10 Simple Things to Carve From Wood Any Beginners

Published on: January 31, 2022
Written by Eric Devin / Fact-checked by David Rowan

Wood carving from wood, and its varieties people, especially hobbyists consider as the oldest forms of woodworking. Otherwise in the handcrafted wares category, even to create different objects, the carving is a good term. In this approach, many people do nice, detailed things using needles, flosses, fabrics, and more, yet such significant crafts like pizza wheel, Viking chess set, bass standing shark are not for every Newby. 

10 simple things to carve from wood any beginners

Special skilled persons, does not mean the beginner is not capable of, who can mold heavy-weighted wood blanks with their own hands, the crafting is suitable then. The technology regarding the fab form of sorcery that continues to grow should get the proper focus. In Russia, since 1894, wood-carved sculptures like the Shigir Idol are still famous. 

However, it may seem intimidating on first research about wood carving, as well as no difference. Whether people may think whittling projects is damn easy, yet not that much with a single or set of various knives to turn shape by the longer passage of time. Even for around $125 the carving project beginner can start, as well as the differences between whittling and carving from wood is not as much as we think so. Go ahead with a child of wood carving as per the Bible says, at that time when God speaks of Bezalel as the craftsmen king to Moses. However, our detailed and experienced 10 simple things to carve from wood for any beginners will create a craftsman king by the proper practice.   

Carve from Wood Concept

A form of wood project which intends to showcase a new form of that common timer is popular for carving something from wood. Utilization by a single hand, either both, only needs Dremel like rotary tools, knife, or electric wood carving powered mid-sized gadget. However, to adjust or create a good design, sometimes rubber mallet application results well in wooden figurines or figures at ease. 

Beginner-friendly steps also the DIY pros follow to maintain sculptural ornamentation, in short, good carving done on any type of wood. In general, the carving is a shape creating act, in that case, you will require numerous toolkits to scrap away materials portions to an uneven surface on that desired object. The aspect or technique you can follow for looping the soft portions only with available tools. 

Beginner Needs

In this analysis part, building different things will require different things, right? Like what Viking cheese pieces creating will need are a different case from using a technique in handling hand-carved pizza wheels. 

But some common carving toolkits we can have in detail with application possibilities. 

Chisel Carve Tool: 

best wood carving chisels

First of all, this tool is often used by carving fanatics. Available in both manual and electric powered ones. But not rare in the case of battery-powered carving tools. The service you are looking forward to, like sharpening wood chisels, is one of the characteristics of wood carving by electric carving tool. 


In how to use wood carving tools, the second important tool is a knife. A suitable knife, or you can say small whittling knives are best for carving small wooden pieces, as if sharpening the joints of splitting wood. A chip knife rather than a big knife is famous for making 4 small kinds of wood from splitted woods even for making kindlings for camping better than hatchets. 

Axe or Hatchet: 

Both are good for non-skilled persons, like novices in woodworking projects. In case of carving pine or hardwoods that are maple wood, this tool is suitable, except for making wood soft to curve. 


best angle grinder for wood carving

Kind of rotary tool size, including the rotating head. Either it is greenwood, or dry wood, with its interchangeable bits while it is a question of carving different materials, including engravement woods. Engraving wood without tools is a split matter, while carving design or letter on a smooth even wood surface with Dremel series rotary tool is a working breeze. Why are we prioritizing both as similar for carving wood? As if the good rotary tools refer to suitable Dremel from grinding to crafting. 


Severe drill machines, from handy models to stationary heavy-weighted ones, all have up to 1000 RPM on offer. Even exceeds 4000 RPM at least, whether a Dremel starts from 4000 RPM. However, one can use a drill instead of a Dremel, and yes, also rotary tool bits are possible to set with a drill.  

10 Projects to Carve from Wood Any Beginners

It is time for handcrafted wares. A countless variety of simple things to carve from wood for any beginner using Dremel, mallet, knives, chisel, and more gadgets for detailed construction. However, enlisted 10 that are regular, even in easier details to take the task in comfort. 

Simple Wooden Mixing Spoon

Materials and Tools:

The simplest, and lightweight thing to carve from wood by spending after fewer gadgets purchase, yet efforts matter a lot. Sharp carving knives, including a set of least medium one, and round gauge one with razor sharpness. Ranging between 120-400 grit paper is useful for sanding away by hands, as well as the 2” sanding drum. Pen, marker butcher block oil after spoon construction. 

Besides, power tools, as in Dremel, rotary tools, a table saw, and a handy drill saw are better for chunks of softwood or hardwoods a little larger than the object size. 


