Super fun things to carve from wood

We provide all the instructions you need. 

Looking for things to carve?   Simply click on any of the photos on this page to get to our free, step-by-step wood carving tutorials, which include instructions, painting guide, full-color pattern (for those who prefer using a bandsaw) and tons of photos to guide you. 

These tutorials are categorized by section and clicking on a link below will take you directly to each section.  

Wood carving ideas

Most recently added things to carve

These are our latest tutorials.  We're just like you, always learning new skills and and improving.  The joy is in our wood carving journey together! 

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Fun things to carve: Gnome/troll/nisse tutorials

Gnomes are always fun to carve and we have patterns that have eyes and some without.  

Our big-haired trolls are quick to carve and you can mix up the colors during painting.  

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Some of my favorite knives

I love these very sturdy knives (all Focuser Carving affiliate links).  The general carving knife is very comfortable to use. The chip carving knife is my go-to for clean pyramid cuts and more.  The long whittling knife is great for roughing out wood. These knives are terrific for beginners, reasonably priced, and readily available.  A lot of popular wood carvers on Instagram now use them.  

Fun things to carve: Caricature tutorials

Caricatures are also fun things to carve and are designed to make people smile.  

Some carvers swear they sell more of their wood carvings when they incorporate a smile.   But a grouch is nice every now then, like our screw-up fairy.  

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Fun things to carve: Seasonal tutorials

Seasonal wood carvings are fun things to carve to decorate your home or to give away as gifts.  Our little carvings go fast and make great stocking stuffers.  

Or, you can easily add one of our Halloween carvings to a candy basket to surprise the little ones in your life.

More holiday carvings will be coming to brighten up these festive occasions.  

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Fun things to carve: Animal tutorials

While some of our tutorials feature realistic animals, we have the most fun designing adorable animal caricatures for you.  

We often get requests to create animal tutorials so you can expect more cute animal caricatures to be added over time.

Please fill out our survey at the end of this page so we know your favorite things to carve. 

Fun things to carve: Beginner wood carving projects

Every experienced wood carver starts as a beginner.  Here are some things to carve that were created when we were first learning how to carve and create tutorials.  

If you've never created a caricature carving, our Charlie tutorial is quite comprehensive, and will walk you through each step.  

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Fun things to carve: Decorative /gift tutorials

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Things to carve for everyone 

Our goal is to make our tutorials accessible for everyone, including beginners.

We’ve designed these tutorials for people who may not have access to a band saw.  Of course, if you have a band saw, you can use our free patterns to create your roughout.

Since not every carver has a complete collection of tools, most of our designs can also be done with just your favorite carving knife. 

You are also free to use a gouge (or two) for fine details like hair and fur. 

Inspiration is all around you for things to carve

While wood carving books are great for inspiration, we get some of our best ideas of things to carve by looking through product catalogues. 

Other sources of inspiration include:

  • Storybooks, picture books, and coloring books for kids (you can glue the pattern to a block of wood).
  • Childhood memories and toys (where our big-haired trolls came from).
  • Folklore/mythical figures (nearly every culture has them).
  • Stock photo websites (filled with interesting people and expressions).
  • Social media (to see what other wood carvers are doing).
  • Craft selling websites (like etsy.com).
  • A dollar store (great source for inexpensive ceramic models).
  • Gift plaques (our screw-up fairy caricature came from one).

The more you carve, the easier it will be to look at an image and make it come alive in a block of wood. 

There are sure to be mistakes and fails along the way, but you will learn from all of them and become a better carver. 

You will also learn how you can manipulate wood into all kinds of different shapes. 

Remember to hold onto all of your carvings so you can see how your skills improve over time.

Things to carve that you can use

You can also think about practical and useful things you can carve like:

  • Chopsticks
  • Spoons
  • Forks
  • Butter knives
  • Spatulas
  • Mugs
  • Bowls

These items make great housewarming or holiday gifts, too. 

Things to carve that go beyond wood

In addition to wood, there are many other things you can carve, including:

  • Avocado pits
  • Acorns
  • Golf balls
  • Soap
  • Potatoes or yams
  • Carrots
  • Chocolate
  • Ice
  • Soft balls
  • Candles

New tutorials for things to carve are coming!

Please check back often as we will be adding new step-by-step wood carving tutorials just as fast as we can make them. 

One of the features of our tutorials is that we provide pictures that help you every step of the way. 

Why do our wood carving tutorials use small blocks?

  • We want to be able to design, carve, and create new tutorials for you as fast as we can.
  • We like the simplicity of using just a small block and a knife or two
  • Carving small blocks makes it easy to carve on the go where you work or where you travel.
  • Carving on small blocks can help you enhance your wood carving skills for larger projects.
  • You can get more carvings for the money that you spend on wood. 
  • There is less wood to remove, which preserves the health (and comfort) of your hands.  
  • Small blocks don’t take up too much room, giving you more room to display your carvings.  
  • It’s super fun to see how much detail you can pack into a small carving ( a lot!).

Of course, you can easily double (or triple) the dimensions of any of our patterns to create a larger carving. 

Some of my favorite knives

I love these very sturdy knives (all Focuser Carving affiliate links).  The general carving knife is very comfortable to use. The chip carving knife is my go-to for clean pyramid cuts and more.  The long whittling knife is great for roughing out wood. These knives are terrific for beginners, reasonably priced, and readily available.  A lot of popular wood carvers on Instagram now use them.  

Upcoming plans for more fun things to carve include:

  • Comical caricature carvings. 
  • Christmas wood carvings.
  • Halloween wood carvings.
  • Step-by-step whittling projects.
  • How to carve a mermaid.
  • Humorous cow wood carving.
  • Old world cane topper woodcarving.
  • Spiritual angel wood carving.
  • Practical wood carving ideas.
  • Wood spirit carving tutorial.

What do you want to carve most?  Take our survey below.

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Fun things to carve summary

  • There are an endless amount of things to carve that will bring you hours of enjoyment.
  • Our things to carve page provides lots of tutorials that make carving easy and fun.
  • There are options for beginners and more advanced carvers too.
  • Follow some of our tutorials as is, or use your imagination to create your own version.
  • As always, please share your creations (and any feedback) as we‘d love to hear from you! 






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