‘bottom align’ the tree and rectangle. On the other, ‘top align’ the items.
Use the pathfinder options to remove the rectangle from the tree, and you’re done.
At this point I’ve created a few laser-cut tabbed boxes (trading card box, boxes for custom puzzles, and another as an electronics enclosure). None of these had an attached lid, but since this particular project was a gift for the 2-year-old daughter of a colleague, I thought that was the way to go.
I took measurements for a package of crayons that was part of her birthday present, and added in the thickness of the .11″ (really, it couldn’t be a full 1/8″?) lite plywood I had. The box maker web application by Rahul at ConnectionLab has been my go-to for these, but, I found that the pieces generated for this particular box had weird corners. I tried using another box maker found at MakerCase and it worked pretty well.
The pieces were symmetrical so it made it a little easier to work with, at the expense of the center tabs having irregular measurements compared to the others.
I took steps to smooth out the top edges of the pieces, and eliminated the tabs from the lid. Pins for the hinge were added, and I created a hole for the pin to go into. The biggest problem was that I initially made the center line of the hole above the part, so the lid didn’t sit flush with the box. I modified the file slightly dropping the hole down, and recut the 2 parts. At least those 2 pieces were pretty small so it wasn’t a huge deal.
Since most little kid birthday parties we’ve been to lately don’t include opening presents, and I haven’t been back at work yet, I don’t know how it was received. Hopefully she loved her name being engraved on the lid!
It looks like this is the second post in a row with work themed projects (you just don’t see all my draft posts!) Anyway…
Last year my team gave our internal clients Christmas cards to say thank you for working with us over the year. I thought we could step it up a bit with a company-themed gift/decoration to go on their desks this December.
This is a prototype of a laser cut, slotted Christmas Tree decoration. Made of 1/8″ birch plywood, I created the design in Illustrator. The shape is intentionally simple as we are going to cut or engrave some of our graphic resources on the final pieces. My wife is advocating for red acrylic, so we’ll see what happens after we discuss at work.
Stay tuned for the final version in the next 2 weeks or so.