Start with hands, especially with the power tools that have been encrypted to create the blank. To faster the entire method and the detail shipping as well. 

Consider the wood board size, vertical sizes you should prioritize first.

Draw a spoon profile on the soft or hardwood board that you have taken to build a spoon blank. You can search in search engine optimization for a wide range of spoon designs. 

Now, cut the wood blank as per the drawn design, and yes, remember this theme through miter saw to the overall length. 

After the detailed cutting, drop-off rough sanding by furniture sanding usual grit papers. Begin the wood shaving all around the spoon blank. With perfect strategies and patience, follow the consistency mark that you were intending to cleave off, however, notice the larger-intended block rather than desired object making. 

Yet some basic decisions like handling thickness, width of spoon, adjustment of handle tapers, spoon head thickness, the length, and more from novice to pros should never be forgotten.  

Viking Chess Piece

viking chess piece
Credit: Photo: Amazon.com

Materials and tools:

From old firm sales, kind of vintage wooden game pieces used to get handmade by our grandparents, right? And so do, known as Viking chess pieces. Such mind wandering game portions, even you can call whittled pieces are damn awesome. If you want to raise those memorable moments by gifting your old grandpa and grandma, start to create a set on your own.

Only a set of chip knives, small whittling knives, and a bigger knife only to split from mid-sized timber parts. In this approach of razor sharpness, we recommend hand-forged knives and S.S. made a pull saw to split out blocks for desired chess set creation. 

Later after buying a flex cut or pfeil knife is vital, because their single-forged razor sharpness in cutting tools are damn awesome. 


You can follow proper 3 steps only to create the layout of each Viking chess piece. How? Take a 1 feet timber piece, cut it into half, and later half it more, now the quarters are ready. 

In that approach, search for fresh greenwood. The length you can cut from the hassle branch, which is softer and does not cross mid-thick level. Yew and alder you can select for soft carving from wood, but after drying the cured wood. 

To provide the desired shape, only give a trial with rough cuts on each piece. Start from face shaping, as well as the beard with a knife. 

The final touch is adding details, for instance, mouth, eyes, nose, and more including square impressions and smoothen with grit papers. Later apply anti-toxic polish.  

Pizza Wheel

pizza wheel
Credit: Photo: Amazon.com

Materials and tools:

Cannot separate the pizza pieces in equal sizes in your home with a severe knife? Instead of purchasing, hold on to the wooden block to make an open designed pizza wheel by hand carving. What about those tools and materials? 

First of all, enough dried wooden pieces about 6-inches in diameter have to rip out from the softwood branch. Consider a 1” screw, drill machine, S.S. made spoon, mask tape, math compass, hammer, machete, sandpaper, butch knife, beeswax, and varnish oil. Time to step forward with this stuff now. 


First, smash that S.S. spoon. How? Take it over an anvil but cover first with rubber or leather, and then pitching with a hammer instead the hammer can spoil the overall shape.

Take a math compass and mark around on the spoon surface from the center and drill at least a 5/32-inches hole at center and punch the surrounding with a steel puncher. 

With pliers, remove the center hole piece and stick a vice with a good triangle file. 

A dried wooden piece you should hold, and start to carve that machete over the drawn design. 

For smoothing edges, pick a drop-forged knife that is perfect for ergonomic shaping. Later the burnish will go ahead with proper grit sandpapers and fixing the wheel as well to build a hand-carved pizza wheel that you were about to buy. 


Materials and tools:

Perhaps you were scrolling through the search engine optimization for a whittling project, this one you can add to your wishlist. This is unique, and yes, may not first knock into someone’s mind, so this smoothed out boomerang would refer to that category. 

While we were designing and throwing boomerang like enjoying a game, possibly being made of cheap, easy to handle, lightweight plywoods. Boys grow up, become men, and later the old grandparents, may not stop. Either you call it natural Elbow boomerang, or natural boomerangs, want it a bit exciting? Well, first choose the potential toolkits for it, yet start the findings with ‘Y’s’ on almost every tree. 

Which tools first? Well, all you need, a handy pocket saw, jigsaw, spindle sander, electric plane, vice, grafting wax, 80-600 categorized grit papers, polyurethane glue, safety equipment and burnish oil. 


What we have mentioned, find a natural elbow block on a tree. It is available, but do not forget the healthy and no insect attacked timber piece. In particular, Sequoia-stuff is a great choice, indeed go and sniff in the bushes and find climbing equipment like a telescoping ladder. Among all, if any olive tree is near at home, it is good as it is soft enough. 

