How To Do Faux Wood Burning–Eco-Friendly Project

I have been doing quite a few Eco-Friendly Crafts lately, this project is no different.  The main reason is because times are tight for everyone and I want to show people that it is possible to make craft projects with out all the fancy gadgets.  They are nice to have but sometimes it helps to put it all away and create with simple items.  I have a vast array of art supplies and I realize not everyone has what I have and the more I do this the more aware I am of this fact.  This project I stumbled upon when I was making our Thanksgiving Day Banner.  Every now and then I come up with my own ideas.  I realized that the impression of the pencil on the cardboard was very similar to wood burning and I started thinking how I could do this.  I experimented a couple hours before producing :Faux Woodburning001

The flower was made from and old cereal box, an embossing tool and paint.

Once I realized it could be done I started experimenting with other tools and other painting techniques.  I know how to paint wood I took a decorative painting class in college but I am also aware of what a pain it is and I want this to be an easy project.  So I figured out how to get the look of wood grain without one of the tools or spending hours painting grain.

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Embossing tool – I scanned mine in to show it. 

The great thing about this project is you do not need one of these.  I experimented with several items before I stumbled upon

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Yes an old mechanical pencil (you will be using it with no lead out).  The lines are a little thicker but I was quite impressed with the discovery.

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I then took an empty cereal box and flattened it.

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First I cut out a circle (keep in mind it could be any shape.)  I used a circle template but you could use a cup, plate, anything round.  I have used anything and everything to trace around.

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I decided to lay Freezer Paper so I could paint without making a huge mess on my cutting mat.  I painted the cardboard with Dark Umber paint, let it dry.  I also made sure the coat was even.

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Once the paint dried I took the embossing tool (pencil) and drew a simple image – think coloring book image.  You do need to push hard but not too hard because you could break the surface of the cardboard.  (Note the white dot on the left hand side of the flower.)

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Now this is the fun part.  You need a lighter color brown paint I am using a Nutmeg Brown # 20521 Apple Barrel Colors (it is almost a Raw Sienna).  I took a round brush and painted a small (1/2”) section across the flower.  Back and forth in the same direction  really fast, it doesn’t have to be perfect because this is were you get the “grain effect”.  If you are starting out horizontal, stay horizontal through all your painting DO NOT switch to vertical.  While the paint is still wet take the embossing tool and trace over the lines removing the paint.  It helps this process it you wipe on a rag or tissue in between each line made.

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A picture showing the paint over technique explained above.

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I also did a wash of Brunt Umber over the top in sections.  When I did this I had a piece of Kleenex to wipe off the excess water.

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You can also dry brush some lighter color over the top.  You want to make sure your grain goes the same way.  I did a water wash over it to lighten the effect.

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The one on the right is the one I did with the pencil.  I like the grain much better and I also like the oops I did on one of the petals.   I makes it look a little more like wood burning because like that you can’t fix your mistakes.

I am really pleased with how this turned out and I think it is a pretty effect and doesn’t take the amount of time Wood Burning does.  I am still perfecting the technique so if I make any new discoveries I will let everyone know.