Beginner Wood Carving Projects (6 Fabulous Ideas Explained)

Carving wood onto something new is the ultimate remedy for any stress. It’s actually beautiful to see how something is built up from nothing.

To experience the same, you might want to learn a few tactics. Most of them are easy and fit for a beginner.

So, What is a beginner wood carving project?

Well, the basics of wood carving start with the selection of proper wood and tools. Then, the simplest carving project will be a wooden spoon. Next would be carving a bowl. After that, another easy one is flower carving. Lastly, you can even carve an animal of your choice with this basic knowledge.

Sounds a bit tough right? But don’t worry! If you are looking for more details I got you. Come, read with me!

6 Best Beginner Wood Carving Projects

beginner wood carving projects

The truth is that carving artwork is among the easiest. And also one of the most rewarding talents you can acquire. 

It has innate both worth and commercial value. So, remember these two points if you really want to begin selling wooden products.

I’ve got some easy starting to wood carving ideas and projects you’ll adore. They are categorized into 3 parts, time, tools, and process. 

Moving on, let’s check some of the easiest wood carving ideas out there:

Project 1: Spoon

One of the easiest wood carving is carving a spoon. You can sell the spoon, use it yourself, or give it a gift. 

For wooden spoons, there are numerous customizing features and ways accessible. To make it attractive, you can use a variety of decorative techniques. Let’s look into them.

Time

The estimated time for carving a spoon is 2-3 hours. But honestly, if you become a pro, it will take you less than 45 minutes.

On to the next factor.

Wood

Not all woods are suitable for carving spoons. It requires hardwood specifically. Here are some of them:

  • Poplar wood (best material for porch columns)
  • Paper Birchwood.
  • Maple wood.
  • Cherry wood.

That will be all, let’s see what’s next.

Tools

Carving wood requires a handful of tools. Let’s start listing them:

  • Axe.
  • A chunk of wood, larger than your estimated spoon.
  • Carving knives( both straight and rounded).
  • Sandpaper.
  • Food-secure wood finisher.

If you are looking for the best wood finisher out there, here are my suggestions:

They are very nature-kind and food-friendly. Give them a try.

Process

The process is much more detailed in any online platform. But still, here is a small tutorial for you:

  • Split down the log pith perpendicularly with an axe. You have to make sure that the taken piece is branch free. And also has a smooth chunk of hardwood.
  • Then, take the wood piece and first cut the handle. Then on wood attached to the handle cut a large triangular structure. It should look like a thick prism attached to a long handle at a 160-degree angle. 
  • Next, start sculpting it. Start with the long handle. With the help of your carving knife, start giving it a shape.
  • Now, to the triangular portion. Here, start by carving out the bowl first with a rounded knife.
  • Then, with a straight knife, round up the bottom of the bowl.
  • Take sandpaper and start sanding until smooth.
  • Lastly, coat the spoon with a food-friendly wood finisher. 

Hope this detail helps you to carve your first spoon!

Project 2: Bowl 

The next product that’s easy to make would be a bowl. It’s quite easier than the spoon if you ask me. Let’s check out its shenanigans.

Time

The required time for bowl making is said to be 2 hours. Given that, with practice, you can shorten this length.

Wood

Surprisingly, to make a bowl you’d need softwood. They are;

  • Pinewood ( quite strong in structure )
  • Basswood.
  • Cedarwood.
  • Beech wood.

The next vision of this mission goes below.

Tools

The tools for carving bowl:

  • Chunk of wood larger than the size of your arm or your desired size bowl.
  • Knife(both straight and round).
  • Sandpaper. 
  • Danish oil as a finisher. 

If you want the best danish oil here are my favorites:

Hope you like it just as much as I did. 

Process

Here are the simple steps:

  • First, cut a chunk of wood a bit larger than your desired bowl size. Make sure it’s branch-free and cylindrical. 
  • Now, split the cylinder in half. Make sure the wooden piece looks half-moon and arm length long.
  • For a circular bowl, you need to start smoothening the outer side of the bowl. As in, shape it into a half-sphere. Shape it just as much with a  straight knife if you need it.
  • With a rounded knife, carve out the inner portion of the bowl. Then, sand it to smoothness.
  • Lastly, use danish oil to finish over the bowl. You can remove the excess danish oil from the wood later.

This will be all about carving wooden bowls.

Project 3: Chopsticks

In traditional central Asian households, chopsticks are a staple utensil. Readily, it’s one of the easiest things to curve out of wood.

There goes everything you’d need to know: 

Time

The time needed is 2-4 hours given by how big or small you are making them. If it’s thin or short, the time would be more.

Wood

Usually, softwood is used here. Mostly, bamboo is used to make chopsticks. Still, other woods are used sometimes for the fancy effect. They would be;

  • Applewood.
  • Cherry wood.
  • Birchwood.

These will be all the woods you can use.

Tools

Tools are simple here. Still, it’s important to choose the best wood carving tool for the best results. Nothing decorative:

  • Gloves
  • Carving knives
  • Sandpaper 
  • Pencil
  • Measuring ruler

For best brands of measuring ruler, follow below:

That will be all for it. On to the next step.

