8 Easy Wood Carving Patterns for Beginners

Wood carving is a technique that is used to create various items of wood using different styles. There are three types of wood carving styles namely Whittling, Relief Carving, and Chip Carving.

Table of Contents

Styles of Wood Carving

Styles of wood carving

1. Whittling

Whittling or hand carving is the most popular and ancient style of wood carving. It is very easy to learn. The carving tools for whittling are available at a very reasonable rate. 

Whittling knives are used to carve the woods. Hook knives are used to shape wooden spoons. Though, hook knives are not required initially when you are a beginner in wood carving. Also, as a beginner, you should be extra careful selecting the type of wood for carving.

2. Relief Carving

Relief carving is an advanced version of whittling. Different tools are used to carve a piece of wooden board. The final output is a carved picture.

There is a specific & proper method for carving wood. This technique is a little bit difficult and needs more expertise in wood carving work because a small mistake can destroy the whole picture.

3. Chip Carving

Chip Carving is another method of wood carving. This type of carving is specially used in geometrical and graphical design. Chip carving is done on a thin flat plate by chipping out the material to form a shape

Selection of wood for Wood Carving

If you are new to woodworking or wood carving then Basswood is a good choice for you. It is one of the best woods to learn carve styles or any other wood techniques.

Because it is softwood it can easily be cut to form a shape, therefore, put less strain on the carving tool.

Basic Tools Used in Carving

Tools for carving

There are some basic tools that are used in any type of wood carving whether it is whittling, relief carving or chip carving. Some of them are:

  • Carving Knives
  • Chisel
  • Skew Chisel or Corner Chisel
  • Bench Knives
  • Gouge
  • Veiner
  • V-tool
  • Riffler
  • Fluter
  • Carver’s Mallet
  • Coping Saw
  • Table saw
  • Long Bent Tool
  • Short Bent Tool
  • Fishtail
  • Sloyd Knife

The primary knife and Stab knife are the tools for Chip Carving. Whereas, Chisels (Beveled Chisels/ Skew Chisels), Gouges (U-shaped gouges and V-shaped gouges, Spoon gouge, Fishtail Gouge) and Mallets are the tools required for Relief Carving.

Here we have only listed the basic tools. When you’ll be equipped with enough skill, you may require a compact CNC router and a lift for wood router.

Wood Carving Patterns

There are many wood carving patterns available for beginners. We are providing some of the simple patterns here:

1. Whistles

It is the simplest wood carving pattern. Although it is initially difficult for beginners yet regular practice makes it fine. Through this pattern, you can learn some basic cutting styles and gain the confidence to proceed further.

2. Easy 3-minute Owl

Wood Carving Patterns for Beginners Three Minute Owl
Credits: whittlingwithwill.blogspot.com

After making some more patterns with whittling you can go further and carve more patterns which are simple and quick. These patterns help you to enhance your skills.

You can try a famous 3-minute Owl with whittling. You may take your time to complete the project as you are working with a sharp object. But this project is really very helpful to sharpen your carving style.

3. Simple Wooden Mixing Spoon

This is the most popular product of wood carving. It helps you to learn actual wood carving skills through a small item. The more you work on it the better output you will get. 

4. Animals

Carving animals and birds are very interesting carving patterns for beginners. Through this, you start learning the detailing in wood carving.

You can create carved eyes, ears, nose, and various such shapes. To make it more vibrant and bright, you can also color your item.

5. Ornaments

You can prepare a gift for others by carving ornaments. You can even decorate your house with these ornaments.

After learning detailing work on the animal design you would be capable enough to carve the ornaments also.  

6. Chess Pieces

Wood Carving Patterns for Beginners Chess pieces

You have already seen wooden carved chess pieces in the market. So just try yourself to create one set. One whole block of wood is required for a piece to be carved. You will definitely enjoy playing chess with the chess pieces made by you.

7. Carved and Painted Eagle Feather

It requires a little bit more skill to make an eagle feather. And as the saying goes, “Practice makes a man perfect”, likewise, the more patterns you carve, the more skillful you will become.

Carving an eagle feather is intense detailing work. Perfection is very important in this task.  But trust me, whenever you make this item it will definitely look like a real one. 

8. Smoothly Carved Boomerang

It is also one of the unique wood carving patterns and we can make it with very little effort. You just have to observe the shape of a boomerang and carve it accordingly. Make sure that the edges are smooth for working swiftly.

We have discussed various whittling patterns of wood carving. There are also many other patterns available to design with Relief carving and Chip carving styles. 

Basically, in chip carving style, we plank the material from a flat and thin wood plate to design a shape. With the help of the chip carving method, we can design geometrical and graphical shapes. 

You can also make models, wood spirits, spiral, etc. using the chip carving pattern.  Design on coasters is also a good example of chip carving patterns. 

 ‘Jack-O-Lanterns’ is another design pattern available with a chip carving technique. You can do this pattern along with your kids also. Kids should not do the carving part due to safety measures but choosing the shape and coloring themes can be an interesting part of kids’ activity.

Like Chip Carving the Relief carving also requires a wood plate or woodblock. But this wood plate is thick to carve various landscapes, sceneries, and pictures. On the other hand, you can carve a woodblock to make any sculpture of your choice. 

Final Words

We have discussed three wood carving patterns for beginners. As far as our point of view is concerned Whittling is the perfect pattern for beginners. 

Further, working with various tools of wood carving your skill will definitely be refined. After that, you can also use other carving patterns like chip carving and relief carving. 

The selection of the wood carving method purely depends upon your interest and comfort.

Finally, just to caution you, the carving tools have very sharp edges, so take precautions while doing the wood carving.

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