Heat Gun Wood Burning ~ Nordic Wooden Trees DIY

Though many think Christmas is the time to go all out, I say, why wait?  I mean, if you love to decorate, do it all the time. However, I don’t mean having a Christmas tree up all year (unless that floats your boat). What I do mean, however, is decor can look awesome any time. I prefer to use elements that can be tweaked for any season or for any event. Today I’m sharing a new technique with heat gun wood burning. To give you an example, I’ve created this super easy craft for you to make. These Nordic wooden trees that are perfect for Christmas and all year long. All you need is one pine board. Woot!

Basic Pine Board Plank for Nordic Wooden Trees DIY by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

You read it right, one pine board and a few extras to make these wonderful, whimsical trees. I’m so excited to show you a technique that I used to get the look of these trees using one of my favorite tools to create heat gun wood burning.

Nordic Wooden Tree Display with Wood Burned Trees. DIY tutorial at Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

*post sponsored by HomeRight and includes affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too. (see full disclosure)


These whimsical trees fit into most any decor whether it’s Nordic, farmhouse, cottage, industrial, even modern. Also, the best part is you can have them look any way you like. I’m just here to get the ball rolling.

TERMS OF USE: when you create these trees, you agree to the following: it cannot be shared or distributed for monetary gain in any way, it may not be modified in any way, and you may not claim the work as your own. Likewise, this tree design can not be used as decor in a store either online or brick and mortar. Thanks for complying!

Want to create your own for your home or maybe as gifts? Here’s what you’ll need to make 9 trees (I made 11 using extra scrap):



Step 1

First, rough sketch your trees onto your board using a pencil. You could cut your pieces to length first, but I like the random height and width. Most of my trees roughly fell into either a 16″, 12 ½”, or 7″ height. There’s no rule to these, just sketch and have fun.

Drawing Trees onto Raw Pine Board | prodigalpieces.com

Step 2

Then, once you’ve got them how you like, cut them to length. I used my miter saw to chop right on the bottom so I got a nice flat surface that the tree can stand on. In addition, you could use any saw for this, but this is the easiest way to do it.

Pine Tree Boards Cut | prodigalpieces.com

Step 3

Now it’s time for some funky saw fun. I love my jigsaw and have used it in oodles of projects as seen HERE. One of my other favorite tools is the Kreg Clamp Trak system. It holds my work steadfast, even hanging off the bench like this. You build it to customize your needs. If you don’t have this system, use a clamp and make sure it stays snug.

Begin to saw starting from the outside edge working towards the inside corners of your tree branches. It takes two cuts to make each branch stand out.

Using Kreg Clamp Trak and Ryobi Jig Saw to cut wooden trees by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Let me just say I was having a blast making these and got to be out in the sun doing what I love. I feel so blessed!

A beautiful mess of woodworking. Mmm... | prodigalpieces.com

Step 4

Once you have your Nordic wooden trees cut out, it’s time to sand. First, I used my favorite orbital sander and a 120 grit to knock down the frayed edges and soften corners. Easy-peasy.

Sanding Nordic Wooden Trees by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Step 5

Then, from here it’s up to you how to finish, but if you love what I created, here’s how to get the look. First, I stained my trees in 3 different stains: Sunbleached, Early American, and Briarsmoke. I left a few in the raw for the next steps.

Staining Wooden Christmas Trees | prodigalpieces.com

Step 6

Time to add your designs to your raw wood pieces. Next, simply trace a design on using a stencil like this Union Jack aluminum sheet or trace a knit or crochet design. You can find ample sources to replicate on Pinterest. Just be sure to credit the source.

Tracing Design on Wooden Trees | prodigalpieces.com

Step 7

Now for the exciting part! I’ve shown you before how I’ve used my HomeRight heat gun to create many new things (SEE HERE). This time, though instead of using it to take things off, I’m using it to put a design on. Check this out… by using basic ammonium chloride, not only can you design anything you want , but also wood burn it on. I found this idea by watching a few YouTube videos on the subject and thought I’d have a go at it myself.

You could use a wood burning tool like I did on this antique desk, but…this is so much faster!!

How to Use a HomeRight Heat Gun for Wood Burning by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Just mix 1 Tablespoon of ammonium chloride with ½ cup water and stir until dissolved. I tried to look at every local resource in my area to find some ammonium chloride, but ended finding it here on Amazon. However,you may be able to find it local if you live in a bigger city. It’s is used as a fertilizer, on farm animals, for fish tanks, and to treat people.

Mixing ammonium chloride for heat gun wood burning by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Step 8

Brush, stamp, or apply your design in whatever manner you like. I found the designs that didn’t bleed as much were the ones I traced on and made sure to indent into the wood. Mind you, I didn’t mind the bleeding look as it gave it a more rustic appeal. Last, let it soak in a bit, but don’t have to wait too long. Less is more when deciding how much to apply.

