A Modern Resurgence of Vintage Pastimes

As the buzz over the technology revolution is settling down and becoming less of a novelty, the past couple of years have seen a resurgence of vintage, or traditional pastimes.  The world keeps spinning faster, and everyone’s eyes seem to be opening to the need for relaxation.  Gone are the days of the glorification of “busy”.  They are being replaced with the art of slow living.

The Resurgence of Vintage Pastimes

One of the most popular vintage pastimes that’s resurfaced seems to be whittling.  What do you think of when you picture whittling?  Perhaps what pops up in your head is an old man in a rocking chair on a front porch, carving a piece of wood, with an ice-cold beverage nearby.  His grandson sits in a chair next to him whittling his own stick of wood, keeping up a steady stream of chatter.  As the sun sinks lower in the sky, their wood pieces start to come to life.  The scene is idyllic, peaceful, and relaxing.

The history of whittling really begins in early Americana.  With only the use of a pocket knife and good, soft wood; crafty folks could whittle just about anything.  A couple of main things that have changed with the pastime since then is the quality of the knives and the selection of specialty blade shapes available.  The craft has become easier and more enjoyable than ever before.

If you’re looking for a way to wind down after a busy day, or to connect with your children or grandchildren, your search is over.  JMCremps has a large selection of knives, thumb guards, whittling & woodcarving books, and kits to get you started or keep you going with one of the best hobbies out there.

What are you waiting for?  Throw away your worries for a moment so you can sit back and relax while creating something beautiful.  Spend some quality time with someone you love. Connect with the past while living fully in the present.  There’s a reason this pastime is coming back, and I think if you give it a try you just might become an advocate of the art of slow living.

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Fall Leaf Carving Project – An Advanced Wood Whittling Project for Kids

Fall Leaf Wood Carving Project
Choose any leaf you like to use as your pattern to carve your own Fall Leaf.

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.

Supplies Needed:
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.

Fall Leaf Wood Carving Project
Once you have the basic shape of your leaf done, you can finish it by carving in the details or painting it.

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.

Tips –

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.