Wood Burned Tea Box Handmade Gift

Yes it’s only mid-October but it’s time to start thinking about handmade gifts. I have a great gift idea for the tea lover on your list: a wood burned tea box. I’m a tea lover myself, and I’d love to receive something like this!

Wood Burned Tea Box Tutorial

Wood burning is easier to learn than you might think. And I’m here today to show you how I made my wood burned tea box. This tea box is only the second wood burning project I’ve done so far, so if I can do it…you can do it!

Wood Burned Tea Box


Basswood is an excellent surface for woodburning as it is a soft wood. I chose to use Walnut Hollow’s Classic Box for my tea box. I love the clean lines of the box:

Walnut Hollow Basswood Classic Box

I found the perfect vintage line art image on TheGraphicsFairy.com:

vintage tea set line art

Time to Transfer an Image!

There are many ways you can transfer images for wood burning. I like to use the Transfer Point on the Creative Versa-Tool. Here’s how you can transfer an image using this tool.

Step One: Make a laser copy of your chosen image in reverse.

reverse image of tea set

Step Two: Cut around the copied image and attach it to your surface face down, so that the image is against the wood. I use a few pieces of washi tape or masking tape as it holds the paper well yet is easy to remove.

attach copy to box face down

Step Three: Turn up one or two corners of the paper to make it easy to lift up and check your work while transferring the image. I learned this trick on Walnut Hollow’s YouTube channel, and it does make a difference. It’s the little things!

helpful tip for image transfer

By the way, Walnut Hollow has a wealth of knowledge about wood burning on YouTube. The videos are short and to the point and clearly demonstrated and explained. Trust me: I watched almost all of them so far as I’m learning how to work with the Creative Versa-Tool!

image will appear correctly

When wood burning, always tape the stand to your work surface, just for added security and stability. You don’t want a hot tool sliding around in its stand!

wood burning stand

Step Four: Transfer your image to the wood surface.

With your transfer point on your Creative Versa-Tool, you’ll have it positioned like this while transferring your image:

Creative Versa-Tool Transfer Point

Here is short video about using the Transfer Point that explains it much better than I can:

Chris Wallace described it for you (and for me) perfectly! Watching Chris is like having a one-on-one class with an expert for free!

Here’s my successfully transferred image:

image successfully transferred to wood

Here’s my paper and as Chris pointed out in the video, you will get some burn marks on the paper, especially if you sit too long in one area, as I did.

why paper looks like this

Those darker areas on the paper can also end up meaning darker areas on your wood surface. I had a few of these areas on my basswood box when my transfer was complete. I’ll show you that in a moment.

Time to Wood Burn!

Step Five: Wood burn your image using the mini flow point.

The Mini Flow Point is one of the many accessories you can purchase for your Walnut Hollow wood burning tools. I love using this point as it has a small, rounded tip that glides smoothly over the wood. Plus it was almost the same size as the lines of the tea set!

Here’s how my wood burned image turned out:

wood burned vintage tea set image

I’m sharing a couple of close-up shots to show you my own mistakes to help you be on the lookout so you can avoid the same thing. (And if you do make the same mistakes that I did? Shrug your shoulders and smile because wood burning is a fun hobby! I find it to be very relaxing!)

woodburned dots explained

In the above image, the arrows point to some dots that shouldn’t be there. If I’m pulling the Versa-Tool toward me as I wood burn, the lines are much smoother. If I try to push the tool away as I wood burn, the tool gets stuck in the soft wood and that’s how I got those dots.

It’s also much easier to wood burn with the wood grain versus against the grain. I know that practice makes perfect or at least better!

blemishes explained

Remember those darker blemishes I mentioned earlier? The arrows in the above image show you a few on the teapot. (And if you scroll back up to the picture of the entire woodburned artwork, you’ll notice them there too.)

I wasn’t worried about these blemishes, as I planned on painting this piece. And that’s a great tip for us beginners – use paint to mask any details you wished weren’t there.

woodburned box sides

After I finished the tea set, I still wanted to do more wood burning, so I made a series of dots and swirls on all four sides of the box.

Wood Burned Tea Box

Paint or Stain Your Tea Box

Step Six: Paint the inside and outside of the tea box with two coats of DecoArt’s Dazzling Metallics in Oyster Pearl. Just paint it on with a small paintbrush. You’ll quickly see that it’s rather transparent, giving the box a pretty, metallic sheen.

metallic sheen on wood burned tea box

I love how the metallic paint seeped into the wood burned images and dots:

metallic paint on wood burned box

Turning this into a handmade gift is the easiest part. Just fill with an assortment of tea bags!

Wood Burned and Painted Tea Box

Wood Burned Tea Box with metallic paint

Wood Burned Tea Box Tutorial

Walnut Hollow Tutorial wood burned tea box

I hope I’ve convinced you that not only is wood burning totally doable, but it’s also very relaxing and a very satisfying craft too!

Head over to Walnut Hollow’s website here to see a selection of unfinished wood boxes just waiting for your own creativity to turn them into a special handmade gift!

Happy wood burning!

Laura of Pet Scribbles

I’m Laura, the creative mind behind Pet Scribbles, my blog where I share craft tutorials, home and garden projects, and occasional cat stories. I can never have enough pretty craft paints to work with, and I love to make things look time-worn with distressing and aging — especially wood projects both large and small. Stop by!

4 thoughts on “Wood Burned Tea Box Handmade Gift

  1. Pingback: Wood Burning for Beginners

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