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Woodburning Basics

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Use simple woodburning tools and easy-to-learn techniques to help you add distinctive designs to a variety of bare-wood projects.

Woodburning technique

Wood Burning Tool Kit

Transfer patterns to wood


Woodburning Success Tips

  1. Soft woods with minimal grain, such as pine or aspen, are easier to burn than hardwoods.
  2. As you work, use 320-grit sandpaper on a solid block to lightly brush away any residue or buildup from the tip of the woodburning pen. If you do this while the tip is hot, avoid holding the sandpaper in your hands or touching the paper more than a second.
  3. Use a small pair of pliers to remove hot tips safely and easily. Place hot tips in a small glass or metal dish to cool. Even though cool tips can be handled safely, use pliers to insert them into the barrel of a hot tool.
  4. Let the woodburning pen do the work -- don't force it. Too much pressure can bend hot tips.
  5. Try out new steps and techniques on a sample board cut from the same material you're burning. Practice with different tips to see how they burn and what types of lines and patterns they create.
  6. Keep the woodburning pen out of the reach of children and away from flammable materials.


Create Woodburning Designs

To transfer a design, first download, print, and (if necessary) assemble the paper pattern. Place transfer paper between the pattern on top and the wood below, and trace the lines of the pattern with a pencil or ballpoint pen to create the design on the wood.

Burn patterns into wood


Use a woodburning tool to burn the design into the wood with the appropriate tip. To prevent fire or injury, follow all safety instructions that came with the kit.

Paint shapes within the woodburned pattern

If desired, add color to the design by applying a water-base wood stain. The product we used can be tinted more than 50 custom colors at the Lowe's paint counter.

Tool Tip Options

A woodburning tool kit includes a pen-like tool you plug into an electrical outlet, plus several tips that attach to the tool to create different effects. Check out the quick guides to the basic tips below.



Shading Tip

Use it to create a teardrop pattern or light or dark shading.


Branding Tip 1

Apply with a vertical stroke. This one makes star-in-circle shapes.

Universal Tip

Hold at different angles to draw lines of varying thicknesses.

Dot Tip

Use light touches for fine dots; press down harder for deep holes.

Branding Tip 2

Make striped circles with this one. You can turn the tip 90 degrees and re-apply for crisscross patterns.

Calligraphy Tip

Create fine lines and letters with this tip shaped like a pen point.

Groove Tip

Burn grooves into the wood; work slowly for deeper grooves.

Branding Tip 3

Make a square or diamond in a circle. Group the patterns for a lattice look.