DIY Wood Carving For Beginners

How to carve a spoon from wood. Beginner’s guide

wood, carving, beginners

Everyone can and should carve a wooden spoon, says the author.
For some time he collected spoons from all over the world (see the second photo) and was always interested in strange spoons.
At some point, he eventually started making his own spoons.

Making a spoon using wood carving. it is a long-term activity, but it still has room for creativity. This material is intended for beginner carvers.

Next, the author will share his process of cutting a spoon. Tools and materials

Tools and materials:

(The entire process can be done by hand. The author used power tools to create the blank to speed up the process.)Wood

The most important thing to consider when cutting out a spoon. this is the type of tree you are going to use. While with the right tools and techniques it is possible to carve out of almost any type of wood, some types are easier to handle than others. Since this is a spoon carving for beginners, we will try to make everything as simple as possible.

The easiest types of wood to process are soft species, for example:

Hard rocks that are more difficult to process are:

Follow these general points when choosing a tree:

Cut off a piece of wood and see what kind of wood.
Look for narrow, not wide fibers. wide fibers fall into large pieces.
For a beginner, the easiest way to try wood carving. linden, so it’s better to start with it.

Finally, it should be noted that wood, like many of the substances we live with, can be a potential allergen for certain people. Some woods, such as cocobolo, have skin and respiratory effects. Other varieties, such as cherries, are known to be generally safe and inert. Wood dust from almost any tree species can have a harmful effect on the respiratory tract for a sufficiently long period of time. Spoon drawing

Once you have selected a piece of wood (I am using a cherry in the example below), draw a very rough outline of the spoon you want to cut out. This does not have to be a detailed drawing, as this diagram will only be used to create a blank spoon. Drawing a profile of a spoon, desirable but not required.

Some things the author takes into account when designing his spoons:

If the spoon you want to cut is smaller than the piece of wood you have chosen, use a table saw to cut the piece into a thinner piece so that you have to remove less material by hand when cutting.

Then use a miter saw to cut pieces of wood to length at the ends of your spoon’s outline.

This is called letterhead creation.Cutting parts

Use a jigsaw to cut the spoon along the outline. It is advisable to cut as close as possible to the sketch of your spoon.

By making the stock slightly larger and thicker than the intended finished spoon, you can always remove the material later.Coarse sanding

This step is completely optional, but the author followed it. He used a belt sander to quickly round the edges and sand to the contour of the spoon. Everything done with a power tool eliminates the need to do it manually in the upcoming threading step.Moving on to the carving

Carving along the handle of the spoon. the easiest place to practice. Start with small particles, removing a small amount of material, cutting away from you.

Begin to remove small pieces of material from the tops of the curved lines. Cutting down, harder in the groove.
Dipping the knife downward usually results in a larger piece of material being chipped off than intended.

It takes time to transform a square block into a smooth spoon. for example, a few hours. So don’t expect the spoon to instantly take shape. Just move slowly towards the goal.Add more detail

As the spoon begins to take shape and you start to round off some of the straight lines in the workpiece, decisions need to be made regarding:

How to Hand Carve a Simple and Cute Wooden Bird

The spoon pictured below has a blunt, straight head, more like a spatula, which is good for scrubbing the bottom of the pot. of course this is not a very good soup spoon.

Back of the spoon head

Once the handle of the spoon is machined, it’s time to start working on the head. Easier to start with the convex back of the spoon rather than the concave side.

Start removing material around the edges of the workpiece and round off the head of the spoon to create a smooth transition from the back of the spoon to the rim.

Continue to round the back of the spoon and create a smooth, continuous slope.Front of a spoon

On the concave side of a spoon. use a rounded arrow-shaped knife or hook to begin removing material from the surface of the spoon.

Remove small pieces of wood until a small depression begins to form. Continue removing material, picking wood closer and closer to the outside wall of your spoon.

