As we move towards minimalism, I was looking for a small Mother's Day gift that does not clutter or require dusting and one that would last a log time.  While most use wood to make flower markers, 3mm wood will only last a season.  Out comes the acrylic! These are large enough to use in the garden but could also be used in a small pot for indoors as well.  the best thing about acrylic.... it will last outside for up to 3 years without yellowing, fading or breaking. I have used engrave flowers directly from XCS but if your mother would rather have flowers other than roses, sunflowers or Impatiens I show you how to easily modify to the flower or plant of your choosing.
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Step 1: Build Plant Stake in XCS
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  1. Open a new project in XCS (XTool Creative Space).
  2. From the left side menu select Insert→rectangle.
  3. Set the size of the rectangle to 1"w x 6"h.
  4. From the left side menu select Insert→circle.
  5. Set the size of the circle to 2.5" x 2.5".
  6. Place the bottom of the circle on top of the rectangle, select both and, from the top menu select Align → Horizontal align center.
  7. From the top menu, keeping both the rectangle and circle objects selected and making sure the top of the rectangle overlaps with the bottom of the circle, select Combine → unite.  The circle and rectangle should be one single object.
  8. From the left side menu select Shape → Basic shape → triangle.
  9. Set the size of the triangle to 1w" x 1h".
  10. Select the triangle and set the rotation to 180°.
  11. Move the triangle to the bottom of the rectangle circle object you created above and, selecting both, select Align → Horizontal align center.
  12. Move the rectangle up a tin bit so that it overlaps the bottom of the rectangle and select both shapes.
  13. From the top menu, with both shapes selected, select Combine → unite
  14. You should now have a single shape that looks like a plant stake.
  15. Select your newly created plant stake shape to Cut in the object setting dialog box on the left side of your screen.
  16. Set your object settings to 100/3/3 (Power/Speed/Pass)
Step 2: Decorate Plant Stake
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  1. From the left menu select Shape → plant and choose the flower or plant you wish to use. For this tutorial I chose the sunflower (column 4, row 22), the rose (column 2, row 13) and the Impatiens (column 2, row 20).
  2. Set the flower size to 2"w x 2"h
  3. Move the sunflower to the center of the circular part of you plant stake shape, select both objects and select Align → Horizontal align center.
  4. From the left side menu select Text
  5. Use the text settings box on the left side with the following settings:

text: Sunflowers

Size(pt): 24

Typeface: Amita

Style: bold

Leading: 0

Align: center

  1. With the text selected, move it to the top of your created plant stake and center it by selecting both the plant stake shape and the text and select Align → Horizontal align center.
  2. Select the text again and inside your text box there is a little handle to curve your text along a circular path. pull this down to curve your text into a circular arch.
  3. Deselect the plant stake shape and move the text into the circle part of your plant stake.
  4. Select both the flower shape and the text to Engrave with settings of 60/100/1 (Power/Speed/Pass)
Step 3: Cut & Engrave Acrylic
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  1. Place your sheet of acrylic on your XTool (I use the D!Pro 20w) and line up the top left edges with your laser crosshair.
  2. Check that it is framed correctly and the laser head is the correct space from the material and select Process to send your newly created plant stake to the XTool.
  3. Once it is processed, push the Start button.
Step 4: Modifications
  • Not all colors of acrylic use the same settings.  I found that I needed 4 passes to cut out the hot pink color but only 3 for the yellow and purple.
  • I just notice the strawberry shape (column 4, row 16) and will make another out of red with strawberries.  Combine a stake with a few small plants or packet of seeds to make a wonderful, sweet Mother's Day gift… one that will never need dusting nor clutter up the shelves of your house!! 
  • You can modify to a smaller shape and add books, or any other shape and it makes a great bookmark or letter opener.
Design Files
Flower Plant Spikes.xcs
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