100 Wood Carving Ideas to Help You Get Started

Wood is a fantastic material. It is flexible, durable, and perfect for carving all kinds of objects. Carving is one of the most intricate ways to work with wood. And if you’re new to carving, let us help you find inspiration from these easy wood carve ideas.

Carving Small Animals

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Carving miniature animals is the favorite among woodworkers and carvers. These mini animal versions may look like their authentic counterparts or as fun cartoon versions. Carving living creatures like animals and humans help carvers improve their talents and skills, even for expert woodworkers.

1. Wooden Bunny Rabbits

Carving cute bunny rabbits sitting, hopping, and eating are the best ways to master the art of wood carving. You can also paint these any rabbit colors you want!

2. Wooden Cats and Kittens

Carve a family of a wooden mama cat and her kittens. You don’t need to carve every detail. Just the silhouette of this family will do.

3. Wooden Bear Carving

This wooden bear holds a salmon in his mouth. Probably coming home to feed his cubs.

4. Wooden Panda Carving

Carve a panda out of wood. You can have a panda munching on bamboo or a sleepy panda lying on his back.

5. Wooden Frog Carving

Carve a frog on a lily pad or a few frogs singing in the rain! These froggies are easy and fun to make.

6. Wooden Cow Carving

A miniature wooden cow carving will help you learn how to carve cow legs and feet, which are usually difficult to do.

7. Wooden Horse Carving

Like the cow, carving a wooden horse tests your skills to sculpt legs and the slender horse’s neck.

8. Wooden Snail Carving

A simple shape with a rounded back and a slinky neck. Carving snails tests your round carving techniques because of their spiral shells.

9. Wooden Fish Carving

A basic fish with regular fins and tail are the favorite among carvers.  You can use almost any kind of wood for this project.

10. Wooden Fox Carving

Carve a cute fox out of wood. Make sure to emphasize its fluffy tail and cute little ears.

Carving Small Solid Figures

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The most straightforward carving ideas stem from simple objects and figures around you. We have ten of the top easy solid figure carving ideas you’ll surely master in just a few hours.

11. Wooden Heart

Gift someone you love a carved wooden heart. This one is easy to make and perfect in red.

12. Wooden Rose

A little complex carving, but still a great project, is a wooden rose. Paint this red or pink, whatever color you want.

13. Wooden Feathers

Show off your detailed carving skills by carving feathers out of wood. Paint these feathers bright colors when you’re done.

14. Wooden Fruits

Carve oranges, apples, grapes, strawberries, or pineapples. When you’re done, paint these carved fruits the natural fruit color.

15. Wooden Star

Carve a lovely wooden star and pain this gold or silver. You can carve a small or large star and use these as décor.

16. Wooden Hand

One of the most challenging objects to carve is a human hand. The key is using suitable wood and the best hand tools to perfect your project.

17. Wooden Chess Pieces

One of the most common wood carving projects is making wooden chess pieces. A few carvers’ favorites are the knight, queen, king, and the bishop pieces.

18. Wooden Sun and Moon

Carving an image of the sun and moon is another popular design, which means you’re looking forward to daylight and nighttime.

19. Wooden Cowboy Boots and Hat

Celebrate the Wild West by carving cowboy boots and a classic cowboy hat. These are easy to make and must be painted in natural brown hues.

20. Wooden Baseball and Bat

Carve a mini baseball and bat to celebrate a win or a good luck charm on your next baseball game.

Carving Birds

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Of all the living creatures, birds are the most popular carving idea. This is because birds have all the best characteristics that woodcarvers must master. You must learn one or two bird carvings from their round heads, delicate necks, fine feathers, and steady feet.

21. Wooden Duck Carving

A duck is one of the top favorite fowls carved on wood. Carving decoy ducks are helpful in hunting too.

22. Wooden Swan

The delicate swan has a graceful neck and beak, making this a great bird wooden carving project.

23. Wooden Eagle with Spread Wings

Another classic design is an eagle with spread wings, almost ready to fly away. The outstretched wings test your ability to carve intricate designs.