The hook knife is useful for shallow hacking, but does not work very well at depth. This is where the arrow-shaped knife comes in handy.Finishing by grinding

After hand carving, it’s time to smooth out the roughness with sanding.

After mechanical sanding, it’s time for hand sanding.

Starting with 120 grit sandpaper and gradually reducing the grit to 220 grit, the author sanded the handle and head of the spoon, smoothing out any remaining traces of the electric tool and making all surfaces pleasant to the touch without leaving chips.Protective covering

As a final step, apply an orally safe, protective coating to a smoothly sanded spoon.

Material for work

In addition to the tools, it is very important to choose the right wood for the job. This task is very difficult for beginners, so you need to listen to the advice of experienced masters. Each type of material has its pros and cons. If the wood is soft, it is quite easy to work with it, but in this case there are a lot of defective products. This includes aspen, linden and birch. When it comes to woodcarving for beginners, the video about which can be seen just below, such wood options are most suitable.

If you have a lot of knowledge and experience allows you to work with more expensive types of wood, you can take oak, boxwood or mahogany. These materials are more expensive and difficult to work with. They are distinguished by their durability and hardness, which is not always good, since it is difficult to cut from such wood. Often, craftsmen are injured from working with hard woods, since any careless movement can lead to trouble. As a result, either the person or his instrument suffers.

It is recommended to use softwood for contour carving and slotted wood. It is quite simple to apply large ornaments on spruce or pine. However, it must be borne in mind that some irregularities may appear between the growth rings when working with a chisel. The thing is that the difference in wood density will make the tool jump.

See also  How to cut a figure out of wood with a knife

Virtuoso craftsmen love to work with aspen, linden, and juniper; beginners can be advised to take a closer look at conifers, that is, spruce or pine. For the first work, you can also use an inexpensive material, such as a pear or birch.

Thread with a router

For the master of wood carving, the router is one of the indispensable assistants. With his participation, you can make a lot of different works of any type of complexity. If a professional knows the principles of working with a hand router well, wood can be used to create products for various purposes. over, such a skill will always be useful in homework. For example, using a router, you can quickly and accurately cut a hole, insert a door lock, or attach hinges to doors.

People who are often faced with woodworking should be aware of how to properly handle a router. The most common version of the tool used today is submersible. With the help of such a tool, you can perform any work that is associated with milling or carving. For creative work, you must carefully choose a cutter, with the help of which the wood is processed. Depending on the shape of the working head of the tool, the type of processing of a workpiece made of wood will also differ. With the help of milling wood carving, pictures can be obtained of any complexity. For wood carving, this tool is used very widely. Especially often you can find carved wooden furniture processed by a milling cutter. For this, special templates are often used, which make it possible to obtain symmetrical patterns. In addition, the router can be used both for inserting locks and for creating beautiful wooden fittings.

One of the very interesting options for using a hand router is artistic wood carving, a video about which can be seen just below. This tool is widely used for both embossing and slotting work. Experts recommend using bearingless V-shaped and fillet cutters for artistic carving. With such adaptations, a creative person can create a true masterpiece.

When working with a router, it is very important to observe safety precautions, since this tool is traumatic and can harm a person. If there are no or very few skills in working with the device, it is worth to start practicing on soft wood in order to “fill your hand”.

Features of wood carving for beginners

Creative people who want to keep themselves busy with a very interesting and useful business should pay attention to woodcarving for beginners. Recently, this type of creativity has become more and more popular, although some time ago it was almost completely forgotten. Before engaging in such a business, it is necessary to understand that this type of work can be quite dangerous, therefore it cannot be recommended to children who have not yet learned how to handle sharp objects. And adults who are going to engage in woodcarving should understand for themselves all the rules for using tools. For wood carving, not only ordinary but also electrical devices can be used. They require careful adherence to safety precautions.

Like any kind of arts and crafts, wood carving requires a lot of materials and tools. For wood processing, knives, chisels, round and straight chisels, a milling cutter or a jigsaw are used. In some cases, the range of materials used can be significantly expanded, but novice craftsmen can cope with so many.

