Picture of Wood burning with a magnifying glass
This Instructable is going to teach you how to make an awesome, creative gift or artwork with absolutely no artistic ability. 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
The only materials needed are:
Wood-be creative, make a small jewelry box or tool box and wood burn something on that. 
Magnifying glass-any size really, but the bigger, the better(and faster)
Stencil of what your going to woodburn-Print it out
Pencil-To trace your stencil to the actual wood 
Dark Shades-Protect your eyes 

Step 2: The stencil

Picture of The stencil
Find a stencil, silhouette, clip art, or something that can be easily woodburned.
Print it out to the size you want
If you don't have a printer, use your artistic ability and draw it straight onto the wood
If you aren't artistic and don't have a printer, hold up a piece up paper to your computer screen very gently, Dont press hard but lightly trace the stencil. 

You should now have a stencil on paper.

Step 3: Getting the stencil on the wood

To get your stencil to the wood easily, place the paper on top of the wood and press down on your pencil while drawing over the stencil and paper. This leaves you with the stencil indented in the wood. Go over the indents with pencil so that you can see your stencil easily on the wood.
sylvia.anglin.5 made it!3 months ago

I do this every summer for extra money. What I do is, take carbon paper and trace the picture on the wood. The carbon actually attracts the sun and makes it faster and easier to burn. The smaller the magnifier, the more detail you can make. Also, don't forget to wear VERY dark sunglasses so you don't burn your retinas. But yeah, try using carbon paper, graphite works the best, but the other kind works too. (don't burn the carbon paper. Take it off before you start burning. Just saying....)

tree.lover2 years ago
I've been playing around with solar wood burning for a little over a year now but your lines are WAY more evenly burned than mine! How long have you been doing this? What size and strength magnifying glass are you using? Do you use the same one for smaller detail work? Well done, I'm impressed! And I'm encouraged by some of your suggestions. I can't wait to try them!

It takes lots of practice, use scrap wood for practice. My self about 5 years.

Sometimes I use three or four different size magnifying glasses, depending on what I need to burn. The small ones work well for the outline.

meeko (author)  tree.lover2 years ago
I always use the same magnifying glass but I am very patient when it comes to the details. I try do the details when there's not very strong sunlight too because its slower and easier. Mine is about the size of the one in the picture except it doesn't have the handle or anything like that. Thanks for compliments and its nice to see other people who do this! Post some pictures!
Lildevil9632 years ago
i used to do this alot when i was younger and ended up selling them to people.

i sold signs years ago, numbers for the mail box can sell.

doo da do3 months ago

When burning I also use a little fan from the dollar store

To keep the smoke out of my eyes, it works well.

i LOVE the fact you made them movie related

starwarsgeek110 months ago
this is awsome thx for the idea

I tried to use the magnifying glass, but a woodburner is much faster I think, although I dont do anything quite like yours , that is very cool. How long did it take you to make the Avatar one?

meeko (author)  Dakota Joel981 year ago

The avatar one I think was about an hour. Maybe a little less. It seems slow, it can be slow, but the bigger the magnifying glass, the faster it goes

Bubbler2 years ago
Good old fashioned magnifying glasses reminds me of playing with grass and twigs about 100 years ago. LOL Having done a bit of art work myself, might I suggest that the step where a pencil is used to impress the design onto the wood, a scribe can be used. These are obtainable for a couple of dollars from an art supply shop. Failing that, and keeping expenses right down, grind the sharp point off of a nail, until you have a fine round smooth point, and call that a scribe. Now have fun and don't start any fires.
mpmitri3 years ago
This is Awesome! I see a Chief Head in the future!
meeko (author)  mpmitri3 years ago
That would be a great project, and simple too!
ababbtx4503 years ago
This is actually fairly easy. what is really hard is doing this without a stencil
meeko (author)  ababbtx4503 years ago
Yes! Free hand always turns out interesting and creative, but usually much simpler
fatboy073 years ago
cool! very nice!
meeko (author)  fatboy073 years ago
Thanks :]
dockholiday3 years ago
Looks good.
meeko (author)  dockholiday3 years ago
Thank You!!
abstracted3 years ago
i recall doing this in grade six, only on leather, i was a loner as a child, and it kept me away frm the bullies. they eventually found me, and learned the HARD way to just let me be ;) soooo long ago.
saksham3 years ago
i am still a bit confused....

are you saying that i should cut out the parts of the stencil which i want to burn...?

and wouldnt the wood burn a bit outside the part i want to burn??

please help!! :^|
meeko (author)  saksham3 years ago
Hey thanks for the questions, First off, you place printed stencil on the wood, with nothing cut out. Take a pencil and press hard while drawing on the stencil, take the paper off the wood and you should see your stencil in the wood because of pressing hard. It wont show up in color or anything, you have to go over the indent with pencil so that you can see it in the sunlight. I really hope I helped, I know that I don't have a picture because my camera couldnt pick up the indented lines.

Secondly, the wood wont burn outside of where you wanted to burn, as long as you stay in youre area and follow the lines, nothing else burns. The focal point created by holding the magnifying glass up will burn the wood and only where that focal point is placed. Thanks for the comment and feel free to ask if you are still confused, have a great day!
saksham meeko3 years ago
got it! :)

i will try it out as soon as my exams get over!

thank you
meeko (author)  saksham3 years ago
Awesome to hear!! Glad I helped!
Machine3 years ago
That is really cool. It is amazing what some people can do with the simplest tools.

The sun, a mannifying lens, wood.... and loads of imagination and skill.
Practice, practice, practice, some of mine have looked good as people say.
meeko (author)  Machine3 years ago
Thanks for the comment, I hope you enjoyed it!
JohnsonJ3 years ago
Incredible Idea, and so simple! *heads to shop
meeko (author)  JohnsonJ3 years ago
Hope you got some inspiration! Thanks for the comment!
doo da do3 years ago
Done this years ago made signs with house numbers and gave them for presents. Put Eyes and chains to hang from mailbox. They hung for years. Doodado
meeko (author)  doo da do3 years ago
This is an ageless art, I have given way some awesome personalized gifts for birthdays and just random gifts. There are a lot of awesome things around the house that can be spruced up with a but of woodburning, thanks for the comment!
Orngrimm3 years ago
Nice 'ible!

I used a similar method with the stencil, but I used paste to "glue" the paper slightly to the wood.

And ai also I inverted it:
Make a negative-Image. Now burn away all whats white. If you are left with no more white, you are done.

I fount this method much more easy than to torch already black areas...

My 2 cents :)
meeko (author)  Orngrimm3 years ago
Thanks for the comment!! I hope others look at this and try your method as well! I certainly will once its sunny again! Thanks again :]
huf1233 years ago
This is sweet. Thanks. Next thing you know, someone will find a way to mount it to a CNC machine. Lol.
meeko (author)  huf1233 years ago
Thanks for the positive comment! And somethings shouldn't be messed with by technology too much. I like doing it by hand and the enjoyment would be gone if a machine did it.
wazzup1053 years ago
What an awesome idea.
ChapDad3 years ago
This is awesome. As soon as we get some good weather I'm going to go out and do this. Sadly it looks a bit slow to go around graffiti-ing people's sheds Banksy-style...
ripit3 years ago
nice job! i've been solar etching since 1979 and have found that you need to be careful about the shades you use they need to be as dark as possible when burnin for long .......s of time also when burning on light or even white woods like pine and birch it helps to etch the subject with say, graphite pencils,ash or such do so as lightly as helps the burning process.specially when starting new and very fine lines!