Get creative by using pyrography stencils to burn on wood. There are so many beautifully designed decorative templates that you will find it difficult to choose just one.

Wood burning stencils can be a burner’s best friend.

Wood Burning Stencil

Basically, stencils are wood burning templates that can be reused over and over again. They are the same as wood burning patterns, except they are made from plastic or metal instead of paper.

There is an incredible variety of wood burner stencils available to help you create exactly what you want to achieve.

Some wood burning kits will have a stencil for burning wood included in the set. The stencils are basic with numbers and the alphabet. But they always come in useful for various projects.

Alphabet and numerical templates are a lifesaver for those of us who are not lettering specialists. It is very difficult to do lettering freehand and achieve a well-spaced, even-sized word that looks professional.

This is where wood burning with stencils is easy.

How To Use Pyrography Stencils For Professional Results

Stencils For Wood Burning

There are two types of a pyrography template on the market.

  • Metal wood burning stencils
  • Plastic stencils

Metal stencil designs can be traced directly onto the wood with a hot tooltip.

Plastic stencils for pyrography will melt if you do this. You will need to trace the design in pencil first from the template and then wood burn the design outlines freehand.

Bear in mind that after all this hard work, sealing the wood base will protect your artwork, especially if signage is to be used outside.

Metal Stencils For Wood Burning

Using a metal stencil for wood burning is the perfect stencil for the wood burning technique.

Metal Stencils for Wood Burning

The design is “carved” out of a fairly thin sheet of stainless steel approximately 0.3mm thick. This then allows you to use a wood burning tool with an appropriately sized and shaped nib to trace and burn the design directly onto the wood.

A tip for transferring the design: The metal may get a little hot and start to lift or bend because of the hot nib. Just let it cool a little and settle down before starting to use it again.

For a decorative template and one that has the words all laid out for you is an easy solution.

If you are using wood burning letter stencils or a numerical stencil kit that requires you to build up words or numbers as you work – a lot of care is required for placement. This is the same type of care that is required when using pyrography stamp sets.

For this, it is advisable to trace the letters and make up your words in pencil first. Then you can erase and re-do any misaligned letters or spacing before you start burning.

(Using a normal plastic stencil for this method is more than adequate.)

Plastic Stencils For Pyrography

Another option that is just as effective for transferring wood burning stencil designs and elements, numbers, and letters are plastic stencils.

Plastic Stencils for Pyrography

These are made of food-grade PET (polyethylene terephthalate). This is the chemical name for polyester. It is 100% body-safe, non-toxic, odorless, durable, flexible, re-usable, and easy to clean.

This flexibility allows you to use it on all sorts of shapes and curves. This is perfect for most projects.

The only snag is that you cannot transfer these designs using a hot wood burning pen. The plastic will melt.

You need to use a pencil for transferring the wood burning templates and then outline the design freehand with a hot pyrography tool and nib of your choice.

How To Make Pyrography Stencils

Making your own custom pyrography stencils is not a difficult process.

Wood burning letter stencils can be difficult to get looking right depending on the style of font and the length of the words.

For lettering, I would suggest simplicity when making pyrography stencils yourself.

You will have to spend time doing the preparation and execution to get a good quality template that you are happy to use.

There are 2 methods to choose from:

  1. Using a craft knife
  2. Burning the design out

Cutting Out Your Stencils For Pyrography With A Craft Knife Or Scalpel

  • Draw or print out your chosen design onto paper
  • Tape the paper to a self-healing mat or smooth piece of wood
  • Place a piece of glass over the paper with the design
  • Place your acetate, plastic sheet or film centrally over the required design and tape firmly in place to the glass
  • With a very sharp blade on your craft knife, carefully start tracing around the outline of your design
  • Be sure to cut all the way through your chosen material
  • Be careful not to cut too far out of the design ie when doing corners. Accuracy is imperative
  • Push out internal shapes to reveal your wood burner stencil

Cut Out Your Pyrography Stencils With Your Wood Burner Pen

For these new stencils for wood burning, follow the same preparation as for cutting your template out with a craft knife – up to the point of taping your design firmly to the glass.

Instead of getting the craft knife out:

  • Heat up your wood burning tool
  • Set the temperature to a medium heat
  • Carefully and with a steady hand at a fairly slow pace, trace around your design template outline
  • Depending on your material, it will determine the best speed to use to burn through completely
  • Push out the cut shapes to expose your design

This method does not produce as crisp a stencil for wood burning as the craft knife does. The melted edges will never be as perfect as the sharp cut of a blade.

With this method, you also need to ensure you are cleaning wood burning tips to ensure no build-up of carbon happens and to keep as sharp an edge as possible.

Stunning Projects Using Wood Burning Stencils

In conclusion, using pyrography stencils for burning designs will enhance the projects you are working on.

A wood burning stencil kit can save you a lot of time and frustration when it comes to laying out the finicky letters and numbers part of a design.

Additionally, if you are producing multiple copies of the same design for stocking a shop or selling at a fair – a wood burning template will definitely speed up the process of getting the design onto your chosen blanks.

Happy stenciling and successful burning.