Jigsaw carving

One of the most convenient types of woodworking is woodcarving with a jigsaw using a template, a photo of which can be found below. With this tool, artistic cutting turns into an interesting activity, the result of which is an original interior detail. Even small decorations for the door will significantly change its appearance. It is worth noting that for this kind of work, flat-relief carving with a jigsaw is ideal.

Creative work is able to perfectly cheer up, good results will be a reason for the master’s pride, which often pushes to perform new feats, already more impressive. At the same time, it is with a jigsaw that experts recommend starting training for beginners. A little effort and time, and the hands themselves will understand which grip will be the most convenient for high-quality cutting.

Smoothness is important when working with a jigsaw. All movements of the master should be slow, without sudden movements, in order to avoid distortions and not spoil the material. In those places where the line should turn, it is worth turning the workpiece itself, and not the tool, to achieve uniformity. There will definitely be uneven edges along the edge of the cuts, which must be eliminated. Tools such as a file, file and sandpaper will help with this.

Most often, with the help of a jigsaw, complex decorative patterns with repeating elements are cut out on a flat wooden surface. They can even be in the form of a grid with patterns of regular geometric shapes. Often, virtuosos of wood carving create products depicting animals, floral ornaments or birds. All this looks gorgeous and can decorate any interior.

Wood carving tools

Any technological process, including wood carving, will be successful if all the tools used in this business are of sufficient quality. Of course, the main role is played by the skill of a person, but without having the necessary items at hand, it is unlikely that it will be possible to bring your idea to life.

Price is an important factor as even a beginner will need a lot of tools. What can we say about virtuosos in their field, who have an impressive arsenal in the workshop for professional woodworking. The basic set, which will be quite enough for simple work, includes several knives and chisels, file files, hacksaws for metal, a vice, sandpaper, a drill with several types of drills and bars.

In addition, a lot of other tools may be present in the wizard’s kit. They may be needed to make complex jobs. For beginners, the very minimum will be enough, but of good quality, so that the hands immediately get used to the correct movements. Experts recommend that novice craftsmen stock up on a set of a dozen tools and gradually improve their skills and replenish their arsenal.

Geometric thread

In this case, to obtain the desired image, various types of chisels and knives are used. This type of work is considered the simplest and is well suited for novice craftsmen. To create the desired drawing, it is enough to have a minimum set of tools and strictly observe the drawing. The latter is especially important for geometric wood carving, since symmetry and repetition are of great importance here. This makes it possible to achieve a beautiful play of light and convey the idea of ​​the image itself.

A feature of geometric sawing is that all elements are not cut deeply. For this reason, it is quite possible to choose even the hardest wood species. Cutting boards made in the technique of geometric carving will look very beautiful in the kitchen. In this case, you should choose the hardest wood.

Geometric carving consists of sequential cutting of triangles, rectangles, squares, rhombuses. As a result, a beautiful symmetrical ornament is created, which looks new in different lighting conditions.

Regardless of which technique will be chosen for wood processing, safety precautions must be carefully observed. The place to work should be comfortable and uncluttered. All tools that are not needed at the moment must be removed to the side. Do not forget that all of these objects are very sharp and can cause serious injury.

How to protect yourself from injury when carving wood

Any tool of a master carver can be compared to a straight razor, therefore, when working with it, you must strictly observe safety measures. The material must be positioned so that it is possible to work freely with a knife or chisel, excluding the possibility of hitting a sharp edge on the hands.

See also  How To Sharpen A Hacksaw On Wood Angle Grinder

The place to work should be comfortable and clean. All unnecessary tools at the moment must be neatly folded, because they are very sharp and can cause injury.

Geometric carving technology

Geometric wood carving is considered the easiest and perfect for beginners. To create the conceived pattern, you need to have a small set of wood carving tools and clearly maintain the pattern. For geometric wood carving, symmetry and repetition are of paramount importance. This is achieved by a wonderful play of light and shadow.

