Introduction: Whittled Christmas Trees

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You will need:

  • Whittling knife
  • Saw
  • Paint for decoration (optional)
  • Branch, diameter 3-4 cm (1.25 - 1.5 in) or dry lime wood (basswood) 1 x 3 cm (0.5 x 1.25 in)

Step 1: Basic Whittling Technique

  1. Hold the wood with one hand and the knife with the other.
  2. Make sweeping cuts away from you along the grain of the wood - this is a good technique for long cuts. You won't always have the knife completely under control when using this technique, so take care.
  3. Whilst sitting, splay your legs or bend them to one side so you don't cut into them.
  4. Lean the knife slightly sideways; this gives you the best cutting technique.

Step 2: The Thumb Push Technique

This technique is suitable for detailed and controlled wood carving.

  1. Press the thumb of the hand holding the wood against the blunt side of the blade to push and guide the knife forwards.
  2. At the same time, move the knife slightly up and down. Your thumb may get sore to start with, so stick a plaster over it first!
  3. This technique is used for cutting into wood or if you need to make a groove. Don't forget to turn the work when necessary so you're always whittling away from your body.

Step 3: How to Make Your Fir Tree

  1. Whittle a point, then narrow two opposite sides for the grooves. You can use an axe to roughly shape your tree first.
  2. Carve grooves along the edges - take care the tips don't break off.
  3. Saw the finished tree to the correct length.
  4. You can paint or decorate your tree if desired.

Step 4: Small Trees Make Great Gift Tags!

  1. Drill a small hole hole in the tip of your tree.
  2. Loop a piece of string or ribbon through the hole and attach to your gifts.

Step 5: Discover More Fun Wood Carving Projects

This tutorial is taken from Easy Wood Carving for Children by Frank Egholm.

Wood carving is a great hobby for creative and crafty kids - easy to learn, fun to do plus almost everything you need to get started is free - right outside your door!

Together you can craft a brain-teasing puzzle, a toy racing car, a dolphin necklace or even a handy coat hook! With more than fifty activities at beginner level and up, children can create something useful, beautiful or fun (often all three!) out of wood.