5 Things You Could Make (and sell) with a Glowforge laser cutter

When I first discovered the Glowforge a few months ago, I knew it was something special. Since I got it back in December, I’ve probably spent over 100 hours cutting, engraving, and building things, from gifts to crafts to weird utilitarian gadgets. Here are five things that are incredibly easy to make and sell in an online shop like Etsy.

1. “Enamel” Pins

A lot my illustrations are pretty line-based. I figured with the Glowforge, I could engrave them into enamel pins for friends to wear! I used the pizzas and the paper planes from this illustration I did for Facebook, cast them in enamel using this kit, and added pin backs so I could stick ’em on my jean jacket proudly. So many people have purchased them from my Etsy shop – they’re almost sold out!

2. Hotel Keytags

Have you noticed that hotel keytags are back? Hotels aren’t technically using them, they’re more of a beloved product among savvy brands who want to give a keepsake to fans. However, the minimums are high, they’re plastic (which we all know will never ever break down), and you don’t have a lot of flexibility in the design once the die is created. With a laser cutter like the Glowforge, you can make as many as you want, with as many different configurations as you want, and provide a really neat alternative to this trend.

3. Fine Art Inlays

You might remember from the Glowforge’s kickoff video that their machine is accurate to the width of a human hair (holy cow). You can basically take advantage of this by creating highly detailed inlay pieces that would’ve never been possible with a scroll saw. For this, I used Maple and Cherry wood to provide a really lovely and subtle contrast – and the best part is, since I had to cut this pattern twice, I ended up with two inlay projects!

4. Utilitarian Things like Ring Sizers

I came about this one in a funny way – I basically wanted to use the acrylic to make really cute little laser cut rings, but  realized I didn’t know what sizes my fingers were. I decided to create my own ring sizing guide, and I’ve been using it ever since! You could create three-dimensional pencil holders, spoon rests, and so on.

5. Acrylic Cocktail Stirrers

I think I saved the best for last! One thing I had a lot of fun doing was developing custom cocktail stirrers for the city of Atlanta – do you recognize the Coke bottle, the MARTA train, and the peach/peach tree? As long as the strokes are thick enough (the leaf snapped off in the first few iterations of this), you could basically make a cocktail stirrer set for anything. Hosting a murder mystery, a bachelorette party, or a family reunion? The Glowforge cuts acrylic like a champ, and people love these!

Think you’re ready to take the plunge? Visit the Glowforge website to learn more!

Here’s my referral link – you don’t need to use it to buy one, but using a referral link will give you the best discount out there for a Glowforge.

Full disclosure: This is not a paid post – I genuinely really love this machine and these are all things I’ve had fun creating on my own. However, there are affiliate links in case you decide to buy your own!

Sarah Lawrence

View Comments

  • Hey Sarah!

    Thanks for the awesome post! I stumbled on it googling how to make money with a Glowforge so it was perfect. :) I'm looking forward to exploring your website and resources some more. I was wondering what model of the Glowforge you have?

    I'm an illustrator and photographer in Michigan currently working for a non-profit transitioning into freelance work.

  • The best one to my thinking is the Pro of which I own, it’s a spectacular piece of equipment and very easy to use. As the Pro has a pass through, you can do larger pieces, a great way to go!

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Sarah Lawrence

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