December 3, 2021

Carving Patterns into Wood

After many years of woodcarving, one feels like it is a hobby more than work.  It gives you the chance to express your creativity. It does not matter if you are a beginner and or experienced. Look for ideas online, and keep discovering new, exciting wood carving patterns and whittling patterns. 

These are both intriguing and challenging and help build your skills. There are many tutorials and patterns such as horse, rabbit, cat, and more popular. Search through different pattern websites, to find the easiest way to learn new pattern designs. 

Look for a downloadable one and print it out to have something to use in hand. Glue it to the wood and carve away. There are different types of patterns, from simple to more complex ones. These help you learn how to make animals and caricatures. Animal figures and caricatures can be simple to make or very complicated, depending on how detailed you want to make it. Let’s look at How to carve a pattern in wood.

Tools to use

  • Wood Carving Knives.
  • Spoon Carving Knives.
  • Tools Sets.
  • Chisels.
  • Full-size Chisels.
  • Compact Chisels.
  • Palm Chisels

How To Carve Patterns In Wood

  1. Using a glue stick, glue the cutout pattern on the wood. 
  2. Trace the pattern using a ballpoint pen or marker.
  3. Choose the pattern you want to cut at a 45-degree angle to give you the straight edges. Once done doing the straight edges, you can already start doing the curved edges.
  4. ​​How to carve designs into the wood with a knife
  5. Read your power carving tools manual. Be cautious with handling machinery and ask for assistance if necessary. A rotary tool is an ideal tool for detailed and smaller designs.
  6. Smoothen the surface of the wood. After sanding wood surfaces, it will be easier to sketch the design on wood.
  7. Carve using your rotary tool.
  8. Finish the piece by wood burning. This process enhances the beauty of your wood piece by adding depth and a natural finish.

Beginner-Friendly Patterns

Bear Carving Pattern 

There are endless bear carving patterns with different styles and wood carving designs. Start with carving patterns for the bear head, although it is challenging if you are a beginner at making animal figures out of wood. 

Once you get an idea, you can move on to the figures of a bear. One looks like a cartoon character and a real bear figure. Go through wood carving patterns online and start practicing. The 2d designs are ideal when learning how to engrave the shapes into the wood. 

These skills will be for more complex 3d figures once you take on a bigger project. Firstly remove big chunks of wood and reduce the wooden cube to the shape you want to make. Create sensitive areas such as the neck area by removing small parts and detailed carving for ears, eyes, the hair of an animal. Finally, polish the wood and make the figure look smooth.

Horse Wood Carving Patterns 

Horse carving is both easy and funny.  It is a project you can run while chilling at home. Use the carving knife and try out the horse head carving designs. Horse carving is calming and peaceful. That is why the project is popular among us who practice this hobby. 

Carving a horse into a piece of wood is not difficult. It is super easy and you can keep polishing it until it is perfect, the way you wanted it to be. The design takes up to 15 minutes to be finished, but you might spend hours on this project enjoying brushing every little detail until done. 

Once you learn how to do it, you might not want to stop.  Chances are low that when making a 2d horse wood project, you will make a mistake if you are following the pattern printed out. 

Bird Wood Carving Pattern 

Unlike bears and horses, you can make actual full-size figures of baby birds by using 3d wood carving patterns. However, 3d designs are more demanding and require more time and dedication. Switch to different knives. When you follow small wood carving patterns, use a big enough wood piece to give yourself room for some mistakes until you master the project. 

The bird carving project comes with various designs from cute, little wooden birds to bigger ones. Use appropriate patterns and tutorials, although it takes some hours. To save time, you can download the bird patterns. Use the knives that you are comfortable with. You would not want to end up hurting your hand. 

Rabbit Carving Pattern 

There are two types of rabbit patterns. That is the wild rabbit ones and the bunny ones. Wild rabbit ones are more complicated to make than bunnies. Carve the wooden bunnies as sitting down, and their ears are laying on their back. That pattern is simple to follow. 

When making a bunny, you can even create a pattern of your own because the concept is basic. Take a wooden cube and draw the rabbit from each perspective. That is from the bottom, front, back, and sides. Use a little detailed carving for a fluffy texture. These detailed textures are not difficult to achieve.

Cat Carving Pattern 

The cat is done by engraving the cat shape into a block of wood. The cat design is a good relief wood carving pattern. Play around with different cat designs and look for more ideas online for wood carving patterns animals, including 3d cats. 

However, it takes a bit of skill and time to make it look smooth and proportional. You improve with time as you make both realistic and cartoon-like patterns. Allow your imagination to flow as you think of a cat in different positions. Try to create a new pattern of my own.

How to stencil into wood

  • Use spray adhesive.
  • Add a thin layer of paint.
  • Start stenciling.

Tips for Advanced carving patterns

  • Always wear safety protection wear.
  • Always carve with sharp tools. More people get seriously hurt when using dull tools than with sharp tools. 
  • Always know where your knife or carving tool tip is. 
  • More practice.
  • Buy quality tools, wood, and supplies.
David D. Hughes
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