13 Easy Wood Carving Ideas for Beginners 2023

Easy Wood Carving Ideas for Beginners
Easy Wood Carving Ideas for Beginners

There’s something satisfying about creating something from nothing. This is why I believe woodcarving is one of the best hobbies for everyone.

You can make whatever you want and feel proud and fulfilled every time you look at your work. It’s also an excellent method to design your house on a budget.

Many people who are new to wood carving become overconfident because they begin with large projects and wind up with nothing but frustration.

The major cause of this problem is relying on untrustworthy, imbalanced lessons and guidelines that are not intended for novices. The majority of them do not even teach the fundamentals of wood carving.

Beginner Wood Carving Projects Ideas

Wooden Spoon Carving
Chip Carving
Spirit Carving
Wooden Gnome
Wooden Rabbit
Carving a Pawn
Whittling a Flower
Carve a Cat

If you’re new to the world of wood carving, the vast array of options can be daunting. 

There is, however, a wide variety of woods and an abundance of designs to choose from, which is not to mention the plethora of wood-carving tools available. 

For those of you who are just beginning, here are thirteen of our favorite beginner-friendly ideas to inspire you.

1. Simple Shape Carvings

One of the easiest wood carving ideas is to carve a simple shape. This is a great project for beginners who are just learning how to carve. You can do many different shapes, such as stars, hearts, or even letters of your name.

You can also use this idea as an opportunity to teach kids about shapes and colors by choosing two colors and asking them to choose between them, then having them tell you what shape they want you to carve out.

2. Word Carvings

Word Carvings are a fun way to personalize your home or office space. You can get as creative as you want with this simple project and carve whatever word or saying you want, in any font style that you prefer. 

There are plenty of words that would look great carved on a wooden block like family, love, home, and friends. 

Another really neat idea is to use some letter blocks from your favorite children’s game and create an alphabet wall art set.

3. Animal Carvings

Animal Carvings are one of the most popular types of wood carving projects and they can be done in any shape or size. 

You can carve just about anything from a realistic animal, like a bear, to an abstract design of your own creation, like a dragon. 

Carving animals is a great way to get started with wood carving because there are so many different animals and designs that you can choose from.

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4. Flower Carvings

Flower carvings are one of the simplest types of woodcarving. 

Flowers can be carved from a single block of wood or they can be cut out and glued onto a piece to make it look like it is growing in a pot. 

Pine cones are also easy to carve and even easier when you buy pre-cut pine cones. There are many different varieties of flowers so your flower carvings will never look the same. 

If you want to make a realistic-looking floral arrangement, try carving small leaves that can be used as decoration around the arrangement. You might want to use toothpicks for the leaves so that you don’t waste too much wood.

5. Leaf Carvings

Leaf carvings are an easy project that can be completed in a few hours and the best part is, you don’t need any fancy tools to complete this project.

Simply carve away the top layer of the leaf, and then use sandpaper to smooth out the edges. You can also paint them once they’re dry.

6. Heart Carvings

Heart carving is not too difficult but still looks gorgeous when it’s done and makes a great gift idea as well. 

To start, find an image of what you want your heart shape to look like on the computer, or use a stencil if you have one. 

Once you’ve figured out how big your heart needs to be, just draw that size on the wood with a pencil so that later you can see exactly where to cut. 

If possible make sure there are no knots or other pieces sticking out that could get in the way of your line drawing because these will cause imperfections in your final product.

7. Star Carvings

Star Carvings are one of the most iconic symbols in the world. Whether you’re carving them as part of a larger craft project, or just to make a simple ornament, they are an easy way to create something beautiful and meaningful. 

The basic design consists of five points that radiate out from a center point and you can carve these shapes by carefully scoring lines along the wood grain with a knife or other sharp object.

8 Sun Carvings

Sun carvings are the simplest way to carve a likeness of the sun into a block of wood. This can be done by using a compass to draw two circles. 

The first circle should be 1 inch in diameter and the second one should be 3 inches in diameter, you’ll need to cut out small slits at the center of each circle, about 1/4 inch from the edge of the circle so that you can thread string through them.

9. Moon Carvings

Moon carvings usually feature two halves that fit together in an overlapping fashion; the simplest way to carve a moon is by making two semicircles, one on the top and one on the bottom. They should be slightly rounded so they fit together nicely when they overlap. 

The size of the circles depends on how large you want your finished carving to be. It’s best to draw your design onto paper before you start carving it into the wood with any sort of tool.

READ ALSO: How To Make Wood Floors Look New Again|Expert Guide

10. Wave Carvings

Wave Carvings are a great beginner’s project. They can be done with very little effort and time, and they produce a beautiful design. 

