This valentine wood carving is a unique and special gift idea for Valentine's Day that will be loved and cherished for many years to come. Unlike expensive flowers that fade after only a few days, your loved one can display these beautiful valentine hearts every day of the year.
This step-by-step tutorial walks you through the process of creating three enchanting stacked hearts with a flower pot base. It's a great project for practicing and perfecting curves in wood. You can also easily adapt these instructions to carve only two hearts, or change the size of your three stacked hearts, like those pictured below.
So, grab your wood carving knife of choice and let the magic of wood carving unfold as you embark on this heartfelt endeavor to create a one-of-a-kind Valentine's Day gift.
Take a look at this video for a quick overview of the steps to this fun, fast, and easy valentine wood carving tutorial.
Draw a guideline that is 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the bottom all around to mark the top of the flower pot (photo 1). Draw another guideline all around that is 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) below your first guideline to mark the bottom lip of the flower pot (photo 1).
Use something round (like a water bottle cap) to sketch a circle on the bottom of the block (photo 2). Mark the corners where you will remove wood to shape the round bottom of the flower pot (photo 2).
Use stop cuts to separate the top guideline all around. Start at the corners and work your way toward the middle. Remove wood from the top down (or from underneath if you turn your piece upside down like I did in photo 3). Tip: For reference, see the how the flower pot rim is separated in photos 4 and 6.
Separate the bottom guideline all around, removing wood from underneath, and round the corners down to shape the flower pot (photo 4).
Round down the rim of the flower pot all around (photo 5).
Round down the front and back corners and sketch three hearts on the front (photo 6). Tip: Use a pencil to draw a light center line first (slightly visible in photo 6), which will help you sketch more symmetrical hearts.
Sketch the hearts on the back side (photo 7). Don't worry if your back sketch is not 100% perfect. Once you start carving you can easily line up your hearts. Tip: Sketch a light guideline that extends from the bottom of each heart on the front (across the side to the back) to help line up your hearts on the back.
Mark wood that you will remove on the front (photo 6) and back (photo 7), and the left (photo 8) and right sides (photo 9).
Use wide V-cuts on each side to rough out the shape of the hearts on your valentine wood carving (started in photo 10 and completed in photo 11). You may need to make more than one pass here.
Now that you have greater access with your knife, refine the shape of the top heart and separate it from the middle heart (photo 12). Also, remove some wood across the front and back of each heart to reduce the thickness (photo 13).
Separate and thin the remaining hearts in the same manner (photo 14). Also, remove wood under the bottom heart (photo 15).
Refine the curves of the hearts (photos 16-19). Tip: Be very careful as you narrow and shape the tip of the bottom heart (completed in photo 16) to prevent snapping it off from the base.
When you have the desired shape you can use a little sandpaper to smooth your piece. Tip: Don’t use your knife after using sandpaper as unseen grit can damage your blade.
For some excellent general painting tips, read this page. I used an angled brush that easily slips in between cuts. To get a similar look use these paint colors:
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