How to Engrave Sewing Scissors With a Laser

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My XTool S1 laser cutter has had some surprising uses so far in my sewing room. 

My most recent project, for example, was using the laser cutter to engrave “Mommy’s Sewing Scissors” on the sides of my sewing scissors so my daughters would stop using them to cut paper!

This project was easily done in a few minutes, and even if you have no use for engraved scissors in your sewing room, these can still be a great, personalized gift for your sewing enthusiast friends. Here’s a quick tutorial for my sewing scissors engraving project!

how to engrave scissors with a laser

Supplies Required

  1. Laser cutter: I used my XTool S1 20W, which is pretty awesome. 
  2. Sewing scissors: Engraving is easiest on a flat surface, so scissors with no angles on the blades are easiest to engrave.
  3. Cutting file: I created mine in XTool Creative Space.
  4. Painter’s tape and alcohol
  5. Air Assist is helpful, but not necessary.

When using lasers, make sure to follow safety precautions and vent appropriately!

How to Laser Engrave Scissors for Your Sewing Room

I have an XTool S1 20W diode laser and use their XTool Creative Space software to create simple designs. I thus didn’t have to worry about using other programs for this tutorial. You can, however, create designs in your favorite vector graphics program (Inkscape, Adobe Illustrator, etc.) or text within another laser design software (Lightburn, etc.)

Also, while the tutorial below is technically specific to the XTool, the process of engraving scissors can be translated to a Glowforge or any other brand of laser cutter. 

*If I had used my XTool 2W 1064nm infrared laser, I probably would have gotten a thinner, deeper engraved scissors surface. However, I’m quite happy with what my 20W laser did, so I saw no need to change!

Step 1: Prepare the Text for Engraving

prepare the text in xtool creative space

First, create the text that you want to use. Add “Text” from the left side of the screen, type your lettering, and click “Weld” under Operations. Make sure you also set the Processing type on the right of the screen to “Engrave” unless for some reason you want to score the scissors instead. 

create text for scissors

Then, measure the engravable area of the blade of your scissors, and shrink the text to fit.

I also set my Material as “Square Stainless Steel Sheet,” which used the following parameters:

  • 80% power
  • 140 mm/s speed
  • 1 pass

These parameters will change based on your laser, so you may want to test a spare metal sheet before putting your sewing scissors in the laser bed. I’ve found that this pre-set material is a pretty good starting point for any metal engraving I do. 

Step 2: Prep and Load Scissors

I cleaned the scissors with alcohol and a lint-free cloth before engraving them. 

scissors too tall to use honeycomb panel

I tried to use the honeycomb panel as a base, but my scissors were too tall and would hit the laser as it moved over them. So, I used just the regular bed of my laser. 

put the scissors in the laser bed

Now, setting up the scissors so they don’t move during engraving is very important! Also, if your scissors blades are at an angle, you must prop them up so the blade top is parallel to the bed, which provides a level surface for the laser. As you can see above, this is not the most stable setup. 

how i set my scissors to stay stable

I had to hack the setup to make things completely stable for engraving such a small area. I used painter’s tape, a coaster, and my honeycomb magnets to ensure the scissors wouldn’t shift during engraving. It wasn’t pretty, but it did the job!

Step 3: Prep the Software and Mark

click to set the distance

Next, move the laser over one portion of the scissors blade. Then, click the cross next to “Distance” to set the laser focus.  

mark as a polygon

Then, click “Start Marking” on the right to mark the area of the scissors blades you want engraved. Since the processing area wasn’t a rectangle, I chose to mark it as a polygon. 

the marked scissors shapes

Here’s what that ended up looking like above. 

click framing completed

Next, move the text into that polygon on the workspace, and click “Framing” to double-check that your laser previews the engraving over the scissors blade. Adjust, if needed. 

Last, shut the top of the laser, and make sure you’ve followed all safety protocols!

Step 4: Engrave the Scissors

set air assist to 1

I also set up Air Assist at a speed of 1. I don’t think this was super necessary, but I figured it can’t possibly hurt when engraving metal. 

process shot

Now, click “Process” at the bottom right of the XCS screen to preview what will be engraved. Finally, click “Start” at the top right. 

engraved sewing scissors that say "Mommy's sewing scissors"

And, now, check out these beautifully engraved scissors! I hope that by engraving all my sewing scissors, I can keep my daughters from using them for their paper crafts!

 

Interested in other sewing ways to use a laser cutter? Check out my recent post on cutting acrylic buttons with an XTool and using a laser to cut fabric

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