10 Laser Cutter Projects for Sewing, Quilting, and Embroidery

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I like to flitter. When I get bored and the mood strikes, I flit from craft to craft, which is part of why this site is about sewing, quilting, embroidery, and too many other things! Being a flitter-er is also why I went from being an engineer to a doctor to a writer, much to the chagrin of my parents…but that’s a story for another day. 

My latest craft obsession is my XTool laser cutter and engraver, and while I use it for everyday crafts like cutting wood and engraving tumblers, I’ve been finding more and more ways to use it with my preferred fabric crafts.

So, if you’re on the fence about laser cutting, here’s my list of surprising ways to use a laser cutter in sewing, quilting, and embroidery!

laser cutter sewing, embroidery, and quilting project ideas

Sewing, Quilting, and Embroidery Laser Cutting Applications

If you don’t yet own a laser cutter, I have the XTool S1 20W, which I love! It’s a blue diode laser, so it can’t cut certain materials like clear acrylic, but it’s less expensive than a CO2 laser. 

For hobbyists, Glowforge lasers are a close competitor of XTool, and there are many industrial brands well suited to commercial-minded crafters who want to scale a business. 

Nonetheless, here are my favorite fabric craft laser projects!

1. Laser Cut Fabric for Sewing Patterns, Quilt Blocks, and Applique

laser cut fabric applique

For embroiderers and quilters, cutting applique fabric with a laser is easy! It’s also super precise, which is why so many precut quilt fabric packs are laser-cut. 

I also laser cut embroidery blanks like patches, teardrop earrings, keychains, and bag labels before embroidering them in my hoop. I’ve even considered precutting fabric for my cutwork embroidery designs. 

Pros of cutting fabric with a laser include:

  • You cut multiple layers without shifting.
  • Edges have a cleaner cut with no fraying.
  • There’s no fabric distortion or movement since there is no physical contact with the laser. 

cutting quilt block fabric with laser

I also laser cut intricate fabric shapes for quilt blocks that would be a pain in the rear to create with scissors alone.

And, if you have a digital sewing pattern you don’t want to cut by hand, import the SVG into your laser cutting software and have the laser cut your pieces out for you. If needed, convert any PDF pattern to an SVG using Inkscape (free!) first. 

Fabrics I’ve cut include common types like quilting cotton and denim, but you can also work with fleece, rayon, knit, and even terry cloth. 

Tutorial: how to laser cut fabric

2. Cut Acrylic Sewing Buttons

buttons on honeycomb

My daughters love funky buttons on the clothes I sew for them, and laser cutting acrylic buttons is one of the fastest sewing laser crafts I’ve made!

Tutorial: how to cut acrylic sewing buttons with a laser

3. Cut and Engrave Your Own Wood Buttons

laser cut and engraved wood buttons

Wood buttons are also a blast to cut and engrave, so check out my tutorial below for the free XCS file for the above button. 

Tutorial: cutting and engraving wood buttons

4. Create a Wood Barn Quilt Block for Decor

my painted ohio star barn quilt!

My sewing room needed a little extra decor, so I cut this wood barn quilt block out of 3mm basswood plywood and painted it in the colors that matched my room. 

Tutorial: crafting a wood barn quilt block

5. Personalize and Engrave Sewing Scissors 

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

After being frustrated too many times by my girls, I took all my sewing scissors and “engraved” the saying “Mommy’s Sewing Scissors” on the sides of them. Now, there’s absolutely no mistaking which scissors they can use to cut construction paper and which they can’t!

Tutorial: how to engrave and personalize sewing scissors

6. Make Sewing and Quilting Decor

I cut this super cute sewing room sign using 3mm basswood plywood and a design I downloaded from apinspireddesigns on Creative Fabrica.

laser cut christmas ornament

I also made a personalized Christmas ornament using the same wood that will look so cute on our Christmas tree! (I can’t decide whether to paint it or not.) This design was also from Creative Fabrica’s apinspireddesigns

7. Cut Quilt Templates and Rulers

acrylic templates
I obviously didn’t cut these myself, but creating templates and rulers is easy with a laser cutter!

Have a quilt block with a wonky-shaped piece? Draw the piece, convert it to an SVG file, and cut an acrylic template of it.

You can also make your own perfectly sized rulers and add engraved lines at the dimensions that YOU want!

Lastly, if you use free-motion quilting templates—for ruler quilting with your machine or stenciling stitching lines on your quilt—you can also create these with lasers!

8. Craft Custom Organizers

sewing organizer box

I needed something small to keep some sewing tools organized near my machine. Hence, this great pencil organizer from Elazer Dizayn that I also made with thin plywood. 

I’m also thinking of cutting a small spool holder or pegboard to further organize some supplies on the side of a shelf. 

9. Engrave Fabric

I haven’t yet tried engraving fabric, but I plan to use my laser cutter to engrave denim and t-shirts before moving on to towels and other blanks. I just need to dream up the project designs first!

Also, while I’ve been known to embroider quilt labels, craft quilt labels with my Cricut, or even sublimate them, another option is to engrave fabric to create a quilt label. While varying the power and speed of the laser can give different shades of coloring, one downfall of this method is all of the engraving will be the same color. 

10. Laser Cut Sewing Tools

Crafting wooden sewing tools like a clapper, tailor’s board, or point turner is another awesome use idea for a diode laser. 

 

Well, that’s all I’ve done so far. Any other ideas for using a laser cutter for fabric crafts? Let me know!

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