You can carve these beautiful trees quickly and easily.
Here are three different Christmas tree carving tutorials to help get you into the holiday spirit.
You can carve these trees on small basswood blocks with built-in bases that provide extra stability for use as table decorations.
Or… you can forgo the base and make the trees hanging ornaments (we suggest you add an eye hook to the top center of the basswood block before you start your carving).
You can also double (or triple) the size of your block to create taller decorations. We’re all about carving fun and flexibility, so pick what’s best for you.
A painting guide for each tree is provided at the end. Adding a little glitter glue after painting makes them sparkle as they reflect the light. Consider carving our Christmas elf and Santa caricature, too, and add them to complete your holiday scene.
For the first Christmas tree carving, we use a 1 x 1 x 3-inch (2.54 x 2.54 x 7.62 cm) basswood block
With a roughout knife, carve the top to a point (photo 1). It’s kind of like shaving the point of a pencil
1. The point is carved
Next, round the bottom corners and draw a spiral guideline all around the block (photos 2,3)
2. Front view of spiral
3. Back view
Using a roughout knife, make a stop cut along the spiral guideline and remove wood from underneath (photo 4)
Continue carving the spiral all around (photo 5)
The spiral provides a natural base at the bottom (photo 5)
4. Starting to cut the spiral
5. Spiral is cut all around
Christmas tree carving #2: The textured tree
The textured tree is in the middle
For this Christmas tree carving, we use a 1 x 1 x 4-inch (2.54 x 2.54 x 10.16 cm) block of basswood
Start the tree by shaving the top to a point and rounding all the corners. Then draw 4 guidelines around the block (they do not have to be evenly spaced). Add a 5th line close to the bottom that will mark the base (photo 6)
6. Top is carved and guidelines are drawn
Create a textured pattern on the entire Christmas tree carving before separating the tree sections. Use a #11 (U) gouge to cut along the guidelines (photo 7). If you don’t have a gouge, you can make V-cuts with a knife
Tip: See photo 7 for how we hold the gouge, which allows more control (we use a backward scooping motion) and prevents slipping
7. Making cuts with the gouge
Continue using the gouge to create indentations that run vertically (photo 8) on the Christmas tree carving. Or make V-cuts with a knife if you don’t have a gouge
Use a micro V-tool to make horizontal cross cuts (photo 9). You can also use a detail knife and make small V-cuts
To carve the base, use a roughout knife to make stop cuts and remove wood from above (photo 9)
Also remove wood to create the tree trunk (photo 9), which you can narrow later
8. Vertical indentations are cut
9. Texture is added
Using a roughout knife, make a series of angled V-cuts to further separate and shape each of the tree sections (photo 10)
10. Carving the tree sections
Christmas tree carving #3: The mushroom tree
The mushroom tree is on the right
For the third Christmas tree carving, we use a 1 x 1 x 3-inch (2.54 x 2.54 x 7.62 cm) basswood block
Like the other trees, carve the top to a point and draw your first guideline around the block (photo 11)
11. The point is carved
Using a stop cut, separate the first section all around and remove wood from underneath (photo 12). It will look like a mushroom
Draw the second guideline at an angle all around (to vary the sections) to mark the next section of the Christmas tree carving (photo 12)
12. The first tree section is separated
Separate the second section of the Christmas tree carving all around (photo 13) and draw on the third guideline (photo 14), which can be straight all around
13. Separating the next tree section
14. Continuing to separate the tree sections
Add another guideline and separate the final section of the Christmas tree carving (photo 15)
Draw a guideline for the base and roughly draw the trunk (photo 15)
15. The last guidelines are added
To carve the base, use a roughout knife to make stop cuts and remove wood from above (photo 16)
Also remove wood to create the tree trunk (photo 16)
16. The tree is carved
Painting each Christmas tree carving
17. Painted mushroom tree, textured tree, and spiral tree
Before painting each Christmas tree carving, you can use a wood burner (optional) to enhance the textured Christmas tree carving and add lines to the tree stumps (photo 17).
Spiral Christmas tree carving (photo 17, right): 5 drops of Artist’s Loft titanium white mixed with 3 drops of water; Bazio red glitter glue; 1 drop of Academy burnt sienna mixed with 5 drops of water for base.
Textured Christmas tree carving (photo 17, middle): 3 drops of Artists Acrylic green permanent mixed with 9 drops of water; Bazio green glitter glue; 1 drop of Academy burnt sienna mixed with 5 drops of water for tree trunk.
Mushroom Christmas tree carving (photo 17, left): 3 drops of Craft Smart grass green mixed with 15 drops of water; 1 drop of titanium white mixed with 3 drops of water for snow; Bazio gold glitter glue; dry brush Artists Acrylic green permanent on the edges for shadow; 1 drop of Academy burnt sienna mixed with 5 drops of water for tree trunk.
Christmas tree carving patterns
Christmas tree carving trio summary
These patterns make it easy to create three different versions of a Christmas tree carving
They are quick to carve and you don’t have to worry about them being perfect
You can easily add more trees in different shapes and colors
These trees make great ornaments or table decorations, when paired with other holiday decor
Carving wood and other materials inherently includes the risk of injury and damage. We can not guarantee that creating any projects from carvingjunkies.com - or any other resources mentioned by carvingjunkies.com - is safe for everyone. For this reason, all information offered by carvingjunkies.com is without warranties or guarantees of any kind, expressed or implied, and we disclaim any liability for any injuries, losses, or damages caused in any way by the content of this piece or the reader's tools needed to complete the projects presented here. We urge all wood carvers to thoroughly review each project and to understand the use of all tools involved before beginning any project.
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