Every garden should have a sign. It’s a welcome sign or a humorous one, a simple sign adds whimsy and a personal touch to your growing space. A garden sign doesn’t need to be big or need to be made out of particularly nice wood. Irregular scrap wood is perfect
for a garden sign; it gives it character and a handmade look For this project, I use the pyrography technique, also known as wood burning. Pyrography has been around for centuries, probably since early humans created designs using the charred remains of their fires. Lucky for us, inexpensive wood burning styluses are now available to help us create amazing art.
- Wood burner tool with round tip
- Scrap wood
- Printout of sign design (optional)
- Graphite transfer paper (optional)
- Small eye hooks
- Garden twine
- Polyurethane (optional)
Attach the rounded calligraphy nib to the wood burner tool. Plug in the burner and let it heat up. Lightly sand your board and remove any sanding dust with a dry, clean cloth. To trace your pattern onto the wood, lay the graphite transfer paper with the graphite side down on the wood. Lay your printout on top of the transfer paper. With firm pressure, trace over the words. Remove the papers.
Start by outlining the letters. Do not stay in one spot for too long—this will cause dark, uneven areas. Working one layer of burning over another deepens the tonal values of an area. Try to keep your movements fluid and make more than one pass if needed.
Once you’ve finished outlining the letters, it’s time to start filling them in. You can either fill in the spaces with small dots or with layers of short strokes. I did both. The key is to build up the layers until the area is filled with the shade you desire.
Once the wood burning is done, you can spray a coat of polyurethane or a protective finish onto the sign if you wish. To hang the sign, grab the pliers and the two eye hooks.
Place each eye hook 1 inch in from the top of each corner. Insert each eye hook by holding the top of the hook with pliers, then use the pliers to twist it in place.
Cut a 12-inch length of garden twine and tie each end of the string to each eye hook.
Hang your garden sign with pride.