You will need:
- Whittling knife
- 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
- Hold the wood with one hand and the knife with the other.
- 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.
- Whilst sitting, splay your legs or bend them to one side so you don't cut into them.
- 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.
- Press the thumb of the hand holding the wood against the blunt side of the blade to push and guide the knife forwards.
- 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!
- 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
- Whittle a point, then narrow two opposite sides for the grooves. You can use an axe to roughly shape your tree first.
- Carve grooves along the edges - take care the tips don't break off.
- Saw the finished tree to the correct length.
- You can paint or decorate your tree if desired.
Step 4: Small Trees Make Great Gift Tags!
- Drill a small hole hole in the tip of your tree.
- 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.