Use woodburning technique with kids to make a cutting board that would be a perfect gift for moms and grandmas. The keepsake cutting board captures both the child’s handprints and handwriting!
If you like trying new crafts, woodburning is another interesting technique to explore. I was particularly fond of it when I was around seven or eight, woodburning cutting boards for my mom and any other relatives who expressed the desire to get a customized cutting board. Later, I switched to painting, and haven’t played with woodburning again until now, when my son is approaching that same age. So, we bought a simple woodburner and made our first project together.
The post contains Amazon affiliate links to the products we used.
Together, we made a cutting board – capturing both his handprints and handwriting. It was a great experience for me, remembering my childhood and sharing it with my son at the same time. And he liked using the woodburning tool.
Why Do Woodburning?
- It’s a unique technique that lets you leave permanent designs on wood while preserving its natural beauty.
- It’s perfect for turning everyday wooden objects into personalized gifts (think cutting boards, hammer handles, picture frames, etc. – just make sure they’re wooden).
- It also works well for creating some rustic decor.
- It uses a tool that would really appeal to boys. I’m not saying that girls wouldn’t like it. I was a girl, and I loved it. But, you know, this is the kind of craft that might inspire a boy who wouldn’t be into all sorts of crafts, but likes tinkering and building.
What Is the Right Age to Start?
Now, this is a tricky question. The tip of the woodburner gets very hot – hot enough to burn wood – so it requires certain precautions.
Manufacturers recommend woodburners to children of twelve and above. There were no such recommendations on my old woodburner. It was marketed as a kid’s toy, and by the time I was twelve, I thought that I had long outgrown it. It was only later than I discovered beautiful woodburning pictures made by professional artists and rather wished that I had it again.
My own opinion is that a simple pen woodburner requires about the same level of precation as a hot glue gun. And to be completely honest, when I burned myself with both of those tools, the hot glue gun hurt a lot more. So when the kid is ready to use a hot glue gun, he or she is probably ready to use a woodburner. Stay close by and monitor the activity. Don’t forget to unplug it as soon as you’re done!
How to Woodburn a Cutting Board
First, you’ll need a wooden cutting board. We’ve got ours from Ikea, but that was a few years ago. I’m not sure if they still carry the same ones. Thrift stores and dollar stores will likely have something suitable. It is also possible to woodburn a bamboo cutting board, but the burnt marks are not as dark, so if have some choice, go for a light-coloured hardwood – maple, beech or birch.
Have the child place his or her hands in the centre of the cutting board, so that the index fingers and thumbs form a heart.
Outline them with a pencil.
Ask the child to write a message underneath.
Now, it’s time to plug the wooburner in and wait for about 5 minutes. It needs to heat to a certain temperature before it will burn. If you have never used a woodburner or have not used it for a while, experiment on a scrap of wood – an old cutting board or a wooden block – before starting on the cutting board.
The idea is to slowly move the woodburner over the pencil lines, leaving a burning mark behind. The temperature on small woodburning pens is not very consistent, so sometimes you may be required to wait a few seconds for it to heat up again.
This is a job that an older kid can do, but I did it for my five-year-old son.
He did experiments on an old wooden block and came to the conclusion that he could make dots by stabbing the tool into the wood. I thought that adding some different texture would be good, and so I suggested that he decorate the heart with dots. So he did.
And this is the finished cutting board.
For dads and granddads, we have these space rock magnets!
Or paint watercolour cards for moms and dads!
Thank you for reading!