These decorative magnets from The Wood Burn Book by Rachel Strauss make an excellent beginner craft for learning pyrography. With small wood slices, a wood burning tool, and gel pens, you can create fridge art, plant markers, gift tags and more.
For additional tips also see Wood Burning for Beginners (Easy Guide).
This excerpt from The Wood Burn Book by Rachel Strauss is used with permission from Quarto Publishing Group who also provided a review copy.
Decorative Wood-Burned Magnets
This Kawaii magnet project was created by artist Jess Park @jeshypark, author of the book Watercolor Lettering: A Step-by-Step Workbook for Painting Embellished Scripts and Beautiful Art.
As soon as I saw this project I thought it would be perfect not only for creating fridge magnets but also for creating decorative plant markers and more.
The designs are so simple and pleasing. Imagine creating a whole set of vegetable or herb markers attached to wood dowels. They would make a lovely handmade gift for a garden friend.
Or simply start with the fridge magnets to get comfortable with the art and craft of wood burning. It’s a very relaxing way to spend an afternoon. As Rachel says in the book, if you can trace, you can wood burn.
If you want more information on materials, technique, plus a whole bunch of step-by-step illustrated projects, you will love the book. It’s got that perfect balance of gorgeous photos—and lots of them—along with practical and inspring how-tos.
Did you know a wood burning tool works on other surfaces too?
- Tree Bark
- Mini Wood Slices | Be sure it is raw wood.
- Transfer Supplies | Options include graphite paper, chaco paper, heat transfer, tracing paper.
- Larger piece of wood | See Step 5.
- Scrap wood to test tool temperature
- Safety Equipment
- Wood Burning Tool + Flow, Spade, or Writing Nib
- E6000 Glue
- Cotton Swabs
- Gel Pens
- Finish | Mod Podge is one option
- Design Template | Draw your own or get the book for the ones here
Gel pens are great for using on wood burned projects because they are easily accessible, not messy, come in so many colors (including metallics and neons), and are easy to apply to small areas.
These magnets are both useful and whimsical, and who doesn’t love that?
They are super simple to make but will surely add character to any refrigerator.
Choose your designs, size them, print them.
Sand your tiny wood slices smooth. I am using mini birch slices. Basswood is also a popular wood choice.
Cut and place the designs on the wood slices.
4Tape Wood Piece to Larger One
Tape your tiny wood pieces to a larger wood slice from the backside.
Taping them down will hold them in place and allow you to easily turn them while you transfer and burn without worrying about getting burned. I learned this trick from @northstar_pyrogrpahy.
Choose a transfer method. These are discussed in the book. I suggest a graphite, blue Chaco, or pencil on paper methods. Here I am using the pencil on paper method.
Transfer the design. Remember, the more accurate the transfer, the cleaner the burn will be.
6Draw With Wood Burning Tool
Warm up your burner with your nib of choice securely attached.
Be sure to work in a well-ventilated space because the glue can be quite stinky, and follow the guidelines listed by the manufacturer.
Test your temperature on the back of one of your wood slices or a scrap piece of the same type of wood before getting started.
Follow your transfer lines. Go slowly and be careful. Keep your fingers out of the way.
Consider using a different wood slice or object of equal thickness as a working surface on which to rest your hand.
This will allow you to burn more carefully and precisely with a steadier hand, which is especially important when working on something small.
7Embellish With Gel Pens
Remove any remaining transfer markings.
Embellish your tiny wood burned designs with gel pens. There is no wrong way to do it, and I encourage you to go for it! Use metallic, neon, or monochrome colors. Color the whole thing, or just add accents. It is completely up to you!
Once you are happy with the look, add a finish to keep them looking great for a long time. Allow to fully dry.
Pull out magnets, E6000 glue, and cotton swabs. Flip the tiny burned slices over so the backside is facing up.
Get a good amount of E6000 glue on the cotton swab and rub it on one side of a magnet.
Quickly place and slightly squish the magnet onto the backside of the wood burned piece.
Check on them after a few minutes to re-center any of the magnets which may have shifted position. Allow the glue to dry overnight.
9Display Your Art
Once dry, your adorable handmade magnets are ready for use!
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