Making Your Own Branding Irons

Art & Sculpture Craft & Design Workshop
Making Your Own Branding Irons


Why let Jimmy DiResta have all of the fun of branding every surface in his shop with the DiResta logo? Heat-branding is a fun and cool-looking way of creating a memorable product identity or something artsy and crafty.

What you may not know is that Shapeways, the 3D printing mail order service, can print your 3D designs in metal. This allows you to design anything you want (within the Shapeways guidelines) for a branding iron and then get it pro 3D printed. From there, all you need to do is apply heat and you can burn your designs into wood, leather, or other suitable material. Metal 3D prints are not cheap, but you’ll have the brand forever and can stamp til you heart’s content.

Here are a couple of Instructables that run through the steps for getting our own brand made (or fashioning your own).

In this simple Instructable, member JamesH76 shows you how to make a branding iron that clips onto the metal head of a disposable lighter. All you have to do is create a 3D design of your art using the free, online Autodesk Pixlr software and then load the design onto the lighter holder clip that James has designed and has on his Shapeways store. He has templates that accommodate three different brand sizes/shapes.

In this Instructable, Switch & Lever shows you how they made their brand and then how they then fashioned wooden handles for them.

lighterBrand_5If you want to do something completely in-house, in this Instructable, Dustin Rogers shows you how he turned a brass knob he found at the hardware store for a dollar into his own custom “DR” monogram brand. He used a Dremel tool on a rotary shaft, with the knob held in a vise, to carefully carve out his design.


Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn