Wood whittling projects are a popular and timeless activity that have been enjoyed by generations of boys, girls, and adults. A good whittling project is a great way to get your adventurous boys away from their electronic devices. Our original blog post on wood whittling covered the basics, and it featured a beginner’s wood whittling project. If you’ve conquered the basics and are looking for something a little more advanced, then this Fall Leaf Carving Project should fit the bill.
Whittling or Carving Knife
Thumb Guard (recomended for safety)
A carving block made of soft wood that is wide enough to fit your leaf
A real leaf
Step 1 – Find a leaf that has a shape you really like. Oak leaves, maple leaves, and birch leaves work well.
Step 2 – Trace the leaf onto your carving block so that the grain of the wood runs straight up through the leaf from top to bottom. (This will make it easier for you to carve.)
Step 3 – Begin to whittle your leaf. First whittle the basic shape of your leaf along the edges you traced. (Remember to carve with the grain.)
Step 4 – After you have the basic shape of your leaf carved, begin to round the edges and carve the top and bottom of your leaf. You can carve it to be as thick or as thin as you want.
Step 5 – After you have top and bottom rounded and trimmed to the thickness you want it to be, you can then carve in the details of your leaf. Add the veins and lines that run through the leaf. If you want, you can also carve the edges so that they look like they curl up.
Finish your leaf – At this point, you can do many things with your leaf. You can carve your name into it, paint it, or varnish it. Carve several leaves to decorate the Thanksgiving dinner table. Drill a hole in your leaf and tie a string through it to make a personalized Christmas decoration. Carved leaves like this make very nice personalized gifts for family and friends.
If it has been a while since you’ve whittled or carved anything, then you may want to review the basics of wood whittling first.
When you are choosing a block of wood to use, try to pick one that isn’t too thick. This way you won’t have to spend a lot of time carving it down to a manageable thickness.
If you are looking for other fun whittling projects for kids, then check out the Little Book of Whittling for some great ideas.