These wood-burned beads have such a warm, organic vibe. Plus they are therapeutic to make. Small and steady…and you end up with beautiful patterns that can be mixed and matched. I came up with this idea for this month’s torchbearer Bernzomatic project, but already have plans to make more. lots more.
I used the ST500: 3 in 1 Micro Torch, and kept the tip connected. This mini-torch works three ways – as a mini-blow hot air blower, a solder iron (or woodburning tool), or a micro torch with a pinpoint flame.
I bought a bag of raw wood beads at the craft store and binge-watched Netflix as I made these. I wood burned every bead in the bag. These were my favorites. In the end, you can use them for jewelry or macrame. Or even just to pass out to friends so they can make something. Heck, you can even sell them if you are a working artist!
I used one of them to make this necklace, I love how it turned out!
Bernzomatic ST500: 3 in 1 Micro Torch and butane.
Wood beads, untreated/unvarnished
Gloves and goggles
Seriously, folks. I now have about three of these tools. It’s a main staple in my craft room/art studio because there are so many things you can use it for. No need to plug it in, no cords to worry about getting in your way. And the tip if perfect for woodburning. Use it straight up for small dots, or press it down on the side for wider strokes.
Clean off the tip with sandpaper, you want it to be nice and pointy. Add butane as needed following the package directions. Wearing gloves and goggles, switch on the tool, again read the directions first. When you see the components heat up and turn red, you are ready to go! Start with one bead and wearing the gloves, hold it in your hand and draw on the designs.
If you want, start with a practice piece! This way you can get used to how the tool and the ways you can use it. This was my tester piece to see all the different patterns I could make.
Make each bead different. Take your time, and don’t worry if they don’t come out perfect. The idea is for them to look raw and organic. Then you can add a pop of color with markers if you want, or add bright beads as you string necklaces.
Here’s another picture of the necklace.