Introduction: Beginner Ice Carving

This is a fun way to get outside and learn a new skill. This is a basic way to start ice carving and can be expanded upon to get a lot more technical. Its a great project for kids at home or in the classroom.


  • Ice Block
  • Chisel
  • Nail
  • Template (cardboard)
  • Safety Glasses

Step 1: Make the Ice

First step is take a plastic container and fill it with water. Pour the water to around 1 - 1.5 inches deep. The size of the container does not matter as long as it is larger than the shape you will be cutting.

Place the water container outside in the snow, or if you don't have snow and freezing temperatures place it in a freezer.

Once completely frozen remove the ice from the container. This may take some bending of the plastic or if its really stuck bring it inside and let it melt just enough to get it out.

You can usually make two in a day depending on temperatures per container. use multiple containers to make lots if your using it for a class. I recommend making extra in case of mistakes.

Step 2: Make & Trace a Template

Cut a template out of cardboard or wood into whatever shape you want to cut. I recommend keeping the shapes simple with minimal rounded edges for the first attempt.

Place the template on the block of ice and using a nail trace around the template several times making as deep of a line as possible. Push downward fairly hard with the other hand to keep the stencil from moving while it is being traced.

Step 3: Chisel Out the Shape

Starting from the outside edges take out small amounts of ice using the chisel. Small jabs on an angle will work better than hard stabs. Be careful the chisel does slip off the ice and is usually quite sharp. I like to put down some old rubber flooring from a kids play room, to keep the chisel from damaging the table and dulling the blade when it slips off. When you get to the lines chip straight down to cut along the line.

Always wear safety glasses while chipping the ice.

Step 4: Enjoy

Once your done cutting out the shape you can slide the side of the chisel along the edges back and forth a few times to smooth them out.

You can cut any shape you want and can expand on this method to do larger more complex carvings.


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