Let’s go out with a bang, wooden dice! 6 sides, so many possibilities.
Hello my experimenters! For the last 3 months, we’ve gone through the ins and outs of woodburning. I’ve shown you different techniques, different tips or hacks, things to remember for the watercolor process, and the differences in the watercolors. While sharing knowledge with you all, we created some gorgeous pieces and pushed the boundary on what you can do with some wood, water and color!
For the final piece, let’s go out with a bang and go big. At your local craft store or online, you will be able to find these 6 sided wooden blocks (pictured below).
They are a composite wood so they burn pretty easily and color even nicer! They do take some time since doing a set of 2 blocks means 12 total wood burnings but the possibilities for these are endless!
I am not going to tell you what design to do on them personally, as I want you all to pick something that you love or want to make for a loved one! I am going to be doing a dice design, as I think they would be so fun as a game. I will show some of my sides as I give tips for these but don’t let those sway your designs! Make this your own entirely and push that creative boundary.
First thing is first with a big project like this, prep your surface!! A light sanding goes a long way to make the surface of each side equally smooth.
When each side of the blocks are all sanded and nicely smooth, you’re ready to lightly sketch out your design. Remember if you can’t erase the lines you can lightly sand them off!
Once all 12 sides are sketched and prepped, you’re ready to get the fire going and burn the sketches in! This step does take the longest as each side needs to be burned. Depending on your design for each side, you may need to accomplish this step over a few days to give your hands a break. If my hand starts to hurt or cramp, I know it’s time to absolutely take a break!
Because these blocks are composite wood, they do burn quickly so keep that in mind as you go about it. It doesn’t take much pressure to get a deep burn so maybe start very light until you can get a feel for the blocks!
Once every side is burned in, make sure the block completely cooled before starting the next step - adding color! Pictured below are a few of the burned in sides to give you an idea of what it looks like and what I did for my activity dice game.
If you have leftover lines from your sketching, this is a good point to carefully and lightly sand them off. If you try to do it after adding color you will remove the watercolor added! Above you can see I have a few lines from sketching so I am going to sand them lightly off before watercolor!
The best part is here!! Adding watercolor and getting to play with the different shades of glittery gorgeousness to each side of the block. Now of course you do not have to add color to each side or any side you don’t want to, but I will be adding color to every side to really make them pop! I love the shimmer effect it gives and the way it catches the light.
Now, this part will also be time consuming because you absolutely have to let each side dry before moving on to the next. I personally recommend doing both blocks simultaneously if you’re doing a set like I am. While one block dries, you can be working on the other to speed up the process!
Just a little reminder, if you do not let them fully dry all the way through, handling them may remove color or glitter and change the appearance.
Once all 12 sides have been watercolored to the way you want, let the blocks dry for a minimum of 12 hours. 24 hours is better if you have the time! This ensures the wood has fully dried all the way through, as has the color and glitter added. A very crucial step is dry time if you want to seal the blocks, which I do highly recommend.
I let my blocks dry for 36 hours before I started the sealing process on them. This allowed my blocks ample time to dry in the humid climate I live in to ensure I didn’t lose any color or glitter upon handling. Sealing in a humid climate can be tricky but it is doable! Just pay attention to the weather and read the back of whatever sealant you decide to use.
I’ll be using a spray sealant as it keeps the color and glitter exactly where I want it and does not cause bleeding. Use whatever feels right for your work.
It’s been a pleasure creating with you all these last months and I hope you continue pushing the boundary of what you think your creative limits are! Happy experimenting!