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10 Simple Beginner Wood Carving Projects Anyone Can Carve


Creating something from nothing is a satisfying experience. For this reason, I consider woodcarving to be one of the best hobbies available.

You have the freedom to express yourself creatively, and the satisfaction of seeing your finished work will fill you with satisfaction and pride. It’s also a fantastic method of saving money while improving the look of your house.

People who are just starting out in wood carving sometimes grow overconfident and make a hash of their first attempt, leaving them with nothing but frustration at the end of the process.

The primary source of this problem is the use of unreliable, imbalanced lessons and instructions that are meant for more advanced users. When it comes to wood carving, even the fundamentals are often overlooked.


Before beginning my career as a woodcarver, I worked as a full-time woodworker, so I knew the importance of doing my homework to figure out what projects were appropriate for beginners and would teach them a wide variety of skills.

Best Simple Woodworking Plans For Beginners

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Their beginner-friendly step-by-step guidelines are also crafted by experts. It was a secure moment, but it also brought some pain. If you’re just getting started with woodworking, it’s important to start with plans that are well-written and easy to follow.

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You can start with a set of plans designed for beginners, and then progress to more advanced projects and plans as your knowledge and expertise grow. This means you can keep using the same set of plans over and over again to build beautiful furniture and other woodwork without having to buy new plans each time.


Easy Wood Carving Projects for Beginners

#10 Carving of a Wooden Spoon

If you’re bored of lengthy lines at IKEA or want something unique, you can make your own spoon. Spoons are not only one of the simplest wood carving crafts, but they are also quite useful.   Whittling a spoon is simple since there are no hard and fast restrictions regarding size and form.

TedsWoodworking Plans and Projects

The spoon’s bowl, for example, might be oval, circular, or even square in form.

It is possible for the handle to be thick, thin, straight, or curved.

You may keep it for yourself, your significant other, or a friend who might like it.

You may change up the design and decorations as you grow better at little wood carving ideas, so you’ll never get bored of whittling wooden spoons.

Carving a wooden spoon may take anything from a couple of hours to a day or two, depending on the tools and wood used.

Applying a food safe wood finish to your final item is a wonderful method to preserve it.

The Best Wood for Spoon Carving

Birch, Willow, Cherry, Apple, and Maple

Carving Tools for a Spoon

  • An axe
  • A hook blade
  • Sloyd blade
  • Marker or pencil
  • Sandpaper 120, 200, and 400 grit for wood finishing

Spoons wood carving designs for beginners, step by step

#9 Whiskey Barrel

45 minutes is the estimated time required.The whiskey barrel is also a good choice for your first wood carving project.

The intriguing thing is that you can use it to take a shot once it’s completed, which is entertaining.

The barrel is carved with a hook knife that retains the liquid.

Following the barrel section, it was shaped and decorated with a little rough pocket knife.

The completed product may be finished with tung or linseed oil and allowed to dry for a few days.

A carved whiskey barrel is ideal for your booze label or as a pastime. They make an excellent present for any spirits or whiskey enthusiast.

Best Wood for Whiskey Barrel Carving:

  • Birchs
  • Basswood
  • Pine

Whiskey barrel cutting tools required:

  • A wood piece somewhat bigger than the wizard size you want to create.
  • Sharp whittling knives, including a straight and pocket knife
  • A pen, a pencil, or a maker.
  • Tung oil or walnut oil as a finishing oil
  • Gloves and a thumb guard for protection
  • Sandpaper with a granularity of 400

#8 Create an Owl

Time Estimated Required: 50-60 minutes

Yes, I get what you’re thinking. Carving an owl is a difficult endeavor with several steps. It takes a lot of experience and skill with methods, and it is not suitable for a novice.

Actually, it is partly true; carving an owl with intricate forms and changes is really difficult in the first place. Because you have little experience.

But how about carving an owl using simple forms and techniques? That would be intriguing, right?

Making a basic owl with simple forms now as a novice will give you an edge when carving an owl with more complex methods and shapes in the future.

The intriguing aspect is that you can complete the whole carving job with only a knife, and it will be somewhat better than some of those you’ve seen on the internet.

After the carving is finished, use the paint to add feathers and other textures to make it more appealing. Seal it with boiling linseed oil.

Best Wood for Owl Carving:

Softwoods include:

  • Basswood
  • Pine
  • Cedar
  • Beech
  • Butternut
  • Balsa wood

Carving an Owl requires the following tools:

  • A piece of wood somewhat bigger than the size of the owl you want to build.
  • A good whittling knife.
  • A pen, a pencil, or a maker.
  • Linseed oil as a finisher
  • Safety gloves
  • 220 grit sandpaper

#7 Carve a Wooden Dog

Whittling a dog is one of the most time-consuming projects, but it’s achievable enough that you’ll find yourself in a flow state while whittling. It is quite geometric, and the project’s difficulty is governed by its scale. I suggest beginning with a bigger block than the one seen in the video.

Because there are so many distinct dog breeds, it’s really very amazing how many various ways you can whittle a dog. Dogs have a broad appeal, which implies your stuff will be extremely marketable.

Carve a Wooden Dog for beginners, step by step

Tools and Equipment Required

Please check my section at the conclusion of this post titled “What tools are required for woodcarving” to see the precise equipment I use and suggest. To summarize for the dog, you will require:

  • A small block of wood large enough to accommodate the dog
  • Carving tools
  • A pen or pencil
  • Sandpaper
  • A appropriate wood finish for the job

#6 Carving of Spirits (Wood Spirits)

This is a simple beginning project to do if you wish to carve wood directly on a tree. Wood spirit sculptures work well with greenwood, living trees, and timber, making them a useful wood carving talent to learn.

When cavemen weren’t out hunting boar or playing with fire, we imagine they made wood spirits. Many faiths and religions have found them to be perplexing throughout the years, which is why they are still highly popular today.

The variety of alternatives is what makes wood whittling a very enjoyable. As a novice, you should concentrate on one-sided designs. However, as your talents improve, you’ll be able to sculpt spirits as lifelike as the Ents from Lord of the Rings.

You can accomplish your first spirit carving project in under an hour, depending on how intricate the design is. But you’re unlikely to be satisfied, so you’ll keep going.

Once you get the hang of it, you can simply knock them out. The wood spirit carving instruction below is a wonderful place to start.

Step-by-step instructions for easy wood carving of ghosts

The Best Spirit Carving Wood

If you don’t have any green wood, you may carve any of the following:

  • Basswoods
  • Birchs
  • Cedars
  • Pine
  • Spirit Apple Carving Tools
  • A carving knife made of wood
  • A pencil, pen, or marker
  • Protective gloves

#5 Gnome Made of Wood

This should be just up your alley if you’re searching for a tough wood whittling job. Sure, spoon carving and relief carving are exciting, but gnomes are the real thing.

Garden gnomes were formerly seen in practically every garden, but their popularity has decreased in recent years. Gnomes, on the other hand, are still in great demand in certain nations, and vendors may get a hefty price.

If you don’t have a garden, a wooden gnome will look great on your window sill, garage, or office desk. Another significant benefit of learning how to carve gnomes in wood is that it allows you to assess your abilities.

Sure, you can accomplish that with spoon carving, but it only gets you so far. With a garden gnome, though, you can see the advancements in design, depth, and detail.

For example, if you come up with this design at the end of your first week, it would be very amazing. However, it pales in comparison to the first picture, which is just a few miles ahead.

Carving a gnome by hand might be difficult, but there are many designs available online, including 50 from the explanation video below.

Gnomes step-by-step wood carving templates for beginners

#4 Whittling A Fox

Estimated Time Needed: 80 minutes. Whittling a fox is a little bit more difficult than whittling a spoon because of its complex shapes and curves. But it will teach you so many important wood carving skills.

Take a 1*1*4-inch wood chunk, make an outline on it using a pencil and start whittling.

Marking with a pencil on a wood chunk is helping you to think about what cuts you should make.

After whittling the fox, make it rounded using a knife. Finally, sand it down and make the fox so smooth.

Make triangular cuts to make the face of the fox and that can be tricky since you’ll have to make many cuts in a small area to shape it.

Practice, again and again, to whittle fox with a minimum of mistakes. Nothing has to be perfect because foxes typically have narrow muzzles.

Take as much as time you need because when you whittle the fox hurry, there’s a high possibility of spilling the wood which will give a bad appearance.

Once you’re done with whittling the mushroom, finish it with an oil-based or water-based finish to give an enhanced look.

