How To Wood Burn

| Last modified on January 27th, 2022

Wood burning is a hobby that requires patience and practice – more than any other hobby we can think of. But it’s also rewarding, and you get a unique satisfaction when your design comes to life on the wood. 

A lot of people say it’s therapeutic too because they find that the repetitive motions and focus create moments of mindfulness in their day-to-day lives. It also feels really great to be able to take something as mundane as wood and turn it into something beautiful. 

How To Wood Burn

To wood burn, you will need a piece of wood and a special tool – a wood burner. It is inexpensive and easy to operate. Below is a guide with steps you need to follow to make a wood burn masterpiece.

Why To Wood Burn?

Wood burning is also a very practical hobby. You can make votive holders, jewelry boxes, furniture pieces, and more – all of which can be used in your home or out in public. You can even make ornaments that you can hang on your Christmas tree or your front door.

Wood burning also allows for minimalist design – something that many people look for in their decorating choices more than the over-the-top flamboyancy of many other decorative arts. There’s a lot of beauty in simplicity, and here it is truly exemplified when you see the whimsical elements that wood can add to its surroundings.

Why To Wood Burn?

This hobby can also give your home an artistic feel without it being an overwhelming focal point. Many people aren’t artists or have the skill to create paintings, drawings, or 3-D works. Wood burning allows you to have that same artistic feel in your home but in a more subtle fashion. Another thing to notice is that wood-burning is also great because you don’t need expensive equipment or supplies to do it well.

How To Wood Burn: Step-by-step Guide

First, we’re going to talk about how you get started. You should find out what type of wood your design will be on – it makes a difference in how the design comes out. There are natural woods like walnut, aspen wood, and cedar that you can burn on, as well as hardwoods like oak and maple. 

Hardwoods have more options for designs, while softer woods are better for the more delicate items such as jewelry boxes and other small pieces. Once you’ve picked a soft or semi-hardwood, your next step is to select a design template.

Think About Design Or Create It

This should be easy for you if you’re a designer – you can just pick up an old piece of paper and start sketching.

If you’re like the average person, you probably don’t have much experience creating art. If this is true of you, then your imagination is going to be your strongest craft tool when it comes to wood burning. Maybe, you already have plenty of pictures and ideas in your mind about what things should look like – just choose one and make it happen.

How To Wood Burn: Step-By-Step Guide

Print A Design And Fit To The Wood

If you want to print out a design from the computer, you should do that with a regular printer. However, if you’re doing a lot of wood-burning, it’s worth investing in an inkjet printer that’s designed specifically for this purpose – they come in four colors and can save you some money in the long run. 

Also, when it comes to your design templates, they must be high resolution to be enlarged onto the wood with a minimal amount of change. The higher the resolution is on your template for wood burning, the better your final result will be. When a design is printed, you need to fit it to the wooden surface and secure it with tape.

Transfer Design To The Wood With A Transfer Paper And Tape

Now you’re ready to trace the image to the wood. This is very important because transferring a design from the printed copy to the wood helps ensure that the transfer is clean and detailed. Most wood-burning kits will include a set of different transfer papers. 

Some people like to use glossy photo paper, and others prefer tracing paper which gives a softer tone than what you’d get with photo paper. If you don’t have any transfer papers, then you can always use regular printer paper. Just trace the edges and symbols with a pencil or a ball pen.

Remove Transfer Paper

Now that you’ve got your design down on the wood, it’s time to burn on the design. But before it, you need to remove transfer paper from the wooden surface. This will help prevent any smudged designs from showing up later on and will give your burning a nice shine as well.

Start Wood Burning

Using your burning tool, start wood burn from edges. Then burn symbols and frames. Use a device according to manufacturer instructions to avoid unexpected results. You also need to work in the aired room and use a face mask if necessary.


How Hard Is It To Wood Burn?

Wood burning takes a lot of time, so don’t be impatient, or you will make mistakes. Take a break if you need to.

Can I Use A Soldering Iron For Wood Burning?

Yes, you can use a soldering iron for wood burning. The heat can be spread into the wood to go through the entire layer with ease and prevent burning on the outside surface. Some artists even have good luck in burnishing metal by using soldering irons.

Do You Need A Mask For Wood Burning?

A wood-burning mask is an essential tool for anyone who plans to do any sort of wood-burning. There are many different mask types that you can choose from, depending on your needs and budget. These masks come in a variety of materials, such as polyurethane, silicone, and fiberglass.

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