To begin, make sure the piece of wood that you are going to burn has a nice smooth surface. Use a piece of sandpaper if necessary to eliminate any rough edges.  I used a pre-prepared wooden coaster that I purchased online.

You can draw your image onto the wood with a pencil. If you're a confident artist then you can draw directly onto the wood.  An alternative method is to trace an image and then transfer it onto the wood. If you want to create your own design and need a bit of guidance then click here to look at a page that describes digi-images and how to make one.  You can find many 'ready to use' digi-images online if you don't fancy making your own.  

Once you have chosen your image and it is printed out to the right size for your project, you will need to transfer it onto the material that you want to burn.  The easiest way is to use graphite paper, especially if you have a large image to transfer. However, as graphite paper can be expensive, a cheaper method is to scribble all over the back of your design with a pencil, leaving no gaps and this works in the same way as graphite paper. You will need to go over it a couple of times to make sure it will be dark enough to work.  Preferably use a 6B pencil but this was just an HB and it worked ok.  If you are going to be transferring a few pictures then it is a good idea to scribble with a pencil onto a plain piece of paper, covering a large area and use this same piece as graphite paper multiple times for different pictures.  Lay it it between your chosen image and the material that you want to burn onto, placing the scribbled on side facing down towards the material and then laying your picture image face up on top of this.

I began with my digi-image of a butterfly.

After scribbling on the back of the image with a pencil, as described above, I placed the butterfly image with the pencil side facing the wood.  I traced over the image using a biro pen so the pencil from the 'back of the paper was transferred onto the wood.

The image was quite pale so to make it easier to see when I came to the burning stage I went over the faint lines again with my pencil, directly onto the wood.

The image was then ready to burn.

To complete the coaster, I added some words too.

Click here to see the next step...the wood burning!