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How to wood burn with stencils

Updated February 21, 2017

You can burn patterns and designs into wood to make beautiful wood crafting projects by using a wood burning tool and stencils. You will need coordination and patience to complete this project, but even a beginner can do it. The following steps will show you how to burn designs into wood with stencils.

Purchase wood that has been prepared for burning. You can find this kind of wood at many crafts or hobby stores. Alternatively you can sand your own wood in the direction of the grain and then wipe it gently with cheese cloth.

Choose a small cutting tip, attach it to your wood burning tool and then plug in the tool to heat it up for use in your project.

Place a piece of graphite paper, ink side down, on top of the area on the wood where you would like the design. Tape it onto the wood with low-tack removable tape so it does not slip while burning the design.

Lay a metal stencil of your choice on top of the graphite paper.

Hold your wood burning tool like you would a pen as you trace the outside of the stencil onto the graphite paper, which will transfer the design onto the wood. Erase any lines that show from the graphite paper with a pencil eraser.

Color the pattern with oil pencils if you desire. Start off with light color and add more as you go.

Seal the wood with varnish, polyurethane or other wood finish. Lightly apply the wood finish so the colors do not run together and do several coats if necessary rather than one thick coat.

Tip

You can purchase stencils and design books at crafts and hobby stores. You can also trace around a stencil with a wood burning tool onto a piece of scrapbook paper to make designs on paper.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood burning tool
  • Tip
  • Wood
  • Graphite paper
  • Metal stencil
  • Eraser
  • Tape
  • Oil pencils (optional)
  • Varnish
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