Learn to Burn by Simon Easton


Second Pyro Book in my new series features easy wood burning designs! Every month, I choose a pyrography book and complete one of the projects. This month I went with, Learn to Burn by Simon Easton. It’s time for fridge magnets y’all! I’m using his patterns in one set and then I created a set of my own. Watch me recreate his vision. 

Materials Used:

Setting up the Project

There are several great projects and and easy wood burning designs in Learn to Burn. I decided to go with magnets for the project. I’ve never made magnets, so I thought it would be a new experimental project for me. And I love to try new things in wood burning. I always scan the templates from books so I can keep an original. 


I’ve got my carbon paper handy so I can transfer these tiny templates to the tiny pieces of poplar wood. Clay made these tiny little canvases for me, but you can find small wood cutouts on here amazon and in arts and craft stores. 


First, I make sure all my wood pieces are aligned with the grain in the horizontal position. It’s not a necessary detail, I just like for all the pieces to be burned in the same direction so when they are sitting side by side, the wood grains match. 

Second, I place the template with tape, put my carbon underneath and then start tracing. It’s a small surface to work on, so it helps to put a bit of tape on the working surface under the wood so that it stays in place. Now it’s time to burn.



I like to start with outlining the artwork and in the book, Learn to Burn, Easton is doing the same thing by outlining and then shading, so I’ll do the same. 


I’ve got my Colwood Super Pro II here with a straight edge tip (skew nib). I find that outlining the artwork helps stay in bounds with the shading and adds nice clean edges to the design. Bumpy outside edges don’t look great, so outlining helps tremendously. 

I keep my heat pretty low here at a 4. This small wood canvas needs to be burned at a lower setting. A 4 heat setting is a nice mid-range heat that will help me burn through the poplar without over scorching the edges.


I also decided to do a second set of owls with these easy to wood burn designs. These little magnets are so simple and just plain fun to burn, and I wanted a set that I could add color to, so here we are with owls. I’m going to outline them as well. 


Adding the Shading with a Dot Pattern (Stipple)

I’m filling in the chess inspired magnets with a dot (stipple) pattern, as does Easton in Learn to Burn. It has a left to right gradient of dark to light that really adds depth to the characters. You can see from the example in the book that they have this delicate shaded dot pattern. 


The dot pattern as a technique is a really effective way to add shade with out having a lot of wood burning skill. It’s a matter of patience and time to fill in a shade with lots of tiny dots. 🙂 


So I’m going to follow Easton’s pattern of lots of dark dots on the left side that fade into smaller, more spaced, lighter dots which flow to the right side. It’s just a simple tap, tap, tap from left to right. You can see it coming to life with each shaded section.
All done shading.


Adding Color to the Owls

This is a super simple and easy way to add color to these easy to wood burn designs. I’m using water color pencils so that I can just color in the owls. I also added a little flare in the corners just for fun. It gives them a little extra something. 


I will varnish these with a spray so the color stays. I like to use a Krylon Kamar and UV Spray combo. It helps keep the burn and the color from fading. Now it’s time to add those magnets!

Adding the magnets

I bought the a pack of magnets with adhesive and I do wish I had gotten some stronger ones like these magnets, but it will work for my shop notes. 


And these are all done! If you want simple easy to wood burn designs, these is a great one especially if you’re a beginner. 🙂 And Easton’s book is a great place to start. Get it Learn to Burn by Simon Easton on Amazon

Watch the Video


This FREE (and highly detailed) digital packet is overflowing with information for getting started in pyrography.

  • 14 tools supply list – the best tools in pyrography
  • 5 pyrography patterns to use in burning
  • 2 step-by-step pyro projects with templates

I put together a digital download packet that highlights wood burning tools and projects perfect for pyro beginners.

“what burner should I use?”

“what’s the best wood to burn?”

“what are my safety options?”

“where can I get these tools?”

“where can I get pyrography patterns?”

“what should I burn?”


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