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How to Use a Scorch Marker – Wood Burning for Beginners

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There are a few different ways to burn woood for craft projects, let’s talk about the Scorch marker, the easiest option that anyone can use.

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There are many ways to decorate wood blanks including adding paint or vinyl. Take a look at the ornament options below for all kinds of ideas

cricut bassswood ornaments with iron on
Wood ornaments made with Cricut using vinyl
wood slice reindeer ornament craft project
Wood slice reindeer ornament

When you choose to burn wood, through any method, you get a rich and textured look that enhances the beauty of the wood.

Wood burning methods

Let’s review the different options for wood burning, there are 3 that I use regularly for my crafts.

  1. Wood burning tool. This is a handheld tool with various tips that plugs into an outlet. It heats up and you are able to draw on wood to burn it. I love the freeform creativity with this option, you can get really detailed and create shading with some of the tips.
  2. Laser engraver. This is a big step up form a wood burning tool. A laser is a larger machine that can not only engrave wood but metal, stone and more. Learn more about laser engraving and how a machine like this can fit into your craft room.
  3. Scorch marker. This is the easiest, and safest method for wood burning. This marker contains a chemical that reacts with heat to permanently etch wood surfaces. It’s inexpensive, lasts a long time and is great for a beginner.

How does a scorch marker work?

A Scorch marker is a pen with 2 tips, a marker like tip and a sponge brush. These give you creative freedom to draw your various designs.

Scorch marker tip up close

You can freehand a design on any wood surface, or you can use a stencil like in the project below.

Scorch marker will perform best on unfinished, bare wood. After the design is on the wood, let it dry. Then heat the area with a heat gun to permanently burn the design into the wood. The more heat you apply, the darker the design will be.

A craft heat gun will work if you have one, but a more industrial model will give you crisp dark burned lines.

wagner heat gun

A scorch marker works great on wood, but it also works with cardboard, cork, and paper. There are so many options for creative projects with this tool.

Wood burning projects

These are some of my favorite wood crafts that can be made using a Scorch marker. Create a stencil for the best results, or try making these using a freehand design.

Tutorial for a wood burned hostess gift
Burn words onto the end of a wooden spoon to create a hostess gift
simple wood burned ornament square
Freehand designs on wood slices create beautiful ornaments
wood slice burned ornaments with Scorch marker

How to make wood ornaments with a Scorch marker

Yield: 1
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Learn how to use a Scorch marker with a stencil to create a wood ornament.



  • Cricut machine
  • Cricut cutting mat
  • Weeding tool
  • Scraper tool
  • Heat gun


  1. Create a stencil design in Cricut Design Space.
  2. Cut the stencil from removable vinyl and transfer to the wood ornament. Wood slice with a stencil for Scorch marker
  3. Prep the Scorch marker by shaking it and pumping the tip on a paper towel until the liquid starts to flow.
  4. Fill in the stencil with the Scorch marker until the wood darkens, don't leave any puddles.
  5. Let dry.
  6. Remove the stencil with a weeding tool. Wood slice without stencil before heat gun
  7. Use a heat gun over the wood ornament to burn the design. The hotter the heat gun, the darker your design will be. Move the gun back and forth for even distribution of heat. heat gun working on scorch marker
  8. Let the ornament cool before touching it. Cheers wood slice ornament

Optional: Add a coat of sealer like Mod Podge for shiny finish. Sealer is not necessary to protect the wood.


Be sure to watch the video for a full visual tutorial on this project.

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Wood burned ornaments with a Scorch marker

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