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How to create engraved wooden keyrings using Adobe Illustrator

Posted on October 17 2018

This tutorial will teach you everything you need to know about creating your own custom engraved keyrings designs using Adobe Illustrator.

1. Download our templates

To start submitting your engraved keyring designs you’ll need to download our design templates. Templates are available in various sizes ranging from 1" (25.4mm) right up to 2.5" (63.5mm).

Download our Illustrator templates >> here << and open your chosen size.

Each template comes with a working area where you will import or create your designs. Please make sure that your artwork fits INSIDE of the blue borders.

2. Understanding our layers

Opening the template, you will notice that there are 4 layers in your Layers palette.



IMPORTANT - Please don't rename existing layers or create additional layers as this will confuse our systems when processing your designs.

If you have used any effects / layer styles on any of your layers you MUST rasterize them before saving. To do this simply right click on the applicable layer and select 'Rasterize Layer Style' from the menu.

'Office Use Only' Layer This layer contains the blue borders which your design must sit inside, our logo and a brief description of the template size that you are using. This layer is locked and should not be used.

'ARTWORK' Layer This layer is where you should place the engraved elements of your artwork. Please make sure that you choose the correct template size and that your artwork fits neatly inside the blue borders. 

'Cut Area' Layer Use this layer to show us where you would like your charms to be cut. We'll use this information to create a path, which will then be used to create a cut line for our laser cutters.

‘Loop’ Layer Drag and drop the loop template onto your artwork to show us where you would like your loop to be placed. You can use the blue borders of the template when positioning your loop.

The dark red circle represents the hole that will be cut into your keyring design, the light red layer represents the area of your design that will be hidden by the keyring finding and the dotted line represents the external cut line of the loop.

3. Creating your designs

Select your 'ARTWORK' layer and draw any details that you would like engraving in black.

  • All areas to be engraved MUST be pure black. (R:0 G:0 B:0)
  • No line widths thinner than 0.25mm. Any line widths thinner than 0.25mm will not be visible on your finished charms.

4a. Creating your cut areas

Select your 'Cut Area' layer and create a red path (outline) to show us where you would like your charm cutting out.

Make the path 0.001mm in weight.

4b. Adding the keyring loop

Let us know where you would like us to attach your keyring finding by dragging and dropping the loop template from the 'Loop' Layer, into position on your design. 

You can use the blue borders of the template when positioning your loop.



The dark red circle represents the hole that will be cut into your keyring design, the light red circle represents the area of your design that will be hidden by the keyring finding and the dotted line represents the external cut line of the loop.

Please don't merge the loop template with your design as we’ll need to remove this before printing so that it's not visible on your finished design.

5. Submission checklist

Congratulations, you've finished creating your engraved keyring designs! All you have to do now is check the following before submission...

  • All engraved areas are black and are situated on your 'Engraved Areas' layer
  • All engraved lines are AT LEAST 0.25mm thick.
  • Your cut area is a 0.001mm weight, red path and is located on your 'Cut Area' layer
  • The loop layer has NOT been grouped or merged with the rest of your design.
  • All text has been converted to outlines.
  • Your template contains 1 design only. Additional designs will be sent separately.

6. Saving and submitting your designs

There are 3 different ways to save and submit your designs...

1. Submit your artwork immediately

If you have already created your designs, you can send them to us using the 'Upload Artwork' button, located on our product pages or by emailing them to ‘artwork@zapcreatives.com’.

Save all Illustrator files in .Ai format. Here’s how…

Name each of your designs appropriately so that we know which designs you are referring to. Your file names should include 1. your name, 2. design number, 3. chosen product and 4. the date that you placed your order through our website. Here’s an example…

Select all of the designs that you would like to submit, right click and choose SEND TO > COMPRESSED (ZIPPED) FOLDER.



This will create a compressed folder containing all of your designs. Rename this folder so that it contains your name and the date that you placed your order on our website. Like this…

Please add all of your designs into one folder. So, if you purchased charms, stickers and pins, for example, just pop them all in the same, compressed folder and upload it using the 'Upload Artwork' button.

2. Submit your artwork later

If you have placed your order via our website but your designs aren’t quite ready yet, that’s ok. You have up to 2 weeks to submit your artwork to us, which allows you to take advantage of any special offers that we’re running. 

To submit your designs later, save them with 1. your name, 2. design number, 3. chosen product and 4. your order number. Then email them to artwork@zapcreatives.com. 

Save all Illustrator files in .Ai format. Here’s how…

3. Placing a re-order

If you have placed an order in the past and would like to re-order those designs that’s great! We store your artwork for a maximum of 6 months, which saves you the hassle of having to resubmit your designs via email.

To place a re-order, simply place your order online, email us with your previous order number(s) and let us know that you are placing a re-order. 

You may only want to order 1 or 2 designs from your previous order(s). To do this simply quote your old file name(s) and let us know how you would like them producing and in what quantities. 

Here’s how to do it… 


Hi Zap!,

I’ve just placed an order #12345 on your website and would like to re-order the following designs from a previous order #12121. Please can I have…

10x [YOURNAME]-DESIGN1-CLEARCHARM-12121
20x [YOURNAME]-DESIGN2-WALNUTKEYRING-12121
10x [YOURNAME]-DESIGN3-ACRYLICPIN-12121

Thanks!

[YOUR NAME] 


If you have any questions about this tutorial or any other aspects of our website and manufacturing processes, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to hear from yo

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