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Custom Wood Engraving using AI images for Christmas gifts

Here at Self-Inking Stamps Ltd custom wood engraving is a growing and morphing thing. Personalised wooden items are such a terrific item to give or receive. From little trinkets to large slabs of wood. Highly finished and beautifully sanded fine woodwork through to live edge rough sawn slabs of timber. All are laser engravable.

Wood is such a useful product. Building houses, custom made kitchens, furniture, kids toys and even a pencil. All of those are in some way able to be laser engraved. Obviously, size of the item is a definite restriction. No, we can’t fit a house in the machine! But parts of it we can. Kitchen doors and draw fronts can fit. Pieces of furniture and household decorations.

midjourney ai art generator

Wooden plaques make custom wood engraving and personalising wood very easy.

We have made custom wood engraving plaques for all sorts of items from hot tub spas, rocking horses, artisan spirit and wine bottle cases, knives, door handles for buildings and some very prestigious trophies. The action of laser engraving wood is to burn wood. By focusing a laser beam on the surface of the wood this intensifies the energy at that spot for the image that is being created.

By varying the speed at which the Laser passes over the timber, the power being applied and lastly the height off the timber these three things create infinitely different results on the surface of the timber. Full Power and extremely slow can cut right through the wood. This is perfect for plywood Laser cutting. Or MDF Laser cutting.

Increasing the speed can vary the depth of penetration of Laser Engraving into the wood.

While altering the height of focus can soften an Image sort of fuzzy out of focus. Fine details are not as crisp. More importantly defocusing can add extra colour to the burn. Going slow and defocusing can achieve some nice wood laser engraving images. That go slow approach for terrific laser engravings on wood however costs the most as this adds to the laser run time.

Trending now is the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) to create images. There are equally as many opinions on this topic as its ability to create images. So, we wondered what is all the fuss about? Are these images relevant to laser graving? Can an image created via AI be engraved on wood and have an appealing result?

For people who are not artists but who can describe in words something well I can see this medium as being useful. As a complete beginner at this sort of image creation it was a bit frustrating at the start. But with practice refining of wordage and understanding what a description gets interpreted as then progress can be made. Like any new software programme, the steep learning curve is daunting at the beginning and once mastered is useful.

I produced terrific custom wood engraving results…

For these below images I wanted to laser engrave into machine gauged pine. I used the online AI generator Midjourney, and requested “a well-muscled polled Charolais bull“. Find out more about AI Art Generator here https://www.midjourneyai.ai/

custom wood engraving

Okay this programme is not used to the animal requested and gave results completely different. However, bovine but not what was requested. Over time and as the programme learns once people are requesting this sort of specific image type it will get better.

A couple of the bovine images were interesting in look, so I engraved them to see what would happen.

One of them is just stunning in the effect in the wood. Personally, I hate the image. Strong words there. Okay dislike it. But the effect!!! Fantastic.

The depth of the Engraving and 3D effect is just outstanding. Everyone that sees it just goes wow. Yes, there were some special techniques of the Laser software applied which enhanced the effect.

Another result was of a wolf. There was some variation here. The wolf I selected came out well on the pine timber.

Another was a woman on a throne flanked by wolves. However, this one had some weird distortions and the nose of one of the wolves is not defined. A bit of fine tuning and I produced a good result.

Note how this very dark and detailed image does not engrave with a clear image in wood.

What about a dragon? Okay so that is a bit trickier.

So, my Midjourney.ai online app generated many designs and then the selection of 4 below images caught my attention for custom wood engraving.

custom wood engraving

The top right one had the right attributes for a good wood engraving. Not too much shading. good definition on the scales. Good open areas to contrast the wood versus the engraved portions. This one was enhanced further via another online service for enhancing for wood engraving and we got a terrific result again.

The result we got is another attention catcher.

So how about something for the girls. A horse! Okay this one was interesting. I tried getting some far-out merge type of thing these AI art image programmes are all the rage about. A beach with a wave with horses leaping out of the waves. Nope that failed dreadfully. Warped horses! Some missing an ear on one side. Weird legs. Yikes. And then one version without a horse at all. What!

Oh, hang on, that image could be used for engraving well. So, I played around with a bit of dodge and burn. Added some more dark area below and hey presto an AI generated image with modification and some text, and you have a great coaster!

Great for Christmas and birthday presents for the family and friends.

custom wood engraving

In these three images you can see the details of the wave being manipulated to get a bit more detail in the wave and foam. Plus, once you have an image you can add text or other images. Basically, the choices are endless. Great for art on the wall or like these coasters for your table. Yes, this is not timber, but you can see how this AI generation can get the creative juices flowing.

Back to a horse for custom wood engraving.

The trusty ImagR to the rescue again and hey presto a great image to engrave. And a great result of a horse engraved on Radiata pine wood.

custom wood engraving

While some details are distorted. For some the horse is right off balance. One option might work.

How about something cute? Custom wood engraving for baby elephants.

Yikes that was frightening. Baby elephants standing alongside each other with bulgy eyes and their trunk was one. Yep, joined at the trunk!!! 


Try again.

custom wood engraving

This time much better result and the below top left was one I chose this time.

Go to the trusty conversion site again and get a print file. But this time not quite as successful. Some detail was lost and showed up when engraving on wood. Yes, wood is a tricky medium and you can lose detail easily.

Those little trunks are still cute. As you can see the lower part of the engraving is terrific. But the top fades out into the background. Choosing a good image is imperative when engraving. Even more so with wood. The Images you see being sold on the internet are the best ones they have produced. And have had repeated testing to get just the terrific results shown. You don’t see the scrap bin of fails. There will be fails. You must be bored to tears by now so I will quit.

The question raised was can AI be used to generate images for wood engraving?


For non-artists it is a great assistant. Not every image is suitable. Some modification is often needed for the best results. Images can be added to for that personalization gift for your special person.

Is custom wood engraving on wood quick.

No. Definitely not.

Some of these images are on 250 or 300mm wide blocks of wood offcuts and can take over an hour to engrave. Plus, a considerable amount of time for image preparation. Lots of fun but time consuming.

What would you like to engrave on wood?

Have questions? Contact our team.

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