Crafts to Do With a Dremel

Written by sophia sola
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Able to rotate 3,000 to 37,000 times per minute, Dremels are a rotary tool famous for making delicate cuts easier and all sorts of crafts possible for everyday folks. Dremels look something between a pen and a drill, and have characteristics of both---like a pen, they can be used for precision art and craft, and like a drill, they may be loaded with different rotary tips. They may be corded or cordless. The Dremel Company, started by Albert Dremel in the 1930s (now a division of the Robert Bosch Tool Corporation), makes Dremels that have interchangeable drilling, cutting, etching, polishing and sanding heads made from a variety of materials. Their versatility makes them perfect for an all-around crafter.

Glass Etching

You can create personalised patterns by etching the glass of a bottle or vase, a window hanging or mirror, or any kind of glass dishware. Draw the pattern you want to etch on paper, place the drawing beneath the glassware (you may have to decorate mirrors freehand) and use the Dremel like a pen. With a diamond Dremel tip, your line will be fine, with a silicone carbide tip it will be thick, and with a tungsten carbide tip you will get a deeper groove.

Holiday Carving

Dremels can carve intricate Halloween pumpkin designs or make cutouts in Easter eggs---however, each of these tasks is carried out quite differently.

To carve a pumpkin, use the special pumpkin-carving Dremel tool. Cut the top of the pumpkin off with a knife as you usually would and scrape out the seeds, but use the Dremel to shave the flesh off the inside of the pumpkin so that only a thin layer of skin remains. Through this thin layer, a Halloween candle will glow.

To cut open an Easter egg, drain the egg as usual, but use a Dremel cutting wheel to saw through the egg shell, removing segments to create windows into which you can place tiny flower, candies or religious images.

Glue Gun Projects

There are hundreds of projects suitable for a Dremel glue gun, which is a separate tool made by Dremel that slowly melts a stick of glue in a handheld "gun" so you so that you can easily affix objects to a base.

One glue gun project is wreath-making. You can make wreaths for any season out of a simple twig base with ribbons, real or imitation vegetation, ornaments, candies or small figurines glued to it.

Another, more daring project is the art car. To make an art car, you'll need an old car, preferably one that runs, as your base. Then procede to glue anything to it that your heart desires, but make sure you completely cover the car for the full effect. Try plastic flowers, toy animals, old coins or mosaic tiles.

Terra Cotta Cutouts

You thought flower pots were too hard and brittle to carve---well, think again. Use a Dremel to cut into terra cotta flower pots, and place a candle inside, allowing the light to shine through. You can use these as patio lights (turned upside down) or as indoor candle holders (right side up).


Dremels are known for their use by jewellers because they can be used for precision drilling. Use your Dremel with a hard bit to cut bead holes through tiny objects like shells, glass, dried berries, wood or charms. Remember that you must keep the drill bit from getting too hot---some people place the bead underwater during drilling to keep the bead from burning or breaking, or they go very slowly. Remember, only the drill bit of the Dremel should go into the water.

Small objects should be held in a vice or clump of putty when drilling. A Dremel drill press may come in handy.

Carve Wooden Toys

You can use your Dremel to carve small toys out of wood, using its shaping wheel and sanding band. Use a pencil to draw the shape you want onto a block of wood, such as an animal, fruit or building block, then carve and sand away. Remember that practice make perfect.

Polish Semiprecious Stones

Polish semi-precious stones with the Dremel's polishing attachment (it looks like a cloth-tipped rod, but spins much faster than you could ever buff by hand). Place the polished stones in a fancy bowl for a soothing coffee-table centrepiece.

Make Your Own Puzzle

The Dremel jigsaw attachment can always be used to make---you guessed it---jigsaw puzzles. Carve out pieces in random patterns after you have transferred your desired puzzle graphic to a wooden backing.

Carve a Decorative Candle

Carve beautiful patterns into the soft wax of a pillar candle for extra flare in your living room or dining room.

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