24. Wooden Parrot

Parrots have lovely hooked bills that are very intricate to carve. Again, the unique bird head and bill shape test your focus and great attention to detail.

25. Wooden Owl Carving

Carving an owl with its large eyes, big heads, and pointy ears shows off your impressive skills and keen attention to the correct body dimensions.

26. Wooden Hornbill Carving

The hornbill has a lovely and colorful bill that many will find carve-worthy. It is a carved bird you should add to your collection.

27. Wooden Hawk

The hawk is a powerful bird worthy of your next wooden carving project. Take this as your next wood carving challenge.

28. Wooden Mockingbird

A mockingbird is a lively bird you’ll want to use as your next bird carving model. The intricate details on the bird’s body challenge all carvers.

29. Wooden Woodpecker Carving

Carve a woodpecker on a tree as this is the most common pose. Follow the detailed plume colors to get the best effects.

30. Wooden Bird with Chicks in Nest

Why not carve a family of birds and their chicks in their nest to celebrate love and family?

Carving Faces

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Learn how to carve faces so you can create all kinds of figures. You can pick from an angry face to a happy face; choose one that matches your mood.

31. Carving an Angry Face

An angry facial expression draws the eyebrows nearer and the forehead in dismay. Learn how to carve this expression for further human-form projects.

32. Carving a Surprised Face

A surprised face has large, wide-open eyes with a mouth aghast. Learn how to carve this complex facial expression to make the most out of cutting human features.

33. Carving a Sleepy Face

A sleepy expression has half-open eyes and an expressionless mouth. Just think of the dwarf Sleepy when carving this expression.

34. Carving a Happy Face

Carving a happy face is the start of learning various facial expressions. Pay attention to the eyes and the mouth when cutting this positive expression.

35. Carving a Fearful Face

A fearful face has distinct-shaped eyes and mouth. Carving a terrified expression must be part of your training on perfecting a human look.

36. Carving Santa’s Face

Santa’s face is jolly, happy, and peaceful. Carving Santa on wood makes an excellent Christmas décor on a tree or for your welcome wreath.

37. Carving Jack o Lantern Face

For Halloween, carve a frightening Jack o Lantern face on wood. You can cut a pumpkin head too.

38. Carving a Clown’s Face

A clown can be funny or scary. Practice carving a clown face on wood and create your clown expression.

39. Carving a Face with a Mustache

Carving a face with a mustache and a beard lets you harness your skills in cutting intricate facial hair.

40. Carving an Elf Face

An elf face can be cute, but some carvers prefer a frightening look that’s scary to kids. Practice carving an elf’s face to create tiny people out of wood.

Carving Christmas Ornaments

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Christmas is the best time to show off your carving talents and skills. We have the ten best Christmas ornament carving ideas to try out this festive season.

41. Wooden Angel

Carve an angel with outstretched wings, perfect as a Christmas tree topper or a standalone decoration by your doorway or chimney. 

42. Wooden Baby Jesus

Carve the Baby Jesus in the manger to be the centerpiece of your Belen. In many Christian countries, the birth of Jesus in the manger is the centerpiece of their Christmas home décor.

43. Wooden Mother Mary and Joseph

Mother Mary and Joseph in wood will stand near their newborn son. These figures will complete your Belen décor setup.

44. Wooden Christmas Star

Carve the main attraction on your Christmas tree: the Christmas star. This is made of durable wood so that it will last many Christmases.

45. Wooden Mini Christmas Tree

Make small Christmas trees out of carved wood. Most carve outlines of trees and paint these green. Add décor to your tree with paint.

46. Wooden Christmas Wreath

Carve a full wreath with beautiful leaves and flowers around. Place this wreath on your front door to welcome everyone on Christmas day.

47. Wooden Christmas Ball

Carving a ball is a challenge for many woodworkers because of its shape. But you can always turn your wood to create a perfect ball.

