The Best Ways to Transfer Pyrography Patterns


The Best Ways to Transfer Pyrography Patterns

Pyrography is an excellent hobby for artists of all levels and abilities. It’s also a fun way to add your personal touch to home décor, clothing, and crafts. Pyrography patterns are an easy way to get started creating pieces you love.

You may be wondering how on earth you get that crisp image onto the wood in the first place! You can’t just trace it with a pencil as you would with an ordinary drawing because it will easily smudge and distort the original design.

If you want to gain more freedom than some wood burning kits provide, then you’ll need to learn how to create and transfer pyrography patterns on your own. The most common method for transferring patters onto wood is carbon paper, but there are some other options too – read on for more information!

The Best Ways To Transfer Pyrography Patterns To Wood

Whether you are looking for tips for wood burning for beginners or are a veteran crafter, it can be helpful to keep up your wood burning knowledge!

When transferring your patterns to wood, there are a few different ways you can do this – carbon paper, a photo paper or freehanding. Each of these methods can be effective when transferring your pyrography pattern, but each way has its good and bad points.

Below is a list of the most common ways you can use and a breakdown of the common steps.

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Carbon Paper

The traditional method for transferring pyrography patterns to wood is using carbon paper.

Carbon paper is available on Amazon in packs of 100 or more.

Once you have your carbon paper, it’s easy to use!

Simply place your pyrography pattern face down onto your wood, align it with the wood and center it, then tape it down. Place the carbon sheet face down (carbon side on the wood) and begin tracing the pattern.

Go slow, follow the lines of your pattern as closely as possible. Once you’re done, life your pattern and carbon to see a complete transfer.

place the carbon under the pyrography pattern
trace the pattern
carbon on wood
carbon transfer on the wood

Photo Copy Or Inkjet Paper

Another great way to transfer patterns is to use photo paper. This is especially useful if you have smaller wood canvases and don’t want to use messy carbon paper.

photo paper – print on the back slick side

First, make sure to reverse(horizontal flip) your pattern before printing. Print the pattern onto a slick type of paper like parchment or the reverse side of a photo paper. The paper needs to be slick enough so that it won’t absorb the ink from the printer.

reversed image in photoshop
pyrography patterns
pattern printed on back side of photo paper
pyrography patterns
the inkjet ink is still wet and ready to be placed

Then simply place the photo paper ink side down onto your wood and carefully run your hand over the entire sheet to make sure the ink transfers.

press down firmly all over the paper to make sure the entire pattern transfers

Lift the page and you’ll see a fully transferred image.

This is a much quicker way to transfer a pyrography pattern, however, you have to make sure you are certain about the alignment and placement. Once you lay it on the wood, that’s where it’s going to be. So if it’s off center, you have to sand it down and start over.

pyrography patterns
completely transferred image

Tips for Transferring Pyrography Patterns

There are a few basic tips for transferring pyrography patterns to wood in pyrography, no matter what method you use.

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First, be careful when using carbon paper. If you move it around too much, you’ll end up with a lot of unwanted marks on your wood. Here are some tips for how to remove carbon marks.

Second, go slow and be intentional when tracing. It’s easy to get in a hurry and make big mistakes that are hard to fix. There’s nothing wrong with going slow.

Third, always be sure to use eye protection and a respirator if necessary. Be sure to follow all information about pyrography safety, especially before burning multiple pieces of wood at once. Here are a few of my best tips on pyrography safety.


Lastly, practice makes perfect! The more you experiment with transferring patterns to wood in pyrography, the more you’ll get used to how it all works. Along with that, the more comfortable you are burning wood in general, the better you will get at transferring patterns to wood.

The templating process is not complicated but takes some experimentation.

How to Setup Your Pyrography Patterns

First, you can setup your templates using Word, Photoshop, GIMP or any other type of layout software where you can place images and type text.

  • word
  • photoshop

Second, you can download fonts, graphics and pre-made pyrography patterns from websites like Creative Fabrica. They have millions of patters to choose from on every subject, plus most of them are licensed for commercial use. A commercial license means, you can burn a pattern and then sell your wood burned piece. Some websites make you pay extra for commercial use permission.


Third, freehand! If you have freehand drawing and lettering skills, put it to use right on the wood. You can freehand your art by sketching it out, then burning it without any need for a template.

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freehand your artwork

Practice Makes Perfect with Pyrography Patterns

The most important thing to remember is that using a pattern saves time and allows for much more accurate pyrography once you have it down.

If you don’t get it right your first few times, take heart! This has been an issue for me in the beginning as well.

It’s a skill you can learn and will make your pyrography work that much better.

Whether it’s as simple as using carbon paper or as complex as freehanding, there’s an option here for every skill level.

Want to learn even more? Click below to download my free pyro pack to help you learn more about wood burning, plus free pyrography patterns! In the pyro pack, you’ll find:


This FREE (and highly detailed) digital packet is overflowing with information for getting started in pyrography.

  • 14 tools supply list – the best tools in pyrography
  • 5 pyrography patterns to use in burning
  • 2 step-by-step pyro projects with templates

I put together a digital download packet that highlights wood burning tools and projects perfect for pyro beginners.

“what burner should I use?”

“what’s the best wood to burn?”

“what are my safety options?”

“where can I get these tools?”

“where can I get pyrography patterns?”

“what should I burn?”


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