Technically called pyrography, wood burning is a crafty way of making your own home decorations using wood and a bit of creative stamping or carving of images onto the wood using soldering iron or other objects.
The resulting artwork is truly ingenious and unique and if you have a knack over this, you should check out the following wood burning ideas in this list.
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32 DIY Wood Burning Ideas
From letters to coasters, to wall arts, this list features some wood burning ideas that would truly satisfy your crafty side. Here are some of the most notable wood burning ideas that you should know of.
1. Letter block art
If you want a unique way to personalize a wall portion or your bedroom, you can always embark on a wood burnt letter block art like this one.
Painted at the bottom and then burned in mud-cloth pattern, this is the perfect boho letter block art that would really put your room in an artsy level.
Related: Wall Arts Décor and Design for Kids
2. Wood burned coasters
This is perhaps one of the most common items that you would see wood burning patterns in. There are virtually thousands of patterns that you can infuse in a coaster.
It can be as simple as a letter or more ornate like full pictures or simply geometric patterns like this quilt block wood burned coasters here.
3. Wood burned trivets
Cork trivets are well-loved because of their optimal heat absorption. Just because they are just there as holders of hot pots would mean that they cannot be customized for an artsy appeal.
You can incorporate your own stenciled words and bring them out for the holidays and other special occasions.
4. Serving tray
If you are looking for the perfect wedding gift, holiday token or moving away gift, a customized, wood burnt serving tray is a thoughtful way to give to friends and family.
The effect of stenciled, stained wood just gives a different type of warmth and uniqueness plus serving tray always comes in handy during events and soirees. This one is a simple idea that you can adopt.
5. Wood burned cutting board
Connected to the form of the serving tray would be cutting boards. If you want a highly customized cutting board fit for your cook friend or family member, this one is something that they can well-appreciate.
Engrave names or even their favorite recipe names in there to spruce up every cooking time.
And if you and your friend or loved one is part of a fanbase, say like Game of Thrones, you can also put some thoughtful engraving in the cutting board like this one featuring the sigil of the famed Stark House.
It is so cool on many levels and at the same time, the accuracy of the details here is superb, you would not even want to cut on it.
6. Wood burned cooking tools
Once wood burning takes over the kitchen, it is just so magical. The most common tools where wood burning is incorporated would be spatulas and wooden spoons.
The patterns can move above the handle, or just adorn it with random patterns through the length. You can also engrave your own initials or a whole statement even. This one is a beautiful idea to take inspiration from.
7. Wood burned ornaments
The holidays are just right around the corner and if you want something new this year, why not turn your scrap wood into wood burned ornaments like this one here.
You can put positive words, affirmations, or even family mottos to have year-round ornamental pieces that you can hang by the door, in the room, or maybe even in the Christmas tree.
8. Wood burned leaf magnets
Yes, you read that right. You can turn your scrap wood into wood burned leaf magnets too.
Perfect for your fall decoration up to Halloween, invoke that nature prints on raw colored wood and enjoy the unique, artsy tone of wood burnt engravings in wood like this one here.
9. Wood burnt picture frame
If you have square wood scraps with an unfinished form, you can stain it and employ wood burning on the wood picture frame.
You can also employ different types of pyrography patterns to make it more personal. Having rows of this in the living room truly makes the space more intimate.
10. Letter stamped boxes
Simple staining of wood boxes for small mementos or for precious gifts could be made more special by letter stamped boxes like this one here.
They can also be used in boxing in dry condiments or even important notes like heirloom recipes. You do not need much in making this one.
11. Wood burnt keychains
Be it for a personalized gift or a thriving souvenir shop, one cannot go wrong with wood burnt keychains. As simple as they may look, wood burnt keychains employ accuracy and the right pressure to incorporate wood burnt figures.
But if you are not a pro in wood burning yet, you can always go for simple prints like heart shapes or initials like this one.
12. Wood burnt greeting card
Yes, this one is possible and the end result is very beautiful. If you are looking for ways to upscale ordinary greeting cards, incorporating wood burnt effect on hard paper is something that you can do.
