Simple carving ideas wood cut in 2023 for beginners

do you know simple wood carving ideas: Guide for beginner TIPS&TRICKS

The process of creating something from nothing is always so enjoyable. For this reason, I consider woodcarving to be one of the best pastimes anyone could have.

You may build anything you want, and every time you view your project, you’ll feel proud and accomplished.

Additionally, it’s a fantastic method to decorate your house on a tight budget.

Many beginners to wood carving become overconfident and begin with large projects, but ultimately wind up with nothing but frustration.

My advice is to read the article here and learn carving step by step.

Wood carving ideas

The main cause of this problem is relying on unbalanced, unreliable lessons and guidelines that are not intended for novices. The majority of them don’t even go over the fundamentals of cutting wood.

Wood carving is a good hobby, but it requires a variety of specialized tools, which you could have to spend a significant lot on.

Consider taking up wood carving if you’re searching for a hobby that won’t require a lot of equipment and will let you express your creativity to the fullest. A knife, some chisels, and a wooden mallet are all you need.

Let’s take a closer look at what wood carving is and some of the best wood carving ideas available. Both experts and novices of the craft have asserted that it can be quite therapeutic.

All of the wood carving projects for beginners will be covered here through:

  • time frame anticipated for the project
  • wood types better for wood carving projects
  • tools you will need
  • Is it better to carve wood wet or dry?

What is wood carving?

Before we look at some of the best wood carving ideas, let’s take a closer look at what wood carving is in general.

When we say wood carving has been around for a really long time, we really mean it. Since we learned how malleable wood is, we have been shaping it into various shapes, which is why wood carving has been around for almost as long as people.

For early human children to play with, early wood carving ideas began with something as straightforward as a spear or as gentle as a carving of a woolly mammoth.

Of course, they didn’t have quite as many tools at their disposal as we have today, but even with just a sharp rock and a little ingenuity, they managed to accomplish some amazing feats.

By definition, wood carving is the process of manually shaping wood, whether with chisels or cutting implements like knives.

This is commonly regarded as a subset of general woodworking and typically requires considerable time and expertise to master.

A skill that requires great attention to detail and is highly valued throughout the world is wood carving. So, what should I carve out of wood?

What tools will I need as a beginner for carving wood?

  • Whittling knife
  • Chisel
  • Pen, pencil, markers
  • Protective gloves
  • Ruler
  • Roughing knife
  • Chip knife

Beginner wood carving projects

Beginner wood carving projects are typically fairly simple to complete and don’t need as much attention to detail as more advanced ones.

All you really need is a little bit of imagination and some basic wood carving equipment, generally just a carving knife.

Without further ado, let’s look at some simple wood carving projects you may do as a hobby or as a side hustle to earn some additional money.

Wood carving project – a spoon

You will need about 2 hours for this whittling

Many do not name spoons to be beginner wood carving projects but I do.

One of the simplest wood carving projects you can begin with is a spoon. The spoon can be used as a gift, for personal use, or for sale. You should use the technique of carving knives or making whittled spoons.

For wooden spoons, a variety of altering features and methods are available. To make it more beautiful, you can use a variety of decorative techniques.

The majority of people start their first wood carving project by creating spoons because of this. Because it’s simple to obtain great looking, and you can also learn a lot of starting topics.

After working on a few projects, you’ll likely feel comfortable enough to start carving again.

You can then use various shapes that are much more intricate and sophisticated than your previous project.

Additionally, you can reduce the errors you made in previous wooden spoon carving projects.

In my opinion, carving a spoon is similar to an experiment in which you can learn a lot about knife carving and have a lot of fun.

Tools needed for carving a spoon

  • An axe
  • Slightly bigger in size than a spoon you will make – a chunk of wood
  • Sharp carving knives (straight knife and sweep or rounded gouge)
  • A pen and a pencil

The best wood for carving spoons is hardwood, like:

  • Poplar
  • Paper birch
  • Maple
  • Cherry
  • Black walnut
  • Apple

Whittling a bunny

Estimated time needed:  30 minutes

What is the easiest thing to carve in wood?

