Miy Garden
Miy Monogram Wood burning Decor
Decorative designs are easy to make, a great project for beginners
C r e a t i o n s  & I n s p i r a t i o n s
"f o r   t h e   p u r e   j o y   o f   m a k i n g   t h i n g s"
Miycreations Project article and photographs
by  Maddylane

Monogram Retro Stool: Make a lasting impression

The ancient craft of wood burning creates decorative designs on wooden objects. This
project is perfect for beginners because you can start with any wood item around your
home. The last time I did wood burning was in the '70s, so I decided to practice on my
workshop stool to give it a cool retro look, and if I messed it up it wouldn't matter.

Hands-on time: Under 2 hours.
Total time: Plus drying time for the water-based stains (2 hours), and the gloss
varnish (2 hours for each coat).
Skill: Perfect for beginners.
Project cost: Approximately $14.95 for the wood-burning tool.

Materials & tools:
•  Previously painted or unpainted wooden stool (assorted pre-made wooden items, in
basswood, pine and birch are available at craft and hardware stores)
•  Wood-burning tool with assorted points
•  Needle-nose pliers with rubber handles (to change the hot points)
•  Fine-grained sandpaper and tack cloth
•  Steel ruler
•  Graphite paper
•  Monogram letter template or design of your choice on paper
•  Circle template or a compass
•  Masking tape
•  A pencil or a ballpoint pen
•  Grey and white eraser (the grey to remove pencil marks, white for cleaning and
•  Wood scraps to practice and test the points
•  Protective workshop goggles (to prevent the smoke from the burner from getting
into your eyes while working)
•  dark gel stain
•  High-gloss, Minwax Polycrylic waterbased protective finish
•  Foam paintbrush

(Items for this project are available at arts, crafts and hardware stores.)

Prepare previously painted surfaces by cleaning items by sanding lightly and wiping
with a tack cloth. Make a photocopy or a printout of a monogram letter to use as your
design template. Cut the design around the edges. Cut a piece of graphite paper in
the same size. Place the graphite paper under the design and use masking tape to
attach them to the wood surface. Use a pencil or pen to trace the design onto the

With a circle template, draw circles in assorted sizes around the monogram letter.
Attach the small round tip point (called the cone point) to the wood-burner. Place the
burner on the wire stand and plug it in. It takes about three to five minutes for the
point to heat up.

Use scrap pieces of wood to practice the basic strokes, like dots, lines and shading.
Hold the handle lightly in your hand, like a pencil at a normal writing angle. With the
point touching the wood surface, glide the tool smoothly toward you in a fluid motion,
lifting the point as soon as you finish a line. You don't need to press hard. The longer
the point touches the surface, the darker the image. A light line can be made darker
but dark areas cannot be made lighter. Try burning your design lightly at first and then
re-burn to darken as desired.

When ready, begin burning the monogram pattern onto the stool. While working, clean
the point tip frequently with sandpaper to remove any carbon deposits. Rotate the
item as needed while you work. Use a steel ruler to achieve straight lines. Make
assorted circle designs using a combination of dots and basic lines. Make dots by
holding the tool straight. Touch the surface only long enough to create the size of dot
wanted and quickly remove. As you burn your design, small ash residues will collect
on the wood's surface. Every so often, stop to brush them off with a cloth or
sandpaper. Add dot details to the border of the stool seat. Once your design is
completed, unplug the burner and let it rest on the stand until cool. Use an eraser to
remove any pencil or graphite lines.

To make the design imprint more uniform in color, rub a dab of dark gel stain over the
burned design with a cloth and quickly wipe it off.

To add to the retro look of this old stool, I gave the seat area a high-gloss finish. Apply
two to three coats of easy to use and apply Minwax Polycrylic, letting each coat dry in
between applications.

Variations: With basic wood-burning techniques you can create amazing designs on
various items throughout your home - like serving trays, chip wood boxes, bowls,
vases, flower boxes, decorative gourds, wood baskets and address plaques.

To make an entertaining coffee table for the cottage or family room, imprint a
checkerboard design and your family name on an old table.

Water-based or wax-based stains and oil pencils can be used to apply color and
details to wood-burned objects.

Safety Tips:
Remember the points are very hot and need to be handled with care especially when
changing them; unplug the tool and let the points cool. Remove and replace the points
using pliers. Always place the hot point tips and the pliers on a heat resistance
surface (such as glass, or a ceramic) and to place the tool back in the wire cradle
stand when not in use.
Monograms on wood;
Burning gives wood a retro
look. Decorative designs
are easy to make, a great
project for beginners
Make a lasting
The ancient
craft of wood burning creates
decorative designs on
wooden objects.
• Designs od choice can also be
applied to wooden surfaces using
stain markers
to create various
designs on wooden surfaces;mirrors,
frames, pencil holder containers,
Use scrap pieces of wood to
practice the basic strokes,
like dots, lines and shading.

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~ by MaddyLane Designs ~ Madeleine Langlois