How to Make a Wood Branding Iron

If you enjoy woodworking, you may want to leave a mark or design in the wood. Branding the wood is a way to accomplish this. A brand is basically a metal stamp that you heat over a fire or stove, and then use to scorch an image into your wood. You can purchase a branding iron at craft stores or online, or you can make your own. Making your own allows you the freedom of having a number of different shapes of brands at your disposal for your wood projects.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire cutter

  • Vise Grips

  • Wire hanger

  • Hammer

  • Pencil

  • Paper

  • Ruler

Step 1

Draw a picture to act as a guide. Make sure you make the picture in one continuous line without picking up your pencil. This means your drawing will not have a lot of detail. It will basically be the outline of an image, such as a cow's head or a baseball bat.

Step 2

Prepare your wire hanger. Use the wire cutter to cut the hook off of the hanger, just below the part where it is twisted. Open the hanger and use the vise grips to straighten out all the kinks until you have one long wire.

Step 3

Mark your starting point. Measure 8 or 10 inches from one end of your wire with the ruler and use the wire cutter to make a mark there. This is where your shape begins.

Step 4

Create your brand. Lay your wire on your drawing with the starting point at the bottom left corner. Your drawing acts as a guide to tell you where to make bends in the wire. Use your vise grip to make the first bend, then check it against the drawing. Make any necessary adjustments before moving to the next bend.

Step 5

Make the handle. Once your shape is complete, use the vise grip to bend the wire at a 90-degree angle at your starting mark.

Step 6

Straighten your brand. Lay the shaped end on a flat hard surface, such as a concrete floor, and hammer it out flat. You are now ready to heat the brand.


Remember that metal conducts a lot of heat. Even though your handle is fairly long, it will get hot as you heat the brand to score your wood. Use heat resistant gloves or a potholder when handling the brand to avoid burns.

References & Resources