Here is a little behind the scenes look at how we went about developing our laser cut calendars. I had an idea about a layered, laser cut item but I didn’t know what it would be. And practically speaking, a calendar was the easiest item to create around it as it already has multiple layers. So I started with the concept of a layered calendar what would reveal a new design each month. My mom actually put the idea of a flower in bright colors into my head. We were talking about something else completely and she mentioned this bright flower. The two ideas merged into one and I got started making.
This is the page from my sketchbook and you can see the VERY rough sketch of the flower design. I made a few notes about how I was going to build it but it ended up being harder than I thought. I created the basic design in Illustrator and created a color palette using 4 pinks/oranges since 4 divides into 12 months nicely. I went head and decided what the cover would look like without really thinking about the structure. Meaning, I made it look how I thought it should before even considering what would need to be cut on each layer to create that look. This turned out to be a big help because it was in effect a guide to cutting the first 3 layers. I didn’t have to really start thinking until I got to the fourth layer or April.
I started by printing out the outline of my flower design on a sheet of paper for each month.This would be my 3D version of the calendar that I would make work before I even thought about setting up the files for the laser cutter. This guide would allow me to play around and make mistakes and really understand the structure of the calendar.
Since I knew what was going to happen to the first 3 layers, I began my system by marking the shapes that would be cut out and then using my x-acto knife to cut those shapes out.
I would continue this process for each layer. Marking the shapes that I wanted cut out,
cutting those shapes out with my trusty x-acto knife (which I’ve had since college, no lie) and so on and so forth.
Okay, so maybe it wasn’t that easy. There was a lot of flipping back and forth to consider what would happen to all the layers when I made a cut. I would decide which shapes were necessary to keep for the design and which could be cut out to allow for the new designs to come. It was a bit of a brain teaser for me since my brain actually doesn’t work that way naturally.
In the end, I am super happy with the way both calendars turned out. Whenever I create something that is more challenging than usual, it’s really exciting for me. I guess that feeling is pride. I’m not gonna lie for the sake of humility. I’m proud of myself for creating these guys because I think they’re cool. If you think they’re cool too, you can purchase them right here.