This is the easiest wood carving project that you may start with. It will take only 30 minutes of your time. A desk statue of a carved rabbit would make a lovely, pleasant gift for your loved ones.

For this activity, we will be using whittling or knife carving. The rabbit carving is regarded as one of the simpler carvings.

Additionally, you don’t need a lot of supplies or equipment for this project. For this reason, I urge anyone just starting out in wood carving to start by whittling a straightforward bunny.

You will need to make numerous little cuts to complete this project. They are basic. But to attain a satisfying outcome, you need a sharp knife.

It is generally preferable to make more little cuts up your line when working with fragile objects, rather than just two or three large ones.

The first step is to follow the process while scratching your bunny with basic outlines. A small amount of olive oil or linseed oil works wonders for finishing and smoothing. It has no toxic fumes and is non-toxic.

The best wood for the project is soft wood such as basswood, pine, cedar, aspen, and butternut. See the same materials needed for the spoon wood carving.


5 minutes project

If you are trained a bit, it might only take you 5 minutes to cut this wood carving project. To develop wood carving skills, you may also start with this idea, but it will take longer (30 minutes).

You will be able to explore a new region in wood carving with sculptures if you have mastered the 5-minute wizard and have practiced it a couple more times. Then you are free to portray Santa Claus, a country bumpkin, a gnome, or whatever.

If you asked yourself: what should I whittle with for beginners? Here is your answer.

All you need to do is make sure the knife is sufficiently sharp. Because the wizard’s beard requires deeper, thicker cuts, you must make them.

You should pay closer attention to safety measures as you can easily get hurt while carving.

Again, you will need the same materials as for the previous two wood carving projects, softwood, but add paintbrushes as tools too.

Whiskey barrel

45 minutes for the job

Basic wood carving tools will also be used here, but the time to produce a barrel will make about 45 minutes.

A great choice for your first wood carving project is a whiskey barrel. The intriguing aspect is that it’s entertaining, and you can use it to take a shot after it’s over.

A more hook knife can only carve the barrel. With a small, crude pocket knife, it can be molded and decorated after the barrel portion.

Tung oil or linseed oil might be used to finish the project once it has dried for a few days.

For your liquor label or as a hobby, a desk figurine of a whiskey barrel is ideal. They make wonderful presents for anyone who likes booze or whiskey.

Whittling a flower

30 minutes for the work

Every novice should try the whittling flower, which is a fantastic beginner wood carving activity. To carve a flower, you can use a variety of techniques.

So, I advise you to use each technique to carve lovely wooden flowers.

To start, you must sketch a flower with petals to determine its fundamental form. Then transfer your drawings from the sheet to the piece of wood.

This will give you a good picture of its size and allow you to trim the wood chunk of any extraneous pieces.

The wood is now manageable as a result.

The carving, which is the most intriguing part, can then be started.

Attempt to keep the cutting angle at 85 degrees rather than 90 degrees.

Because if you have a cutting angle of 90 degrees at the beginning, any faults you make while going down will be far more difficult to correct. Make the final cut at 90 degrees after removing the component with an 85-degree cut.

By frequently glancing at the sheet you drew and comparing it while you work on it, you can get the flower that you have drawn as a 3D model with carving and no differences.

Use softwoods like basswood, pine, cedar, beech, and butternut.

Tools required to carve a flower:

  • a piece of wood that is a little larger than the size of the flowers you intend to construct
  • whittling knives that are razor-sharp and straight
  • drawing paper
  • a ruler
  • a creator, a pencil, or both
  • protective gloves
  • as a finisher – linseed or olive oil
  • Sandpaper of 220 grit

Carve an owl

Takes 40-50 minutes

Yes, I am aware of your thoughts. An intricate undertaking requiring a lot of work is carving an owl. It is not advised for beginners because it requires a lot of experience and patent with techniques.

