Japanese Wood Burning on Pallet wood

My goodness it’s been a while since I’ve written anything.  I have been doing more than writing.

In my previous posts I have mentioned my LOVE for burning and wanted to show my meager attempt at using an ancient Japanese Technique for burning and preserving wood called Shou Sugi Ban.  This literally translates to burnt Cedar board.

The technique has been around for hundreds of years and was developed as a means of preserving wood and making it fire and bug resistant for up to 80 years or more.  My understanding is that the main use was for siding on houses, however it has developed into an artistic wood art as well.  Properly done it is a bit time consuming, however the results are timeless and produce a truly unique wood grain.

Besides the uniqueness you can create with burning, the technique makes the project fire and pest resistant! Who wouldn’t like that?  Although I am not charring the wood to the degree the true technique requires in this little project, I am certain my pallet boards are free of bugs and molds.

The technique I used is a four step process on previously cleaned and sanded boards

Step 1:  Burning

Propane or other hand held torch

Step 2: Brushing

A stiff bristle brush

Step 3: Washing

Vinager in water with a dash of dish soap

Step 4 Staining or Oiling

Below is my video link showing the 4 step method.

Wood burn Shou Sugi Ban (1)


Market Made Ideas

Lately I’ve been so busy with my day job and different market venues I haven’t had a lot of time to write about the things I love doing. Mostly because well I am doing what I love doing outside my day life. So I thought I would share and add to my love of burning. Oh here she goes again with the burning. I swear I will write a more in depth article about it at a later date.
If you are going to market yourself and your art, (what ever it might be). Sometimes you have to go with the flow. You can still make it your own but find out what is a good project that will produce some earnings and also make people aware of who you are.
As you know I frequent our local farmers market and with the Christmas season coming fast upon us I have a few things on the go and thought I’d share this one first first since I have a couple ready for this coming market.

I decided to make a few bottle openers with catchers.  I chose my pallet boards, sanded and cut them to length.  They are not all the same length but to make good use out of a board and for this project they didn’t need to be.  Once done I used my small Burnsomatic to burn the boards.  Here’s a sample of one of the boards burned, cut and one end stained.


I decided I wanted to add the cap catchers as well.  I was looking around for something I already had that I could repurpose.  I found one of my hubby’s cigar boxes and a citronella tin.  The bottle openers I found on line.  For me the best pricing was Amazon but being in Canada sometimes our choices are limited with delivery and exchange.

I also have a large number of various coasters from Europe and from some Provincial Breweries.  I thought I would use some of these as well.  My first board I chose my coaster and used Mod Podge to glue and seal it onto the board.  A couple coats of Mod Podge later I then sealed the whole board with Varathane.  I used a semi gloss out door varathane to protect it as well as make it easy to wipe down.  I used the old tin on this one as the cap catcher.  I wanted to make it removable for ease of emptying.  My hubby helped me with the cuts.  I also gave the inside of the tin a spray with Rustoleum to clean it up and protect it a bit more.

I attached my opener and catcher and all was done.  The other one with the cigar box turned out nice as well.




Introducing Grace and Joy my Angel Boards

While I was frantically deciding what to create for an upcoming local vendor event I came across my bag of tins I had picked up at a garage sale.  There was a tin with these beautiful little angels on them.  I think it was either a Christmas chocolate or cookie tin.  I pulled it out of the bag not knowing exactly what I was going to do with it but inspiration was forming in my head.  As in my previous post I mentioned I was struggling with creating art or crafting.  I’ve decided that they are the same.  Oh so sorry I forgot to put my blinker on and turned slightly left!

Lets get back to the Angel Boards.  As I said I have been frantically trying to get ready for the event.  This event is the first one of this kind I’ve decided to try rather than only the local Farmer’s market.  After all it is fun to create but it is nice to know that others appreciate your work and help support you.  I thought this might be a way of getting a bit more exposure.

Prior to finding my tin bag in preparation for this event I had spent a whole Sunday sanding pallet boards.  Yes I do this manually.  Most of the time I don’t mind though it is sort of a Zen thing.  Once I’ve done the initial sanding with the belt sander I finish with the detail sander and it gives me a connection with the wood and what it might create for me.  Is that weird?  My husband bless his heart had done the brute work of taking the pallets apart and I have a nice bin full that I hope will keep me going most of the winter.  One of the boards I had sanded was quite thick and I spent a little extra time sanding it.  I had put it aside from the others and had already decided it would be a stand alone piece.

Once I had my angel tin and knowing I had that board waiting for me to give it something unique it didn’t take but two seconds to inspire me.  I cut out the Angels from the tin.  I started with tin snipes to get the initial part of the tin cut and flattened out.  I can’t seem to get the hang of tin snipes.  Maybe I just need more practice with them.  To cut the angels out of my flattened piece I tried a pair of multi-purpose snipes I got fairly cheap from the hardware store.  I was very happy with how they cut and didn’t leave a really sharp edge on the tin.

