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Wood Burning Tips

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wood burning projects that are super simple for even a beginner to do

Yesterday, I shared with you some pictures from the wood burning class I taught in Philly this past weekend. Today, I wanted to go a little more into detail about how I made my specific projects and give you some wood burning tips to help you make your own!

I promise, it is much easier than you think! The best part is, there are lots of ways to adapt it for every skill level! Just a little note: I used the Walnut Hollow Versa-Tool kit, so all of my tip names will apply to that kit only!

This 2 little unfinished wood frames were the very first thing I made after I received my kit!

The polka dot frame could not have been any easier. I used the flow point tip, set the temperature control for high orange and once it was heated up, I just held the gun straight up and down and went around it making polka dots. I held the tip down for about 2-3 seconds for each dot, but test it out for your specific wood to see how long it needs to be held down.

For the “Love” frame, I used the Alphabet Hot stamps to make my words first. Once they were done, I used the Universal Point to make all of my lines. Then I used the flow point tip to fill in the end triangles.

unfinished wood frames with wood burning techniques

For the “Love” frame, I decided to jazz it up a little so I lightly stained the front of the frame and painted the edges green. I love how it makes everything pop!

wood burning unfinished wood frames

In addition to the class in Philly, I also took the kits and some frames to a 50th birthday party/Craft Night with some girlfriends. My one girlfriend did her own version of the polka dot frame and I just love it!!

The addition of the offset “D” for their last name and the distressed edges (using the flow point tip) are SO easy to do, but give it that little extra oomph!

wood burning distressed edges

Once I got the hang of the frames, I moved on to wood slices! The Basswood rounds and planks from Walnut Hollow are such a gorgeous, smooth surface to start with.

For the rounds, all I did was burn some lines! I traced them first with a ruler and pencil, and then went over the pencil lines with my universal point.

wood slice with quote

Then I printed out this free printable from Tatertots & Jello (because, Van Morrison, baby!!!) and just put it on using some gold 3M tape. The entire thing took me maybe 10 minutes!

wood burning with quote

For my plank, I wanted to go corny, because there really is no other way. My kids tease me all the time about loving rap music, so this is my little ode to them that is actually appropriate to display!

rolling pin wall art with wood burning techniques - A Turtle's Life for Me

For this one, I actually quick typed up my image in Picmonkey and then printed it out. Once I had it printed out, I taped it onto the plank so it wouldn’t slide, and then just traced over everything with a pencil. The wood is soft enough that you’ll see the indents from the pencil. Then I just traced over my indents with the wood burning tool!

For the thin letters and the rolling pin, I used the universal point. For the thicker letters, I used the flow point. Click HERE if you want to print off a copy of the file I made!

How fun is all that?!

wood burning polka dot frame

Some quick tips to get started:

  • hold your wood burning pen like you would a pencil
  • ALWAYS change your tips using pliers (even when putting a new one on)
  • Keep a little metal or glass bowl beside you to put your hot tips in (they burn through tablecloths, the plastic tip tray and wood tables in seconds… ask me how I know!)
  • When you set your tool down on the provided stand, make sure the power box on the cord is supported on top of the table. If it is part of the cord hanging off the table, the weight of it will pull your whole pen down, and your natural instinct will be to grab it. It is VERY hot… do not grab it!
  • For the Basswood rounds, I kept my dial set at the very top of orange (right before you get to red). That seemed to be the best temperature for that softness of wood.
  • When outlining letters or a shape, try to keep your pen moving. When you stop, you get little bumps in your letters. Even if you’re moving super slowly, keeping it moving will result in much smoother lines

Looking for more wood art? Be sure to check out Walnut Hollow on: