Learn how to make a gorgeous DIY Mandala Tray using wood burning with a heat-sensitive pen and blowtorch. Its a quick project and takes a couple of hours!
You are going to love this easy and quick project!
When I found out about the heat-sensitive marker, I know I just had to use them in a project.
No matter how many times I do this and know what to expect, it is still cool every single time!
Look at the details!
Isn’t it gorgeous!
And it took just over an hour to make (not counting drying time of course)
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- Tray. I used a wood plank. You would build one or buy a simple one.
- Stencil of your choice.
- Heat sensitive marker
- Sanding sponge
- Tack cloth
- BZ4500HS Heat Shrink Torch
- Bernzomatic Propane Cylinder
- Bernzomatic ST2200 Detail Torch
- Bernzomatic Butane Cylinder
- Brad Nailer and 1-¼″ finish nails
- Tabletop epoxy
- Mixing cups
- Stir sticks
How to make the wood burned tray
I debated between building a simple tray and using a pre-made tray but when I saw this wood plank, I was instantly drawn into the rustic look with the bark on the edges.
Here is a video showing you how I made it. Step by Step instructions follow –
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Step by step tutorial
Step 1 – Prep the tray
No matter what you choose to make – a wood plank or a premade or handmade tray, surface prep is extremely important.
Sand the surface with a fine sanding sponge in the direction of the grain and wipe away all the dust. I like using a tack cloth to make sure I get all the little dust particles.
Step 2 – Stencil
Decide on the positions of the patterns and lay the stencil on the tray. Attach the stencil to the tray using masking tape to keep it from moving.
Using the heat-sensitive marker, fill in the stencil.
The marker makes a very light pinking-orange mark and can be hard to see but starting from one end and keeping track of the pattern helps.
I decided to add a pattern in the center and two on opposite corners.
Step 3 – Burn!
This is the coolest part of the project!
Lay the plank/wood tray on a few pieces of scrap wood elevated over a concrete or stone floor.
Using a Bernzomatic BZ4500HS and propane, slowly torch from one end to the other.
It is the coolest thing to see! I knew what to expect but as the pattern appeared, it was amazing to watch!
If you are using a wood plank like me, also torched the back of the plank and a couple of 6″ pieces of 1×2. Attach the 1×2 to the backside using a brad nailer and finish nails.
Step 4 – Add the epoxy
Mix up the epoxy using directions on the package and pour it on top of the patterned side.
I used painter’s tape on the edges to keep the epoxy from flowing to the edges.
Step 5 – Pop the bubbles
Use a Bernzomatic ST2200 Detail Torch loaded with butane to pop all the bubbles in the epoxy.
To fill the ST2200 Detail Torch it with the Bernzomatic Butane – insert the butane cylinder mouth at the bottom of the torch and hold it until it starts to overflow. Be sure to read all the instructions that come with the torch!
Allow it to cure for the recommended amount of time – in my case, it was 8 hours so I left it overnight.
I was originally planning to add handles on both sides of the plank but on second thoughts, I decided against it because I wanted the wood burned patterns to be the stars!
Isn’t this a fun way to add unique character to projects?
Imagine the number of possibilities!
What would you do using this technique?