Creating Art from Wood: 30 Whittling Ideas for All Skill Levels

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Enthusiastic about carving out some beautiful pieces but not sure what to make? No need to worry; we’ve created a list of 30 whittling project ideas that you can start working on. So let’s dive right into it:

Whittling Ideas For Your Next Project

1. Little Dinosaur

Photo by Instructables

If you’re new to wood carving and are looking for a minimalistic project to practice your carving skills on then you should try making a little dinosaur. It is recommended to use light-colored dry wood so that you may clearly see how the grain’s directions affect the wood’s appearance. Check out how an artist named Kylestetz carved her little dinosaur, on the instructables website.

2. Trout Fish

Photo by Wet Canvas

Wooden fishes are common pieces of display items in home decoration. This project will require a bit of sketching or marking before you start carving. It’s not easy but will be quite a fulfilling whittling project. A woodworker with the username, GmH, carved a trout fish as a present for his friend. Check out his tutorial on it on the website, WetCanvas.

3. Three Minute Owl

Wooden owls are another popular decoration piece. They look absolutely stunning. With a bit of practice, you can even make a set of three owls in only three minutes. If interested, Will Hayden has a tutorial on his blogging website with two types of owl set ideas, you could carve out. 

4. Comfort Birdie 

Photo by Instructables

Many people suffer from depression or anxiety and it’s not easy to express themselves and talk about it. A toy or gift given with love can offer them comfort in times like these. A woodworker with the username CoffeeGirlWood, on Instructables, was given a comfort birdie by her father that helped her when she was young, and she decided to make one for her kid now. Check out her tutorial where you can find instructions on how to make one.

5: Viking Chess Piece 

Photo by Instructables

If you, like many others, are fascinated with the history of Vikings, then perhaps this idea will pique your interest. Viking-themed decor and figures are quite popular with many unique ideas and designs available all over the internet. A woodworker on Instructables, named Morfmir has a tutorial on his unique idea of carving a Viking face. Be sure to check it out!

6. Carving a Bear 

A small little bear can not only be a great decoration piece, but also an adorable toy for a child. Doug Linker has a great and detailed tutorial on his youtube channel showing how to carve out an endearing little bear out of wood. 

7. Whittling Squirrel 

As we’re talking about charming little wood carving projects, you could also try making a squirrel. A woodworker, Vladimir has a comprehensive tutorial on his youtube channel named, Home Wood Spirit, on how to carve small little squirrels figures.

8. Whittle a Dog 

How can we not mention a man’s best friend, when discussing of carving animals. Dogs are loyal, charming and adorable creatures. Whether you wish for it to be a toy for a child or a decoration piece, this will surely be a cherished project. A woodcarver, Bryan has a very clear, well-organised and beginner-friendly tutorial on his youtube channel named, Carving is Fun, that will teach you how to carve a simple modest dog figure out of wood.

9. Whittle a Cat

If you’re a cat person, then you can carve a wooden cat figure instead. Bryan also has a tutorial on making a minimalistic cat figure, on his youtube channel, Carving is Fun, with clear easy-to-follow instructions on how to achieve that goal. Again it is beginner-friendly and a project that will offer quick results.

10. Whittling Eagle Head

If you are in the mood to carve out a majestic-looking creature, then Vladimir of the youtube channel, Home Wood Spirit, has got you covered. He has a step-by-step guide there on his channel, showing how to carve an eagle head. He designed his piece to also act as a bottle stopper which is a great, fun and impressive-looking .

11. Wooden Spoon

Photo by Instructables

Spoons, especially wooden ones, are essential utensils in cooking. Them being bad heat conductors, capable of withstanding heat without melting and not scratching out non-stick pans, like plastic and steel ones, makes them extremely desirable cooking utensils. If you in need of or are interested in craving a wooden spoon then the website, Instructables has instructions for it. An author with the username, Noahw, has given a thorough guide on it there.

12. Wooden Tobacco Pipe

Photo by Instructables

If you wish to create your own wooden pipe for smoking tobacco or shisha, the Instructables website also has a tutorial posted by an author with the username, Stick4444. The guide will help you carve a basic tobacco pipe with clear and direct instructions.

13. Hand Carved Pizza Wheel

Photo by Instructables

This cutting utensil is often used for various purposes, such as making/cutting clean and precise slices of pizza, lasagna, flatbread crusts, brownies, and other alike foods. Having one in your home can be quite beneficial if you’re a fan of cooking and baking. You can whittle a simple hand-carved pizza wheel for yourself by following the directions provided on the Instructables website by an author with the username, Mr.Sanchez.

