Have you ever tried wood burning? I have to admit, I was a little unsure of this art form since everything I’ve ever seen that’s been wood burned looks way more advanced than my crafty skill level. I just assumed you had to be an expert at wood burning to create anything that looks remotely professional. Little did I know, all you need is either a stencil or some transfer paper to create really cool and simple artwork. The best part is anyone can wood burn even if you’ve never touched a wood burner before!
I was gifted my Chicago Skyline stencil from Stencil Resolution, which made this project so easy. When I saw they had the Chicago skyline (among a ton of other really cool designs!) I knew I had to get it. However, when I was first looking through all of their stencils I almost went with the growth chart (which I thought would be perfect for making a DIY growth chart). I was also contemplating the Fish Scale Stencil. I thought the design of this one would be cool to add to fabric and then stitch it into a pillow. I ended up going with the Chicago skyline because I thought it would look great hanging in our garage above my husband’s work bench. Those of use that live in Chicago have so much pride for our city. We love incorporating our city flag and beloved skyline into our fashion and home decor!
First, I placed my stencil on top of my piece of wood and centered it. Stencil Revolution has 7 different stencil sizes to choose from ranging from 5×6 to 55×35. The 18×12 stencil size I picked was perfect for the Walnut Hollow wood sign I had. Since my stencil was larger than my piece of wood, I decided to omit the “Chicago” from the bottom. I was left with just the skyline. After I centered the stencil, I used a pencil to trace around the design. I had to use a fine point pen for some of the smaller more intricate areas.
Once my entire design was traced onto my wood plank, I began wood burning. First, I used the universal point to outline the entire skyline.
Then, I began to fill in the inside of the skyline with my flow point. Since the design was already outlined, the flow point made it super easy to fill in the design. It took me about 5 hours to wood burn the entire design. I have to admit, the entire wood burning process was quite relaxing!
I ended up adding some stain to my wood plank. The stain I used was from Rust-Oleum. I added a little bit of stain to my cloth and rubbed it with the grain of the wood along the top and sides of my wood plank. Then, I used another cloth to rub off any excess stain. I let the stain dry for over 24 hours (even though it only requires 1 hour).
My final step was adding a sawtooth hanger to the back of my wood. I measured out space for two hooks and hammered a nail into each hole. Once that was done, I was ready to pop my DIY Wood Burned Chicago Skyline Sign up on the wall in our garage.
Hopefully I have convinced you that wood burning can be an easy and approachable hobby. With the right tools (stencil, wood plank, and wood burner) you can begin your wood burning journey with confidence!