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Your guide to wood burning for beginners!

Wood burning, also known as pyrography, is a fun and relaxing hobby that you can enjoy with friends, family, or all on your own.

Believe it or not, the activity actually releases endorphins in the brain and can have some impressive health benefits, including a reduced risk of mental illness and dementia, as well as boosted happiness and a stronger immune system.1

Not only that, but with enough practice, a wood-burning hobby could actually lead to a widely successful wood-burning business.


People today are enamored with the rustic aesthetic, which is why handcrafted small businesses online remain so popular.

Simple wooden decor with neutral colors has an unmatched way of accenting a room, and this is why wood burning will probably never go out of style. In fact, wood burning tools and solutions are only becoming easier and more convenient.


Today’s article will be discussing wood burning for beginners, the best wood for burning, the different tools available out there, and even some projects you could get started on today.


Best Wood for Wood Burning

It’s important to remember that not all wood is the same, and having an idea of some different types of wood can come in handy.

Starting a wood burning project with soft, light-colored wood will be the best choice for helping your design stand out. When it comes to wood burning for beginners, an inexpensive option to spend lots of time practicing on will also be beneficial. Many pyrography experts choose to design on woods like:


  • Basswood
  • Birch
  • Pine


Basswood is an especially common wood choice among beginners and seasoned pyrographers, mostly because it’s so clean and light in color.

A number of different techniques and designs can effortlessly be added to basswood. Another benefit of basswood is that it can be found easily in most craft stores, and doesn’t cost much at all.


Regardless of the type of wood used, it’s always recommended to sand the piece before you start working to a nice, smooth texture to provide the best result.

Tools for Successful Wood Burning

As mentioned above, there are a number of different modern options for wood burning techniques. This article will focus on two different options; the traditional pyrography pen, and a revolutionary wood burning marker. For either option, you will begin your project with a piece of wood, and then, it’s time for the big decision.

●     Pyrography Pen:

The traditional pyrography pen heats a needle tip to a very high temperature, which is then used to burn distinctive patterns into a piece of wood. An entire wood burning kit can range anywhere from $50-$300, and proper safety must be taught before use.

●     Wood Burning Marker:

For an easier, safer approach to wood burning for beginners, a wood-burning marker is a great option worth considering. Known simply as the Scorch Marker, countless designs can be created using nothing but a heat gun. This solution also opens the opportunity to add the beautiful “burnt” look to paper and cardboard as well.

Why Choose the Scorch Marker?

For beginners especially, the Scorch Marker really stands out because of its semi-permanence. Covering mistakes in traditional pyrography is almost impossible, and one slip of the hand can ruin an entire work of art.

The Scorch Marker eliminates this frustration by providing designs that are deep enough to be permanent, but shallow enough to be sanded down and easily drawn again.


Above all else, the Scorch Marker takes the intimidation out of wood burning. You don’t have the same worry about actually burning yourself, and can still enjoy the same intricate designs.

Wood Burning Project Ideas

It’s easy for the wood burning beginner to feel overwhelmed by all the different project options, but this should be an exciting time for you to really release pent-up creative energy.

One of the best pieces of advice is to just grab a piece of basswood and get to work. Some of the best wood burning project ideas include making wooden signs, coasters, clocks, and cutting boards. These simple designs are sure to keep you inspired for the long term.



  1. Ashley, S. (2018, July 25). Here's How Creativity Actually Improves Your Health. Forbes.

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