Home > Digital Design, Recycled, Shellie Lewis' Art > Laser Etching Leather

Laser Etching Leather


Laser etched leather looks beautiful and it is easy to do.  I am so excited with today’s results for a book cover.  Here are some tips on how to get good results.  I had a photo album that was cheaply made and fell apart to recycle.  The leather was nice but the glue holding the plastic pages inside was really weak and the whole interior ripped out.  I saved it to re-purpose as an art book using scans of 17th Century art reproduced inside of the old printed Yale “blue books” set of Shakespeare.  This book cover will go back to Pam Batista to bind and hold printed copies of the Hamlet cosplay, public performance and social media art piece she created.  I think it will work well as an art book with accordion folded pages cut from a larger sheet and joined together for as many pages as is needed.

I took antique art work from two different pages from the Yale volume and fit them together in Photoshop for the size and shape of the cover.   Etching was done on an Epilog 30W Mini 24 at raster setting: 100% speed and 45% power because the tan suede is very thin.  I also took a safety step to prevent the book cover from slipping inside of the laser printer by taping down the edges with packing tape.  I also cheated on the digital image design, taking a 300 dpi .jpg saved from Photoshop and dropping into Corel Draw 6 which allows me etch the image without having laser etch from a vector graphic.  (Photoshop = fast.  Vector drawing = slowww.)  I am just thrilled with the results.  Here is the .jpgs of the art I etched and the source material for you to enjoy; they are cleaned up to high contrast black and white images and 300 dpi.

Hamlet book cover

Hamlet Yale ed 01 Clean

Hamlet Yale ed 02 Clean

  1. June 13, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Love! Love! Love! Love! Love!

    • June 13, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      Thank you! I have not been able to get it to her yet, but I will be really excited to see what Pam does with the cover since she makes wonderful art books. She has journals with paper she made by hand that are stunning. ☺

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