Cutting boards in this technique, wooden panels look great in the kitchen.

Geometric carving consists of sequential cutting of simple geometric shapes: rectangles, triangles, squares, rhombuses. But the result is a wonderful ornament that looks different under different lighting conditions.

The sequence for performing any wood carving is as follows:

  • First, a blank is made of wood (board, deck, blank).
  • Further, a rough leveling of the workpiece surface, in which all defects and roughness are removed.
  • Then a decorative relief is formed with special cutters.
  • After the completion of the main thread, finishing. grinding, impregnation, painting, varnishing.

Do not work with the workpiece on your knees! The master must have a table to work.

Drawings for wood carving

Photos, drawings and sketches are a must for woodcarving. A large pattern for wood carving is used for dimensional products: for facades of houses, interior carving of churches, windows.

For interior items and furniture, carvers use small patterns that are carefully worked out by the master.

We offer you an archive of 80 woodcarving drawings. Choose, print, create.

Types of wood carving

Of all types of wood carving, openwork or through wood carving is very interesting, which has a certain transparency, in which only the image remains, without a background. An example is an overhead thread. this is an ornament that is attached to a finished background after being made by a master.

Geometric wood carving is a type of carving in which a pattern is formed using many simple geometric shapes (rhombus is often used).

Oriental woodcarving is distinguished by its whimsical forms. Egypt is the cradle of oriental wood carvings.

Embossed wood carving. In this technique, the image is located above the background or at the same level with it. These are carved panels of various shapes with a three-dimensional image.

Carving in the Baroque style is a flat-relief carving, but featuring an abundance of carved and molded decorations, various colors, curls, leaves, figures of people in unnatural poses, fantastic fantastic animals.

Kudrino carving originated in the village of Kudrino. Caskets, vases, dishes, ladles, and home decor items are considered well-known products in this type of carving. The main element is a floral ornament: rosettes, curls and twigs.

Volumetric (sculptural) carving is great for making sculptures, figurines of animals and people, toys. Bogorodskaya carving is a subspecies of volumetric carving. This is the main trade in the village of Bogorodskoye in the Moscow region. The famous Bogorodsk toys are figurines of animals and people made of linden and alder.

Scandinavian carving was most often used to decorate wooden Scandinavian churches. Woodcarvers decorated church buildings inside and outside with images of Gods and various animals.

Contour carving is the simplest and most peculiar type of carving. On a flat background, the master cuts grooves. grooves, forming a pattern. Carved landscapes. images of landscapes on wood.

All these types of carving are rather conventional. Each craftsman chooses the most acceptable one, taking into account work experience, wood quality and creative inspiration.

Absolute Beginning Wood Carving part1

About wood carving for beginners

To decorate the internal and external space, various types of carving and methods of implementing the plan can be used. If you are interested in this type of needlework, then you should understand that you need to master the methods and techniques of wood processing, acquire the necessary tools and improve carving skills.

In the modern world of smartphones and tablets, a wooden stand decorated with wood carvings looks very original.

Skillfully executed carving in the form of simple and ornate patterns and ornaments as if revives the world and endows it with sophistication, charm, emphasizes the taste of the owner of luxurious things and the talent of the master.

The works of the best master carvers decorate the temples. Pay attention to the photo of the iconostasis of the upper church of the Savior Image Not Made by Hands, which is located in the Church of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos in Fili.

Modern masters with delicate taste create real masterpieces.

And thanks to the technologies of finishing and protecting the finished product from the destructive effects of mold and insects, these carved wood crafts have served people for hundreds of years.

Check out the gorgeous carved pieces of furniture:

Delightful handmade figurines:

Very often connoisseurs collect handmade carvings. Wonderful chess that deserves any collection.

Perhaps, over time, your masterpieces of woodcarving will be carefully kept by collectors or decorate temples.

Basic toolkit

The basic set for wood carving includes:

  • several knives and chisels;
  • needles;
  • hacksaws for metal;
  • vice;
  • sandpaper;
  • drill with several types of drills;
  • bars.

