Laser engraved tile sounds so much harder than it is! Learn how to create this farmhouse style sign for your home or your mini house.

Today I am sharing a DIY from one of my very favorite craft hobbies.  It is making miniatures for my 1:12 scale dollhouse.  Yes, adults with dollhouses is a “thing”!  Lol. 

Not Into Minis? Not To Worry!

If you are not into the mini scene, don’t leave just yet.  This laser engraved tile sign can be made in any size, for any decor because YOU customize it to your decorating style and taste.  Even your kids can do this project with magical results so stay tuned.  

Think about it… a dollhouse is your own little slice of perfection.  No muddy shoe prints, no dirty laundry, no pet hair (unless you really want to capture that realistic feel). 

Tiny, Simple, Perfection

Just a perfectly decorated and detailed house, customized to your every interest and whim.  The best part is you can redecorate or remodel without the HOA, contractor or even your significant other’s permission.  

This “TINY” Stuff Is HUGE!

There are literally 1000’s of links to satisfy any curiosity  you may have about the world of miniatures.  There are clubs, societies, associations and chapters to meet, share, discuss and learn about miniatures.   Read more about this hobby at American Miniaturist, a monthly publication.  

And…It’s Everywhere

There are tons of amazing Instagram feeds and YouTube channels on the topic.  Go check out two of my IG faves, DeeDee runs momof8minis and is a master of mini design and photo staging while tapping into mom humor.  And Ella is a 13 year old artist that runs Life in a Dollhouse.   She recreated the Magnolia Bakery down to every tiny, beautiful, detail.  At Miniature Cusina on YouTube you won’t believe your eyes!  They cook real food with mini everything!  

It is an international phenomenon! The diversity in the miniatures community is absolutely amazing!  You have every ability level possible from complete novice to exquisite artisans.  

Flashback

About three years ago I decided that during my summer break (second grade teacher here) I wanted to tackle something challenging like building and wiring a dollhouse. This post contains some 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 privacy and disclosure policy here 

Well, of course  I bought a kit and built it!  I spent all summer painting, staining and installing shingles, walls, windows, shutters, porch railing, etc.  I loved it!  It wasn’t nearly as difficult as I anticipated.  I even wired it for lighting in all the rooms!

  Then school started and my little house sat, empty and untouched.  I collected a few furnishings and decor but didn’t find a style I loved.  I am not the Victorian type, I didn’t want old fashioned or extremely modern.  So empty it sat.  Then one day my daughter came over and said,  Why don’t we just put in the furniture you have and see what we think?”

Shazam!

That was the catalyst I needed!  I realized what I really, really, wanted was a mini Joanna Gaines farmhouse if you will. In real life I don’t think I can keep that much white clean enough, but in the world of minis I could!   So, down the rabbit hole I went.  Anybody else find those pesky rabbit holes?  

Many Rabbit Holes Later

Of course, I  realized, that meant all my initial painting and wallpapering was all wrong.  No problem,  I put it in, I can take it out and change it as much as I want.  Lol.  So, that is what I am in the process of doing now.  I have also discovered I love making minis!  Creating tiny, detailed, realistic, little works of art.  It is ultimately this love, and the encouragement of so many in the mini community that led me to open an Etsy shop for minis.  I named it Magnolia Minis in homage to Magnolia Market which is where a good part of my inspiration comes from.  Below is a sampling of the minis I make and sell in my Esty.

Time For Some Laser Love

So here I am today sharing a tutorial on making mini farmhouse style signs.  Like I said earlier, this project can practically be made in any size you want. Remember when I said this project was like “magic”? Well the magic comes from the Glowforge Laser Printer.   If you’d love to have this magic machine in your crafting arsenal then use my link to save yourself some serious cash!  $500 off a Pro, $250 off a Plus, or $100 off a Basic.     As long as the tile you choose fits in the bed of your laser and is under half an inch thick then you can create your own custom creation.  You are not limited to signs with this technique.  

You Don’t Have To Have ANY Design Experience

Glowforge has this amazing user interface now that makes designing projects like these farmhouse tiles a breeze!  You don’t need to know how to use design software like Inkscape or Adobe Illustrator or create an SVG. 

It also has a fantastic “trace” feature so you can literally draw a picture on paper (or your child can), lay it in the bed of the laser and the laser will scan it and engrave that picture (or handwriting) onto your project. Whether its tile, wood, leather, cork,  or marshmallows!   You can turn any simple drawing into a personal, sentimental gift that will truly be one of a kind. What grandma could resist a gift like that from their grandchild?

Here’s a tiny sample of what I am talking about.

Let’s Make Some Magic

Let’s get started.  First, you will need the tile.  It is best to stick with glossy tile at least at first because it is the easiest to remove the excess ink from the engrave.  I got mine from Home Depot.  I could not find anything close enough to link to for you through Amazon.  

The tile I started with.

You will need Sharpie pens in whatever colors you intend to use to color the engrave.  You will also need rubbing alcohol (some hand sanitizers will work if they have a high enough alcohol content) and paper towels.

The steps are as easy as watching the video below.  If you make some please post them and hashtag #kimsdiytribe so I can see your fantastic, creative projects.  

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