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Wood Carving for Beginners – Start Your Journey with Our Tips!


Hello there, dear friend, and welcome from all of us, carvers, to this great and exciting world of wood carving for beginners! We promise to be helpful, provide you with all the information that’s useful at the start of your journey and explain what we can on the topic of how to wood carving for beginners. Hope you’re sitting or laying where you are comfortably and all, because this is going to be a great ride, both of importance and length.

Let’s begin!
It’s quite unlikely that you are here just because you have nothing to read before bed. Being here means that you are either interested in learning, already have had some minor experience and don’t feel confident in progressing or have just heard about whittling being a nice hobby to take up and decided to find out more. We’ll do our best to inform you about all the essential things that you need to know in order to make a decision of any kind.

Why should you believe our words? Well, a couple of things about BeaverCraft. We’re a wood carving manufacturing company that creates whittling tools, kits for beginners and countless tutorials and useful tips in our social media. Our goal has been and still is to make wood carving approachable by anyone, not scary and difficult, but simple and exciting. Affordable, understandable and creative - that’s what we’re hoping to make it for people.

We’ve been working on that for quite some time and are happy to earn trust from people that share our hobby that is wood whittling. Creating easy and fun tutorials has been very inspiring for us so we don’t plan to stop - take a look at our YouTube channel, you may find it a great source of potential projects. On Facebook and Instagram you may find new patterns, shared ideas and a lot of useful small tricks to make carving easier. So welcome if you’d like to join!

With that being said, why should you even think about carving as a hobby? First of all, carving is a very relaxing hobby. You focus on the wood and tools in your hands and the world just goes away. Simply with your arms and imagination you can create something new, something beautiful and leave it after yourself as a possible family heirloom, for example, or decorate your house, or give great gifts to your children, grandchildren and loved ones. You can make it your job if you feel like you want to because carving is a great way to release stress and devote your time to.

You may work in a workshop or your living room, you may create a nice place in the woods next to your house if you wish so. Whittling is an amazing hobby to feel closer to nature since you’re always going to be using one of its parts or even more. Carving in the woods in itself is a very meditating thing to do, so it’s certainly worth trying if you feel like escaping things or feeling one with mother nature. Easy wood carving for beginners isn’t so much about detailed instructions to follow, but about safety and enjoyment. If you have these two, everything will be easy for you to carve.

Finding the patterns on wood carving for beginners pdf

The first thing that seems tricky to many starters in whittling is the project itself. How to decide what you want to carve, where to get the instruction or how to create a pattern that you can follow? When you get some experience, you won’t always follow the outline that’s been prepared previously for you (or by yourself), sometimes you’ll just have a rush of inspiration, grab your knife and start cutting out… something that only you can see.

However, when you are not experienced enough or just beginning, it feels (and is) safer to follow at least some outline, a picture to move onto the wooden surface, any support there is to make you feel more confident and sure that you’re doing things right. It is a great thing that we’ve got here, the Internet, simply because a great amount of inspiration and instructions to follow up can be found here. 

There are pictures of wood carving for beginners ideas in various amounts, shapes, skill requirements and topics. There are also wood carving lessons for beginners that you can take up online if you feel like you need a strong hand to guide you or maybe a specific branch of whittling explained to you more thoroughly. BeaverCraft likes to think we’re contributing to this community development as well with our patterns and tutorials. We offer a free newsletter that you only need to subscribe to in order to receive the patterns for every project we’ve already done before and to all the projects we’re going to have in the future. A great deal, isn’t it?

Being a creative hobby, wood carving will always require some sort of imagination and creativity from you. And it happens from time to time when you simply can’t find the strength in yourself to be that creative. You just want to grab your knife and carve, but have no idea what. That’s when our patterns may show themselves being very helpful - simply open one and do it, without having to think or imagine.

If you feel like creating one of your own but don’t know where to start - there are a couple of ways. If you draw well, you can simply draw what you’d like to carve. Don’t forget to do the pattern for each side of the carving (if you do the ones that have volume) to have the proportions established and no mix up in the process. If you are not that confident in your drawing skills, use photo tracing or tracing paper as your options. If what you carve is in front of you, make sure you have the general picture and all the details: turn the object to all sides, upside down and all the way - just to be completely assured you’ve seen everything you need.

Wood carving for beginners youtube lessons 

Another great thing about having access to the Internet and its advantages is enjoying YouTube. You may watch something for fun, for your work, gaming, everything mixed up together - that doesn’t matter. What matters to us at this exact moment is the fact that it is a great platform to learn wood carving. Having an opportunity to not only read about a tool, a pattern or wood, but watching them in action, having the ability to learn the correct movements, proper instruments factors and types of wood by watching them online, without even leaving your house, is a great-great happy place for everyone living in the 21st century.

Wood carving for beginners YouTube tutorials are one of the things that BeaverCraft enjoys doing the most. It’s a great pleasure to carve something for you, explain in detail how and why we do the things this exact way and how else you can do them. Giving you the patterns, sharing inspiration and hearing your thoughts on the next thing we may do is an endless pool of possibilities, ways to learn and no difficulties with deciding what to carve next at all.

