I wanted to take my child's handwriting and make it into a plaque for her door. I used pallet wood as a proof of concept and may improve it by redoing it with Cherry at a later date.
- Pallet Wood
- Paste Wax
- Wood Burner
Step 1: Prepare the Pallet
There are a ton of ways to disassemble a pallet. Since I only needed a short piece I just used a saw to cut between the slats.
If you are using a larger piece be sure to check that all nails, staples, etc are removed.
Once you have the board cut to size, give it a quick sand to remove any grime that maybe on the board. For this project I intentionally left a small amount for a rustic feel,
Step 2: Create the Pattern
Layout the size of your board on paper and then leaving some room for a border let your kid write there name. If i could go back I would have given her a wider tipped marker to make thicker lines.
Attach carbon paper to your template, make sure to pay attention to which side should be down.
Carefully trace over the name transferring it onto the wood.
Step 3: Burn the Wood
I'm just using the cheap soldering iron style wood burner you can get from any craft store.
You'll want to and carefully went over the carbon tracing. I experimented with different tips to see how they felt with the wood.
One thing that you'll want to watch out for as you burn is carbon build up on your tip. The easiest way to combat this is to have a wire brush nearby to give the tip a quick scrub. Alternatively you can use a razor blade to scrape the carbon off the tip.
Once you are happy with the burning it's up to you if you want to apply a finish or not. For this project I chose a simple paste wax just for a layer of protection. You can use colored finishes after you are done burning, for an example of that see my Dark Tower wood burning here.