The best part is that you don’t need any special skills to do this! All you need is a piece of wood, a knife, some sandpaper, and a few hours to spare.

11. Mountain Carvings

Mountain carvings can be a great first project for wood carving as they are not too difficult to carve and look great on the mantle of a fireplace or wall. 

12. House Carvings

House carvings are an easy way to get started, especially if you want to focus on one area at a time, also you’ll find that the detailed work will get easier with practice, you can start off by practicing basic shapes like circles and squares. 

Once you’ve mastered these shapes, go ahead and try your hand at more difficult shapes like ovals, also remember, no matter what your skill level is now or in the future, wood carving is something you can always come back to as it’s never too late to start.

13. Cross Carvings

Cross Carvings are one of the most popular wood carving designs out there, they’re classic symbols and can be used in many different ways. 

This video tutorial will show you how to make a cross carving on your own. 

All you need is a sharp craft knife, sandpaper, and some wood. Cut out two crosses from your block with the same length on each side as shown in the video. 

The next step is to sand down the rough edges with an emery board until it becomes smooth enough to handle easily. 

Glue them together with carpenter’s glue or PVA glue and wrap some wire around it once it dries so that you don’t have any gaps between the pieces, also apply a sealant over it if desired and add a few coats for protection.

READ ALSO: Is Wood Floor In Kitchen A Good Idea? | Expert Guide.


What’s the easiest thing to carve out of wood?

Carving a spoon is one of the easiest things to carve from wood. This project can be completed in under an hour, and it will teach you a lot about carving techniques that can be applied to other projects. 

Plus, what would be more enjoyable than eating your soup with a custom-carved spoon? It’s perfect for beginners. 

If you’re using a softwood such as pine or balsa wood, cut out the shape first with the knife and then sand or file down the edge, if you’re working on a hardwood like maple or oak, use the knife to trace around your pattern before sanding off all excess material. 

To finish you will be rubbing beeswax onto your tool for smoother cuts next time around, adding a handle, and finishing by putting some food-safe oil on the finished product.

How long should I soak the wood before carving it?

It is important to soak your wood in water before carving it. This helps soften the wood and makes it easier to carve.

The rule of thumb is to soak your wood in water for 2-3 hours, but you can also put it in a bucket with a few changes of cold water every hour or so if time is limited. 

When you are finished soaking the wood, place some paper towels on a hard surface like a countertop and place the wet piece of wood on top of them.

What is the best wood to carve by hand?

Limewood also known as basswood is one of the best wood to carve by hand. This type of wood is soft, has a low density, and is easy to work with. Limewood also absorbs paint well and can be used for a wide variety of projects. 

A few common uses include furniture, pencils, carvings, and sculptures. The most popular types of lime wood are white basswood also called white lime or yellow-poplar also called yellow poplar.

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How do you clean unfinished wood carving?

1. Wet a soft cloth with warm water and slide it across the carving. 

2. If there are any stubborn spots, gently rub them with an abrasive material like steel wool. Be careful not to use too much pressure or you could remove the finish from the wood. 

3. The last step is to wipe down the area with a slightly damp cloth and let it dry before applying a clear sealant to protect the carving from moisture and dirt in the air as well as future spills.

What is the weakest wood in the world?

Balsa is the weakest wood in the world. It has a density of approximately 0.06 g/cm3, which is about 1% of the density of water. 

This makes it one of the lightest woods, and a good choice for carving projects that require lightweight wood, also balsa is also easy to carve and can take paint or other finishes without cracking or peeling off.

What is the difference between wood carving and woodworking?

Wood carving and woodworking are similar in that they both involve cutting, shaping, and sanding wood. But there are some key differences as well. 

Wood carving is done with hand tools, such as a chisel, gouge, or knife. A carve can be done with one tool or many different tools to create the desired effect. 

It can take hours or days to complete a single project depending on how intricate the design is and how much time you have available to work on it. 

The benefit of this is that it doesn’t require any power tools, while on the other hand, if you’re working with a detailed pattern like an animal’s head then power tools will come in handy for removing large amounts of material at once.

Woodworking uses power tools like saws and drills which make it easier to cut through thick pieces of wood quickly. 

The downside is that these machines are loud and vibrate making them less than ideal when working inside a small space like your garage or basement workshop.

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There are many easy and fun ways to carve wood. You can get as creative as you want or use a few of these designs to get started with carving. 

Whatever your reason is for wanting to learn how to carve wood, you should take the time and make it happen, and it’s an inexpensive hobby that will keep you entertained for hours. Good luck

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