It is not necessary to choose an expensive foreign-made tool, because domestic tools can be of the same good quality, but much cheaper

As your skill grows, you may need a set of tools, a milling machine, a drill, etc.

Materials for work

Each type of wood for carving has its pros and cons. It is easy to work with soft wood, but there can be a lot of scrap too. These are aspen, linden, birch. This wood is best for beginners.

Oak, boxwood, mahogany are more expensive and complex woods. It is hard and durable, so it is difficult to cut from such wood. Very often there are troubles when working with such types of wood. Either the tool or the craftsman may be damaged.

An experienced woodcutter can easily work with a variety of woods, including juniper. Well, for beginners it is better to use inexpensive materials. spruce, pine, pear or birch.

Whichever tools are chosen for wood carving, safety precautions must be strictly followed!

Chisels for carving

Sometimes a sharpened screwdriver or file is used instead of a chisel for wood carving.

A flat chisel is a long rod with a flat cutting edge at the end. It is very often used for the primary processing of wood.

A semicircular chisel is one of the most important tools for work. They differ somewhat in the degree of roundness, that is, they are medium, round and sloping.

There is also a V-shaped version of chisels. It can be useful for geometric wood carving, which we will introduce you below.

For beginners, a small but good quality wood carving kit is enough to get used to the correct movement and pressure immediately.

In this video, an excellent master A. Yuriev shared with us which tools to choose for carving.


Contour carving is considered one of the simplest techniques, since the patterns are applied on a flat prepared surface, slightly going deep inside the material, which allows you to form the outline of the future pattern.

This type of work refers to geometric carving and is subdivided, in addition to contouring, into triangular-notched and staple techniques.

To start work, you need to come up with or choose the pattern you like and apply it to the tree, which should be as smooth as possible.

Do not use sandpaper or other abrasive products on workpieces, as small particles will interfere with a neat thread and cause the cutting tool to become dull.

See also  How To Cut Corrugated Board At Home

The optimum cutting depth is 1.5-2 mm and the tool tilt angle is 40 °. After making one line, you can start the next, but tilt the cutting equipment in the opposite direction to make a geometric depression. If the movements were done correctly, the edges of the lines will be even, and the surface will be shiny.

Which tree to choose?

When planning to try your hand at wood carving, it is important to understand that in addition to talent, you must have a set of tools with you, as well as use the right wood. Even experienced craftsmen will not be able to get high-quality results if they take a tree for work that is difficult to process.

Certain types of wood are considered the most suitable for carving.

  • Linden is the most suitable option for the first steps in working with wood. This material has the greatest softness, which allows you to learn both simple and complex techniques in optimal conditions.
  • Alder. both red and black varieties of this tree are suitable for carving. This wood is denser than linden, but it also lends itself well to processing, it is very convenient to cut it, and the patterns will be clear and beautiful. The main disadvantage is that this type of wood belongs to rare.
  • Birch is an even denser and more resilient version of wood, but suitable for grasping the basics of wood carving. Unlike alder, which does not change its shape after drying, birch can deform, therefore, small objects are usually created from it.
  • Oak is a noble material for woodworking by experienced craftsmen; it will be difficult for beginners to cope with oak linen. Working on an oak requires a sharp tool and an experienced hand of a master who will cope with the task.
  • Pear is a fruit tree with good density and a uniform structure. Thanks to the peculiarities of pear wood, you can create the most delicate and graceful works.

Each craftsman should know well the features of all types of wood and choose the most optimal options for work.

Workplace requirements

Wood carving should be done in a prepared location on a sturdy and stable workbench. Novice craftsmen can use the tabletop, the main thing is that its height does not exceed the line of the belt. The main requirement for the working surface is cleanliness and smoothness, in case of unevenness, they must be removed immediately. The board on which the carving is made must be securely fixed with clamps.

