How to Get Started With the Art of Pyrography (Also Known As Woodburning)

Pyrography is an inexpensive and fun art that can really bring your DIY projects to life. You just need a pyrography pen, a clean piece of wood, and your imagination to create unique pieces.

Pyrography is the art of decorating wood or other materials with burn marks from a heated object. You can personalize your joinery projects by adding your name or initials, or create and burn a drawing or scene on wood.


Most often, firewood is fired with a pyrography pen (see the photo at the top of this post). They are called solid fuel burners and are similar in appearance and construction to a soldering iron. They have a solid brass tip that is heated by an electrical element and operates at a fixed temperature.

More advanced pyrography tools have adjustable heat control and use a wire-tipped torch (shown above) to create more accurate wood burning details.

To use a pyrographic pen, press it against a piece of wood and hold and lift at varying intervals. The longer you keep the pen in contact with the wood, the darker and wider the stain. This shading effect is used to create a sense of depth and texture in the work.

Pyrography pens start at around $ 20 for this 25-watt Creative Versa tool, which includes various wood-burning tips, to a 130-watt Excalibre detailing master for $ 216. You can also buy this $ 139 basic wood burning kit which includes a high quality Colwood burner with attachments and instructions.


You can use wood for pyrography trays as long as you make sure they are smooth sanded and free of any chemicals. The best option, however, would be pine planks from your household or lumber yard . Give them light sand and you’re ready to start burning.

Other popular pyrographic woods include basswood, walnut, mahogany, and walnut / birch plywood. Lighter hardwoods will provide more contrast and show more detail.

Burn a copy

Freehand work allows you to get the most out of your creativity, but the use of carbon paper allows for greater precision. Place carbon paper on the board and under the drawing you drew or printed, then trace around the drawing with a pencil to mark the board. Then use a pyrographic pen and draw pencil lines on the wood.

Web pyrography is a great resource with helpful forums and how -tos to help you get started.


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