*This post is sponsored by Walnut Hollow. I take care to only partner with companies I love! Find all my policies here.
A few years ago I bought myself a wood burner and made a wood burned quote for the holidays. I loved it and I think that over the years my script lettering has improved enough that I’ve been wanting to give it a go again. All I remember from that is that I had NO clue what I was doing. But it was a fun experiment. I thought that since it’s really my second time wood burning and I’m a total beginner at the art (and it is an ART) that I’d put together a little post sharing some of the tips that I have found the most helpful. I hope you find them useful and that you’re encouraged to give wood burning a try because it really is SO much fun! I don’t think it’s something you need to be an expert at (hardly!) to give it a try and be happy with your results.
For this project I used one of these gorgeous Basswood Planks from Walnut Hollow. Recognize it? I made one of these babies into a sign for our bathroom last fall when we took on the One Room Challenge (we’re crazy enough to do the ORC again this year too!). It’s funny because in that bathroom remodel, the thing that has gotten the most comments and questions is that little sign! For that one, I cut out heat transfer vinyl and ironed it on to the wood (which I explain how to do here) but this time I wanted to give wood burning another try. I’m really happy with how it turned out! I know it’s not my greatest talent, but it’s totally addicting and I know I’m going to keep working at it. This piece is going to find it’s home on our wall somewhere in our home because I just love this quote so much. The quote reads, ‘Wherever life plants you, Bloom with grace’ and I’ve been wanting to put this quote on something for SO so long. This was the perfect opportunity!
Ready for the tips?
USE AN ADJUSTABLE HEAT WOOD BURNER
Okay the FIRST tip I have for you is to get a woodburner that you can adjust the temperature on. The one I bought years ago did not have this. This time, I used this woodburner from Walnut Hollow and it had a temperature gauge. It made all the difference! I did have to play a bit to get it just right, but I found the other one would get too hot, so I’d turn it off until it cooled down enough… then in seconds it was too cold and I’d turn it back on until it got too hot again. It was a cycle that was a pain but I didn’t know any better. Now I do and it’s gold, friends. Get one with a dial!
SKETCH IT IN PENCIL FIRST
Did you know that you can write on wood and erase it after? Yep! No problemo. So sketch out your design and don’t worry if your wood burning takes a different turn and you are left with pencil marks. I erased them after I was done and you don’t see them at all now! Just make sure not to press TOO hard with your pencil because you can’t erase an indent out of the wood.
USE THE BULLET NIB
There are SO many different tips for a wood burner, you guys! I tried so many when I made my sign a few years ago and settled on the bullet as my fave. When I was reading through the instructions on the Walnut Hollow wood burner that I used for this project- they suggested that for script lettering, so I’m passing that tip along to you guys. It was definitely my favourite because it doesn’t get stuck in the wood grain like some of the sharper or pointier nibs.
USE LIGHT PRESSURE
This one is important because the wood has grain and that grain can totally grab your wood burner and take you off of the line you want to be burning. If you are applying more pressure, I found that I would go off track easier than if I was just brushing over the surface of the wood with a super light pressure. Does that make sense? It’s like when your bike tire gets caught in the crack between the sidewalk and the curb. Not that I’ve had that happen to me… as an adult… or anything like that.
So I recommend this one with ALL kinds of lettering but it’s just good sense. The slower you go, the more in-control you are and the more likely you are to love your piece. Just go slow, friends.
That’s it! It’s seriously fun to play with, but that’s what it is… play! I can’t wait to continue to play with this technique and make some fun things for around our home. In the meantime, this pretty plaque is sitting on top of my piano because the quote just makes me so happy. Do you have any great tips for wood burning script lettering? I would love to hear them below! Also… has anyone tried this wire wood burner?! I’m totally intrigued. I would love to hear if you have!
Hello! I’m a newbie as well… I can’t seem to find a bullet nib ? Does it go by another name? Thanks and thanks for the tips!
Hi Jen! I’m not sure- it just came in the kit of the wood burner I purchased!
This is lovely! Do you have a template to share for the design?
Thank you so much! I didn’t make a template for this design, no- but feel free to take the image and print it for a template! I use pencil rubbings to transfer designs to wood from printouts :)
How do you do the pencil rubbing??
Carbon paper works well too,
Just make sure it’s securely scotch taped until u are done.