This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Dremel. All opinions are 100% mine.
I’m so excited for a good number of reasons today. First off I was asked to become a Dremel Maker. How exciting is that?!? The good folks over there got in touch with me and sent me a Dremel Maker Kit for me to play around with and guess what? I am in LOVE with this kit and I made the most fabulous wood burned floral cuff with it. It’s bright and colorful and I feel terribly hip while wearing it which is no small feat! :)
Now I knew my kit was coming in the mail and I had so many ideas for how to use it. The kit comes with a 200-Series Rotary Tool (the classic Dremel tool you probably first imagined when I mentioned the brand, an engraver and a butane soldering torch. My first instinct was that I wanted to work with the engraver so the very moment that box arrived I opened it up, checked everything out and set aside some acrylic sheeting to play around with the next morning.
I was first drawn to the engraver and I practiced drawing with it on acrylic sheets. The results? Gorgeous. But unfortunately you had to put something behind the etched design to be able to see it and that just didn’t jive with the project idea I had in my head for a clear, see through project.
Since that project wound up not photographing well I was on the hunt for a new concept to share with you guys. After reading a bit about the soldering torch in the little information booklet that came in the kit I realized that this was not just a butane torch but a tool that has several functions. This cool little tool, called the Versa-Tip, also acts as a wood burning tool and since it’s butane powered that means NO CORD to mess with. The moment I saw that my little wood burned cuff bracelet started to come together in my head.
Boom! I love it! Grab yourself a Dremel Maker kit, hit up the supply list below and let’s get to burning!
For this project you will need:
- Dremel Versa-Tip
- Graphite transfer paper
- Design (look online or in adult coloring books)
- Wood stain & polyurethane
- Alcohol inks
Take a design you love and cut it to the same size as your wood cuff. Grab a piece of graphite transfer paper and place it darker side down toward the cuff. Wrap your printed design over the transfer paper and then tape onto the cuff in several areas so that it holds down well and doesn’t shift around on you.
Not sure what graphite transfer paper is? It’s this really neat stuff that you draw onto the backside of (or trace through a print out, most commonly) and it transfers the design in graphite (it looks just like a drawn image with a pencil) onto whatever you’re working on, be it a coffee mug, maybe a pallet sign or what have you. You can find it online and in craft stores.
Using a colorful pen trace the design on your paper to transfer it onto your cuff. I suggest a colorful pen so you can easily see what you have and haven’t marked up as you work!
Graphite smudges quite easily so to keep from having a terrible mess on our hands peel away a small section of the paper away from the cuff. Heat up your Versa-Tip and gently trace the graphite design to burn it in.
In the past I’ve had a terrible time with wood burning looking weird and sketchy. I asked on so many blogs and so many forums, how do crafters and makers get such a nice, smoothly drawn line when burning wood when the tip would rather follow the wood grain than the design you have in mind. I have had such a hard time with this, in fact, that I often would work my projects so that I only needed to draw straight lines which is boring. But I have learned the secret as I used this tool and as I worked from left to right my lines got smoother and lovelier as I went. Want to know the secret?
You don’t actually push the nib into the wood like you would a pencil or a pen. Instead you glide the tool over the surface of the wood and it burns as it grazes the surface. See how up there my first section has lots of dots in my lines? That’s because I was pushing the tool into the wood thinking I needed to push hard to make the wood change color and actually burn but that is so not the case.
As you work around the cuff remove a small amount of paper at a time, taking care not to touch the paper with your hot tool as that is a bit of a fire hazard!
Before we head on to the next step check out just how much better my lines look. I think I finally figured this out because I didn’t have a cord to fuss with and I was less worried about the tool whipping around and around like I’ve had my classic wood burner do when the cord started to get wound up from my moving it all around. Yay!
Once your design is stained it’s time to block off anything we don’t want to take the wood stain we’ll be covering the rest of the cuff with. Paint a quick application of clear polyurethane over the design with a small brush. I couldn’t find my can of poly so I just sprayed a bit onto a piece of paper and brushed it from there onto my cuff and it worked out very well. Just be sure to do this outside or in a properly ventilated area.
Now that we’ve masked the design it’s time to stain the negative space of the design. I first went with my favorite shade, Special Walnut, but it didn’t seem dark enough. I wound up going over that with Espresso and then, when that seemed to dark I wound up very lightly whitewashing the background to go over it with golden oak. Now wouldn’t it have just been simpler if I would have stuck with my Special Walnut? Dang!
After allowing the stain a moment to sit be sure to wipe the excess away. If you don’t buff away the extra very well the stain will be come tacky and it’s a big mess!
Now it’s time to bring some vibrant color to the mix! They do sell colorful wood stains but they can be expensive so I’ve stuck to a craft medium I know and love so much that I have a book coming out on it this winter… alcohol ink!
Place a few drops of alcohol ink onto a non-porous surface (zipper bag works well) and then using a paintbrush with stiff bristles paint the color onto the areas you wish to stain. Now take care to put very, very little onto the brush as it will spread and once you’ve stained the color on it’s on and a big dribble of color down the side might work out but it also might be quite unattractive!
Once you’ve gotten your background and design to your liking seal with polyurethane to protect the finish and design for years to come!
So what do you think? I LOVE my cuff. I wish I would have stuck with my gut on the wood stain color but I’m still very happy with how it turned out. That’s the thing about making… you’ve got to go with the DIY flow!
p.s. my next tool is totally going to be the Dremel Moto Saw <— How cool is that sucker!?!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Dremel. All opinions are 100% mine.Written by Allison Murray - Visit Website