After I finished my parent’s wedding anniversary chopping board, I had a bit of a pyrography bug, and made something similar for my sister and brother-in-law.
This time I used a what was labelled as a frame, size 11.5cm x 8mm thick, with a curly screw hook (that’s it’s technical name!) and twine loop, but I can’t find anything similar on google or ebay, which would probably suggest I’m using the wrong search terms. It was in the section with the other wooden items for decoupage and crafting in Trago Mills, and was a bargainous price, no joke. I originally was going to edit my original graphic with new names and date, but then decided it would be just as easy to start again, this time making it the right size from the start. It was definitely much quicker this time around.
Due to the lip on the frame, I cut a circle of graphite paper to fit inside the ring, and traced on the design as before.This wood was much easier to burn, although that also presented problems with having to avoid burn spots if I held the pen too long in one place. Despite making an effort to avoid the lip, I managed to get too close once and the heat from the pen barrel made a burn mark. I tried to sandpaper it off, but although it made it less obvious, it was still visible. My white acrylic paint had run out so I grabbed some oil paint, and then wondered why it still hadn’t dried days later. Duh. So, the oil paint got wiped off, leaving a slightly paler edge, and that burn is still visible, grrr.
I’m happy the result and as a bonus, it’s light enough to be held up by some tape (classy!) so they don’t have to bother with nails in their rental until their house hunt is successful.
My parents celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary this week, and although we don’t normally do presents for anniversaries, I thought it’d be a good excuse to bring out my pyrography pen, plus it seems to be a lot easier to think of gifts rather than something to burn for myself.
So, after a bit of googling for inspiration, I attempted to create a design in GIMP (too much brain power required), Paint (too simplistic) and Inkscape (first time I’d used it so too much effort to figure it out), before finally using OpenOffice Draw. I didn’t think about sizing until I’d virtually finished, so ended up having to export as a PDF from Draw, convert to a jpeg in GIMP then copy, paste and resize back in Draw.I printed out my design, then used a sheet of this graphite paper I’d found the day before at Trago Mills for £1.25 to transfer it onto the chopping board, which was way easier and produced a better transfer than my previous DIY graphite paper. I also used a ruler on any straight lines to hopefully prevent wobbliness.The pyrography took longer than I thought, as everything but the crosshatching had to be outlined then filled in, but I’m pretty impressed with the results! I ended up not burning the two horizontal lines as I liked it without and thought I might be pushing my luck to get two perfectly straight, long lines! I totally didn’t pay attention to the grain of the wood until I’d finished, which is now super annoying.
Anyway, congratulations Mum & Dad, 32 years and 7 children is a rarity these days! May there be many more happy years to come (and no doubt more grandchildren!).
These days it seems quite common for wedding gift lists to be cash/vouchers but when two of my closest friends said their gift list was with their honeymoon travel agent, I knew I wanted to do something else for them as well. I’ve got nothing against the whole cash/vouchers thing at all, but it just happens that at the moment I have the time and inclination to mess around with crafty stuff, whereas for past weddings I’ve been working 80 hour weeks and tbh, remembering to buy the voucher was stretching enough!
The pinterest stalking for suitable gifts began nearly a year ago, and I eventually came up with a plan to design a monogram type graphic and get it engraved onto a wooden chopping board. However, last November-ish, before I could properly investigate engraving companies, I randomly found a pyrography tool in Lidl for about £8 (got to love the random stuff they have in their weekly specials, my sewing machine and serger are also from there!) and figured I might as well try to do it myself first.
A few weeks before the wedding, as I finally sat down to design the monogram, I remembered the personalised illustration on their wedding invitation (that they had painted by this seller on Etsy) and thought that it could look pretty cool instead. I figured I had enough time to redo it or go with the monogram design if it didn’t work out, but it actually turned out better than I hoped! I took a photo of the illustration and then spent a while getting frustrated at GIMP because it’s been ages since I used it and I’d forgotten everything I ever knew about it. Anyway, the end result was a black and white simplified version (basically minus a lot of the hearts, dots and stars) that I thought could look a bit blurred once burned onto the wood.
I printed this out and unsurprisingly failed at transferring the image by heat as I don’t have the right type of printer for that to work, so resorted to the old school scribbling all over the reverse side and then tracing the image onto the wood.
The actual pyrography went pretty quickly once the large letters were complete and I used the same fine nib (is it even called a nib?) for the whole thing. Typically, the perfectionist in me finds all the little bits I messed up to be glaringly obvious (and really annoying!), i.e. don’t look at the way too fat plane, but the bride and groom were impressed so I’m happy with that.