For as long as I can remember, I have loved doing projects with wood, especially projects that have custom shapes, like this one, this one, and many more that I haven’t shared on the blog. But, I must admit, I am not the most skilled when it comes to using a scroll saw or jig saw.  So, lots of times, I will just buy precut wooden shapes for my projects. Well, this month that all changed.  I’ve been trying out the XTool S1 Laser Cutter and I have to say, I am in love.  This machine is awesome. It can cut wooden shapes in a snap, and it’s not limited to just wood. It’s like a Cricut or Silhouette for much thicker materials and we all know how much I love those machines!  I’m so excited about all the new projects I can create.  Today, I’m going to share my first project.  It’s a sign & gift card holder in one – it’s the perfect gift for any teacher!

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)!  Read my full disclosure policy.   Any supplies used may be given to me free of charge, however, all projects and opinions are my own.




Every brand of laser cutter/software is going to have a slightly different setup process.  I’m gonna share how I set this project up using Xtool Creative Space.

After opening Creative Space, I first selected my material (which is 3mm Basswood Plywood). I placed my wood piece inside the box, set the distance, and marked the edges of the wood.

Next, I brought in my design.  This is a modified version of the Teacher Subway Art Cut File, found in my free SVG library. I’m not sharing the exact file I used, since I’m still learning the best way to make/save them. I might make it available in the future

I resized it to 10.5″ high and set the black lines to cut and the blue lines to engrave.  Then, I sent the design to the machine to cut.

The laser did all the engraving first.  Then, it went back and cut everything out.

This is what it looked like after everything had been cut/engraved.


Here are all the pieces needed to assemble this sign/gift card holder.

I started by adding some glue to the back of one of the inside pieces of the apple.  I used a paintbrush to spread to glue around and even it out.

Then, I placed that piece on the solid back piece of the apple and wiped off the excess glue.

I repeated that step with the other inside apple piece.

Next, I added some glue to the front of the inside piece.

Then, I pressed the top into place.

I moved the pieces around until all the edges matched up.

I also glued to top and bottom pieces onto the gift card holder.

To paint or not to paint?

I decided to paint the wood to give it a little bit of color.  You could, of course, skip this step, and leave the wood natural, or stain it.  I wanted the paint to be thin and see-through, so I watered down some acrylic paint and used a baby wipe to rub it over the wood.  The wood was a little rough where it had been engraved, but it still worked to use a baby wipe.

After the paint dried, I glued the leaves and stem to the top of the gift card holder.

I added some double-sided adhesive to the back of the gift card and pressed it into place on the wood.

Then, I inserted it into the top of the apple.

To finish off the sign, I added an adhesive picture hanger to the back so this cute sign can be hung on the wall.

And that’s all there was to making this project.  I love that it can double as a gift card holder and a cute decoration for a teacher’s classroom.

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