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Susan Burkhart Creates Beautiful Wood Crafts

To Susan the most important part of a crafts project is to first get organized then plan carefully and finally push yourself until the project is completed with a high level of artistic quality.

SusanKeeping her materials and supplies in perfect order is important to Susan and requires a constant effort to prevent her work area from looking like Fibber McGee’s closet.

Susan started venturing into serious crafting about 21 years ago when she saw a gorgeous quilt and realized that she was capable of creating quilts of similar quality.

She took a few classes and became active with the local quilting guild. The fabric/material stash and quilting book library soon followed. But most importantly, she learned the necessity of careful organization and planning for successful crafting. A quilt is a marvelously complex work of art. Almost all Quilters by nature are fun loving people but are also disciplined and neat as a pin with their work.

Disciplined quality and precision while having fun are the most important parts of quilting that Susan brought to her broader world of crafting. For Susan, every project begins with getting organized, planning carefully and then with focused discipline moving along efficiently until she is finished. It always works.

To complete successful projects you also need tools and Susan’s shop has no shortage of the equipment required to turn out her creations at an amazing rate and quantity. Susan’s favorite tools in the shop include the drill press and scroll saws. Empty 5 gallon paint cans serve as a seat for scrolling. See photo below:


Owning the right tools is important to Susan. Properly equipping and organizing her workshop has evolved over time. Building her shop is a labor of love that she shares with her husband and family.

Her shop contains all the basic woodworking tools she needs to get the most out of her valuable time in the shop. Her husband makes sure that each tool is safe to operate, durable, reliable and right for the job.


This efficient arrangement (see photo above) is ideal for quickly smoothing the wood during the finishing process. The heavy wood office desk makes a solid base for the disk, belt and spindle sanders. The CarveWright machine (far left) is part of her husband Dave’s workshop.

Susan demonstrates how she makes wood toy dinosaurs for her Etsy shop using plans from the book Scroll Saw Patterns for Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures.

Susan carefully organizes the work flow of each piece she creates. Planning for efficiency helps her keep her retail prices in line by reducing labor time to a minimum. This effort requires constant focus. Here's the step-by-step process Susan uses for maximum efficiency when creating her toys:


Susan first started scrolling on my husband’s pin-end Ryobi saw, but quickly realized she needed something a little more versatile. She now primarily uses a Dewalt saw but also owns an Excalibur saw.


Susan applies all-natural polish to each toy that adds a warm, deep glow that compliments the beauty of the wood. She always uses eco-friendly, non-toxic products to produce hand-crafted toys that are safe, durable and charming.


Susan is surrounded by the Carper Scooter Choo Choo, Dude Ranch and a few Dinosaurs. Susan sells her crafts on her Etsy store at

Scroll Saw Patterns for Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures
25 full-size, easy to make patterns for dinosaurs, prehistoric plants and caves, including prehistoric family and cave dwelling. Available as a printed book or PDF eBook download.

How-to Make a Non-Toxic Toy Finish
Watch the video on how-to make an inexpensive, child-safe, non-toxic wood toy miracle finish.

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