Use the sun to engrave some great homemade gifts
Etching or engraving the name of a friend or family member onto a chopping board is a great way to craft a unique gift — without a lot of effort. All you need is a wooden board and a laser. What, you don't have a laser at home? No worries, you won't need to break into a lab and steal one. The sun is your friend, but you'll also need a few other things, so let's get started.
- a chopping board made of wood, or other wooden tableware that you'd like to decorate
- aluminum foil tape
- a craft knife
- a Sharpie marker
- a magnifying glass
- sunglasses, as a precaution
- good weather
1. First, think about how and where you want to decorate your wooden board. Depending on how big you want the lettering to be, stick one or two strips of aluminum foil tape in the appropriate place.
2. Now draw the letters on the adhesive tape. For any text on the right-hand side, if you're worried about leaving enough space for the letters, start with the last letter and work backwards from right to left.
3. Next, cut out the letters with a craft knife. Run the blade along the edges of the letters and then scrape away the tape inside the outlines so that the tape is transformed into a stencil.
Tip: To help yourself, you can color the letters in black before you cut them out so that you know which sections of the tape to remove. This can be particularly helpful for patterns and motifs so that you don't lose track.
4. Now you just have to wait for some bright sunshine — then go outside with the board and a magnifying glass. Use the magnifying glass to focus the sun's rays and singe the wood that's visible through the tape stencil.
Wear sunglasses as a precaution to protect your eyes while you're singeing the board. Children trying this project should be assisted by an adult.
5. Next, peel off the tape and carefully remove any adhesive residues.
As you can see, you don't have to limit yourself to just painting names on wooden chopping boards, but you can also do motifs and patterns on wooden spoons for example. All you have to do is stick on the tape and cut away the areas where you want to burn on your design.
It really isn't rocket science. Incidentally, if you're looking for more DIY ideas for making homemade gifts, you can also try printing your favorite photo on a candle.