I created this as a birthday present for a friend of mine and decided to document and share it with everyone. Here's what you'll need.
1 Plaque to burn on (I made one out of a piece of red oak that I chopped the corners off of and then ran the edges through my router to give it a nice look)
1 Wood burner with a reasonably narrow point (You can get one at Michael's, but I recommend the nice kit over at Rockler)
Carbon Paper (all the old timers will remember this from school when we were kids)
A Picture you want to burn into the wood
Clear coat (gotta seal and protect it)
Hardware to mount it with (I'll be using a sawtooth hanging piece on the back)
Paints & Brushes
Step 1: Prep for Burning
Take your time and center your picture exactly how you want it on the plaque. I went a little overboard with it and broke out a ruler and calculator to get it exact. Once you have it place, used some clear tape to tape the top edge only to the wood. Slide your carbon paper under the picture until it is all the way to the top, then tape your picture on the sides and the bottom to the carbon paper. This will keep the picture and the carbon paper secured and still allow you to lift it to check your progress. Next, take a ball point pen and draw the lines on your picture. When you are finished, the lines will all be on the wood and ready to burn.
Step 2: Burn Them Lines
This step is very simple. Use a reasonably fine point on your wood burning tool and take your time burning all the lines you just traced.
Step 3: Optional - Painting Your Picture
As this was a birthday present of a colored picture I picked up some paints and patiently filled in the sections. It really is one step away from paint by number.
Step 4: Clear Coat
I recommend finding a clear coat or light stain / poly that you want to protect it with. I'm using a clear coat, and will be very lightly sanding it between applications.