From simple figures to more ornate designs, you can make a sentimental impact to anyone you will give this wood burnt greeting card to.
13. Wood burnt wedding centerpiece
If you are throwing a rustic wedding and you want everything to be as personalized as possible, taking on a wood burnt wedding centerpiece like this one here could do magic.
It is just a softened tree bark, encased on a vase but with the right wood burning tip, the sheer rawness of it makes the customized wedding so on point.
14. Wood burnt bookmark
This one shall hold a special place in the heart of every bookworm out there because there is nothing like a wood burnt bookmark.
Go for the processed wood barks and stencil it with any wood burnt patterns that you can think of.
The florals are still some of the best patterns but you can always customize it the way you want to. Here is something to take inspiration from.
15. DIY wood burnt plant tray
If you love arranging your indoor plants in a tray or you want to use them for decoration in the home, going for a DIY wood burnt plant tray is a fine suggestion.
The wood does not need to be stained or painted. As raw as it is, you can put some customized engraving on the surface to make it homier like this one here.
16. Wood burnt wall clock
Yes, you read that right. Since we are on full-blown customization here, why not print your own take on a wooden wall clock.
You can engrave scenery, the woods, a look of the forest or simply some words or your initials in it. There is nothing more beautiful than checking the time and seeing a view or smile with the sight of your favorite lyric, verse, or your names.
17. Wood slice family tree wall décor
What better way is there to kindle family ties than to hang a family tree by the living room or the kitchen. But think of other ways to trace your roots.
If you have scrap woods there and a wood burning kit, you can always make a wood slice family tree and brush it with natural stain for some gloss. Here is an example which you can take inspiration from.
18. Wood burnt entryway sign
If you are into farmhouse decorations and you want to make an entryway statement, engraving a family statement or just a customized message by the entryway could give you the farmhouse vibe anytime.
Having what they call as ornamental scrolls by the door is also very vintage in feel. Here is something to take inspiration from.
19. Wood burnt garlands
If you have been into Mexican homes during their special holidays, chances are, you have seen the beauty of wood burnt garlands lined up in the walls.
These are made of square wood chips wood burnt with different figures telling a story or just figures that make a theme. Entwined using jute ropes, there is something low-key beautiful about these DIY decorations.
20. Wood burnt tissue holder
If you have a flair for minimalism or a touch of the tropics, you sure have a preference for wooden items even for your bathroom.
One of the best ways to spruce up a space like the bathroom would be going for natural wood with minimal wood burnt figures or shapes like this one here. It is the perfect décor for oriental, coastal, and zen interiors.
21. Wood burnt beer tankards
If you want a more upscale but customized version of a beer tankard, do so with wood burnt figures.
It could be as vintage as a coat of arms, initials of the family name, initials of your significant other, and other beautiful images like this one. Encase it in an heirloom box to seal the deal.
22. Wood burnt customized buttons
If you are into hippie and nature-inspired dressing, you would love these wood burnt customized buttons. It is perfect for flannel and knitted clothing.
Simple dotted designs or you could just have one that would suit your personal preference. Angled or geometric patterns are always the most neutral designs for wood burnt customized buttons.
23. Wood burned cloth hanger
If you have old wood hangers out there that are still in good shape, throwing them should not be the last resort.
Sometimes, you can just brush them up with some wood stains and engrave it with the days of the week.
This way, you have not just refurbished the cloth hanger but have also found a way to plan your dress for the week.
24. Wood burnt Zelda box
We all know the very popular franchise The Legend of Zelda. This one here just took a good three hours and after this, you get one beautiful heirloom box for your kids where they could put in keepsakes as they grow older.
Both thoughtful and ingenious, this is a simple and unique gift to give to kids.
25. Wood burnt cufflinks
Cufflinks are standards of dapperness but that does not mean that they have to always be upscale looking.
