Text and images by Amy Christie for Design Mom.
It’s getting to be that time of year again: handmade gift-making season! This year, we thought it would be fun to try a new creative tool, a dremel (or you could call it a wood burner), a heated tool used for etching and drawing on wooden surfaces. For the next three days, I’ll be sharing cool and easy projects using this one tool (find the second project here).
ETCHED WOODEN SPOONS TUTORIAL
First up, mixing spoons! Inspired by this project, I thought it would be interesting to see what super simple designs — dots, plaids and hatched arrows — looked like on etched wooden spoons. And they turned out so great, I thought they’d make a gorgeous gift!
Since I had never tried one before, I found it fascinating to work with the etcher — it’s a whole different way to alter an object. And you guys are lucky, because after my experience with these projects I can offer some advice. As a warning, it does get crazy hot and can 1) burn skin, 2) burn a whole through clothing and 3) make burn marks on anything it comes into contact with. Only two of these items are inspired by personal experience and I’m embarrassed enough not to tell you which two. : ) So please be careful!
That said, don’t be intimidated. It was actually really easy to work with. Just be careful, and when you aren’t actively using it, rest it on a surface that won’t burn. And of course, make sure to unplug it when you have finished your etched wooden spoons.
Also, there is a good chance that when you finish, you will smell like what I imagine Smoky the Bear smells like — burned wood. So crack a window, turn on a fan and pretend you’re enjoying a bonfire. The result is well worth it.
Plug in the Dremel and let’s get going!
Supplies to Make your Etched Wooden Spoons:
– Wooden spoons. I bought a cheap-o pack from the store and ordered a little nicer set online for about a dollar each.
– Etching tool. I know. A 20 dollar investment, but it gets great reviews and I think I’ll be able to use it ton. You could even share it among your crafty friends.
Heat up the etching tool and get to burning. Any design will do.
The best part of it is, you can doodle anywhere you want! Unlike with paint (which isn’t typically food safe), the design can continue onto the the parts of the utensil that will come in contact with food. Draw on the handle. Draw on the head. Draw on the whole thing! Dots, lines, hatch marks. The sky is the limit.
There isn’t much to direct here, and no templates needed. It’s that simple. You can use my designs as a reference, or free hand a design from your imagination. If you are more comfortable, you can trace a design or use a pencil to sketch on the spoon what you intend to do first. Then put the tool to the wood and make it come true.
If you want, make a little symbol, like an artist’s signature, somewhere on the spoon (I used my signature heart), because it’s a piece of art! Then tie them up with a ribbon and the gift is ready.
THESE ETCHED WOODEN SPOONS WOULD ALSO BE GREAT FOR:
– A house warming gift.
– A birthday gift for a baker.
– A Mother’s Day gift topper.
– Party favors for a kitchen-themed party or shower.
P.S. — Like to make gifts? Check out our Perfect Gift series.
139 thoughts on “The Perfect Gift: Etched Wooden Spoons”
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Love them so much, I added you to a DIY gift idea round-up! Love your blog, always. Check it out in the link below.
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What an awesome gift idea. Love how the spoons look. I can think of a several more things to etch now:-)
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Just finished sketching our some Native American designs and thought what a unique idea to give as gifts this year to our seniors. Thanks for sharing.
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these were my best gifts! some years, i over do it, but these were perfect – fun to make, including a piece of me (my time), and useful kitchen items. everyone loved them. my family was asking if they could use them, or if they were just for show…as if i made something so nice it was for display only. thank you for the idea. it’s been fun making the utensils and even more fun giving them out!
I’m so glad you like them Stephanie! I love knowing about your makings, makes me feel so good! Have a wonderful new year!
I made these for grandparents for Christmas this year – and thought I’d report here how it went.
I followed the links in the tutorial and bought the same spoon set and dremel tool as recommended.
I have 3 kids, ages 3, 5, and 8. I had each kid draw a design directly onto the spoon/spatula with pencil. Then I went over it with the dremel. I thought we would be able to wash off the extra pencil marks, but couldn’t. A white eraser did the trick (regular pink pencil eraser seemed to leave marks and residue).
I traced exactly what they drew and wrote on the spoons with the burning tool, 3-yr-old-scribbles and all.
3 grandmas = 3 sets of 3 utensils.
They were a HIT! and a bonus, my 8 yr old even decorated one of the extras just for me. :-)
This is a perfect, handmade, DIY gift for kids to make!
I am wondering, though, if the “burn” smell will fade?
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Very cute! One suggestion for this post — don’t call the woodburning tool a Dremel. It’s just a Dremel-brand tool. When the word “Dremel” is used alone or as a verb, it refers to a rotary cutting/polishing tool. Looking at the comments, it seems the misnomer has caused confusion.
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Do you sell these?
hmmm. as many have mentioned, Dremel is a brand name for tools, esp rotary tools. BUT, if you have a soldering iron, it will do as well. Or a knife heated over the stove… you get the idea.
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