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How to Ivy Anything

Updated on October 1, 2011

Useful Ivy

The ivy to the left is a wood burning. It was done on recycled scrap leftover from a building project. You can ivy anything: clocks, toys, chairs, trinket boxes, your friend... Oops, got carried away there.

Drawing ivy also comes in handy for creating homemade greeting cards, business cards, or art for your wall. After you have mastered it you can move on to more complex things like rose bushes or blackberry canes, but first let's try ivy.

Get a piece of paper and a pencil or a pen. Got it? Good. The first thing I'm going to ask you to do is draw a long, wavy line on it from one corner to the other. See illustration below.

Doesn't look like much, does it?
Doesn't look like much, does it?

After you draw the wavy line, carefully sketch a second one running alongside it. Make sure not to get it too close or too far. Keep it uniform.

After you have a wavy vine running across the page, you're going to add leaves. First practice a leaf on a separate page until you are able to do it reliably and well. Repetition works best to improve your skill.

Can you draw this shape?  You can?  Good!  This is very important to the rest of what you're going to do.
Can you draw this shape? You can? Good! This is very important to the rest of what you're going to do.

After you've practiced your leaves, go ahead and add some to the vine. Space them out so they're not all on top of one another, and point them in different directions. Also vary the size. Real plant leaves are not all the same size at the same time because it's constantly growing new ones. Add a few curling tendrils, and you're there!

If you're going to attempt to ivy wood and then burn it with a woodburning pen, I would recommend you first practice on something less important like a piece of scrap. Sketch very, very lightly with your pencil (I recommend a mechanical pencil) until you have the whole piece finished. Then, and only then, carefully and patiently work the wood. You don't want to get in a hurry. It's easy to press too hard when you're woodburning, especially if you accidentally find a soft spot in the wood, so keep a steady hand. Remember: you can always make a line darker with your pen, but you can never again make it lighter. If your hand gets tired, take a break and come back to it. You don't want to rush a masterpiece!

Don't attempt to work in a crowded space littered with papers and other flammable items. Woodburning pens get hot! Always be conscious of the location of the tip.

I hope you have as much fun as I've had making ivy and other artwork projects!


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    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      This is so much fun! I'll be doodling ivy over everything from now on!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      A great hub and so very interesting and useful to many.

      Here's to many more hubs to share on here.

      Take care


    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 6 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      This looks so easy to do, the way you have explained it and given illustrations is perfect. I want to have a go at this myself.

      Great hub

    • wildflowerofyouth profile image

      wildflowerofyouth 6 years ago from Virginia

      I was just happy you gave a link back to the hub after I looked at all the photos. Would like to see more examples, but totally get the idea. Ivy is timeless. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 6 years ago

      Silver Poet - Even with your great instructions, mine looks like something created in a Kindergarten class. Oh well, I tried, and it was fun.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Neat project idea. Not something I've done, but now I want to try!