Get creative doing wood burning with stencils. There are so many beautifully designed decorative templates you will find it difficult to choose just one.
Wood burning stencils can be a burners best friend.
There are an incredible variety available to help you create exactly what you want to achieve.
Alphabet and numerical templates are a lifesaver for those of us who are not lettering specialists. It is very difficult to do lettering free hand and achieve a well-spaced, even sized word that looks professional.
This is where stencils make it easy.
There are two types of stencils on the market.
Metal stencil designs can be traced directly onto the wood with the hot tool tip.
Plastic ones will melt if you do this. You will need to trace the design in pencil first from the template and then wood burn the design outlines freehand.
Using metal stencils are perfect for wood burning.
The design is “carved” out of a fairly thin sheet of stainless steel approximately 0.3mm thick. This then allows you to use a wood burning tool with an appropriate sized and shaped nib to trace and burn the design directly onto the wood.
A tip for transferring the design. The metal may get a little hot and start to lift or bend because of the hot nib. Just let it cool a little and settle down before starting to use it again.
For a decorative template and one that has the words all layed out for you this is an easy solution.
If you are using an alphabet or numerical stencil kit that requires you to build up the words or numbers as you work – a lot of care is required in the placement. This is the same care that is required when using pyrography stamp sets.
For this it is advisable to trace the letters and make up your words in pencil first. Then you can erase and re-do any misaligned letters or spacing before you start burning.
Using a normal plastic stencil for this method is more than adequate.
Another option that are just as effective for transferring designs, numbers and letters are plastic stencils.
These are made of food-grade PET (polyethylene terephthalate). This is the chemical name for polyester. It is 100% body-safe, non-toxic, odorless, durable, flexible, re-useable and easy to clean.
This flexibility allows you to use it on all sorts of shapes and curves. These are perfect for most projects.
The only snag is that you cannot transfer these designs using a hot wood burning pen. The plastic will melt.
You need to use a pencil for transferring and then outline the design freehand with a pyrography tool and nib of your choice.
Making your own custom stencils for wood is not a difficult process.
But you will have to spend time doing the preparation and execution to get a good quality template that you are happy to use.
There are 2 methods to choose from:
Follow the same preparation as for cutting your template out with a craft knife up to the point of taping your design firmly to the glass.
But, instead of getting the craft knife out:
This method does not produce as crisp a stencil for wood burning as the craft knife does. The melted edges will never be as perfect as the sharp cut of a blade.
In conclusion, using wood burning stencil designs will enhance the projects you are working on.
A pyrography stencil and can save you a lot of time and frustration when it comes to laying out the finicky letters and numbers part of a design.
Additionally, if you are producing multiple copies of the same design for stocking a shop or selling at a fair – a template will definitely speed up the process of getting the design onto your chosen blanks.
Happy stenciling and successful burning.
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