A few months ago I saw what I thought were very funny 2020 toilet paper themed Christmas ornaments. It turns out this was only the first of dozens of such designs I would see in the time since. Naturally, they all revolved around the train wreck that 2020 has been for many of us. In general, however, I prefer to see the brighter side of things. So I got to thinking that maybe I could do another take on this. Because if there is one thing 2020 has emphasized, it is that family and home are the basic units of society.
So I sketched out an ornament design that featured a house with some simple characters representing our family, including our two pups and flock of chickens.
But why stop there? What if I made one for all of the families on my and my husband’s side of the family? And what if they were customized to represent their families? And at that point I realized that there was no way I was getting this done unless I had something to cut this all out and carve it for me.
So I set up a customizable file using Easel for my X-Carve CNC. My goal here was a sort of Scandinavian handmade look, but with the ease of having a machine do all of the hard work.
The house ornament carve file is available on the Inventables website HERE so you can make your own. And for your entire family if you like, too.
The Easel file features the house design with characters prefit for the space. So whatever your family looks like you can represent that within the graphic. That said, I didn’t do a cat. Sorry cat lovers, you are on your own here. To set up your design simply drag the characters you would like into the house design. Don’t forget to type in your family name. Yep, it’s that simple.
This project does not use a lot of supplies, but I will link those I did use here.
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The file is set to carve on a thin sheet of 12×12 plywood, though that can be changed to whatever you like, of course. I found that the best bit for this is an engraving bit. The tip is small enough to etch the detail needed to go this small, but sturdy enough not to break.
You can, of course, enlarge the file and do a deeper carve with a bit of your choice. The nice thing is that the file offers a lot of flexibility of design. If the house ornament isn’t your thing, make it a sign or something. I was able to carve a dozen of these in a couple of hours, making this a super simple project for those last minute gift ideas.
In order to give them that homemade look I was going for I went through and burned them all with a woodburning pen afterward. You can, of course, design them in whatever way you like. I finished them off with ribbon and attached them to gift bags because it turns out that, bonus, they make great tags, too!
This project and lots more are available on the Inventables website. A big thank you to Inventables for providing a great community and lots of free carve ideas to make it easy to get started with CNC carving.