48. Wooden Reindeer

Rudolph will always be a part of your Christmas décor at home when you carve it in fine wood. Add color and LED lights for its nose.

49. Wooden Snowman

Don’t forget Frosty, as he’s also a part of your Christmas décor. Carve a wooden snowman to be part of your Christmas tree toppers.

50. Wooden Santa Claus

Santa Claus on wood can have different poses. You can have Santa holding his classic gift sack, riding a sleigh, or eating his cookies.

Carving Small People

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Gnomes, dwarfs, or Smurfs, you can learn how to carve these in no time with our fantastic ideas. You can cut all kinds of small people figures and paint them with fun colors.

51. Carved Gnome with Toadstool

Gnomes are signs of good luck. This one sits on a toadstool watching over your garden to keep pests and plant diseases away.

52. Carved Gnome with Full Beard

A gnome always has a beard, but this one has an exceptionally long one! Carve and paint this little guy and place it in your garden for good luck.

53. Carved Gnome with Big Hat

All gnomes have weird hats, but this one has an enormous hat! Carve the hat more extensive, covering his eyes and his nose.

54. Wooden Gnome and House Carving

They say gnomes live in tiny houses so they can stay close to your home and protect it. This house is quaint but lovely.

55. Carved Gardening Gnome

Gnomes prefer to work in gardens; this one has his shovel ready to till the soil. A carved gnome in your garden brings good luck.

56. Wooden Gnome Buddies

Why carve one when you can have two or three?  Carve these buddies side by side and let them protect your garden and home together.

57. Wooden Gnome with Broom

A messy garden is no match for this helpful gnome. You can also carve one with an apron so he can help you in the kitchen!

58. Welcoming Wooden Gnome

Gnomes love company and will love to welcome them in your garden. This is a welcoming gnome holding a welcome sign.

59. Garden Ornament Wooden Gnome

This gnome will be your garden staple. Let him stand guard or scare off insects and critters off your vegetable patch.

60. Wooden Gnomes and Snow White

Gnomes are exceptionally fond of Snow White. So why not go all out and carve all the seven dwarfs and Snow White in wood?

Carving Popular Characters

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Use your new carving skills to carve more complex characters. We went ahead and created a list of characters and people worthy of being immortalized in wood.

61. Spongebob Squarepants on Wood

Kids will love Spongebob in wood. You can carve a toy or a room décor, whatever interests you.

62. Pokemon Monsters on Wood

Pokemon is such as hit! Pick your starter and carve them out of fine wood. We pick Bulbasaur and Charmander as your first projects.

63. Mario Brothers Characters on Wood

Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach on wood will be a great project! You can carve out toys, keychains, room décor, or garden décor.

64. Sonic the Hedgehog on Wood

Sonic figures on wood can be toys, action figures, displays, or collectibles. You can have Sonic in different poses too.

65. Carved Mickey and Minnie

Carve Mickey and Minnie Mouse in wood. This delightful couple can hold hands, kiss, or greet everyone in their welcome pose.

66. Spiderman Carving

Spiderman can be in various poses, which is perfect for practicing carving different body poses on wood.

67. DC Characters Carving

Have your favorite DC characters in wood. You can choose Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, or the Flash.

68. Marvel Superheroes Wooden Carving

Marvel heroes like Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America carved on wood would make fantastic collectible pieces for any fan.

69. Bugs Life Wooden Carving

A Bug’s Life is a hit among kids. Carve Flik, Heimlich, and Slim as your next kid’s wood carving projects.

70. Sesame Street Wood Carving

Sesame Street characters like Ernie and Bert, Cookie Monster, Big Bird, and Oscar the Grouch will make cute and collectible carved figures.

Carving Dollhouse Furniture

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Don’t leave your doll house bare. Carve mini doll furniture to make your dollies feel right at home. When you’re done, use wood paint to add color to your creations.

71. Wooden Doll Bed          

Your lovely little doll needs a bed. Carve one out of softwood and use varnish or finish to highlight your work.