You can always turn them into low profile, hippie looking cufflinks by incorporating simple initials. You can offer a thoughtful and personalized anniversary gift to your man with these wood burnt cufflinks.
26. Wood burnt plant labels
Those scrap log fires could still be used in the garden if you want to. Before the spring season, you can prepare these logs.
It only takes 20 minutes to do this since the letters can be as raw and scruffy as they can be.
Just use your pyrography pen and label the twigs or scrap log fires with the name of the veggies that you will plant for that season.
27. Wood burnt welcome wreath
Sometimes, decorating the front door could be daunting. But it should not be. Since it is the first thing that visitors will see when they enter your home, it should be at least attention grabbing.
What better way is there to welcome visitors than natural decorations than stained wood wreath right? This is one thing that you can consider for your home.
All it takes are withered leaves, sliced wood stumps and basic pyrographing.
Related: 20+ Best Farmhouse Wreath Ideas
28. Wood burnt standing decors
And if you have a well-angled wood scrap that you can just play basic pyrography on, you can make a sample beginner project with it by finishing a wood burn standing décor.
In this wood-stained standing décor, a silhouette of trees is engraved in this wood plank. With just a few pyro strokes, you can finish the project in no time.
29. Wood burnt clothespin
If you want to spruce up your ordinary looking wood clothespin, you can always make the effort to incorporate wood burnt figures and designs there.
For one, this idea here repurposed the wood clothespin into a note holder. Not only are the patterns very simple and easy to make but the color is also refreshing to see. Just imagine if you have a line of this in your work desk, right?
30. Wood burnt small dishware
One of the safest pet dishes would be wood so if you have a knack for woodworking, why not just turn one of those scrap woods into pet dishware?
All it needs would be a perfectly shaped dish, stain it with natural color and engrave the name of your pet in there. Our pets deserve a customized treatment too. Here is an idea which you can easily work on.
31. Wood burnt hammer handle
If you are looking for a unique and thoughtful anniversary gift for your man or for Father’s Day, you can work on basic wood burning and engrave it ‘the world’s best husband/father’ in that hammer handle. It is not very much but it has all the thought here that counts.
32. Wood burnt stylish earrings
Still on the Boho spectrum would be this wood burnt stylish earring. The precision of the geometric symbols here are already superb but those colorful touches make it all the more beautiful.
Anyone would certainly wear this all day. The fact that it is wood burn engraving also makes it all the more interesting.
Aside from the wood burning ideas that we have covered here, there are also other essential tips and information that you should know of. Hence, here are some FAQs about wood burning crafts.
What is the best wood for wood burning?
This would vary among different people but you would be astounded to know that there is a whole list of wood types considered as best for wood burning. When it comes to this, we are looking at the following woods:
- Birch wood
- Oak wood
- Poplar wood
- Pine wood
- Pallet wood
- Walnut and cherry wood
- Studio wood panels
- Pacific albus wood
What is the difference between pyrography and wood burning?
Pyrography and wood burning are now used interchangeably but technically, these are two different things. In essence, pyrography literally means writing with fire while wood burning is an arts and crafts technique in which you stamp patterns and figures in wood using a hot object, most commonly soldering iron.
Which wood should you not burn in a wood burner?
When it comes to this, you should note that those that are considered resinous or oily or those considered as softwoods may not be that receptive for wood burners. As such, the following would be the woods that you should not burn in a wood burner:
What is the hardest wood to burn?
And if you are wondering about the hardest wood to burn, you should get to know the following woods. You might find scraps of these once in a while but that does not mean that you can use them for pyrography. Nonetheless, some can be used for wood burning.
Can you burn wood with a Dremel?
Yes. If you need figure carving or stencils in wood burning, you can use Dremel 561 bit to do the job for you.
This one is the most ideal tip not only for wood burning but also for leather crafting, soldering, stencil cutting and in hot knife cutting of ropes, foams, and plastics. If you want to have a visual of how a Dremel can be used for wood burning, click here.
How do I choose a wood burning kit?
