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The PLAID Palette

DIY Wood Burning: How To Tips & Project Patterns

Plaid has this really cool craft tool ... called 2-n-1 Craft Tool!  It's both a wood burning tool as well as a stencil burner all wrapped in one handy dandy package!  When you say the words, "wood burning"  or "pyrography" what often comes to mind is "man crafting" and burned wildlife such as eagles, bears, and wolves, or cabins, and landscapes on a log slice or simple board. 

Today, I'm sharing with you a couple fun wood burning tips while creating a super fun, more "lady-friendly" project.  Did you know that wood burning can really be very relaxing and is a lot of fun?  And did you know you can apply a light wash of acrylic paints to your wood burned project for a "pop of color," pretty cool, eh?  Check out this simple plaque with a fun and funky doodled wildflower pattern.....

Let's gather the necessary supplies ....

  • 96290  Plaid Corner Plaque 5 1/8" x 7 1/4"
  • 2894  FolkArt Multi-Surface Paints - Wicker White
  • 2898  FolkArt Multi-Surface Paints - Magenta
  • 2904  FolkArt Multi-Surface Paints - Vivid Orange
  • 2912  FolkArt Multi-Surface Paints - Daffodil Yellow
  • 2917  FolkArt Multi-Surface Paints - Classic Green
  • 2928  FolkArt Multi-Surface Paints - Lavender
  • Miscellaneous Supplies:  Fine Grit Sandpaper, Brush Basin or contain for water, Foam Plate for palette, Tracing Paper, Transfer Paper, No. 6 Flat Brush, Wildflower Pattern (found below), Stylus (or dead ballpoint pen or handle end of paintbrush), Eraser, Flat Nose Pliers, Stencil Tape or masking tape, Small Flat Paintbrush

First, let's take a close look at the 2-n-1 Craft Tool .... right on the packaging, you can see examples of both wood burning and stencil cutting.  This tool comes with four different wood burner Points and two Tips used for cutting stencils.

You'll also find a metal stand to hold the heated tool as well as an on/off switch on the 54" (1 1/2 yds) electrical cord.

And like I already mentioned, there are four Points used in wood burning and two Tips used for burning a stencil.  Today we will focus on the four wood burning points:  Cone Point, Flow Point, Shading Point and Universal Point.

Here is a very handy, dandy tip .... TIP:  When using the 2-n-1 Craft Tool, I always tape my metal stand to my work surface.  This tool will become very hot and can reach 750 degrees!  Having the stand taped to one place, keeping the tool at rest in one place will help prevent accidental burns.

And here is the tool resting on its stand while taped to my work surface!

So let's get started ... I always begin with a pattern or line drawing.  I doodled some funky wildflowers just for fun.  Now, if you are not comfortable doodling yourself, any image or pattern can be used.  Why, you can even use stencils and simply pencil through the opening of the stencil design.  After doodling my wildflowers, I transferred them to the raw wood plaque using gray graphite and a stylus, (you can also use a dead ballpoint pen or and handle end of a paintbrush).

Simply retrace the main pattern lines with the stylus keeping the gray graphite side down toward the raw wood.  Voila, my pattern is now transferred to the plaque!

Before we begin, let's take a look at a couple of the points and how they are used ... the Flow Point is a rounded, blunt end which is easy to use as it "flows" across the surface of the wood.  It can be used for line work as well as points or dots. 

The Cone Point is a smaller rounded tip and will create a finer wood burned line and smaller dots. 

And here is one example of how the Shading Point can be used.  On my project I used this point to create a couple leaves, however, they are many more ways to experiment and use this point to add detail and shading.    If the entire surface of this point touches the flat wood surface you can burn an entire dark area, if you "rock" the point left to right keeping the weight on the sides you can burn a completely different look and create an open leaf. 

The key is to experiment and play with the points.  You will soon realize that many different looks can be achieved!

Let me first say that I am not a pyrography expert .. what I want to share with you is my simple techniques.  I began my project by plugging the 2-n-1 Craft Tool into an outlet and flipped the switch to turn it on.  I placed it in the metal stand and allowed it to heat up for ten minutes prior to wood burning.  To begin, I used the Flow Point to trace over or outline the main pattern lines.  TIP:  Hold the craft tool steady without a lot of pressure and allow the tool to glide over the wood, do NOT apply pressure or cut a groove into the wood.  

