Halloween wood carving tutorial

This candy corn character is quick to carve and fun to make. 

Nothing screams Halloween wood carving louder than a quirky, candy-corn caricature with his own candy corn nose!  

This little guy goes fast so you can make a whole village of candy corns with different expressions pretty easily.  

They will make perfect holiday decorations or fun gifts for the little trick-or-treaters in your life.

Adding a small bag of real candy corn in a gift box will really complete your gift.  

Halloween wood carving

What you will need to make this Halloween wood carving

  • 1 basswood block (ours is approximately 1 x 1 x 3-inches (2.54 x 2.54 x 7.62 cm), but you can easily make it bigger if you want.
  • Wood carving knife of choice (we use a Helvie boxcutter).
  • Paint and paint brushes (painting guide provided).
  • Pencil to draw on details.
  • Carving gloves (always for safety).

Draw your guideline and round the corners of the Halloween wood carving

  • You will carve off the corner for this project.
  • Draw a line 1.5 inches (3.81 cm) from the top that will be the bottom of the candy corn (photo 1).
  • Use push cuts to round all the corners from the top of the block (photo 2). Carve inward to start to create the triangular top of the candy corn. Leave a little mound of wood to create the nose (photo 3).
basswood block1. Guideline is drawn all around
Push cut2. Push cut to round the corners
Carved basswood3. Setting up the nose and head of the candy corn
Rounded corners on basswood block4. Right side view
Left side of wood carving in progress5. Left side view
Started wood carving6. Back view

Separate the body from the legs of the Halloween wood carving

  • Using deep stop cuts, separate the bottom of the Halloween wood carving from the legs all around (photos 7,8). 
  • Tip: It may help to start at the corners and work your way in between them.
Stop cut with knife7. Staring to separate the body from the legs
Body is separated on wood carving8. Body is separated from the legs all around

Flatten the front and back of the Halloween wood carving

  • Use your knife to flatten the top of the head in the front and back (photo 9).
  • Remove the end grain on the top and start to carve the head inward to set up the area for the eyes.
  • Draw the eyes and lines for the bottom and top of the nose (photo 10).
Shaving wood with a knife9. Flattening the top of the head on the front and back
Design drawn on basswood10. Eyes and lines for the nose are drawn

Start the nose of the Halloween wood carving

  • Make a stop cut under the nose and remove wood underneath (photo 11).
  • Make smile cuts on the sides of the nose (photo 11).
Carving nose on wood11. Starting to carve the nose

Shape the nose of the Halloween wood carving

  • Draw the guidelines lines for the candy corn nose  (photo 12).
  • Cut the nose and draw the mouth and two teeth (photo 13).
  • Shape the lower lip carefully to avoid crumbling (photos 14,15).
Cartoon face on wood12. Cut lines are added on both sides of the nose
Mouth is drawn on wood13. Nose is cut and mouth and teeth are drawn
Cutting wood caricature14. Starting the mouth
Halloween caricature carving15. The face is completed

Flatten the bottom of the Halloween wood carving

  • Using your knife, remove wood to flatten the front and back of the body of the Halloween wood carving (photos 16,17).
  • Draw lines for the legs (the distance between the bottom and top of the boots is 1/2 inch/1.27 cm).  Mark the wood to be removed on the Halloween wood carving (photos 18,19).
wood carved Halloween cartoon character16. Front is flattened
Wood is shaped17. Back view
Wood to remove is marked18. Mark the wood to remove for the legs
Magic marker on wood19. Back view

Carve the legs of the Halloween wood carving

  • Using a stop cut, and removing wood from above it, separate the shoes from the legs (photos 20,21).
  • Mark area to remove on feet.  We will keep them a little thick to support the Halloween wood carving (photos 20, 21).
Funny wood carving for Halloween20. Legs are starting to take shape
Shaped wood carving21. Back view

Narrow the shoes of the Halloween wood carving

  • Deeply slice one side of the marked triangle and then the other (photos 22, 23).
  • If needed, rock your knife back and forth to get clean cuts (photo 23).
  • Mark wood to remove around the shoes (photos 24,25).
Kevlar glove and knife22. Slice the wood to narrow the shoes
Candy corn legs are carved23. First cut is made (repeat on back side)
Candy corn nose on Halloween carving24. Mark more wood to remove
Wood figure25. Back view

Shape the legs of the Halloween wood carving

  • Narrow the front and back of the legs of the Halloween wood carving (photos 25,26).
Split legs on wood carving25. Legs are shaped further
Back legs on wood carving26. Back view

Finish the legs and shape the shoes of the Halloween wood carving

  • Use a stop cut  to split the legs and slice wood off on each side to widen your initial cut  (photos 27, 30).
  • Shape the feet further and use V cuts to create the heels. Be careful not to slice the shoes off! (photos 27,30).
  • Narrow the legs and round off top of shoes (photos 27-30).
Prepainted front of candy corn27. Completed carving
Prepainted candy corn left view29. Left view
Right view of candy corn wood carving28. Right view
Back view of candy corn wood carving30. Back view

Painting your Halloween wood carving

Painted Halloween candy corn wood carving
Right view of candy corn caricature carving
Left view of painted Halloween candy corn carving
Back view of painted candy corn wood carving

To get this look (all acrylic paints are Craft Smart) for your Halloween wood carving:

  • We use a technique called blending (see instructional video below).
  • Candy corn bottom band: 2 drops of yellow paint mixed with 2 drops of water.
  • Candy corn middle band: 2 drops of Jack o' lantern paint mixed with 3 drops of water.
  • Candy corn top band and whites of eyes: 100% white mixed with 1 drop of water.
  • Legs and shoes: 2 drops of brown paint mixed with 1 drop of golden brown paint and 5 drops of water.
  • Mouth: 2 drops of bright red paint mixed with 1 of dark gray and 5 drops of water.
  • Shoes: 2 drops of dark gray paint mixed with 5 drops of water.
  • Eyes: draw outline and pupils with black magic marker and add a spec of 100% white paint in each pupil with a toothpick.
  • Shoes:  dry brush with 100% white paint.
  • When dry, finish with a thin layer of FolkArt home decor clear wax.
  • Let the Halloween wood carving dry overnight and buff with a cloth.

Halloween wood carving summary

  • We've turned a traditional candy corn into an adorable Halloween wood carving.
  • This carving goes quickly and is easy to paint.
  • It makes a great holiday decoration or Halloween gift.
  • You can quickly make other carvings with different expressions.

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