Painting on Ammonium Chloride with Brush for Wood Burning with Heat Gun | Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Step 9

Next, place your tree or other item to be wood burned on a proper surface to assure you don’t set your counter on fire. ha! Then, put your heat concentrating tip on your HomeRight heat gun and set to roughly 800 degrees. Let it heat to temperature. Also, I found that holding the gun at slight angle gave it the best effect.

Wood Burning Wood with HomeRight Heat Gun | prodigalpieces.com

Holding Heat Gun at Angle | prodigalpieces.com


Finally, let cool for a bit and you’re done! So cool (or should I say hot?) and easy to do. The best part of this is that you can use it for ANYTHING. You can also fill an empty marker and hand-write your design on, fill an empty stamp pad and stamp away, even use decals, etc. You get the idea. Seriously, the sky’s the limit! This sure beats the pricey branding irons you have to buy, isn’t it? You can bet I have more projects to show you using this technique.

Rustic Nordic Wood Burned Tree using a Heat Gun. DIY tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Nordic Wood Burned Trees with Step-by-Step Tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

So, I have to ask…what would you create with this heat gun wood burning technique?

DIY Wooden Trees with Nordic Wood Burned Design by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | Tutorial at prodigalpieces.com


My hope is that you’ve enjoyed not only the tutorial on how to make these whimsical trees, but also learned a new trick to add to your arsenal. Now, it’s time for a giveaway for your very own HomeRight Digital Heat Gun. {{happy dance!!}}

Festive Nordic Wooden Trees. How to Wood Burn with a Heat Gun by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Candle Lit DIY Wooden Trees with Heat Gun Wood Burning Tutorial | Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Easy entry, just fill out the widget below to complete as many entries as you like (daily even). Open to U.S. & Canada residents 18 years of age and older. Likewise, winner will be notified via email and will have 24 hours to claim their prize. Be sure to check your spam!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, pin and share to inspire others to give DIY and new techniques like heat gun wood burning a try!

So awesome! Did you know you can use a heat gun to wood burn? Endless uses and so easy to do. Get the full tutorial for this technique and these beautiful Nordic wooden trees by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!

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In addition, more projects like my heat gun wood burning:

Create these beautiful velour Christmas trees using a few basic supplies and repurposed parts. Come get the DIY tutorial at Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

How to Turn a Curbside Door into a Mirror for Farmhouse Decor by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com


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  • ColleenB.~Texas

    Thank you for this giveaway opportunity. I would use in making wood slice ornaments

    December 5, 2017 at 6:30 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Sounds like fun.

      December 5, 2017 at 7:07 am Reply
  • Cindy Brannon

    Fun Fun Fun!!! I want to use this to create a sign.

    December 5, 2017 at 6:32 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Yay! That’s the spirit!

      December 5, 2017 at 7:07 am Reply
  • Daniel Pearson

    Would love a new heat gun.ours broke a few years ago and haven’t been able to replace it

    December 5, 2017 at 7:11 am Reply
  • Frances Batson

    I love the little trees. My scrap pile would yield a lot of shapes. This would be fun.

    December 5, 2017 at 7:38 am Reply
    • Larissa

      It sure is fun to use them up and see them have life anew.

      December 7, 2017 at 6:45 am Reply
  • SheilaG- PlumDoodles

    Your trees are so cute, Larissa! I need a heat gun for the mundane use- stripping paint off a cabinet that has been waiting for months! 😊

    December 5, 2017 at 7:49 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I use it for that too! 😀

      December 7, 2017 at 6:45 am Reply
  • Alison S

    I would give it to my husband for Christmas so he could use it on some hand carved wood boxes he is making!

    December 5, 2017 at 8:10 am Reply
    • Larissa

      There ya go! Sounds like fun.

      December 7, 2017 at 6:45 am Reply
  • Carole

    This is so cool! I would love to try this! Send me that heat gun!!! 🙂

    December 5, 2017 at 8:17 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Wahoo! That’s the spirit!!

      December 7, 2017 at 6:46 am Reply
  • dianne a.

    I can’t wait to try out the HomeRight Heat Gun.

    December 5, 2017 at 8:42 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You will love it!

      December 7, 2017 at 6:46 am Reply
  • Debra Wise

    I would like the heat gun for stripping off paint as well as to make wood slice ornaments, signs … Crazy cute idea! Thanks for the inspiration and the giveaway!!

    December 5, 2017 at 9:56 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I love it for that too. Thanks for the love!

      December 7, 2017 at 6:47 am Reply
  • Fonda Rush

    With the heat gun, I would probably try to remove layers of paint off a bookshelf.

    December 5, 2017 at 10:01 am Reply
    • Larissa

      It works wonders for that.

      December 7, 2017 at 6:47 am Reply
  • Melissa Anglin

    I would use heat gun to make
    designs on decorative cutting boards

    December 5, 2017 at 10:46 am Reply
  • Will G

    Honestly I am not sure, but know I would put it to good use.

    December 5, 2017 at 11:04 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Great way to be! 😀

      December 7, 2017 at 6:47 am Reply
  • Bobye

    Love your site and your helpful hints

    December 5, 2017 at 11:06 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you so much, Bobye. 🙂

      December 7, 2017 at 6:48 am Reply
  • Kimberly

    This is so cool. I’ve never seen this technique. Now you’ve got me wanting to make a whole forest!