I had given my board a spay of a nice blue Krylon paint.  You can see I didn’t completely cover the board out to the edges giving it a nice effect.  I placed the Angel on the board approximately where I wanted to put her.  I didn’t glue her down at this point, just placed her to get the area where I needed to paint.  I mixed some poster paint to make her halo and then proceeded to paint her dress.  I wanted some depth so I mixed in some Liquitex ultra matte gel to thicken the paint.  I layered the paint and used a painters trowel to push the paint around until I was satisfied.  Once that was done I gently curved my angel tin, to give her some depth and used Gorilla glue to glue the edges down.  To make sure she didn’t move I placed some clamps on the edge of the tin and let the paint and glue set overnight.

The next day I added the ribbons.  I used Mod Podge to glue them down.  I wasn’t sure how that was going to turn out but it was the only thing I could think of that would hold and not discolor the ribbon.  Once I was satisfied I tied a ribbon around the tin and dress to finish her off.  I loved how she turned out so much I was excited to make her twin.  The tin had two angels so of course I had to make another one.

For those of you in the area the event is the Bonnyville House and Home and the C2 center hosted by Cari Cain.

Hope you enjoy and happy DIY!


Craft Art for Sale and Pleasure

I have recently struggled with requests to make certain items people see on Facebook or Pinterest.  Although I find some of this engaging and challenging I struggle with myself whether I am creating art or crafting. Read More


Burn On, (I told you I had a problem)

If you remember or read my previous post here’s a wonderful little project using the same technique of burning! Read More


Wood Burning on Pallet Wood

I think I have a problem, I LOVE BURNING !  Read More

Fall Fair & Markets

Last week-end we had our local Fall Fair & Market.  It was a hopping event held at our town Rodeo Grounds.  It was raining earlier in the morning with a gusty wind but the weather co-operated and soon cleared up to become a very nice day.

The event was, in years past, held at our local museum grounds and this year moved to the Rodeo grounds which could accommodate more vendor’s and events.  There was an overwhelming response from local vendors and those from surrounding towns wanting to have a display.  The organizers must have had an arduous task trying to accommodate everyone.  As this was my first time as a vendor I didn’t quite know what to expect.  Next time I will bring some help so I can explore the wonderful homemade and handmade items from near and far.

I was able to talk with and received permission to post the pictures from a couple of vendor’s near me.  Please feel free to contact them.





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Now and Then

Ever wonder what to do with the cut ends off your pallet projects?

Read More

Peter Peter Pumpkins

Well judging by the air in our neck of the woods fall is here.  Had to turn up the heat, which brought me to thoughts of fall and all the things with it.  I had a wonderful little vacation visiting my parents on beautiful Vancouver Island.  I do miss living there but I don’t miss the busyness that has become most of the Island.

Now that I’m a bit more refreshed I started thinking about fall and fall projects for our up coming Fall Fair and Vendor’s market day.  Of late I have seen a few requests for pumpkin art on our local Homemade and Handmade face book page.  So you guessed it I decided I would make some cute pallet pumpkins for our porch and yours.

I picked out some boards and set to work with the usual cleaning and sanding.  Once I finished I then measured the boards and cut to length.  As these were square pumpkins I placed two sides on edge and put a thin stream of wood glue on both edges.  I placed the third side on my edges and used a brad nailer to hold in place, flipped it over and put my final side on again with glue and the brad nailer.  I then measure my top and cut to size.  Before I put the top on I drilled out a hole about the size of a small tree branch.  Once that was done I again glued and nailed the piece on.  I made three of various heights.  I then spray painted them lightly with Rust-Oleum Painters Touch.  I like this spray paint as it has a primer built in and the colors are pretty true to the color of the lid.  Of course that’s on bare wood.  Once dry I cut some lengths for the stem off of a Pine we trimmed this summer.  Glued them in the hole waited for it to dry and added ribbon bows.  Done!

2016-08-27 16.34.50 The tallest one is 23-1/2in and the shortest one is 9-3/4in.  There are no bottoms on them as I thought they may carry over for Christmas to hide a gift or on your porch to hide a key.

Pretty easy and pretty cute.  The six pumpkins not including drying time was about 4 hours.  Definitely do-able for a weekend quick project.


Metal Art Anyone?

On my last post, “Monogram Sign”,  I was excited that I tried something new.  Working with tin from cookie tins or other product tins.  Well I guess you could say that it was sort of a mosaic using the tin in my sign.  I actually couldn’t stop thinking about it and since started investigating this a little more in-depth.  There’s a whole new world of idea’s and talent out there!  I told a friend today that there was so much out there I wanted to try that I probably won’t live long enough to try them all.  I will need to make an artist’s bucket list and cross off as I try new things.  Ya Ya!

You’ll forgive me if I blather a bit, this is so exciting!  I’ve previously used some metal cigar tins as featured numbers in my bullet shot clock.Cigar man cave clock  No I didn’t use a gun it would have smash the wood to smithereens!  I used a nail punch to make faux bullet holes on the three and the nine spots.  My hubby’s suggestion, (he’s so smart).  Now, just recently on the family sign, cutting out the pieces and placing them on the board similar to a mosaic.

tin sea horse

tin sea horse

I’m still researching but interesting thing is so far I have not found any references or art re-purposing tin of any kind as a mosaic medium.  At least not in the context I’m thinking of.  I will need to research this a little more I’m sure it’s out there.

As my DIY projects evolve and I try new things I hope you will join me on my journey.  I am welcome to input and information, there’s always something to learn.