Under no circumstances should you sit on a stool, wobbly chair or work on your knees.

For a beautiful and high-quality work on the working area, it is necessary to install good lighting in the form of 2-3 lamps or bright lamps. The placement of the light will be important, it should be exposed at different angles, above the level of the carver’s eyes. In a well-lit and properly prepared workplace, even a beginner can learn more skills and learn the basics faster.


A more complex technique of carving after contour is considered to be geometric, it differs in that the pattern is created not with the help of lines, but thanks to the creation of geometric shapes. Most often, novice carvers use wedge-shaped notches in wood.

Carrying out geometric carving, it is necessary to select the optimal working material and prepare it, and then apply the desired pattern.

When drawing a sketch, a pencil, ruler and compasses are used to ensure that all mowing lines are even and correct. If you can’t create a drawing on your own, you can use a ready-made sketch by printing it and using an awl to puncture the intersection of the lines.

Geometric carving sketches often consist of triangles, which must have a notch, so the wood is cut at different angles, and the excess wood is removed. Once all the triangles have been processed, you can move on to carving other elements. After the main work, it is necessary to clean up the problem areas for which a sharper tool is used. The finished pattern is sanded and stained.


The most difficult technique of woodwork is sculptural carving, which differs from other types in that a chock, a branch, a piece of rhizome is taken for work, which is given the desired shape. In addition to skill, the most important factor is the correct selection of the working material. Thanks to this technology, figures of animals and people can be obtained from wood.

For work, a sharp tool is used, thanks to which a piece of wood immediately acquires the shape, then the desired outlines and gradually becomes the object that the master conceived.

On the blank, you need to outline a sketch with a pencil and try to stick to it so that the product is symmetrical and beautiful.

Required tools

Working on wood processing requires the master to have the necessary equipment, thanks to which he can create any products. Among the most important tools are:

  • sharp penknife;
  • saw (transverse, longitudinal, universal);
  • ax (cleaver);
  • adze, an ax with a blade perpendicular to the ax handle, for creating curly and concave products;
  • cutter, plane. necessary for removing chips from the workpiece
  • drill;
  • Dremel with attachments, for creating woodcuts;
  • cutter with a set of blades;
  • file;
  • jamb knife;
  • chisels. a tool for processing wood (there are flat, semicircular, corner and staple varieties);
  • cranberries. a chisel with a curved shape (thanks to this tool, you can engage in relief carving, strongly plunging the chisel into the wood);
  • spoon cutters are a tool thanks to which you can create wooden spoons, since the shape of the product facilitates the efficient extraction of a large amount of wood at a time.

For a novice wood craftsman, it will be enough to have a carpenter’s pencil, several chisels, a jamb knife and a penknife.

It is very important that all tools are well sharpened, do not have chips and breakages, as this can affect not only the beauty of the future wooden product, but also safety during work.

Step-by-step schemes for beginners

To understand the basics of wood carving, it is worthwhile to master the lessons step by step. from the simplest to the more complex. For beginners, and especially for children, it is worthwhile to immediately talk about safety measures in order to prevent possible injuries.

To learn how to cut any objects with your own hands, it is important to know what is needed for this and what the sequence of actions should be.

The simplest technique is to teach contour carving, for which you need to prepare the main inventory:

  • wooden blank;
  • chisels;
  • jamb knife;
  • pencil and paper for sketches;
  • sandpaper;
  • paints.

In order to cut wood correctly and beautifully, it is important to tell everything about chisels and show them at work. Manual work is distinguished by the subtlety of execution, so you should not rush and start cutting without a sketch. Drawings are prepared on paper, carefully thought out, and then transferred to a tree.

The basics of working with chisels and a jamb knife take place on workpieces with straight and wavy lines.

The novice carver should feel the tool and learn how to work with it. As soon as it starts to work out stably, you can choose some kind of sketch and try to bring it to life. The most common themes for carving are animals and natural landscapes with various objects. After the work is over, the workpiece is sanded and painted.