Wood Burned Photo Frames DIY

Wood burned frame trio diyI love large black and white frames for a gallery wall, but when I’m creating a smaller, more intimate vignette with family photos, I like to add in details that compliment the rest of my space. This trio of wood burned frames ended up being the perfect way to showcase some family photos we had done before leaving Colorado, and it was fun combining a rustic craft with some more modern designs. 

Inexpensive Frame Tutorial SuppliesSupplies
-natural wood frames from local hobby store
wood burning tool 
-metal ruler

Circle frameTo create a polka-dot effect, use the standard round attachment that comes with your wood burning kit. You can freehand your design or draw out a pattern with a pencil before going over each pencil mark with the tip of your wood burner. I suggest practicing on a scrap piece of wood or the back of your frame before attempting the front.  

StarburstTo create a starburst effect, use your pliers to switch out your round tip with the pointier tip. When placed flat, it will create a short line that you can use to make a variety of patterns. I practiced on the back side, and then carefully started placing my hot tip on the wood and rotating it as needed in order to get a star pattern. I just freehanded these shapes, but you could also use a pencil if you preferred.

TrianglesTo create a triangular pattern, I traced the right angle made from my metal ruler, and then used the same tip from the starburst frame and carefully traced the edges along the ruler. You could easily just burn straight lines into your wood using a similar ruler. Just be sure whatever you are using is not acrylic or wood as it will likely burn as well.

Wood Burned Frames for www.ABeautifulMessConsistency is key when working with a pattern, so do your best to keep your strokes about the same size and darkness. The longer you hold your tool to your wood, the thicker and darker your lines will get, so it’s best to practice each new stroke a few times so you can see what effect each amount of pressure will have. 

Customize inexpensive frames with this easy tutorialOnce I was finished with my wood burning, I used a clear wax finish to seal the wood. I tested a stain as well thinking I might like the color, but it was pretty dark brown and changed the whole feel of the frames. 

Starburst frame diyWood burned circle frame diyTips for a successful and burn-free experience:

– Always be aware of how your tool is resting when not in immediate use. There is a metal resting mechanism where you can set it if you need to be hands-free for a hot minute. Don’t just set the tool down on your table top as it will surely leave a mark. 

– When changing tips, I suggest unplugging your tool and allowing it to cool down before switching it out. This will keep you from setting a hot tip down on your work surface and either burning your table or your fingers. 

– Unplug as soon as you are finished and always be aware of your cord. Wood burning tools are obviously not a toy and caution should be exercised when used. Keep out of reach of children and pets. 

Frame TrioIf you’ve never used a wood burning tool, they’re kind of fun to experiment with. You can find them at most arts and craft stores or on Amazon. I’ve created an art journal cover using one and have plans to personalize a few more wooden items this year. It brings back some Girl Scout memories, for sure! –Rachel

Credits//Author and Photography: Rachel Denbow. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

  • Good job.Its really wonderful post.I am particularly impressed that oval shape of photo frame.

  • Thanks for the ideas! I’m in the market for a wood burner and plan on making some designs on a few crafts my hubby and I have put together. Is there a certain type you recommend?

  • This is pretty timely because I was just talking about buying a wood burning kit over the weekend 🙂 These frames turned out super cute! Can’t wait to try something myself!

  • I’ve always wanted to buy a wood burner because you can do such cool things with them, but I never thought of jazzing up these frames with one! I love the triangle idea, and the fact that these fares are around $1 each makes this even better!

    Monica – Mocha and Moccasins

  • Thanks Rachel for the post, I cant wait to get a wood burning tool this weekend and try it out!!

  • great diy idea!



  • I love the idea of using a wood burning tool, I always forget I have one. Thanks for the reminder and another great DIY project!


  • This project is great! frames can get expensive at times, and these are a great alternatives as well as personable


  • I love fun DIY Project 🙂 This seems to be so simple with an adorable outcome 🙂 http://meaggles89.blogspot.com/

  • At first, I thought I’d prefer just plain wood for the frames, but they just look amazing together. It’s a great idea!

  • Oh, I love those! Super cute and simple!
    I am very impressed by all the crafts you guys come up with. I consider myself a fairly creative person, but I could never in a million years come up with the variety that the ABM team comes up with!
    Great job and thank you for sharing!


  • Parabéns!! ideias úteis e criativas obrigada por compartilhar
    coisas lindas e construtivas..beijos

  • Such a a cute idea. I’ve never heard of a wood burner before but the end result is beautiful!

  • OMG! That’s really fantastic!
    I wanna try to make a couple of this to put in my bedroom. Tks for sharing. 🙂


  • The starburst design looks great! I’d love to make some of these.


  • so simple yet effective! I love your blog, it inspires me to channel my inner child and get making again!

    Also wanted to let you know that I’ve nominated you to for the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award”! You can see my post here:


    Grace x

  • I love woodburning! If you like you can check out my post with a woodburning diy (it’s in German, but the post has nice pictures :)):

    Xoxo Biene

  • Just what we did in Primary School back in min childhood:-) Funny, that it has become trendy again…

  • So cute! I know a lot of places sell the wood frames without a back or glass… where do you find those supplies? Or did your frames come with them?

  • Fantastic idea, truly! I love the designs and it looks fairly simple to do. Thanks for sharing!

  • I especially love the starburst one. 🙂 So pretty and simple! You can never have too many nice frames.

    Always, Anita

  • These look great! My mother in law recently got a wood burner as a gift and I’ve been so curious about ways to use one…might have to get one now!

  • Brilliant! This reminds me of my childhood and the craft projects we used to do at school – what a fab idea


  • I love the simplicity of this. Also, how the different designs complement each other by being the same medium. It would be fun to do with colored frames and black and white pictures.

  • These are perfect! Great job 🙂

    Warm Regards,

  • So easy and so styling!
    Great idea


  • I’ve been wanting to get into wood burning for forever now, and this seems likes really fun intro project that I would get a lot of use out of! I think the round frame is my favourite. The shape is really beautiful and the dot pattern you chose complements it really well!

    x Kathryn
    Through the Thicket

  • WOW, this is too cool! Honestly, I don’t know how you gals do it but you just are a well of totally original DIY ideas. I love it so much!

    Latest Post: Spiral into Fit – I Spiralized Every Meal For a Day!

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