Process

The process is simple yet challenging. Wear gloves, to begin with. Here it goes,

  • Start by splitting wood into two equal halves. Here, you can even use a softwood branch for carving if you want. But, a general wood piece would be easier to work with.
  • Now, size it up to your desired size. Preferably, half arm’s length or so is required.
  • Next, cut it into a thin long rectangular shape. Use a carving knife for this.
  • Take sandpaper and sand off the edges of the wooden chopstick.
  • Make two chopsticks of identical size and shape.

This is ridiculously the easiest among the other carvings.

Project 4: Animals 

We’ve progressed from functional to beautiful products. You can’t go wrong with animals if you really want to learn how to carve figurines. 

Here you go:

Time

It actually depends on what animal you are making. If it’s a simple wooden bunny then 30  mins to the max.

Wood

Softwoods are important here. They are

  • Basswood.
  • Pine.
  • Cedar.
  • Aspen.

These will be all.

Tools

This doesn’t require many tools. Just three ingredients and you’re good to go:

  • Pencil
  • Sandpaper
  • Carving knife

That will be all for it. 

Process

This one is easy and short. Do the following:

  • Take a flat piece of wood.
  • Draw off the animal you want on the softwood.
  • Carve off the pieces from the wood
  • Sand off the wood.

This will be all on this required topic.

Project 5: Flowers

Carved flowers have always been the center of aesthetics. Wooden carved flowers aren’t as tough as it seems. A little patience will take you a long way. 

Let’s witness it, shall we?

Time

The estimated time per flower is 15-30 minutes. If you are a pro, you’ll need much much less.

Wood

The best would be softwood. But hardwood wouldn’t be a problem either let’s see the types;

  • Mahogany wood.
  • Basswood. 
  • Birchwood.
  • Cottonwood bark wood.

That is all the woods you’d need

Tools

The tools are essential here. As they decide the proximity of the flower to be perfect. Here are the tools:

  • Gloves. 
  • Chisel.
  • Pencil.
  • Carving knives.
  • V-tool.

These will be all the tools you’ll need for a basic flower.

Process

Let’s see the process, shall we:

  • First, take a slab of wood. Then mount it on the wall temporarily. This will give you benefits during working.
  • Next, take a chisel and shave off the frontal of the wood slab. Make sure it’s smooth and even.
  • Now, take a pencil and draw the shape of your desired flower.
  • After that, take your carving knives and carve the outline of the flower.
  • Lastly, with your v-machine, give the flower a 3D texture.

This will be all on this topic.

Project 6: Candle Holder

Candle Holders are very easy to make. All you have to do is to make sure it’s heat resistant. 

Let’s check out the process:

Time

The estimated time is 30-45 minutes. But it may take more or less depending on how complicated your design is.

Wood

The wood has to be hardwood. We cannot use dry wood as well because this will be directly under fire. Therefore, greenwood is required. The other wood would be;

  • Pinewood.
  • Mahogany.
  • Basswood etc.

These will be the best choice for a candle holder.

Tools

The tools are simple and straightforward. They are

  • Mallet
  • Chisel
  • Carving knives

After the tools, let’s check the process.

Process

The process is easy but not simple. There are some limitations to it as it will be contracting fire material. So, the process is a bit strict;

  • Start off by taking a small piece of wood. Generally, a bit bigger than your palm size would do as it’s a simple candle holder.
  • Next, carve out the insides of the holder. You can either make it the size of a candle itself for it to fit later. Or pour wax in it to make it both a candle and candle holder.
  • Now, cave out the edges of the candle holder and make it look blunt.
  • Sand the holder through and through to smoothen it out. If it’s not smooth, the splinters might get into the fire.
  • Do not use any form of wood to make it smoother. Wood smoothers have this explosive ingredient that might cause a fire if not taken care of normally. Therefore, it’s better to avoid them.
  • Lastly, if you want a candle on your holder, put it then light it. Otherwise, melt the candle wax. And then pour it into the open hole of the holder with a candlestick inside.

These will be all about the beginner guide to the wood carving project. Hope you learned something from here.

Final Thoughts

Honestly, I can’t pick which one is my favorite one. But I can tell, if you start off with a spoon, the next things will go smoothly.

Now, it’s your first carving project and you get to choose your favorites. Hope it’s what you found your passion in.

This isn’t a competition on who’s the best carver. It’s literally an art form to ease your mind. So, don’t overdo anything.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How long does wood carving last?

Answer: Wood carving lasts for about a decade or more. Basically, a wood carving would last you a lifetime if you care for it properly.

Question: Can we carve on softwood?

Answer: Technically yes. But, practically it would be very default. Woods like cider are softwood, and carving on them would require extra of everything. 

Question: Is it possible to carve on dry wood?

Answer: it is possible but not recommended. Usually, green woods are a better option for carving because of their firm texture. Unlike dry wood, which isn’t suitable to carve on.

Conclusion

By now I’m sure you learned something about beginners’ wood carving projects. I hope it benefitted you just as much.

But, if you are still struggling, that’s cool too. Just seek advice from a professional on this. I’m sure they can help you better.

Until next time, Adios!

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