If it is dead, skip and intend for 3-inches or 10cm more or less thick and long branches as per your need. To curve better and properly smoothening, hide the waste wood by cutting off that elbow from that branch with a handy pocket saw. 

Polish a little grafting wax on that branch cut-off part that you have done recently. It is time to dry it in the sunlight, to quickly peel off the bark, consider the polyurethane-glue as a wrapper on both ends. Instead, using candle wax is better too. 

One important thumb rule, the slower it dries, the better in a ventilated place except for direct sunlight. 

It is time for preparing a good elbow in natural shape. Please notice, when it is finely dried from end to end, peel off the buckle. The elbow piece will allow at least 3-pieces by having both sides in a flat surface shape. Wearing safety equipment and stepping forward with an electric plane is good enough. 

The bigger the diameter you have flatten, like .75-inch (1cm) thick to the saw boards. With a manual saw, secure it in a vice. In this phase, you will sense a good wooden smell, like Olive will smell olive and cherry is cherry. 

Get the pieces of elbows, and cut them rough to provide the imagined structure. Yet mark the outlines, however, the boomerang-shaped piece is much better for the finest and natural shape giving. 

To remove small sections, to change into pure traditional asymmetrical boomerang, try it on running sander. 

Make the smooth profile, like basic boomerang aerodynamics which get flattened towards their wings. 

For a right-handed boomerang, use a clockwise shape, in contrast, the leading, means the steep wings side which can cut the air should remain anti-clockwise. 

Keep hand sanding until an event profile appears in open eyes. Later, fix some furnished oil that is pure with antioxidants to save your toy from corrosion.  

Painted Bird

painted bird
Credit: Photo: makerdesignlab.com

Materials and tools:

Always love nature, and yes, especially the birds chirping around you? In this approach, ever tried creating whittled animals from the wood? Near to animals and nature lovers, it is quite obvious the way that the wooden pieces get carved, a kind of harness, as well as the natural beauty by virtue.

Then why not by yourself, for yourself? This intense will make you buy or have more personal accessories purchased as per the craft need. For example, miter saw, hammer, mallet, drying wax, knife, chisel carving machine, and more that you can apply while carving. 


First of all, measure the dry wood piece for that desired craft, while the thickness can range from 2-3 inches whether the bigger painted decoration bird will need more thickness at once. 

Handling out the layout from the basic mold is quite similar to the previous one. Now take the layout to sharpen and moisture the edges on an anvil.

Hammer pitching on the small shapes, like eyes, nose, picks, and tails to give the appropriate texture at ease while painting. 

You can follow if you have owned a pant guide, it will assist as long as possible through the methods of not only painting as well as before whittling your soft, cute and precise looking dreamt of little birds. 

However, a slight movement you should focus on while preparing your bird’s beautiful feather when it’s all got carved out. 

Tiki Idol

Have you ever heard of a little wooden effigy? Well, either you have not heard of that, not an issue. But if you have and well-researched on similar wood creation like the wooden genome from wrecked wood, is something special. Similar to woodland spirit, any attachment to nature, in particular, the forest wood carved spirit for any occasions or elegance inside the glasses. 

Bass Fish

Whittled bass fish, or a standing shark, creation makes sense when one is about changing his/her mood to make something different, yet regarding nature. A little detailed job, like fish carving from wood any beginners, as far as it is, but possible. However, one needs to get sensible in rounding skills, smooth cutting skills, and detailed carving techniques, even all at once? Sounds rough and a hard soul tries to acknowledge it? 

Yes, the training sessions are too far to reach with hands of speedy quality, yet not that hard at all. Compared to other simple things to carve from wood for beginners, this project needs more than definite skills and the best acknowledgment to select the perfect one. As well as the tools verify from the fish tail making to crafting the entire body. The list is here below:

  • Miter saw;
  • Chop saw;
  • Sander;
  • Hand-forged knife;
  • Tapered Chisel carving machine;
  • Ball pein hammer;
  • Sculpture making hammer;
  • Grit sandpaper and baseline marker as well.

Never forget to choose a dry and softwood, unless this whittling idea will waste with tools and efforts very soon. 

3 Minute Owl

Several types of crafting, among those 3-minute owl making, is also an ancient hobbyists’ work. We have experienced something like that creature appeal before, yet this one is quite simple and the way you want to step forward, rather easier than before. However, this quick and mid-sized sculpture for your wall cabinet will take only 3 to a maximum of 4 minutes, and you know the basics are not hard at all. 

