Year: 2014

Free Wood Carving Santa Ornament Pattern

free wood carving santa patternI know that August has just begun and that it is still a month before the kids go back to school, but this is the perfect time to start collecting the patterns and projects that you will want to work this fall.

This “Oh So Easy Santa Ornament” is a great beginner’s project and a real quick carve for any advanced carver.  He takes only two carving knifes – a bench knife and a v-gouge.  Make a dozen or more, place them in a basket of straw with a few extra Christmas balls and have them ready and at hand to give away as instant Holiday gifts!


Estimated Carving Time: less than 2 hours

Estimated Painting Time: 1/2 hour

free wood carving santa patternSupplies:

bench knife or large chip carving knife
sharpening tools
1″ x 1″ x 4″ basswood block
320-grit sandpaper
Acrylic craft paints
titanium white
burnt sienna
cadmium orange
deep cadmium red
Acrylic or polyurethane spray sealer
20-gauge copper wire
16-gauge copper wire

free Lora Irish wood carving pattern

Please, check in often as Lora is doing her yearly pattern closet cleaning!  Lots of free wood carving and pyrography patterns are headed your way.

mallard duck wood burning

Fading Wood Burnings

Country Church Wood BurningWith time and age your wood burning and pyrography designs appear to fade into the wood, losing those sharp, dramatic contrasts and very pale tonal values.  Recently, while cleaning our studio, I came across several of my very first wood burned projects, which are perfect examples of how as wood ages it develops a distinct patina which directly affects to look of our wood burning tonal values.

This Country Church, right, was burned in 2004 for the Great Book of Woodburning.  It is worked on birch plywood using a variable temperature burning unit and a looped tip pen.  The image that you see is from the original scan made for this book.

Notice how clean and white the background wood appears.  The burning shows as a neutral dark brown to pale beige hue, and there is a wide range of tonal values throughout the burning.

Country Church Pyrography ProjectHere is a scan, made this morning, of the same wood burning, ten years later.    The birch has taken on a rich pale red hue and a darker tonal value in the grain lines.   With age and time, wood naturally darkens in tonal value, and the results of that darkening process is called patina.

When the wood grain is exposed to air the wood literally begins to rust through oxidation.  The minerals in the natural oils and sap begin to darken into deep orange, red, and rust tones, changing the coloring of both your wood and your wood burning.

In the 2014 scan of this Country Church pyrography you can see the red tones of the oxidized patina.  Because that patina is behind the burned lines and shading of the pyrography work, the burned  design has also taken on a reddish tone.

Since all of us wish for our pyrography projects to last the test of time, at the very start of your next project you need to consider and adjust for the patina that your wood will develop in the years to come.  Sugar pine will darken to a deep, rich orange coloring.  Your fresh white basswood will move into the yellow-beige tones, and the neutral beige of your birch will become a medium rusty-red with time.  Poplar can move into golden-yellow hues and a freshly cut piece of pink-beige mahogany can become almost black-red within a decade or two.

By knowing what patina color your wood will finally develop, you can plan ahead to work your tonal values in the darker ranges to adjust for aging.  You may also need to adjust your pale tonal values.  Notice in the two images, right, that the fine grass in the foreground, just below the church door is beginning to disappear.  The original temperature setting for this grass created a pale burn line that now is close to the patina tonal values of the wood.

Country Church wood burning projectWhile the two burned images, above, may not seem that dramatic, when I do a side-by-side comparison of the ten-year old Country Church burning against a new, fresh piece of birch plywood you can see it’s not the burning that has faded but the wood that has darkened.

You can not avoid a wood developing a darker patina with time, but you can delay it.  Which wood finish you use can change the coloring of the wood.  Oil finishes and some varnishes create a pale yellow cast, polyurethane and acrylic sealers then to be very clear.  Use a sealer that has UV light protection.

Do not hang or display your finished projects in direct sunlight, nor directly near a heat source as the furnace vent or under a high wattage lamp.

Normal accumulation of dirt and oil can added to the effects of aging.  Lightly wash the surface of your projects with a damp, slightly soapy cloth, then rinse with a lightly dampened cloth.  For heavy dirt use Murphy’s Oil Soap.  It’s excellent for both wood burnings and wood carvings.


Color Chart for

Mike A.,  Hooker green is equal to the phthalo green shown in the left column, second grouping.  A medium red-brown earthtone is equal to the venetian red, right column, third section!

Mike A. and his wood carving club are currently working as a group through our Canada Goose Relief Wood Carving Project – a great step-by-step project for any beginning wood carver.  He sent an email yesterday asking several questions on the paint colors used in this tutorial.  So, I am posting my favorite color chart guide here on our blog for Mike.

The chart is grouped into several areas for easy reference.

Left hand column, top shows the basic gray tones for neutral shading.  French gray tends towards a beige-gray or brown-gray coloring, and Paynes gray tends towards a glue-gray or gunmetal tone.  The second group shows the dark color tones used in colored pencil work for complimentary shading, where the compliment of the final color of an area is used to create the shadow tones.  The third section is my favorite graduated colorings for yellow.  The bottom group in the left hand column shows my skin tone colors.

In the right hand column, the top section shows my muted tone shading colors.  The remaining sections show my chosen graduated tones for pink, red, purple, blue, and green.