There are different factors to consider when it comes to buying wood burning kits. Depending on how you will use these kits, here are some specific factors and features that you should be wary of before buying one.
- Tip type: Note that there are two major types of tips for wood burning: solid tip and wire tip. Solid tips are made of metal pieces that are molded into different shapes while wire tips are composed of stretches of wire with an entry and exit point for the pen.
The current runs through the wire, being a conductor, heating the surface. While both are commendable, most people still prefer solid tips because they are easier to maneuver and they are also very affordable.
- Temperature: This one is an important factor because some woods are more receptive at higher temperatures while others would just burn at such high temp. Commendable wood burning kits would have variable temperature features.
Having an adjustable temperature for wood burning kits would also mean that you can accommodate other materials for pyrography which needs lower temperature like leather, gourds, and even paper.
- Level of comfort: You have to remember that wood burning is tedious and very time consuming. As such, you need a wood burning pen that gives you a high level of comfort even in different angles and strokes. Your wood burning pen should be ergonomic and fits well in your hand. There are different types of wood burning pens out there so splurge on the most comfy and ergonomic pen that you can find.
- Control: Anent to the level of comfort when it comes to wood burning pens should also be the overall control and grip of the wood burning kit itself. For this, the trick is to get a compact and lightweight wood burning kit. It should also be stable enough to prevent slipping and burning while working on your wood burning project.
- Attachments: For this factor, always go for the wood burning kit with interchangeable tips. Having different tip attachments gives you the liberty to go for different designs, textures, and more. Professional wood burners would just need 5-6 types of tip attachments for different projects but if you are a beginner, it is recommended that you get the full range of tip attachment. This would be at 20-30 tips in one kit.
- Special features: Aside from the attachments, there are also other notable special features that you can look for when choosing a wood burning kit:
- An on/off switch for the hot tip.
- Pen stands to hold it when it is still hot.
- Temperature control.
- Comfortable/ergonomic handle and tip.
- Alphabet tips and stainless-steel stencils.
What other supplies should go with the wood burning kit?
Of course, there are other items that you should buy to complete your wood burning set. Aside from the kit, you also have to purchase the following items to start working on your wood burnt project:
- Fine grain softwood
- Sand paper (specifically 320 grit)
- Ceramic tile (used as a resting space for the hot pen)
- Needle nose pliers (for when you are changing the pen tips)
- Transfer paper (for when you are transferring the design from the paper to the wood)
- Pencil and eraser
There are also safety items that should always be around when you are wood burning. These items are:
- Electric fan
- Heat resistant gloves
- Respirator or facemask
What sealants are best to protect the design in a wood burnt surface?
For this, three types of sealants are on the frontline. This would be: spray lacquer, spray matte polyurethane, and clear drying polyurethane. You can still explore other types but in so far as safety, performance, and longevity, these three sealants are considered the best of their kind.
Can wood burning be done indoors?
Yes, but with optimum precautions. Always remember that as the name of the activity implies, you will be burning wood. Thus, expect that there will be fumes around when you start with the project.
Make sure that there is enough open area and ventilation in your indoor workspace and do not forget to use the protective gears that we have previously mentioned.
Wood burning kit maintenance
At some point, the pen tip will accumulate carbon thanks to the bulk of work that you have done. The general maintenance tip is to sand it and then clean it with soft cloth. But just to be sure and to avoid destroying the fine components of the wood burning pen, you have to check the product manual that comes with it. Some kits enumerate specific cleaning tools that should only be used for their products.
Wood burning is a fine art that we could get easily caught up with because of its satisfying results. From decorative pieces, personalized stuff, functional pieces like coasters, spatulas and trivets, you can turn bland items into spruced up ones.
However, wood burning entails a different kind of accuracy and inventiveness. As such, you need to be able to choose the best wood burning kit for you by considering different factors.
With everything that we have covered here, it should not be hard for you to settle on what wood burning kit should work for you. Other than that, you can also start spending time in getting a crash course of how to do it DIY and begin making one today.