Pyrography & Wood Burning Tool Review

pyrography title image

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.

woodburning tool set
The 16 Pcs Crelando Woodburning Iron Set from Lidl

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.

wood burning back of cutting board

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.

festive wood slices

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?

Love,

Fruzsi

 *Disclaimer: I like and use the products mentioned in posts on My Chest of Wonders. What I write about such items represent my genuine and unbiased opinion, I am not being compensated in any way through sponsorship or gifts.*

“Collection of hand-drawn craft elements” graphic featured in title image © freepik

Bleached Pine Cones

bleached pine cones

Is obsession with pine cones a medical condition? Because it should be illustrated with me. But really, they come in all shapes and sizes, each lovelier than the other. I collect every type I can get my hands on: tiny to big, round, cylindrical, from the Mediterranean all the way up to the Carpathian forests.

Around this time every year I can’t help myself and bring a few more home, even though I have the stocks from last year, the year before that, and probably even older ones neatly packed away to be used for some great DIY.

These beauties are perfect decor all year, but their peak season is the holidays. I already did spray painted pinecones, glitter pinecones, pine cone garlands, pine cone wreaths and used them to up my gift wrapping. They are a Christmas staple offering endless possibilities. Just have a look at the zillion ideas popping up in a Pinterest search!

This year, I tried bleaching to change the look up a little, and I think they turned out very pretty. Bleaching pine cones is an easy and inexpensive craft project, all you need is a bucket, the cheapest bleach you can find, a plate and some patience.

bleached pine cones

To achieve this effect, put pine cones in the bucket and pour the bleach over them. They should be completely submerged. You’ll notice how they tend to float, and that is where the plate comes in handy: place it on top of the cones to force them under the liquid. The cones will eventually close as they absorb the bleach, but no worries!

And now we wait.

At this point I admit I thought it’s not going to work. My cones were sitting in the bleach for the required 24 hours and they were still very much their original colour. After another day with no change whatsoever, I was about to give up and throw the whole thing out. But when I poured the bleach (thus exposing the pine cones to air), the magic happened: they started losing colour. So just have a little faith! 🙂

After removing from the bleach, place the cones on paper towels or newspaper and let them dry completely. They will open up again nicely. And there you have your bleached pine cones! Use them to make ornaments, place cards, display under a glass cloche or put together a cluster for a charming door hanger.

bleached pine cones

Are you obsessing over pine cones as well? What do you do with yours? New ideas are welcome in the comments below!

Love,

Fruzsi

Knotted Macrame Lantern

 knotted macrame lantern title image

Guys, I know it’s been some time since I last posted a craft project, summer has been more about food & drinks for me this year. But since outdoor soirees are far from over and adding new DIY pieces to your decor is always fun, today I’m going to show you how to make fishnet style knotted macrame lanterns!

I’ve been eying these nautical inspired pieces for a while, but always found something more important to do. I guess most of you understand the phrase „pinned for later” all too well. 🙂 The other day though, arriving home sweaty and exhausted, I was in need of an instant distraction and decided to instead of procrastinating, just go for it. Grabbed a glass of rosé, a spool of twine and a jar, and took it to the patio.

Well, not just any jar. I have this really old one from my 90-year-old granny that’s been filled with the most delicious jams every year for decades, but got out of rotation because it has no proper lid. I absolutely love the color of antique glassware! Did you know those stunning shades of bluish to greenish aqua are actually the result of iron impurities in the sand used for making glass? They are considered lower grade as opposed to their boring unstained siblings. Total beach vibes though!

I’m pretty OCD about candles too (aren’t we all?), and there’s never too many lanterns and candle holders in my home. So pour yourself a glass of your poison and join me crafting!

What you’ll need:

  • empty jars in whatever size you’d like
  • jute twine
  • scissors
  • ruler (if you don’t trust your visual estimate)

tools for knotted macrame lantern

Instructions:

Turn your jar upside down and measure twine around it (from top, to bottom, to top). Multiply this length by 10 if you want to hang your lantern, or by 5 if you don’t. Cut 8 pieces of twine at this length.

measuring twine around jar
Image source: fix.com

 

 

Divide twine into 2 bunches of 4, cross them at the center and tie a lanyard knot. Here’s how (Thanks, Martha!):

lanyard knot template

Measure the diameter of the bottom of your jar, divide it in half. Tie 2 adjacent strands together with an overhand knot at this distance all the way around (totaling 8 knots). This makes the bottom part of your net.

