Hi guys! Ever since I’ve started my Pinterest account I have an awful lot of DIY ideas that are, as I like to say, pinned for later. I bet you know that category because you have been filing stuff under it too: projects you’d love to do some day but never really seem to find the time for.
One such craft I always wanted to try is pyrography. Also known as wood burning, it is the art of decorating wood and other materials with burn marks using a heated, metal tipped tool.
I’ve had the Crelando Woodburning Iron Set for almost 2 years now and it never came out of it’s box yet. Of course back then I literally begged the Fiance to get it for me, swearing I’d start using it right away. Anyone else relate?
Aaaanyway, I took a few days off from work last week so I finally had time (and the mood) to give it a go and set about doing some wood burning in a most determined fashion.
First, the tool. It’s basically a heated pen deriving from soldering pens and about as cheap and low-end as it gets with a $9.99 price tag. Comes with 14 tips and a metal safety stand. The heat is not adjustable, simply on/off and warms up in 5 min or so. Instructions say it works on cork and leather as well, although as of now I can only tell you my observations with wood.
All in all a very basic device, but good value for your money and more than enough to get a taste of the trade.
First, I took my tool on a test drive: got a piece of scrap wood and started drawing basic, black and white shapes with the various tips. Be sure to let the burner cool to room temperature before changing tips, it gets extremely hot. Like, around 550 °C (1022 °F) type of hot. Safety first!
You’ll see for yourself how different woods react differently. Soft woods will burn at lower temps, while harder woods will take a very hot pen. Start on pine, it is very easy to work with.
I’ve learnt to go slow and steady with the pen – if you go too fast, the wood won’t really burn and/or your lines will be uneven. If I were to practice more, I think I could get into the advanced shading techniques, but simple was OK for now.
If you’re not using pre-fab pieces (e.g. from the hobby store) you will probably need to prep the wood first by sanding to smooth the surface. After you’ve picked a design, size it to fit the piece you have, than trace. Burn the outlines first, and then fill in spaces.
For the back of my cutting board, I’ve lifted the pattern from the Gorgeous Coloring Book For Grown-Ups. Like many of us, I also fell in love with the intricate designs and joined the coloring-craze, and this book is among my favorites.
I’ve also made some fun festive doodles on wood slices (purchased from AliExpress) to incorporate into my holiday gift wrapping. I plan on drilling holes in them to hang.
This was an entertaining afternoon craft and I will definitely use my wood burning tool more often. Have you tried pyrography? What did you decorate with this technique?
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“Collection of hand-drawn craft elements” graphic featured in title image © freepik