Wood Carving Tips: Things To Carve Out Of Wood For Beginners

If you’re new to wood carving, you may be unsure of what you can carve out of wood. Wood carving is a wonderful art form, and with the right tools and some practice, you can make amazing pieces of wood art. However, as a beginner, you need some simple items to try and curve out so that you are not overwhelmed. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the items that a beginner should start with when wood carving. 

7 Things to carve out of wood for beginners

As a beginner in woodworking, you need some simple items to curve so that you can build some confidence before you venture into the complicated stuff. Below are some of the items a novice should be comfortable in. In this case, we’re talking about beginners who are just getting started. If you’re more advanced, you probably don’t need to concern yourself with all of these items, but it never hurts to be aware of them.

Simple Straight Lines

It’s very important for a beginner to be able to make simple straight lines. It’s the foundation of almost everything you will be doing as a novice woodcarver. Once you can make a few simple straight lines, you can start to experiment with curves, circles, and other designs.

Simple Curves

Once you are comfortable making simple straight lines, you should start to add some simple curves. The easiest way to do this is to draw a line and then lightly pencil in another line slightly farther away from the first one. Then, using a sharp chisel or some other straight edge, chisel out the area between the two lines. You will now have made a “U” shaped curve. Add another curve by drawing a line farther away from the first two and then chiseling out the space between those three lines. Continue to add more curves to your design until you are happy with the result.
Interesting Facts About Carvings
Animals This is perhaps the most versatile of all the beginner carvings you can do. You can carve almost any animal you can think of out of wood. The first thing I would suggest as a beginner is to get some books on wildlife from your local library. Start by reading up on the animals you already have in your area and then go on to other areas and read about animals there. This will help you identify the animals you are most attracted to carving and also give you some ideas on how to improve your carving ability.
Things To Carve Out Of Wood For Beginners


Humans are the most complex and difficult of all animals to carve. It takes experience and lots of practice to become good at this. However, if you just start out with something easy like a simple profile of a person’s face or an easy-to-copy everyday object, you will have a great head start when it comes to tackling the more complex subjects.

Geometric Shapes

These are some of the most satisfying shapes to carve out of wood. They are also very useful when you are trying to fill up space. Evidently, people like rounded corners on things they use every day. Therefore, by carving a lot of geometric shapes into your work, you will be giving your customers (or whoever is viewing your carvings) a sense of completion.

Arcs and Circles

Arcs and circles can add excitement and interest to your designs. However, these shapes should be used sparingly and with restraint. If you overdo it, your design may become clumsy and obvious instead of subtle and interesting. Experimentation with these two shapes will help you become more comfortable with the other basic shapes and will give you a foundation to build on for more advanced designs.


Letters can be the simplest and easiest objects for a novice to curve, however, some letters are easier than others. The “T” is a simple yet useful shape. The “T” is most often in use as an arrow or as the stem of a plant. Another novice letter is the “X”. You can use it to divide your subject matter into sections or to add emphasis to some part of your design. And it is very useful as a design element.

Putting It All Together

Now that you have an idea of the types of designs you should focus on as a beginner, it’s time to start putting them all together into some sort of unified whole. The first thing I would suggest is that you carve out all of the above shapes in each separate design before you even think about putting any of them together. This will give you a lot of practice with the different techniques involved and will help you to become more comfortable with the process.

Things To Carve Out Of Wood For Beginners FAQs

What are the free whittling patterns for beginners?

 Whittling is the art of cutting designs or patterns into thin strips of wood. It’s often called “paper-cutting” because you can use practically any paper product as your material. However, the most popular material used by beginners is cardboard. This is because it’s so inexpensive and you can get boxes from almost anywhere.  

Best wood carving animals for beginners?

Finding the best animals to carve for beginners can be quite the challenge but simple animal shapes include Tigers, Cows, Hawks, Bears, Lions, Monkeys, and many others! 

Useful things to carve out of wood for novices?

For a beginner carving out simple patterns and straight lines would be beneficial until they are comfortable enough for complex projects.


The most important thing as a beginner is to just keep practicing and having fun. Don’t get hung up on trying to make every piece a masterpiece. Instead, just keep carving away and have some fun with it. Remember, the only mistakes you are going to make are the ones where you don’t even try. So, go ahead and make some “mistakes” and then keep on carving. Soon enough, you will develop your own unique style and your work will start to really take shape. Remember, these are just suggestions. Feel free to experiment and go off in your own direction. The most important thing is that you do something. Just putting ideas into your head is half the battle. Actually going out there and doing it is the other half. So, go for it! 

Leave a Comment