For a long time now I've been wanting to make something creative and fun for my backyard. When I heard my aunt used a wood burner to transform a simple wooden stool into a colorful fun kids step stool. I thought it was a great idea, so I asked her to show me how to burn wood and paint a pole to go in my backyard.
Before this project I have never wood burned or have done any woodwork. This project really helped me learn how to make designs in wood. I wanted the pole to have many unique qualities so my whole family and I could enjoy it. I later ended up with a couple different ideas to include on the pole, such as:
- Each family members name
- My pets names
- A cow to represent our farm
- The 4 different seasons
This project took me a lot longer than I thought it would, but it was definitely worth it in the end!
In this Instructable I will show you how to make a wooden art pole.
Step 1: Tools & Supplies Needed
The following supplies and tools are needed to make your Wooden Art Garden Pole:
- A wooden pole Preferably 4"x 4" by 6' tall (remember a part of it is going in the ground)
- A sanding machine
- A ruler
- A pencil
Burning and Painting Supplies
- A wood burning kit (with different tips)
- Many different colors of Acrylic paint
- Paint brushes of all sizes
- Pieces of rock or asfalt
- A shovel
- A topping to the pole (a light, a birdbath, exc.)
Step 2: Sanding Your Pole
(This step is not necessary if your pole is already sanded)
To start this project, having your pole smooth will make it easier for later steps. When you start, you need to have a firm grip on your pole and the sander. If you have a small hand I suggest you have someone else hold the pole, while you place both hands on the sander. This will make it easier when you push down.
Next press the sander gently against the wood. As you press down, move the sander slowly in circles the same way it's going. Do this gently across the wood back and forth. If your wood has any knots or notches in it, I suggest you press harder on these spots to level it out. Do this step on each side including the top and bottom.
To know your done, swipe your hand across the wood to see if its soft. If you get a splinter or feel a rough patch go over it again. Remember that the knots in the wood won't be completely flat or smooth!
Step 3: Sketching
The next step is sketching. Sketching will allow you to design and think about what your going to put on your pole before you burn it. This step again isn't necessary, but you can't undo the burning in the next step. If you really want to think about what your doing, before you do it then I suggest sketching the design out on paper.
When you draw your design on the wood remember that you will have some of the top and bottom covered, so your design won't be seen in these areas! I suggest that you add personal things about you onto the pole. This will make more personal and you will have a little more fun. I also suggest that you have both words and shapes. These will interest people who look at it more.
Step 4: Burning
The next and one of the most important steps is burning. When you burn, try to use a burning that can have more than one tip to it. This will make it easier for you to burn round shapes, words, and tough designs. Depending on how tough you wood is, the settings will range. If your wood is really hard and has added chemicals in it, then turn the heat up all the way to help it burn faster. If your wood is really soft then don't turn it up all the way, a few notches will be fine. The higher the burner setting, the faster you will be done.
Then gently place the tip of the burner onto your pencil marks, on the wood. DO NOT PRESS HARD!!! If you do, your tip will snap and won't be able to fix. The longer you set your burner in one spot the deeper and thicker the line will be. So you have no reason to press down on the wood. Know that if your wood is really, really tough it might take a minute or two to burn through.
Remember that once you start burning in one spot, you can't undo it. So take your time and do it right!
Step 5: Painting
The next and one of the funnest steps is painting. Before you start gather all your materials so you're ready. First dip your paintbrush into the paint then the water. DO NOT MOVE AROUND! Simply dip into the water and place onto the wood. The water on the brush will allow the paint to soak into the wood. This will also help with the weather outside and keep the paint on. With some paint it might look a little weird, but moving it around will help it soak in. You can paint a second coat if you can still see wood. I suggest you do this so it won't come off easily.
Step 6: Extra Touches
This step isn't mandatory but it will polish up your work a little more. Its okay if you painted over your burn marks. You can burn over the paint if it isn't seeable. I also suggest you use a small brush and reach all the hard spots it your wood. This will help pop out the burn marks.
Step 7: Placing in the Ground
When doing this step, know that it's okay to have some unpainted wood sticking out from the bottom. Since this step is a bit confusing it has been broken to two parts.
The first part of this step is placing the pole. Start by digging a hole 4 feet deep into the ground. This might look a little deep, but you can always add dirt back into it. Then place some asfalt to help the pole have a base in the ground. Next you need to set the pole into the ground. If the pole is setting to high up, take away some dirt. If your pole is to deep, add some dirt.
The second part of this step is securing the pole into the ground. You will want to use a level to make sure it is set straight. Then put about 8 inches of dirt into the hole to hold the pole in place. This will help secure it while you pour the concrete. When you pour the concrete use post concrete. It sets faster and you can mix water in the hole rather than premixing it. After you pour the concrete and mix water into it, wait 10 minutes for it to dry. When it's dry fill the rest of the hole with dirt and pack it in.
Securing your pole will help make sure it doesn't get wrecked it bad weather. It also keeps you pole stable incase of any accidents that might occur to your pole.
Step 8: Adding Top
Step 9: Have Fun With Your Pole
When your done with your pole you can add anything to it or around it. For example, I planted tulips all around my pole when I was done. Hopefully you are very proud of the pole you have created and want to share it with many people. I know that everyday my pole is outside an I admire how great it ended up. This project let me unleash my creative side and share it with my family. Although it took a lot longer than I expected, I am very happy about how it ended up.