Remember always this tool is very HOT ... the longer you hold the craft tool in one place the more burned or darker the wood will be.  Here is a close up of the Shading Point I used to create a leaf.  TIP:  Rock the point from side to side to only burn the edges of the leaf. 

TIP:  Don't worry if you are not completely retracing the exact pattern lines, they can be erased afterwards.  And here is a close up look at how I used the Universal Point to create straight short lines both on the top of these flowers ....

as well as blades of glass below.  The Universal Point can also be used to create long lines within a pattern.

Here's a look at the Cone Point helping me create shading and texture with thinner, more detailed lines.....

The Cone Point is also perfect for mini polka dots.  TIP:  The longer you hold the tool in once place the larger and deeper the dot will be.

After the wildflower design was burned into the wood and I was happy with the details and shading, I felt the edges of the plaque were lacking some love and detail ... so a wiggly line - dot - dot - wiggly line pattern was burned along the top edge of three sides of the plaque.  Isn't that cute?

I switched back to the Flow Point and then shaded the small routed edge ... check it out ...

And still using the Flow Point, I burned a polka dot border on the side edge of the plaque ..

... all the way around!

Next I added my "pops" of color using FolkArt Multi-Surface Paints that were thinned with water to an ink-like consistency and very runny.

I thinned the paint so that it was more of a watercolor effect so that I could still see the beauty of the wood grain and the burned designs!

You can keep it one color and simply "colorbook" paint or add a little shading adding a second color like on the leaves and the flower center below.

Here is a look at my wood burned funky wildflower plaque colored in.  The next thing I did was take an eraser to the plaque to remove any original pattern lines that were still exposed.

Helpful Hints / Tips

  • Place the craft tool on the stand and allow it to heat up for ten minutes before using.
  • Hold the craft tool like you would a pencil or paintbrush.
  • NEVER touch the point or metal parts of the craft tool when heated.
  • Use flat nose pliers to screw points into the end of the craft tool, especially when the tool is on and heated.
  • Turn off craft tool and allow it to cool after each use.
  • To sharpen or clean Points, use a fine emery board.
  • Practice on the back of your project or scrap wood to learn how each point can be used.
  • Craft Tool Points will react differently to different types of wood, experiment and have fun.
  • Move tool slowly across the wood surface.
  • Turn your project surface always so that you are either pulling towards you or pushing away from you whichever is most comfortable for you.
  • In some instances, fine grit sandpaper can lighten a heavy burned area.


What do you think?  Isn't this a cute project? 

Also please check out for additional projects and step-by-step instructions. Here I created this clever wood clothespin note holder.  It was not only quick, but so easy to do and I think would make a wonderful present. don't you?

These wood bangle bracelets were also fun to create.  You can find the instructions here for the Creative Words bracelet.  And everyone in the office LOVES the wide Daisy Bangle Bracelet. The written instructions can be found here for the daisy bangle.

And lastly I want to share with you a frame that I created ... this project is an interesting take on using a stencil.  I used our FolkArt Handmade Charlotte Paisley Delight stencil as the pattern.  I traced around the stencil design directly onto the wood frame and then burned the design.  Combining paint and wood burning and stencil techniques on one project offers many cool ideas for additional projects!

Plaid's 2-n-1 Craft Tool will also cut custom stencil designs ... but I'll save that post for yet another day!

Posted: 4/21/2015 7:04:00 AM by LEAP | with 6 comments
Filed under:

Buy the Supplies Needed for DIY Wood Burning

you can by varnish for outdoor projects
8/17/2017 7:03:56 PM

I'm just getting started on a family name sign to hang outside and stopped because I didn't consider how to seal or protect all this work from the weather - rain, snow, wind, heat and cold. Any suggestions for me?
8/7/2017 4:38:38 PM

Are there tips that have the letters of the alphabet for this tool? Where can I buy them? Love this tool but would love it more if I had letters too lol
4/19/2017 7:49:30 PM

Wanda Canada Weems
I LOVE this wonderful tool! It's so much fun. Even my 13 year old granddaughter loves it, and she's exceptionally talented.
4/19/2017 4:42:56 AM

Thank you for the great tips! I just bought a wood burning tool and I'm reading blogs and how-to's to learn how to use it. Your tips are very helpful.
4/10/2017 2:57:50 PM

Wayne Hewitt
4/8/2017 5:14:29 AM