Pyrography is the art of burning decorative text or images onto wood with a pen-like device that transfers heat through a metal tip. Wood burning is a fun and inexpensive hobby, which many turn into a hobby business. You can work freehand, use stencils or create your designs in pencil and use the pyrography pen to go over the pencil lines. If you're interested in starting a pyrography hobby business, you'll need some basic equipment and an understanding of what your potential customers would like from you.
Choosing The Best Pen Tip For Your Project
There are several pyrography pen tips available, and each tip is designed to create a specific effect on the wood you are working with. A universal tip can be used at different angles to burn lines of varying thicknesses into your wood. This tip works well if you are only adding text to your wood. A dot tip can burn thin or thick dots into your wood by varying the pressure you apply, and this tip can be used to create intricate designs and motifs. A shading tip is useful for complex designs, such as burning portraits onto plaques, but generally isn't required for simple wood burning patterns. There are a few types of branding tips that allow you to burn shapes, such as small stars or diamonds, onto your wood, and these can be used to create borders or add decoration around text.
Getting Your Technique Right
Soft woods, such as pine, are easier to work with than hardwoods, as they don't require you to apply as much pressure to create grooves with the pyrography pen. Once you've selected your wood and hand drawn or traced your design onto it, you can begin burning the wood. As you go over each section of your design with the pen, pause and gently remove any residue from the pen tip with a very fine grip sandpaper block. Keeping the tip clear will help you create even grooves in the surface of the wood and preserve the life of the tip. Once you have finished burning your design into the wood, you can add colour using a water based wood stain or you can use a water based polyurethane or hard wax oil to give the finished product a protective coating.
Offering Wood Burning On Products People Want
As a hobby business, you'll want to avoid waste by only investing in products there's a demand for. The beauty of pyrography is you can easily personalise wooden items that can be given as gifts or used to mark special occasions. Purchase your items wholesale to maximise your profit margin, and focus on products that have a practical use. Wooden toys are pleasing to the eye, can bring hours of fun and give you lots of scope for adding a personal touch, such as a child's name and date of birth or a birthday message.
Alternatively, you could burn encouraging messages, verses of scripture or funny one-liners onto wooden spoons that will bring a smile to the user's face each time they use one of your spoons. If you want to focus on the wedding market, consider offering wooden place names that can double as a keepsake for guests. In addition to the guest's name, each little plaque could have the date of the wedding and a personal message of thanks or a line from your vows on the back.
Pyrography is an inexpensive hobby business to start, and once you get some practice, it offers lots of room for expansion. Start by focusing on one or two products, and don't be afraid to ask potential customers what they would like from you.