Tips & Tricks: An Easy Guide to Designing a Custom Wooden Nickel

This quick and easy guide will walk you through how to get the best results from your custom wooden nickel designs. We’ve got the tools, some technical insights, and hopefully only a few minute read until your on your own. So let’s get to it!

Usable Space

The wooden nickels produced at Lumbercoin have a round edge to them, leaving a 36 millimeter diameter of engrave able space (a hair less than a 1.5 inch circle, or half dollar). Setting your canvas or image size to 1.5 inches to 2 inches (approx. 144px-192px) will engrave the most accurately as the content will be true to size.


A bold font with a little extra letter spacing pairs well with laser engraved wood. Who am I kidding… cursive looks fantastic too. Just be sure to make it large enough to be legible! A font size between 9pt and 20pt is a perfect range to stick to.


Black and white, crisp edges, and not too crowded. Maybe throw a little gray in there for some shading. Either way here at Lumbercoin we specialize in laser engraved wooden nickels and therefore cannot reproduce anything in color. We can always help desaturate logos & designs if you already have them available.


You may have jumped ship and started designing… or you’re still here wondering how any of this is even possible.

Super easy method: Go to There’s no affiliation here, it’s just… super easy. Anyways, once on Canva (no need to login or create an account), you can browse hundreds of free design templates or start from scratch. Only takes a minute to figure out the available editing tools as well.

Semi-pro tip: search for “circle label” or “circle logo” under templates for inspiration.

Obviously less easy method: Use GIMP. This is a free downloadable software that rivals Adobe’s Photoshop (also another good option, just a matter of funding it). I won’t go into detail about how to use GIMP, there are plenty of great tutorials available online already, but we do endorse the program as an option for designers looking to get the most out of a comprehensive image editor.

File Type

When saving your graphics, either ‘save as’ or ‘export as’ a .PNG file (by default Canva will do this). It’s not crucial, we’re able to convert just about any file type to something usable, but PNG files transfer the best image quality for our intents / purposes. Resolution isn’t crucial either, somewhere between 300-600 dpi is great, but basically if it looks clear on the screen it will also print clear. Same goes for if it’s grainy / pixelated as well so be sure to double check your final images.

Send It

Once your designs pass the double check, head to the “Design your Own” page on Lumbercoin and upload the Obverse and/or Reverse images desired. After that, we’ll engrave your designs on a couple of wooden nickels to see how they’ll come out, and send proofs within a day or two for your verification of their awesomeness. Once the proof is verified, your order will be ready to ship within 3-5 business days.


Hopefully all of the above is / was a breeze and turns up some really creative work. Definitely feel free to reach out for any help along the way.

Email this guy: [email protected]
Or this guy: [email protected]
Or message us on Facebook @ Lumbercoin

Thank you for choosing Lumbercoin to design your custom wooden nickels!