Actually, that’s only partially true; it’s actually quite difficult to carve an owl with intricate shapes and alterations in the first place, as a result of your little experience thus far.

But what if you used straightforward methods to carve an owl using simple shapes? Right, it would be intriguing.

Making a basic owl today with simple shapes as a beginner will be a benefit later on when carving an owl with more complex methods and shapes.

The intriguing part is that you can complete the entire carving project using just a knife, and it will turn out slightly better than some of the ones you have seen online.

After the carving is finished, you can use paint to add feathers and other textures to make it look more appealing. To seal it, apply heated linseed oil.

All the materials and wood type is the same as for the above-mentioned wood carving projects.

Sculpt a Heart

20 minutes is the estimated time required

Are you new to woodcarving and want to create the ideal Valentine’s or birthday present for the one you love? Why not consider giving a wooden heart pendant crafted by hand?

The fact that you built everything yourself makes the worth so high. You can kind of experiment with this project and try some of these skills while also producing a cute small present.

A small block of basswood can be easily transformed into a lovely heart with a few cuts and curls.

It is best to use a quality finisher if you plan to wear the carved heart as a pendant. Lack of linseed oil because in a humid atmosphere it may look tacky.

I advise choosing Danish oil. It gets inside the wood and hardens it. You’ll be able to achieve the desired gloss after applying numerous applications.

Cat wood carving

Estimated time required to carve a cat: 40 minutes

Each novice should attempt the project of carving a cat out of a straightforward block of wood. You may cover a lot of significant techniques by carving a cat. This is ideal for a beginner in whittling.

This sculpture makes it simple to be inspired and motivated to continue carving.

The key actions you must do to complete the procedure are outlined below.

  • Create a brief sketch
  • List the cuts
  • Rough the body shape, the head’s back. Add details like ears
  • Include the cattail
  • Complete the details
  • Apply the paint or finisher

You only need a whittling knife, a pencil, and a piece of wood for the whole process, with no special materials or tools.

You may gain a ton of experience working on this fantastic project. What matters is how much you enjoy the process, not how long it takes to complete. So try it out!

Make wooden bowls

2 hours is the estimated time required

For beginners, carving bowls rank under carving cooking items as essential. The principles for carving a bowl are the same as those for cutting a spoon, but we use larger pieces of wood.

The bowl can be used as a gift, for personal use, or for sale. You should use the technique of carving knives or making whittled spoons.

For wooden bowls, a variety of modifying options and methods are available. To make it more attractive, you can use a variety of decorative techniques.

Because of this, the majority of people start their first project by creating bowls. Because it’s simple to obtain great looking, and you can also learn a lot of starting topics.

Carve a chopstick

Approximately 30 minutes are required

A beginner can easily learn many new wood carving and whittling techniques, including wood chipping, shape, and sharpening, by carving a chopstick.

Chopsticks typically lack attractive curves and contours and have a simple, minimalist appearance. However, using simple wood carving tools, you may give chopsticks an artistic appearance.

Chopsticks don’t have hard edges or curled sharp edges, yet rounding them out can be difficult.

But with consistent practice, you’ll be able to easily achieve a flawlessly rounded chopstick shape.

Making both chopsticks identical is also crucial. By observing a previously carved object, you can learn how to carve an object exactly like it.

This crucial wood carving ability is excellent for a beginner.

Chopsticks can be made flat on each simpler side if attaining a completely spherical form is challenging. With time and practice, you’ll improve.

To easily get a flawless finish when carving chopsticks, you’ll need to utilize sandpapers with various grit ratings.

To level the surface, first sand along the grain of the wood using a rather coarse-grit sandpaper.

Finally, use fine-grit sandpaper to achieve a smooth surface free of scratches by applying even pressure along the wood grain. To sand and carve without chipping the wood, patience is a necessity.

