How to cut deco mesh using wood burning tool ?

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Written by Jared Watson

Jarred Watson is a pyrographer with 10+ years experience and has worked with brands like BOSCH & FORD. He is always looking to learn and share his passion of wood burning with others.

Pyrography is traditionally done on a wooden surface with the help of a wood-burning tool. Artists often use deco mesh to make wreaths. Cutting the deco mesh often becomes a concern as it tends to fray. There are several ways to cut deco mesh, though the most effective way to minimize fraying is by using a wood-burning tool to cut deco mesh.

How to Use a wood-burning Tool to Cut Deco Mesh ?

Deco mesh, also known as poly mesh or decorative mesh, is a material that artists and crafters often use for making wreaths or any other decorative project. Deco mesh[1] is a plastic material that is made by using polypropylene and is entirely made of this plastic compound. Since it is made of plastic, it is water resistant and therefore is used for making decorative items as it can be used outdoors as well.

The polypropylene[2] strands are tightly woven together, which makes the mesh sturdy. However, they are not resistant to sunlight. Even though deco mesh is a great material for making decorative items, it comes with its disadvantages.

A common shortcoming of deco mesh, which is often reported by crafters, is that of fraying. Deco mesh is required to be cut from its reel and then according to the crafters’ preference for the project on which they are working on a specific project.

As the plastic strands are weaved together when a certain portion is cut from the main deco mesh, the edges do not cut clean and fray. There are different types of crafting meshes, and all of them will tend to fray to some extent, though such meshes where the strand is more visible and thicker, the tendency to fray will increase.

The extent to which the fraying will occur largely depends on the technique used for cutting the deco mesh. There are techniques that are applied for cutting the deco mesh, such as the hot knife method[3], using a rotary blade, or any other sharp and bladed tool.

Among all the techniques, the method that is most commonly used and recommended is to cut the deco mesh with the help of a wood-burning tool. Using a wood-burning tool for cutting deco mesh is the most effective method as it helps to reduce fraying to a great extent.

Although it does not completely prevent the deco mesh from fraying, using a wood-burning tool would give the crafter clean and sealed edges, reducing the chances of the strands coming out and keeping the mesh intact.

It is important to know the right way to use a wood-burning tool for cutting the deco mesh and the correct equipment that is required. It is not an intimidating technique and is very easy, even if you are using it for the first time. It is recommended to have some idea about how a wood-burning tool works, its different elements, and the correct way of handling it.

If you are willing to use this method, you would need the following materials-

  • Wood-burning Tool

The first thing that you would need is a good wood-burning kit. There is an array of wood-burning tools of several types and brands. They come with different tips; for this purpose, the cutting blade tip is recommended.

  • Tempered Glass

The tempered glass cutting board is used as a surface for cutting the mesh, as there are chances of the tool burning the cutting mat while using it. 

  • Deco Mesh

There are different types of deco mesh available. Therefore, one can use them according to their requirements. The main difference is in the thickness and visibility of the strands.

Once you have all the required material, you can start with the process of cutting the deco mesh. Firstly, you would need to set up the workstation and plug in the wood-burning tool. 

The type of tip and heat setting you use depends on the deco mesh and the style of the deco mesh. All wood-burning tools are different and come with different temperature settings. Therefore, you would need to experiment with the heat setting accordingly. Similarly, different types of wood-burning tips are available. The two most commonly used tips for the given task are the shading tip and the knife tip. 

Deciding on the temperature setting and the tip type is the tricky part of the process. After you have figured that out, the rest of the process is relatively straightforward. All one needs to do is place the deco mesh on the tempered glass surface and measure and mark the required length. 

Then you would need to find two horizontal strings at the point that you have marked and cut right in between the two strings with the wood-burning tool. While doing this, it is important to make sure that the wood-burning tool is hot enough to get a smooth and sealed edge. It is advisable to cut the deco mesh in one go, as cutting it with intervals can lead to uneven edges. 

When you are using a wood-burning tool for cutting deco mesh, it does not burn the mesh. Rather, it melts it. as a result of which, the strands get sealed and do not come out, thus, reducing fraying.

There are a few precautions that one needs to take when using a wood-burning for cutting deco mesh

  • Wear protective Gear

Protective gear such as masks and hand gloves are recommended to be worn while working as you will be dealing with sharp and heated tools

  • Work in a Ventilated room

Burning any plastic material produces toxic fumes[4], which, if inhaled, can affect the respiratory system. Since the deco mesh is made of plastic, it is important to work in a well-ventilated room.


Therefore, using a wood-burning tool for cutting a deco mesh is a straightforward process once one has the basic idea. The materials required for this process are easily available in any hardware shop. It is the ideal method as it reduces fraying. It is crucial to take the necessary precautions to prevent any kind of accident.


  1. Julie’s Wreath Boutique. (2019, September 14). The Differences in Poly Burlap, Deco Mesh, and So Much More! [Video]. YouTube.

  2. Guvendiren, M., Purcell, B. P., & Burdick, J. A. (2012). Photopolymerizable systems. In Elsevier eBooks (pp. 413–438).

  3. Neelangal, N. (2022, October 4). What is Hot Knifing and How to Do It. Vessel®.

  4. Sources, A. N. &. M. (n.d.). Wood smoke problems.,substances%20known%20to%20cause%20cancer

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