Fun wood carving gnomes

Our step-by-step tutorials make your gnome carvings easy.

Welcome to the enchanting realm of wood carving gnomes, where imagination meets your guided craftsmanship to bring these whimsical creatures to life.

In this wood carving adventure, you will not only learn how to carve gnomes, but also learn a little about the rich tapestry of gnome folklore.

Wood carving gnomes

Short gnome history 

Gnomes are pint-sized beings that have a penchant for creating mischief  and have deep roots in European folklore. Legends tell tales of gnomes as earth-dwelling spirits that are guardians of treasures that are often hidden away.

These little creatures are also believed to be master craftsmen, creating intricate works of art within the hollows of trees, and the secret corners of their beautiful gardens.

In Scandinavian folklore, gnomes have close cousins that are known as nisse or tompte. These creatures are often depicted as small, bearded beings dressed in traditional, colorful attire. Nisse are also known for their help on farms and there are tales of good fortune that will come to those who treat them with kindness.

With my tutorials, you can carve both adorable gnomes and a nisse!

Carve traditional gnomes... with a twist

Traditional gnomes are often carved with pointy hats, long white beards, and friendly, expressive faces. Their stout little bodies are also typically adorned with simple clothing, which sometimes reflects different seasons or holiday occasions.

As you embark on your gnome journey, carvingjunkies has added some super fun details that give your wood carved gnomes unique personalities.  

Ready to start wood carving gnomes?  Click on any of the photos (or text links) below to be taken to the corresponding tutorial. 

Cute gnome with a ski hat

Wood carved gnome wearing a ski hat

This adorable little whittle was one of my first carve a gnome tutorials

He's a super fun carve that is easy for beginners because his ski cap completely covers his eyes.  

His hands are clasped behind his back, and he's wearing mittens, so you don't have to worry about carving detailed hands.

By the way... all of the gnome carving tutorials on this page include a free painting guide to help you get a similar look (if you want). 

Go to the carve a gnome tutorial.

Wood carving gnomes: Old world gnome

Old world gnome wood carving

This tutorial takes you back to the roots of gnome mythology.

This old world gnome, with his weathered appearance and wise expression, embodies the timeless charm of gnome folklore.

The twist here is the tall, chip-carved purple hat.  

He also has big ears that stick out, and a flowing beard that moves in all different directions.  

Follow our step-by-step tutorial to carve a gnome that pays homage to the ancient spirits that inspired his creation.

Go to the old world gnome carving tutorial.

Red-hatted nisse wood carving 

Nisse wood carving

Explore the charm of Scandinavian folklore with this tutorial for carving a cute little nisse holding a bowl of his favorite oatmeal.

Nisse are known for their love for simple pleasures, and their loyalty to farmers who show them kindness, such as bringing them a bowl of delicious oatmeal (which they call porridge).

This heartwarming nisse wood carving captures the essence of coziness and tradition, bringing a touch of enchantment to your wood carving.

Go to the nisse wood carving tutorial

Gnome wood carving with a little heart

DIY Valentine gnome wood carving

Celebrate love and romance with a Valentine's Day gnome tutorial. This little guy is one of my favorites! 

Your adorable gnome will be complete with a heart on his hat and a lovable demeanor.

His little boots are facing outward, and he's got a big nose and scraggly beard. 

This tutorial is a perfect way to showcase your wood carving skills, and bring some love and joy, making him a very thoughtful hand-carved gift.

Go to the Valentine gnome wood carving tutorial

Christmas tree gnome wood carving

Christmas wood carving tutorial

Dive into the festive holiday spirit with a fun Christmas tree gnome wood carving.

This tutorial captures the essence of Christmas, making it a delightful addition to your wood carving collection.

Not only will you carve a tree-topped gnome with a big nose, but you can use the same instructions to create little Christmas trees, spreading more cheer and merriment with every glance.

Go to the Christmas tree gnome tutorial.

Halloween gnome wood carving 

Wood carved halloween gnome

Next on your wood carving journey is an adorable Halloween gnome carving.

Carve a Halloween gnome that embraces the spooky charm of the season, complete with a bat-on-his-hat, a pumpkin, and a mischievous gnome grin.

This little gnome adds a touch of whimsy to your Halloween decorations, and your gnome can be the star of your spooky festivities.

It's an easy-to-carve gnome because the hat comes down over they eyes, just above the big, round nose. 

Go to the wooden Halloween gnome carving tutorial

Wood carving gnomes: snowboarding gnome

Snowboarding gnome wood carving

Take a detour from tradition and carve a gnome that is making impressive carves in the snow, on his snowboard.

This playful tutorial injects a dose of modernism into the whimsical world of gnomes.

He's a laid-back little dude, wearing snow pants, a sweater, and his little mittens.  

Capture the joy of winter sports as your gnome navigates the slopes, showcasing the versatility of your wood carving skills.

This snowboarding gnome has his hands held behind his back, which is a fun break from a traditional gnome stance.  

Go to the snowboarding gnome wood carving

Fall gnome wood carving

DIY fall wood carving gnome

Capture the essence of autumn with a fall gnome wood carving.

You will carve a gnome adorned with seasonal accents, such as tree leaves with a  warm-color palette.

This easy-to-carve fall gnome tutorial allows you to explore the beauty of nature through the eyes of your gnome, bringing the autumn spirit to your wood carving workshop.

It also gives you a small idea of what relief carving is like as you separate the leaves.

Go to the DIY fall gnome carving.

Whittle a July 4 gnome wood carving 

July 4th gnome wood carving

Incorporate a touch of patriotism into your gnome carving journey with a July 4th-themed whittle-a-gnome  tutorial.

Explore the creative fusion of folklore and American pride as you carve a gnome decked out in red, white, and blue.

This wood carving is a testament to the versatility of gnome designs and your ability to adapt your gnomes to meet various themes.

Go to the whittle a gnome tutorial

Wood carving gnomes summary

  • Embark on a wood carving adventure that transcends the boundaries of folklore and tradition. 
  • From Old World gnomes to holiday-themed creations, each tutorial invites you to infuse your unique style and creativity into these enchanting beings. 
  • As you carve your gnome dreams into reality, remember that the magic lies not only in the final masterpiece but in the joyous journey of creation itself. 
  • Let the spirit of gnomes inspire you to carve a world where imagination knows no bounds!


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