Every paint, pencil, and pastel company has their own unique names for their colors. I would recommend that you keep a copy of this painting guide on your computer.  You can print a copy, then write the manufacturer’s names of the paints you already own beside the matching color swatch.

To learn more about working with colors – hues, compliments, tones, and values – please visit our tutorial Who is R.G. Biv?  For working with watercolors for your pyrography projects, please see Watercolors and Wood Burning.  For more information on how to paint your wood carvings, you will want to take time reading our Painting Your Wood Carving tutorial.

Click on the color reference chart for a full-sized image.  Right hand click to save to your Desktop.

Lora Irish color chart

free applique quilt pattern

Doodle Applique Quilting

We have been working with doodle patterns in our wood burning and pyrography projects this last week.  Today, let’s see what happens when you bring those doodle designs to your favorite applique quilt project.

free applique quilt pattern

While I have stitched quite a few small applique quilting projects, I have finally started my first full-sized quilt work.  I wanted something fun, something easy, but something extra special since I know I will be working on the quilt top for some time.  I chose a classic, simple wildflower daisy pattern with long stems and lots of leaves over a four patch neutral toned block pattern.

free applique quilt pattern

To add that extra, I chose to get out my fine point permanent marking pen, a variety of tone-on-tone bright cotton fabrics, and the doodle patterns we have been using for our pyrography.  This is a great idea for the quilt top that has been lying around the sewing room because you just didn’t feel it had enough pizzazz to finish.


Wash and iron your fabric.  Click and save a copy of the free applique quilt pattern.  Trace a copy of each pattern piece onto the back of a piece of 220-grit sandpaper.  Pin or tack the fabric to a piece of foamboard.  Lay the sandpaper pattern pieces on the fabric and trace around the outer edge with a water-soluble pen, allow space between each pattern piece for seam allowances.

free applique quilt patternClick and save the full-sized pattern above – another free pattern by Lora S. Irish.

Now, using your permanent marking pen, have fun doodling patterns to the fabric.  I chose black for my designs, but also consider using multiple colors for pale toned or neutral fabrics.  When the doodling is done, remove the fabric from the foamboard and iron.  You are ready to move on to your favorite applique technique.  Fun, easy, creative, and a one of a kind show stopper.

For more doodle designs and doodle fill patterns, please see our New Pattern Package – Pyrography Doodles at Art Designs Studio.

Pyrography Doodles Pattern Pack by Lora Irish

pyrogrpahy doodles project

Pyrography Doodle #7

Today we will put our Mushroom Pyrography Doodle project together to create a desktop note board.  The finished project also makes a great recipe holder for your kitchen.  If you are just joining this project, please follow the links below for the free step-by-step insturctions and pyrography pattern for this free Lora S. Irish wood burning pattern.

Pyrography Doodles
Pyrography Doodles #2
Pyrography Doodles #3
Pyrography Doodles #4
Pyrography Doodles #5
Pyrography Doodles #6
Pyrography Doodles #7

Please drop by our carving and pyrography pattern website, Art Designs Studio, to get your free mushroom pyrography patterns that complement this project.  The pattern package is on our home page.  The links to the previous posts for this free project are below.

Pyrography Doodle Mushrooms Project, step 15Step 15:Finishing Your Project

1. Lightly sand your work using a fine grit nail foam core pad or board. Wipe any sanding dust with a dry cloth.

2. Cut your cork board to 5 1/2” wide x 10 1/2” high, using a sharp craft knife. Round the corners using a jar or bottle lid as your guide.
Cut a sheet of computer paper the same size and shape as the cork. We will use the paper to protect the cork during the sealing steps.

3. Spread an even layer of yellow carpenter’s glue to the back of the cork board. Lay the cork onto your plywood, 3/4” from the right side of the plywood and 1/2” inch from the top – aligning it with the burned design.

4. Lay several heavy books on top of the cork, to apply pressure, and allow the glue to dry completely.

5. Using hot glue, circle the outer edge of the cork board with one strand of sea grass. Begin your gluing at the center of the bottom edge of the cork.

6. Using hot glue, circle the outer edge of the plywood with one strand of sea grass. Begin your gluing at one lower corner of the plywood.

7. Lay the cut computer paper over the cork area of your project.  Thumbtack into place. Use a spray sealer, following the directions on the label, to seal your burning. The computer paper will protect your cork from the spray application.

8. Cut your basswood board to measure 12″ long by 3 3/4″ wide. Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the basswood. Using either a small cabinet saw or your craft knife, cut along the line to create two triangles. Sand the cut edge of each triangle piece of basswood. Using yellow carpenter’s glue, glue the triangle supports to the back of the plywood to create legs. Place the basswood legs 2” from the sides of the plywood, with the long diagonal cut edge against the plywood.

Thank you for joining me in this fun pyrography, wood burning project.

Pyrography Doodles Pattern Pack by Lora IrishThat’s it!!!  If you are ready for more great patterns and designs that you can use in your pyrography doodle projects please see our new Lora Irish pattern package, Pyrography Doodles at Art Designs Studio.  This exclusive package includes 300 doodle designs that you can use in your pyrography, 26 carving and pyrography patterns, 10 finished doodle samples, and 3 border patterns.

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