    December 5, 2017 at 2:08 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Wahoo!! That made me giggle – thanks!

      December 7, 2017 at 6:49 am Reply
  • Dan Dykstra

    Your projects are cool. I would love to make some Christmas decorations.

    December 5, 2017 at 5:18 pm Reply
  • Nicole Martin

    I am not that creative haha! But I would probably attempt to make some cool decor for around the house.

    December 5, 2017 at 6:12 pm Reply
  • Maryann Smith

    I’d create signs.

    December 5, 2017 at 6:53 pm Reply
  • Becky

    You amaze me as always! I have an unfinished IKEA dresser that would be so cool with an Aztec or Nordic design!

    December 5, 2017 at 11:18 pm Reply
  • Janet Kynerd

    Would love to win the heat gun, thanks for the giveaway. I would try the trees and also some rustics sings.

    December 5, 2017 at 11:39 pm Reply
  • Pamela

    I would love to make these trees. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

    December 6, 2017 at 1:16 am Reply
    • Larissa

      They are so easy and fun. I hope you give them a try! 😀

      December 7, 2017 at 6:50 am Reply
  • ColleenB.~ Tx.

    Just wanted to congratulate you on being the winner of the Zibra paint-off

    December 6, 2017 at 6:39 am Reply
  • Deb

    So Cute! I would love to try using a heat gun, it would be a new experience for me!

    December 6, 2017 at 7:01 am Reply
  • Shelly

    Congrats on winning Zibra’s storage box and paint brush challenge! Hippies Rule!

    December 6, 2017 at 8:11 am Reply
  • Moonalisa Crabass

    I love these little trees! Now I want to make some! Problem is, I don’t have a heat gun…sure would be awesome to win one! 😊

    December 6, 2017 at 10:21 am Reply
  • Susan Williams

    Congrats on you win! I voted for you. Great job!

    December 6, 2017 at 1:09 pm Reply
  • Charlene

    Such cute trees ! Heat guns are soooo useful. Congratulations on your win !!!!!!!! I voted for you, too, and felt you would definitely be the winner !

    December 6, 2017 at 2:59 pm Reply
  • Bryan

    I would warm my cold feet when did I get old???

    December 6, 2017 at 7:37 pm Reply
  • Sandi J

    I’ve never seen this technique! So clever! I’d love to win this to use as a stripper then to also try this technique.

    December 6, 2017 at 9:00 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      My mind is reeling at the possibilities! I can’t wait to do more.

      December 7, 2017 at 6:50 am Reply
  • theresa j

    I would love to try doing some Christmas decorations

    December 6, 2017 at 11:40 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      It would be fun!

      December 7, 2017 at 6:51 am Reply
  • Renee Smason

    I’m not sure what my first project might be, but it might just have to be those cute little trees.

    December 6, 2017 at 11:55 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Sure! They’re fun and easy too. Yay!

      December 7, 2017 at 6:51 am Reply
  • Deirdre Breau

    Ok, so this is definitive proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks! I have learned so much from your blogs! Now to just remember them all and put them in to action and get crafting!

    December 7, 2017 at 7:39 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You are hilarious, Deirdre!! You’ve made my day. Hugs!!

      December 7, 2017 at 2:39 pm Reply
  • Lezlie Adams

    I love this. I have never seen this techniques. So much easier than the traditional method. I have sever ammo boxes I would love to try this on.

    December 7, 2017 at 8:24 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Yes! I love my woodburning tool for many reasons, but this one allows me to do larger projects faster. Yay!

      December 7, 2017 at 2:39 pm Reply
  • Cindy Downing

    I love this idea. It would be cool on wood slices for coasters or ornaments.

    December 7, 2017 at 10:14 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Yes, I think so too…and cutting boards, furniture, walls, yummy!!

      December 7, 2017 at 2:40 pm Reply
  • Maureen Clipperton

    Great job. I would make some signs with the heat gun.

    December 7, 2017 at 10:15 am Reply
  • Robyn Wright

    I don’t know what I would do first but the possibilities are endless!

    December 7, 2017 at 11:08 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You got that right. So fun!

      December 7, 2017 at 2:41 pm Reply
  • Stephanie Grant

    So I love this idea! I’ve never ever thought of using a heat gun for wood burning! I have a ton of ideas swirling now but first off I would use it to help make a wooden LSU family tree wall hanging for my family.

    December 7, 2017 at 2:29 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Ooh…that would be so fun!

      December 7, 2017 at 2:42 pm Reply
  • Rachel

    I would love to make one of the wooden rulers that you use to measure your child’s growth.

    December 8, 2017 at 2:00 am Reply
    • Larissa

      That’s a fantastic idea!! I made a growth chart years ago and painted it to look like a sunflower with little kids hanging off. My kids love it!

      December 8, 2017 at 5:56 am Reply

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