72. Wooden Doll Seats and Tables

Carve wooden stools or chairs and add a table where your dollies can have tea. A good quality softwood is the best choice for this simple project.

73. Wooden Shelf

Carve a simple shelf where your dolls can keep their stuff. You can also make small cabinets and stands for every room.

74. Wooden Sofa and Seats

Create a living room for your dolls with a carved wooden sofa and seats. Add a touch of finish and some mini throw pillows too.

75. Wooden Tub and Shower

Your dolls will love a hot tub party or a single clawfoot tub in the master’s bathroom. Paint these white or gray depending on your doll house bathroom theme.

76. Wooden Dresser with Mirror

Carve a cute dresser and place a mini mirror. This is where your doll can do her makeup or her hairdo.

77. Wooden Clock

You can carve a mini grandfather’s clock or a wall clock to decorate your doll house. Paint hands on the clock’s face for a realistic effect.

78. Wooden Mini Picture Frames

You can use wood scraps to carve realistic picture frames for your dolls. Print small photos and stick these at the back of the frames. Voila!

79. Wooden Stairway

Carve a stairway for your doll house. You can make a simple or a sophisticated stairway, even from small wood scraps.

80. Wooden Pet Dogs and Cats

Carve your dolls a pet cat or a dog to keep them company. You can also create a bed or a play area for her new wooden pets.

Carving Toy Transportation

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You will love these top toy car carving figures. You can make one as a toy or display these as one of your home décors.

81. Toy Race Car Carving

Carve a race car out of wood from the wheels to the cool racing fenders.

82. Tug Boat Carving

Carve a cute tug boat and use scrap rope to complete the details.

83. Vintage Cars Wooden Carving

Complete your collection of wooden vintage cars. These will look great in different colors.

84. Wooden Toy Trucks

You can make carved old-style delivery or milk trucks out of wood scraps.

85. Wooden Helicopter

Carve a wooden toy helicopter. Make the blades spin from the top of your toy project.

86. Wooden Muscle Car Toy

Muscle cars are old-time American race cars. Carve your collection and paint these your favorite car colors.

87. Wooden Toy SUV

Carve an excellent SUV and be specific with the details. Remember the trims, bumper, wheels, and boot as you carve a perfect piece.

88. Wooden Sedan Car

Remember your first sedan by carving this out of wood. Use a carving knife to add the small details to the wood.

89. Wooden Fire Truck

This is a toy fire truck made of carved wood. You can paint this flashy firehouse red.

90. Wooden Tractor

This wooden tractor will be your kid’s next favorite toy. Carve this out of light wood scraps and paint your favorite color.

Carving Everyday Useful Items

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Carve things that you can use at home every day. From spoons to clips, we have ten of the top mini carving projects for you.

91. Wooden Glasses Holder

Carve a face with a prominent nose to hold your eyeglasses as you sleep.

92. Wooden Charging Station or Dock

Use scrap wood to carve your device’s unique yet helpful charging station.

93. Wooden Ladle

Why buy one when you can make a wooden spoon out of carved wood?

94. Wooden Spoon and Fork

Carve a spoon and fork out of scrap wood. The process is straightforward to do.

95. Wooden Night Lamp

Carve a lampshade and create a wooden lightbulb holder for this night lamp project.

96. Wooden Telephone

Create this wooden telephone toy out of carved wood. You can paint this project any color you wish.

97. Wooden Hair Clips

This clip design is simple and practical. Just slip the clip and slide the lock.

98. Wooden Clock

Carve a wooden clock face and paint it. Use a clock assembly available in craft stores to install the clock.

99. Wooden Tool Handles

Carve a handy tool handle for a knife, chisel, or kitchen tool. Protect the handle with some paint or wood finish.

100. Wooden Vases and Containers

Carve a lovely wooden vase to keep fresh flowers in. You can make any size or shape vase or container with wood.

Final Words

Wood carving is a hobby, but with great skill and the suitable materials, you can learn new techniques and earn from carving. Let these interesting wooden carving project ideas inspire you.

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