Posted in Crafts, Makerspace

Pyrography (Wood Burning)

While trying to stop spending so much money on new stuff, I found some wood burning kits sitting in our storage room. I looked up some Youtube videos and found out that wood burning is a thing that people like and have called it something cool-pyrography. Turns out it really fun and addicting.

I would recommend hosting this program for teens 14 and older. The tips of the wood burner is extremely hot and teens need to be very careful when handling the tool.  We have a parent/teen crafting series so a caregiver will be with their 14+ teen during our program. If you are an adult programmer, this would be a great program for your library.

Budget: $25/person

Supplies Needed:

Instructions:

  1. I’m not an expert on pyrography or wood but upon research, the type of wood doesn’t matter. Just choose a lighter wood so that the burn shows.
  2. I recommend reviewing some safety tips. I dropped my wood burner a couple of times but I have quick reflexes and moved in time. Show them how to properly lay the burner on the holder.
    1. In the kit I linked, it recommends taping the holder to the table. Make sure you tape it towards the middle of the table because the temperature knob can weigh it down and cause it to fall if it’s too far back.
    2. If you are working with teens, I wouldn’t allow them to change the tips because it’s hot. If you are with adults, show them how to change the tips using pliers. Have a metal tray available to put the hot tips in.
  3. Patrons can use a pencil to draw a picture on their wood or before the program begins, you can set out a computer and let patrons choose an image. Print the image for them. Or you can have some pre-printed images available.
  4. If patrons are using an image, give them a piece of carbon paper. Lay the carbon paper shiny side down onto the wood then lay their image face up onto the carbon paper. Using a fine tip marker/Sharpie, trace the image. I like using a marker because you can see the lines of the image you have traced.
  5. Use the wood burner to go over the lines of the image on the wood.

Tips:

  • Give patrons a scrap piece of wood to practice because it does take some time to get used to the tool.
  • It’s easier to go with the grain than against. Let patrons know this and let them practice to figure out the best way to burn against the grain.
  • When the tool starts to act up, I scrape it on sandpaper and that usually gets it going again.
  • The longer you hold the tool on the wood, the darker the burn. You don’t have to press hard to get it to burn.
  • I used the tip that looks like a pencil.
  • I followed the shading on the image. Shading is a great technique to wood burning. There’s a tip for that but I didn’t change tips; I just shaded like I would on paper or you can go over the lines to get a darker burn.
  • You can use colored pencils or Sharpies the color in designs.
  • It’s smelly so put on some fans. Your patrons will leave smelling like burnt wood.
  • You can also wood burn on leather and cork. I bought the leather bracelets on Amazon.
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Author:

YA Librarian. Lover of Sherlock. And all Things Harry Potter.

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