Let the dry wood be cut by you from the mid-level soften woods. The rapid time you will take for drying wood, the fewer the owl design will last, and can even get attacked by the wood insects, for instance, beetles, powderpost beetle, longhorn beetle, and more that are common in woods. 

In this approach, buying separate toolkits, instead of a set of wood carving is far better. 

What includes that precise set? Well, hook knife, cheap knife, leather strop, polishing compound and sharpening beats as well. The durability is quite better with each carrying handle if the manufacturers provide so. Delicate woodcutting you can use, however, takes time and causes uneven effort to build a smooth one.

You can complete it within a short time if you choose the electric-powered or battery-powered chisel knife and carving handy tool. However, instead of providing a perfect delicate carve, for a good and even smooth surface, these are very fruitful. 

Wooden Tobacco Pipe

wooden tobacco pipe
Credit: Photo: Amazon.com

After displaying compatible antique or trendy showpieces, as in, little dinosaurs, painted eagle and peacock feathers, bass fish, owl and more, it is time for quite permanent and elegant things carving from wood. We have tried wooden tobacco pipes. 

Simpler to drag for selling in a handcrafted store, this is very special to give even to our grandparents. Because they like it more whether it’s time for old memories or remembering parties with other grandparents. Traditional pipe smokers will be amazed with that. 

Unlike other crafting ideas, this one demands only knives for a wide range because the wood shaving is not that much harder than previous ones. 

Forest Spirit Wood Carving

Forest spirit wood carving, sounds frightening? Just kidding. Rather than game pieces like Viking chess sets of wood, this one is very relevant to wander with woodland tales and fantastical stories as well. While thinking of whittling projects, means having jokes by frightening on pumpkin night like thanksgiving, nothing can beat this wood carving sculpture part. 

Have you well-researched this field and reinforced a bit of preoccupation, even with tales of fairies and forest spirits and the like? Then you are that person who is not beyond the idea of forest spirit wood carving. 

To prepare this figurine or figure, we are inspired to utilize the small and cheap knife set. If it is possible, try a saw first to mold out the designed shape from that small branch of a cherry tree and later with a sander. Shaving out those knives is not a substitute at all, but yes, using the table or coping saw is a bit difficult. 

Is Carving from Wood Any Beginners and Whittling Similar?

Aspens is an inexpensive wood and a simple thing to carve from wood for any beginners’ hand. Butternut is also in that category of the question for which is the easiest wood for carving. However, the terms we have explained carving, is much similar to whittling project, even though you can consider it an interchangeable part to create different smooth arts. 

Both terms split from each other often in a short range of tasks. One of those is the usage of wood shaving, shaping woodworking tool kits to accomplish, for instance, with or without a double-headed rubber mallet, gouges, electric chisels for carving. In contrast, whittling involves a small to larger knife set.  

Now, the possibility to say, even Wikipedia also ensures a whittling project as a huge time-occupying and non-artistic term of repeated shaving slivers from a particular wooden surface. Though it is separate from the industrialized or commercial world, a full hobbyist type activity, enabling modern occupation sometimes. So, we hope to protect your thumb with a thimble of leather, use a whittling project even though a little difference exists between whittling and carving. 

Is It Difficult?

Chip carving, carving in the round, relief carving and similar tasks all include carving from wood projects category or types of carving from wood any beginners. To start faster, find something softwoods like pine, balsa, and butternut, even basswood are the perfect form of making any objects whether it is hobbyist type or a commercial one. Whether this project formula is applicable with most often electronic gadgets, you can consider carving from hardwoods, for instance, oak and walnut. 

Focusing on the carving question, we should say no to this frequent and common question. Why? A wide range of cutting toolkits, which are available as best aftermarket, as in the 7, 9 and 12 knife set number, 8mm skews, V tool, 3mm veiner and 8mm gouges. The more we purchase electric-powered tools, the more powerful one can consider oneself to accomplish bigger tasks, right? In this approach, if you are thinking of sharpening issues that will cast a lot, our experience calls it no more.  

Final Thoughts

As a beginner, our experience wants to recommend carving with a knife. Though it sounds quite weird, receiving a wood blank and carving in a square object as you can is far from the practiced skills. On each woodside of the dried grain, you have to cut and keep it on running till the desired shape you get even. 

However, do not let yourself to conceive a detailed end of your grain while you have your project on run. With practice, be a pro from novice in such good woodworking projects step by step like simple things to carve from wood.

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About This Writer

author eric devin

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

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