How to Carve Wood

Wood carving is a form of three-dimensional art that allows people to show their artistic skills by using wood to create or make attractive and interesting sculptures. Some of the most popular methods of wood carving are relief carving, chip carving as well as caricature carving. Below are the materials needed and the instructions that you can follow if you want to learn the basics on how to carve wood.

Materials and Tools

In this special art project, you will need some tools and materials like a piece of wood, a sand paper and a pattern or a design that are commonly used in wood carving. In addition, you should have different tools that are useful in making wood sculptures such as a sharpening tool, a chisel, a knife, a gouge and Veiner. To finish the surface, you will need rasps or other types of smoothening tools.


To make an interesting and alluring wood carving, it is important to have a background on the factors to consider when choosing the piece of wood to be used. Wooden pieces come in various sizes and shapes. When selecting the wood, consider the shape and size of the pattern or design. In addition, it is best if amateurs use softwood because it is easier to shape and carve than hardwood.

Get a pencil and make an outline of the design on the wood. Do not forget to allot enough spaces from the edges of the wood. Carefully follow the outline with the carving knife. If you are using hardwood, it is best to use a chisel when marking or following the outline. Do not apply too much pressure because it can cause damages in the wood.

Carve the details of the design. Use a gouger to carve the surface of the material. To cut deep gouges, it will be convenient to use a veiner. When making decorative and artistic cuts, it is best to use a V-tool.

After carving the wood, the next step is to cut the portions of the wood that are unnecessary for the design. Remember to finish the edges of the wood with the use of rasps or other available smoothening tools.
You can use a sand paper to smoothen the surface and other portions of the wood carving. To add beauty to the sculpture, apply polishing materials and natural stains on the surface of the wood. Aside from natural stains, you can also use walnut oil and linseed oil to polish the wood carving.

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