What Should You Carve as a Beginner?

When you’re just starting with wood carving, there are two main things you need to consider: The most important is what kind of wood you want to carve. If you’re a beginner, we recommend starting with a softer wood like balsa or basswood. These woods are easier to carve and won’t require as much sanding as harder woods.

Another thing to consider is the type of carving you want to do. Are you interested in relief carving? This is where the design is carved into the wood but not all the way through. Or perhaps intaglio carving where the design is carved into the surface and then gouged out so it’s recessed below the surface?

Whichever type of carving interests you, make sure you have the right tools for the job. For relief carving, all you really need is a sharp knife; for intaglio carving, however, you’ll need special tools like chisels and gouges.

Once you’ve decided on your wood and your style of carving, it’s time to start planning your design. We recommend using a lightbox to transfer your design on to your wood block. This will make it easier to see what areas need to be carved away and help prevent mistakes. Let’s begin on what should you carve as a beginner.

Chip Carving

Chip carving has been around for centuries and was historically used to decorate furniture and other wooden objects. Today, it is still used for these purposes, but has also become a popular form of art in its own right. Many people enjoy chip carving because it allows them to create beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces that can be displayed in their homes or given as gifts.

Softwoods such as pine or basswood are generally the best choices for beginners since they are easier to carve than harder woods like oak or maple. You will also need to purchase some basic carving tools including a sharp knife, chisels, and gouges.

Once you have all of your supplies, you are ready to start practicing your chip carving skills! Begin by sketching out your design on the piece of wood you have chosen. Once you transfer your design, use your tools to begin removing small chips of wood from the surface following your lines as closely as possible.

As you become more comfortable with chip carving, you can experiment with different techniques and effects. For example, try using deeper cuts or shallower cuts depending on the overall look you want to achieve. You can also add texture by using different types of chisels or gouges – just make sure not to damage the underlying wood grain in the process!


One popular option for beginners is a spirit. This involves carving a small, spirit-like figure or design into a piece of wood. It can be a great way to get started with carving because it does not require a lot of materials or tools. All you need is a sharp knife and some patience!


To get started, you will need a few basic supplies including a sharp carving knife, wood carving gouge, and sandpaper. You may also want to use a mallet to help with the carving process.

Start by sketching your design on to the wood using pencil or pen. Then use your carving knife to cut out the basic shape of the gnome. Next, use your gouge to remove any remaining wood from around the features of the face and body. Finally, sand the entire piece until it is smooth.

If you are looking for more of a challenge, you can try carving a wooden gnome with more intricate details such as clothing or accessories. Just be sure to take your time and work slowly so that you do not make any mistakes!


When carving your wooden rabbit, take your time and don’t rush the process. It’s important to take care when carving out the rabbit’s features so you don’t end up with an uneven or lopsided finished product.

Also, be sure to use the proper tools for the job. A sharp knife is essential for making clean cuts in the wood; dull knives will only tear at the wood and make your job more difficult. Finally, have fun! Carving can be relaxing and enjoyable, so take your time and enjoy creating your very own wooden rabbit friend 🙂


A pawn is one of the simplest pieces on a chessboard and as such, it is also one of the easiest to carve. All you really need to do is start with a basic shape and then add on the details later. For example, you could start with a cube and then carve out the head and body from there. Or alternatively, you could start with a cylinder and then flatten out one side to create the head and body. Either way, once you have your basic shape sorted, all that remains is to add on some details.

As for those details, there aren’t too many that you need to worry about. Just let your imagination fly.


To start, draw a simple outline of the flower on your piece of wood. Then, using your knife, carefully cut along the lines you have drawn. Start with the outer petals first, then work your way in towards the center of the flower. As you carve, check your progress from time to time to make sure you are staying on track.

Once all of the petals have been carved, it’s time to work on the center of the flower. For this part, you will need to use smaller cuts and more delicate strokes with your knife. Be careful not to over do it – you don’t want to end up with a hole in the middle of your flower!

When you are happy with how your flower looks, use sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges. Then step back and admire your handiwork!

You need the drive and determination to succeed, and with a little bit of practice, you will be carving your first pieces in no time!