Wood burned coasters are a great creative project that can be done no matter what time of year it is. Pyrography is the art of decorating wood (or leather) with a heated pen that burns the image into the wood as opposed to using paint to embellish it. Better yet, it requires only three materials and some practice to find your groove with a pyrography pen. I’ll warn you now though, it can be very addictive!
You can get your design inspiration from almost anywhere but adult coloring books have some lovely line drawings that are easy to copy with a wood-burning tool. I used some of the designs from the Garden Therapy Coloring Book as inspiration for these coasters.
Making branch slices into coasters is a fun project that can be done easily from found wood or trees cut down from your property. There are full instructions here if you would like to make your own. Wood slice crafts are so popular these days that you can also purchase wood slices online very easily.
Cut and sand the coasters as in the instructions, but don’t stain them yet.
Set up the wood burning pen according to the package instructions and test out the different types of pen tips. I found that I definitely preferred the cone tip, but you get different results with each of them. Grab a block of wood that is well sanded and test out some of the tips and designs.
If you prefer to try something a little bit more structured, choose a drawing and use transfer paper to transfer the image onto the wood before using the wood burning tool.
I prefer to freehand the drawing and see what takes shape. As I work on the projects, I learn new techniques and designs that work well with a wood burning pen.
Once you are finished the line drawing, include embellishments and shading to really add depth to the artwork. One of my favorite “moves” with the wood burning pen is to make dots. The dots are perfectly round and get a little halo around them. You can also use the side of the wood burning pen to lightly burn parts of the wood and add a little bit of shading.
Use a spar urethane sealer to protect the finish of the wood once your design is complete. Sand and varnish the spar urethane as directed in the instructions on the packaging.
You can also add a few non-stick feet or glue a piece of felt to the bottom of the coasters to protect the tabletop that you’re using them on. My coasters are sanded so smoothly that they are fine directly on the table. I will say that my tables are not precious though, and a few scratches never bother me much.
Wrap up a set of four to give as a gift, or set them out in your own home to enjoy.