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How Do I Choose the Best Wood Burning Patterns?

By Tara Barnett
Updated May 16, 2024
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Choosing the best wood burning patterns is primarily about finding a pattern that will look good on a specific piece. Patterns are almost always designed to be used with carbon paper, which can be used to transfer the design onto the wood being burnt. Certain elements, like extremely small details or shading, are somewhat difficult and therefore not ideal for beginners. When appropriate patterns cannot be found for a specific project, it is relatively easy to make them out of any image using computer programs.

The first thing to consider when choosing wood burning patterns is how technically advanced you are in the craft of wood burning. This art is not easy to master, and elements like shading and very small lines should be avoided when choosing wood burning patterns for beginners. In some cases, you must consider whether you have all the tools you will need to finish a project as well.

When choosing wood burning patterns for a specific piece of wood, it is important to think about the qualities of the piece as well. A design must, of course, fit on the piece of wood in question. Some designs look better on woods of different colors and degrees of hardness, although with talent you might be able to overcome difficulties with burning certain types of wood. Size considerations can be overcome by resizing the pattern, but this can lead to difficulties when the resulting pattern is burned because of the thickness of the lines.

Even patterns that do not portray scenes or objects and consist entirely of abstract designs must still fit on the wood in a regular way. Bands that make up designs, for example, must meet at a point so that the design appears seamless. This can be complicated when using a pattern on a cylinder or even when burning different sides of a box.

One of the most common types of wood burning pattern involves images that are meant to be centered on a flat piece of wood. The subject of these images is quite varied and may include animals, nature scenes, or words. Choosing among the many different images available is entirely an aesthetic choice, and no pattern is necessarily better than any other.

Most wood burning patterns are simply line art that is designed in such a way that it is ready to copy on a copier and easy to transfer using carbon paper. Line art can also be created using a computer or by hand and can be used as a custom pattern that can be applied to wood. When using this method, it is important to think about how the final design will look on the wood and to design the pattern while considering the difficulty of burning it.

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Discussion Comments
By Cageybird — On Nov 25, 2014

You may want to look for beginner wood burning patterns in books sold at craft stores. I bought my son a wood burning kit for Christmas last year and I was surprised to see how few wood burning designs were included. He was doing some things free-handed, like letters and simple graphics, but he needed something more professional in order to improve his craft.

I went back to the craft store where I bought the wood burning tools and they happened to have one book of free wood burning designs a local wood burning professional had donated.

By Phaedrus — On Nov 24, 2014

I have found a lot of free wood burning patterns for beginners online, and I can print them out on special transfer paper. I'm still learning the basics of wood burning, so I try to pick patterns that don't require advanced techniques like feathering and shading. That would be my advice to anyone looking for wood burning designs. Understand your skill level and don't try to do anything more difficult unless you have the proper wood burning tools.

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