We’ve done a couple of quite detailed videos concerning tools selection - what’s important, what’s not so important, how to orientate and find your way in this great scary place of marketing and trying to force you to buy things you don’t need. What really matters in a tool is its purpose (how useful will it be for the things that you have in mind), its size and shape (because those can influence your comfort and experience with them quite a lot) and the materials it’s made of (because that’s its overall quality, the time of productive work and many other important things).
tools and wood
There are different tools and different purposes for them so, first of all, think of why you want the tool and what you want it to do. The size and shape are greatly important because you won’t feel OK working with small tools if you have big hands and vice versa. So, if buying online, measure your hands and try to at least imagine a little bit how those tools will fit by looking at manufacturer’s measurements. And the materials are even more important because the steel of the blade should be only high carbon one since it’s the toughest for wood carving and the handles should be only wooden to prevent slipping of your hand when you sweat and other things of this nature. Remember: carving is not a hobby that’s done for 15 minutes a day. You’re going to devote more time to it so expect your tools to live long, take care of them and of yourself.

It’s very necessary to remind everyone: take care of yourself and your tools. Strop them before you start your carving session and do it every 15 minutes to keep your tools on the edge. Make sure you never forget the thumb guard and the safety tape when you work to prevent minor cuts and injuries. Of course, remember to always be careful with the bevels because cutting edges that are designated to cut hardwood will not be very light on your fingers, arms and other parts of your body.

Wood carving for beginners UK or anywhere else, be responsible about choosing the wood as well since it will influence the quality of your carving. Beginners mostly use softwoods such as basswood since it’s the softest, easiest to cut and color wood. It would be the safest choice for the start and after that you can already start experimenting with more types of wood.  

ideas for wood carving

Creative wood carving for beginners ideas 

Now-now, before you get too scared and decide all of this is too difficult for you to handle: believe me, it’s not. It might seem confusing at the very beginning, but when you start and get excited about all these new things and opportunities that come with taking up carving as a hobby, all of this won’t seem difficult anymore. Google “wood carving courses for beginners near me” if you feel very demotivated by the details provided above, learning with one person might make you feel more secure and it’s also a great way to hear some professional approaches and tricks from somebody experienced.

However, our goal here is not to scare you off, but to make sure you are prepared for the amount of information you will most certainly require before you begin. There is a great variety of carving for beginners projects on the Internet, in the books and all around us - running in the woods, crossing the street or standing right next to your table. The choice is and will always be yours. Correct painting and finishing will help you to create the original and yours only carving after all.

Knowing how to finish your project after carving is essential to not mess it up after you’re already done. First of all, don’t forget to sand off all the possible scratches, unevenness and various moments with sandpaper to make it look smooth and prepare it for painting and finishing. Secondly, don’t forget to use primer before you put on the paint. There are different types of paint that can be used for wood and the choice of primer depends on that as well. The easiest paint, especially for beginners, is acrylics, of course. It’s easy to use, lays very evenly, has a lot of colour and finish options so you won’t be limited by any means.

painting wooden horse

The best primer for acrylics used on wood would be a universal one, gesso or something stainblocking. We’ve got more detailed articles and advice on the matter too. If you want to paint something bigger, like a piece of furniture, for example, you’d better grab latex paint and a primer relevant to it. The reason is simple: it’s sold in bigger quantities, so you won’t waste 30 jars of acrylic paint on one wardrobe and the matching expenditures.

Wood carving for beginners courses with the same result can teach you about the various kinds of finishing for your wooden project after it’s polished and painted by your choice, but we’ll give you the details without any course needed. Basically, finishings can be divided into 2 categories: the natural ones and the chemical, or layered, ones. The choice depends solely on whether or not your carving will be out in the sun, rain or any other weather conditions that will influence its quality.  

wax coverage

If yes, then the chemical layered finishes are your choice. They provide a stronger protection and will give your carving more time outside before it needs a refinish or some polishing. However, they take quite some time to dry out and need to be put in layers (hence the name) so the finishing can take a couple of days at least. They are also quite toxic with the smell so you need to work in a mask and preferably on the street, where your kids or pets can’t breathe in too much of it - be careful about it.

If your future project is meant to be a nice decor element inside the house, then grab a natural finish such as linseed oil, for example. It’s safe, dries out quickly and can be food-safe to use for spoons and bowls as well (we’ve got separate articles and tips in social media on food-safe finishes). It won’t provide as much protection so if you choose to experiment and use oil on a small carved statue that stands in the backyard, you will be disappointed with the result very quickly so don’t ruin your work’s result.

Tried to be as detailed as possible, hopefully you find this article helpful and will use it to the greater good! Don’t hesitate to ask any questions and good luck with learning this great hobby. It won’t ever be a waste of time, only a good way to relax and enjoy yourself. Welcome to the carving world!

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