I was looking for a box to put a wedding gift in… I found several at different antique stores, but this was the coolest one and also the least expensive of the ones I liked! Yay!

I wasn’t necessarily planning on burning on this box, but it just ended up happening.

After bringing the box home, my house started to smell like an old antique store… yuck. It was not the most appealing smell. So I knew I had to do something about it. If I was going to varnish the box, I just as well burn something on it first!

I felt the Lord put something on my heart and I just went with it. “Under Your wings I will stay…”

So where was I going to burn this? Normally the outside, front of the box, right? Well this box was originally made for delivering grenades. So it has cool military stamps on the outside of the box that I thought should be preserved. So I lifted the lid, and burned there!

Yes, those are rope handles… Isn’t it cool?!?

So I started by cleaning the box up and taking all the hardware off and cleaning those up just with dish soap and water and then vinegar. I could have painted the hardware, but I really wanted to keep the rough look of the box and just get rid of the smell. 🙂

I found the font I wanted, printed and placed it where I thought it should go, made it bigger and printed again! After I had it where I wanted, I taped the top of the words onto the wood but left the bottom loose. Then I tucked a piece of graphite paper (black side down) under the letters and traced the outside of the letters with an embossing stylus. It’s super easy!

This is what it looks like just after I traced with the graphite paper.

I then got my burner warmed up and chose a pretty thin tip to trace the outside of the letters.

Here I did one pass outside the “Under Your wings”.

I ended up doing one pass around the outside of the letters and going back with a round tip to fill them in!

Do not change tips while it is still hot!! The threading of the tip and burner can get wapperjawed and never go back in quite the same.

It really didn’t take me terrible long to burn this. You have more forgiveness if you start with a lower temperature and do more passes, because if you get off, you don’t do a whole lot of damage to the wood around the letters if you slip. Turning the temperature up will get the job done quicker, but you have a larger chance of messing up. It also depends on the type of wood you burn. this box had a rougher texture, but it was softer wood so it didn’t take as long to burn as a harder wood.

Just set aside some time to be quiet, have a cup of coffee or a glass of tea, and you’ll have a lot of fun!

I did!!

I did one coat of oil based, satin varnish on the whole box, minus the hinges and rope handles, of course. It sealed off the smell and brought the box back to life without being too “nice”.

I am sorry I didn’t get a better picture of the full box finished! 🙁

Oh well, you get the idea…

This was my first time really burning something… I know it won’t be my last!

Erika Troyer
One of Shyla’s bonus daughters 🙂



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