Faux Wood-Burned Ornaments
Using torch paste, stencils and a heat gun has provided a wonderful alternative to those crafters who may not feel comfortable using a standard wood-burning tool. The paste also allows crafters to produce multiples in a shorter period of time.
This graphic set found at Creative Fabrica provided the perfect images for the snowflakes used on the wood pieces.
- Christmas Vector Graphic Set designed by Nata Art Graphic
- Torch Paste®, applicator and squeegee
- Silkscreen stencils (IkonArt Stencil)
- Heat gun
- Wood blanks (2-inch squares used for this project)
- Long-handled tweezers
From plain to fabulous!
Be sure to do this project in a well-ventilated area. Follow the directions provided with the Torch Paste. If you have sensitivities to chemical smells OR chemicals in general, wear gloves and a respirator mask.
Prepare the stencils. Silkscreen stencil materials from IkonArt Stencils were used. The Snowflake PNG images in black were used. Please refer to this article for details on creating your stencils. It’s an easy process to follow and since we’re using a small surface for the application you can get quite a few stencils from a single sheet of material and film. The steps are:
4. Post Expose
These stencils have been used previously but were used for this project as well
While the stencils are drying and before the post expose step, prep the wood. Make sure that the surface of the wood blank is smooth. Sand if required using a fine-grit sandpaper. Use a tack cloth to remove any dust. No stain or sealers were applied prior to using the torch paste.
Now that your stencils are ready, let’s get started. Remove the backing from the stencil and set aside. Place stencil on the wood, textured side up, – you can dampen the back of the stencil just a little if the stencil moves too much on the wood. Using the provided spatula, apply a small amount of paste on the stencil, and using the squeegee, spread the paste across the stencil. Remove any excess and place back in the jar. Lift the stencil. There will be a slight yellow cast in the area where the paste has gone through the mesh of the stencil. If desired, you can reuse the stencil a couple of times more repeating the application process. When you’ve finished with the stencil, place in a small bucket with some water or in the washbasin to soak until you’re finished. You can see the process here:
The paste can set for a few minutes before you begin the heating process. When you’re ready hold the wood with a pair of tweezers and turn on the heat gun. The wood will become very hot and don’t leave the heat gun in one spot too long. Once the paste has heated sufficiently, it will begin to change colors to the nice deep brown of a wood-burned item. Once the change has taken place, set the piece down to cool. Each piece shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes to “burn.” And it’s so much fun to watch happen. Keep that gun moving though!
To finish your ornaments….
Use twine as your hanger material. Easy and gives a rustic look. Use some E6000 or some hot glue to secure in place if you don’t want to drill hanging holes in the wood. Be sure to let the glue dry thoroughly before hanging…. We might have gotten a little excited and not let a couple of pieces fully dry before hanging! TIP: Wire can also be used as a hanging material. For an even more rustic look, oxidize a little wire with some vinegar (letting it rust a little) and secure to the wood. Add small jingle bells and narrow ribbon or fabric strips.
Upsize the wood and the stencils for another version perfect to set on a shelf or countertop. Lots of options and we’re betting your imagination is limitless!
Remember too, that you can use inks, paints, chalk paint with the stencils. Just rinse the stencils thoroughly, let dry between different mediums, and you can change the outcomes in lots of ways.
For an added highlight or color, you can use mica, glitter, colored pencils – Have Fun!
These are small enough to be used as tags for packages or used on cards, mini albums, or scrapbook layouts for that “extra” personal touch!