Basics of DIYing – Wood Burning for Beginners

Continuing with my DIY basics series from 2 years ago, I decided to share the inner workings of a new crafting toy I’ve had for 4 years and never used; the creative wood-burning tool kit from Michaels (this is the kit I purchased;

The kit contains:

  • 950° Tool Featuring On/ Off Switch
  • 5596 – Cone Point
  • 5594 – Shading Point
  • 5590 – Universal Point
  • 5592 – Flow Point
  • Tool Stand
  • Instructions

These are how the 4 points look (the different shapes create different effects).


Universal Point – For basic lines of varying thicknesses

Flow Point – For curves and fine detailing

Cone Point – For fine lines. dots and dark curves

Shading Point – Smooth gradations, tear drop patterns and subtle shading techniques


  1. Plug it in for 4-5 min. Make sure the pen is resting on the provided stand to avoid burning yourself.
  2. Hold the pen as you would a pencil and first practice with the universal point to draw lines and basic words.
  3. Once you get the hang of it, you can do more elaborate designs using the other points.
  4. Use sandpaper to clean off the point as needed (be careful here as the tip will be very hot).
  5. For elaborate designs. draw a basic template on wood using a pencil. This makes it easier to go over the lines with the wood pen.
  6. When switching between points, always cool the pen down first before removing the current point. Use a small pair of pliers to remove the hot point safely and easily.

Tip: The harder / stronger the wood, the more pressure you can use. Elements like shading or dark outlines can be done with a stronger wood. If you try it with a soft, cheap wood (as usually seen in craft stores), you can crack or damage the piece.


Obviously, I had to try a Harry Potter themed wood item and decided on a ladle I got at the dollar store.

I wrote ‘This ladle is a Horcrux’ without an outline and drew a little Deathly Hallows symbol at the bottom.

This wood was also soft but without grain, which means the tip would press into the wood with the least pressure and create a huge dark mark. I had to be very careful with the pressure I used.


I bought a wood photo cube from Hobby Lobby with the image of a dog. I wanted to carve my chinchillas’ images on either side of the cube. I printed some chinchilla clipart outlines from google and used graphite transfer paper to add the outline.

I primarily used the flow and cone tips for this project. The cone was used to create the first basic outline. I went over it again with the flow tip. This wood was very soft and kept cracking as I added more pressure which is why I didn’t add any shading.

Things to Remember

  • The slower and longer you press on wood, the darker the mark will be.
  • Hold the pen lightly (even though it is on the heavier side). If you hold the pen tight, you will strain your fingers and feel the heat more.
  • Always practice with a new piece of wood to see how the pen reacts. Soft woods with minimal grain, such as pine or aspen, are easier to burn than hardwoods.
  • Never touch the top or metal parts of the pen, especially when hot.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Carol anne says:

    Looks interesting! ❤


    1. It definitely is. It’s a fun new technique to try out. And you can make custom wood coasters, trivets and so much more 🙂


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