One of my most favorite things to do is repurposing. Take something old that's seen it's best years and give it a new life and a new purpose. In this Simple How to Wood Burned Frame tutorial I show you how to use an inexpensive wood burning tool to do just that. Old mirror frame turned piece of unique art. What was once an ordinary frame is now a heritage piece I'll hang in my home forever.
I have Scandinavian roots in my heritage, so wherever I can I like to incorporate inspired pieces throughout my house. First I googled my heart out looking for Viking inspired art work and Norse languages. Then I printed out a few that I thought would be the easiest to wood burn. This was to be my first project ever using my wood burner.
I'd already previously painted it a navy blue, but decided to go ahead and paint it a pretty greige color called Fawn Brindle by Sherwin Williams. Then I distressed it slightly. Now that that was out of the way I could get onto the design work.
First I got out a pencil, a metal ruler, and a good eraser. Then I used the printed pictures of patterns to look at while I was drawing my design on my frame. It's gonna take some time. Be patient. I went with a pretty complicated design because the more then better, right?
GET YOURSELF AN INEXPENSIVE WOOD BURNER, PENCIL, METAL RULER & ERASER
You can find inexpensive wood burners at almost every craft store including Harbor Freight, Walmart, Hobby Lobby, & Michaels. Which honestly, inexpensive works just as well. But the extra tools in the Walnut Hollow Creative-Versa Tool Kit* are pretty neat. (*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra expense to you.)
Grab yourself something wooden that needs new life. Anything wooden will do! You can give it some style with a little bit of time and a small bit of attention. Flat surfaces are much easier to work with, but you can still do rounded with patience and prayer.
I will also caution you that while using a metal ruler is absolutely necessary, I used it to guide my wood burner for straight lines, it will get hot and if you aren't careful you will definitely burn yourself.
NOW IT'S TIME FOR A LITTLE DIY WOOD BURNED MIRROR FRAME
1. Start with a fresh palette.
I have found these little hobby burners do pretty good, but they work faster if you're using them on painted surfaces. Because it melts the paint more than it has to burn the actual wood.
2. Have something to reference
When I draw any designs I like having something in front of me to look at. Also, I always start with a pencil & have an eraser handy. The larger the project the longer the process. So be patient.
3. Work in one section at a time.
I figured out what I was going to do in one section completely, then I wood burn it. Then and only then, I move on to the next section.
4. Using exact measurements helps
When I plan which design to use and how to use it in a space I first measure the space I'm working with and then make sure it's even. Another time in life I'm glad I learned division.
5. Remember to keep your hand away from the edge of the metal ruler.
Because it gets really hot. I use it to guide my burner so I can get those crisp straight edges in my designs. I have a pretty steady hand, but not that steady.
6. Add something personal.
For me, I chose to add in Norse Runes for each of my children's names and our last name in large letters in the center bottom with the year my husband and I got married. Of course this step is completely optional. But this choice made this piece immediately a heritage piece for me. I will never part with it because it is now apart of our family's story.
7. Add function.
I added 4 bull clips to this frame, screwed into the wood so they lay flat. This way I can display items. I may eventually take them off and use it to display family photos though, because that would be a great use.
8. Perfection is not required here.
There are mistakes I made in this process. Some parts didn't burn perfectly, that's completely part of the charm. I wasn't trying to replicate a big box store assembly line piece of art. Art is what you make of it. It's personal. It's a story. Flaws are apart of that.
And voila! It's finished and beautiful and I love it. I hope this quick "how to" helps inspire you to use those creative juices and repurpose a piece that maybe you have lying around needing some love.
Thanks for stopping by!