So, one of my closest friends is emigrating to New Zealand soon and I wanted to make her something special that she could take with her on her travels to remind her of home but also make her want to come home to Ireland at some point too!
Step 1: Inspirational Materials and Tools
I was itching for a new project to sink my teeth into after I'd bought a new Jig Saw and when a cabinet of my mums had finally caved after a long life of storing way too many shoes I jumped at the opportunity and got to work!
Other than wood(white deal in this case) and the saw, a pyrography tool, varnish, a paint brush, sand paper, clamps and a pencil will also come in handy!
Step 2: Template
Decide on a template.
I chose to do a map of Ireland to remind my friend of home.
Outline the template with a pencil onto the wood.
Step 3: Let's Get Cutting!
Before we get to the fun stuff, all safety measures were taken when using the saw, goggles and a mask were worn and all fingers were kept far, far away from the blade!
Clamp the piece of wood to your work table so that it doesn't move while sawing.
Using the Jig Saw, cut around the outline in pencil. I started by cutting out the overall big shape of Ireland and then got closer to the pencil line with smaller, more precise cuts until I was happy with the shape.
Step 4: Sand
Give the wood a good sand to smooth out the edges and prepare for wood burning and varnishing.
Step 5: Wood Burning/Pyrography
Plug the pyrography tool in and wait for it to heat up. Then carefully place tool to wood.
For the decoration on my Ireland I decided to mark out some of the places my friend an I had road tripped over the years.
I burned small symbols that represented each place around Ireland.
Some of the symbols include: Newgrange, the Titanic Experience in Belfast and I also made a little bus to Sligo that my dad put us on by accident once when we were barely teenagers!
Step 6: Varnish
To protect the wood and enhance the grain varnish the piece.
I toyed with the idea of painting it but in the end decided to keep it simple and just varnished.
Step 7: Finished
After the varnish dries, wrap and then present to your friend who better break down in tears at the awesomeness and sentimentality of such a gift!!
Hopefully we will also be able to continue our road trips and fill in the rest of the map!