Best Wood For Carving A Fox

  • Maple
  • Basswood
  • Limewood
  • Cherry
  • Birch

Tools Needed For Carving a Fox

  • Wood chunk larger than the size of the fox you going to make
  • Sharp carving knife
  • Pen, pencil, marker
  • Chisel
  • Oil-based or water-based finisher
  • Protective gloves

#3 Wooden Rabbit

Following that, another fairly elaborate design with a lot of curb appeal. Beginner wood carving projects include wooden rabbits or any animal. They, like gnomes, can help you monitor how far your carving talents have progressed.

What’s great about whittling a rabbit is that even if you’re a novice, you can complete a little project in about an hour. This will enhance your confidence and allow you to take on more difficult activities.

It is also a basic animal wood carving project that will help you get acquainted with various tools and cutting procedures. When you’re finished, you may use it as a desk figurine, key holder, or gift.

You may also paint it or coat it with woodworking epoxy to make it endure a lifetime and serve as a reminder of how far your talents have progressed. Begin with a flat pattern that only requires you to carve one side of the wood for your first wood carving job.

This is possible with just the finest wood carving blades and no gouging instruments. If you don’t want to use epoxy, a penetrating finish like linseed oil or tung oil would suffice.

If you’ve done some of the previous whittling tasks on our list and want to try something a little more difficult, watch the video lesson and see how your abilities compare.

Simple wood carving designs for rabbits that are easy to follow

#2 The Kuksa Cup

A discussion on wooden containers would be incomplete without including the Kuksa cup. The Kuksa cup, formerly known as Guksi, is a Norwegian drinking cup carved from a single piece of birch. A Kuksa cup may be made whether you want to feel like a Viking or just want to make a practical wooden item.

I enjoy Kuksa-making since there seems to be no limit to how imaginative you can be with these cups as your abilities grow. There is a lot you can do to make the Guksi more lovely, from surface detail to creative cutting along the cup handle.

The Kuksa Cup that are easy to follow

Tools and Equipment Required

Please check my section at the conclusion of this post titled “What tools are required for woodcarving” to see the precise equipment I use and suggest. In summary, you will need the following items to make this cup:

  • A small block of wood large enough for the cup
  • Carving tools
  • A pen or pencil
  • Sandpaper
  • A appropriate wood finish for the project

#1 Carve A Wooden Flower

When creating a themed collection, incorporate things that can stand on their own. While little Wizard faces and gnome dwellings may be sold individually, nothing in a fairy forest collection has the universal appeal of a flower.

In fact, carving little flowers with hand tools may lead to a complete collection, speciality, and profession. The whittled flower is a must-have in the project portfolio of every starting wood carver. There are several approaches, but the more three-dimensional a bloom is, the more of an expert you must be to pull it off.

The amount of intricacy makes wood carving more challenging as well. When carving a flower with more distinct petals, you must have a greater level of competence. When you first start out, you’ll realize that you’re designing figurative flowers that are more symbolic than life-like. The beauty of this project is that you never have to go from carving flower symbols to carving genuine flowers.

Step by step on how to carve a wooden flower

Tools and Equipment Required

Please check my section at the conclusion of this post titled “What tools are required for woodcarving” to see the precise equipment I use and suggest. To summarize, you will need the following materials to make the flower:

  • A small block of wood large enough for the flower
  • Carving tools
  • A pen or pencil
  • Sandpaper
  • A appropriate wood finish for the project

In this article, I’ve explored the top 15 beginner wood carving projects in detail. To help you get started, I’ve answered some frequently asked questions about these projects.

When it comes to the easiest wood to carve, basswood is the best choice due to its softness and the ease with which it can be cut and shaped without chipping or breaking. Other easy-to-carve woods include limewood, maple, cherry, and birch.

For beginner wood whittling, you will need a whittling knife, chisel, pen or pencil, markers, protective gloves, ruler, roughing knife, and chip knife.

In terms of tools for beginner wood carving, a general carving knife, detail knife, gouges, gouge handles and shafts, and V-tools are ideal for starters.

Final Thoughts

Practice is key to becoming a pro at wood carving. Focus on the basics and don’t feel overwhelmed by the number of tools available. Some beginner wood carving projects include whittling a spoon, bunny, 5-minute wizard, whiskey barrel, flower, owl, heart, cat, simple bowl, chopsticks, mushroom, gnome, fox, whistle, and walking stick. Start with easier projects and gradually progress to more challenging ones.

Last but not least, explore the largest collection of woodworking plans and blueprints ever assembled, with 16,000 projects that have been “done for you.”



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I hope this article has provided you with a clear idea of what to expect when starting your journey in beginner wood carving projects. So, let’s get started and make the ultimate journey!

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