Continue tying the strings with this method until the net is enough to cover your jar. You don’t have to use the same distance as for the bottom, make net as dense as you prefer but keep knot distances consistent throughout.

making fishnet with overhand knots
Image source: fix.com

Fill jar with sand, pebbles or shells and add a candle or LED tea lights to be extra safe. If you planned to hang the lantern, tie to a branch with the remaining length of twine, careful to never let the flame come in contact with the twine.

knotted macrame jar lantern with candle

And you are ready! If you need further visual guidance, you can check the video tutorial over at Martha Stewart. Invite family and friends over, and enjoy chats and good eats illuminated by your new light fixtures!

Fruzsi

DIY Gold Rimmed Marble Tray

diy-gold-rimmed-marble-tray-title

Is it just me or does anyone else have stuff lying around you know you want to use for some project, just don’t know what exactly the project will be yet? I have boxes of such „craft supplies” waiting to be figured out. Well, one item is off that list!

Because it weren’t just pebbles that I brought home from Croatia this spring. No, I had to put the Fiance’s nerves to further testing, as on a pleasant walk along the coast we found a pile of construction waste. Ugly as it looked on the otherwise pristine shore, something caught my eye: chunks of marble slabs. Such beauties I knew right then and there I needed to take, bearing in mind how big the marble trend is in home decor right now. There came of course the rolling of eyes and the knitting of brows, but the salvaged wedges were resting in our shed since (Love you Hun!).

I had some kind of tray in mind with handles, but then the wise men in my life reminded me that drilling and polishing marble is not that simple. Special tools are needed that are not what you’d call cheap, and even with the right equipment there is a risk of the marble breaking due to our lack of experience working with it. So, I filed this affair under „maybe some other time”.

But then I came across a post by Lauren Conrad and it got me going again. Inspired by her gilded edge trays, I transformed one of my slabs into a hors d’oeuvre plate and I love how it turned out! Also, I realized that instead of drilling, I could just glue on some cabinet pulls to make my life easier.

Now I’m aware not all of you may find piles of marble waiting to be picked up, but if you like this project, you can buy marble tiles in hardware stores or you can always go to a stonemason’s yard and ask if they sell scraps. There’s even a chance to get them for free, you never know!

What you’ll need:

  • gold acrylic paint and paintbrush (acrilic paint is water-based, non toxic and becomes water-resistant when dry)
  • self-adhesive floor protector furniture leg pads
  • cabinet pulls (mine are Ikea ATTEST handles that I spray-painted gold)
  • 2-part Epoxy (resin) glue

Instructions:

Paint the edge of the slab, let it dry completely.

diy-gold-rimmed-marble-tray-paint

diy-gold-rimmed-marble-tray-side

If you want nice, clean lines use painter’s tape, but a little excess paint makes it look all the more rustic.

diy-gold-rimmed-marble-tray-edge

To make sure your tray does not scratch surfaces, stick on the furniture pads.

diy-gold-rimmed-marble-tray-pads

Marble should be cleaned before applying glue (acetone is best to remove dirt or oily substances from the surface). Measure and mark where you want your handles to go, follow the instructions on the glue, and stick them on. Clean excess wet glue as soon as possible. Clamp or place a heavy object over it to help with the bonding process.

diy-gold-rimmed-marble-tray-handle

After the necessary dry-time, you’re all set! Note that the tray will be hand wash only.

Now you have a new piece of serve-ware to help you prep for your upcoming soirees. Let me know how you like the marble trend!

Happy crafting!

Fruzsi

*Disclaimer: I like and use the products mentioned in posts on My Chest of Wonders. What I write about such items represent my genuine and unbiased opinion, I am not being compensated in any way through sponsorship or gifts.*