Wood burning is the art of using a wood burning device to enhance wood crafts with designs, lettering, or other decorative ornaments. Some wood burning artists work freehand, creating their wood burned designs as they go, while others use carbon paper to transfer pattern designs onto the wood. Design patterns allow even someone with no drawing skills at all to create beautiful wood burnings. Let these design tips be your guide to creating wood burned projects you can give as gifts or even sell for profit at craft fairs.
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Tools and Materials
A woodburning pen, some carbon paper, a pattern, and a hunk of just about any kind of wood are all you need to get started burning wood. You can purchase carbon paper in bulk at an office supply store. Wood burning pens are available at hobby and craft shops. Be sure to get a wood burning pen that allows you to change pen tips. A variety of pen tips gives you more design control, especially on intricate patterns.
Tracing Design Patterns
There are a number of patterns you can use to create your designs. Any line art will do. Once you have found a design pattern you like, you transfer the pattern to your wood by placing a piece of carbon paper on the wood, laying your pattern on top, and taping the two of them in place. Use a ball point pen and trace your pattern. The carbon design will appear on the surface of your wood. When you remove the pattern and carbon, you're ready to fire up the wood burning pen and burn your design into the wood. If you happen to have drawing skills, you can make your own patterns. If not, some hobby and craft stores carry patterns, but you can also use any line art you find.
There will be times it isn't possible to tape a pattern to your wood, especially if you are burning a design onto a wooden statue or a very rough or uneven surface. In these cases, you will find yourself doing the design work by hand. Sometimes you may want to try a freehand design even if the circumstances are ideal for using a line art pattern. After years of doing wood burning, many artists simply become adept at making certain ornamental designs they've done many times before. This especially applies to lettering. Freehand design makes your work more collectible as well, since no two freehand pieces will ever be exactly alike.
Be creative when you look for wood burning design ideas. You can personalize wooden toy boxes and kitchen containers, make a personal wood burned sign for any room in the house, or create bas relief wood burned image plaques. Engrave names on wooden Christmas ornaments or add designs to wooden furniture. There really is no limit to the things you can do with a wood burning pen.