Chopsticks need to be handled and in contact with our flesh for a considerable amount of time, unlike other wood carving crafts; therefore smoothness is an important consideration. Therefore, the main consideration when carving chopsticks is discomfort.

To prevent the wood from chipping away owing to sharp knife edges, carve the wood evenly and slowly.

After you’ve finished carving the chopsticks, clean the entire surface and apply a non-toxic, food-safe finisher to improve the aesthetics and guard against water damage.

The best oil-finish alternatives for chopsticks are tung oil, Danish oil, and teak oil, but you’ll need to wait around 30 days for them to fully cure.

Polyurethane is also excellent for use as a wood finish, but it must be applied correctly and without errors.

The curing process for water-based finishes can take up to 20 days.

Mushroom whittling

50 minutes are required

One of the simplest wood carving crafts is to whittle a mushroom. However, you’ll discover how to wood carve into an umbrella form and create smooth curves.

Take a piece of wood that is a little bit larger first, so you have something to hold on to. Once you’ve found the center, turn it up and down and mark it with a pencil.

The mushroom will be carved all the way around the wood’s midpoint.

Then draw a circle around the piece of wood below 1.5 inches from the top side. Then, using the whittling knife, remove the wood bark.

To prevent the wood from breaking, be sure to chip it at a constant angle.

Use a bushcraft knife if the wood you chose is soiled and aged. But since working with an old block of wood can be a little difficult, I advise you to find some new wood.

By whittling the knife around the piece of wood, create some scallops around the edge of the mushroom.

Make the scallops first, then the mushroom head by going around. Cut a little more, then later angle it down.

From this point on, you can whittle the mushroom into the shape you want.

However, as you can see, whittling a mushroom will teach you a lot of carving wood techniques like making angles and deep cuts.

After you’ve finished whittling the mushroom, you can either paint it or use an oil- or water-based finish to give your miniature mushroom project a pleasing color.

What you’ll need to carve a mushroom

  • larger than the size of the mushroom you are going to make – a block of wood
  • razor sharp whittling knife
  • ink, pencil, and marker
  • finisher with an oil or a water base
  • gloves for protection

What is the easiest wood to cut?

Basswood is the most straightforward wood to carve because it is a softwood that can be easily cut and shaped without breaking or cracking.

Basswood is resilient to the cutting edges of knives.

Other simple woods to carve besides basswood are listed below:

  • Limewood, maple, cherry, birch

Did I answer all of your questions about projects for learning carving skills?

Beginner wood carving tasks include the 5-minute wizard, a simple rabbit, whittling a spoon, a whiskey barrel, an owl, a flower carving, a cat, a heart, a simple bowl, and chopsticks.

More intermediate ideas will include: whittling a fox, a gnome, a mushroom, a whistle, and a cane for walking.

Start with simple tasks and progress through them until you are an expert player.

I covered every question that might come up if you are learning how to give the wood spirits.

After reading the article, I hope you now have a clear idea of which project to choose as your first attempt and where to begin your journey.

Conclusions for beginner wood carving projects

Finding a palace to start with can be challenging because there are so many simple beginner wood carving projects available.

There are so many wood carving ideas!

Whatever you decide, it would take some perseverance to reach a satisfactory level.

Once you have mastered these beginner wood carving projects, you can move on to a more challenging project, such as creating a unique wooden wedding gift for a special couple or your house decoration.

Other wood carving projects are for intermediate carvers and include cutting wooden houses, gnomes, set of animals, and wooden spoon with features and decorations.

Read also: Types of wood carving you should know

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Hello to all lovers of wood products. I have been fond of woodcarving since childhood. I first learned about it at a children’s camp at the age of 12, and since then it has been my hobby. I organized a wood carving club in my area and often meet there with like-minded people. I dream of selling my products as souvenirs and gifts.

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