14. Wooden Gnome 

Photo by Instructables

Gnomes symbolise good luck, so of course, we had to suggest them on our list. You could carve a gnome to give as a gift or even for your own home’s outdoor decoration. If you wish, you could use new wood or you can salvage old wood and make something good out of it. A woodworker with the username, SinAmos has a tutorial on the Instructables website on how he made a wooden gnome by salvaging and reclaiming old wood that had termites in it.

15. Scrap Wood Jack-O-Lanterns 

Photo by Instructables

This project won’t require lots of wood, so it could also be made using scrap wood you have laying around left from previous wood projects. An artist with the username, RockingK has a guide on how to make Jack-O-Lanterns, posted on the Instructables website, where he along with his children, creates them out of scrap wood.

16. Wood Spirit 

Wood spirit carvings can be traced way long back in history, and are still quite a popular project among woodcarvers. If you wish to learn how to carve one yourself, you can head to a channel named, spoons & spirits. The woodworker who runs the channel has a very detailed tutorial on how to make a wood spirit out of a small tree branch, with clear instructions that will be easy to understand.

17. Simple Mushroom 

If you’re a beginner and a fan of ASMR then you need to watch and follow this tutorial by Nima Kian on youtube on how to carve a basic mushroom. It’s not a complex design, but it’s still a nice decoration piece and also a good project for practicing; plus quite satisfying to watch.

18. Wooden Beaver

If you’re looking for something more complex, or perhaps interesting then you may try carving out a beaver. The channel, BeaverCraft on youtube has a video tutorial showing how to carve it. You may also get patterns from them, with a few conditions of course, but if intrigued by this carving project, check out their guidance video. 

19. Wooden Duck

Back to another beginner-friendly project involving a simple wooden duck, resembling the common and popular rubber ducky. It’ll be a good carving project for practicing the craft and will also be a nice little gift you could give to any children you have around you. A skilled woodworker has a guide available on youtube that you could follow, just head over to his channel, Doug Linker.

20. Wooden Rabbit 

Who doesn’t love bunnies; they’re captivatingly gorgeous, and why not simply carve something you and everyone likes? If onboard, you can check out a video tutorial on youtube uploaded by the channel BeaverCraft. Its design is on a moderate level, not basic nor too complex, a nice balance for polishing your skill.

21. Wooden Owl 

Continuing on the track of cute-looking projects, we would also like to mention the idea of adorable-looking small owl figures. Doug Linker has a great guide on his youtube channel on how to make them and has received numerous praises as feedback in the comment section regarding this tutorial. 

22. Coffee Scoop Carving 

Coffee is extremely popular, with many people consuming it several times a day, daily. So it is a great idea to have a fancy coffee scoop in your home to use. You may find a straightforward step-by-step tutorial on how to carve it on BeaverCraft’s youtube channel.

23. Whittling a Flower

While real flowers certainly have their own charm, their life span as decoration is quite short. If you wish for a more permanent decoration option you may carve a flower out of wood. There are different designs and ways to make them, however, if you’re new to carving and are looking for a bit easy and simple project, then you should check out a tutorial on it published by the channel, Carving is Fun, on youtube.

24. Fish Hook Pendant

This is a small cool wood carving project idea. Wood carvings can not only be for decoration or furniture purposes but jewelry can also be made using this craft, such as bracelets, necklaces and even pendants. A youtube channel, Wood Home Spirit, in one of its video tutorials, teaches how to carve out a fishhook pendant, inspired by the movie, Moana. The pendant looks great and is gender-neutral, so can be worn by either males or females.

25. Scared Goblin 

If Halloween is near, you could try out this spooky whittling idea. This project is of a terrified looking goblin figurine. It will look absolutely amazing once the carved wood has been painted over. A woodcarver, Vladimir has a great guide on how to create this carving project. So be sure to check it out on his youtube channel, Home Wood Spirit.

26. Whittling an Otter 

An otter figurine could be a great decoration piece or even a toy for a child. If that is something that interests you, Aaron Pierre has a wood carving tutorial on it on this youtube channel, Aaron2Point0. The video will closely show how to carve it and is also quite satisfying to watch and listen to.

27. Guitar Carving 

Guitars are quite a popular decoration item, so you may carve a small one for your home decoration and it would be a nice idea, however, if you want something a bit unique, try out carving a mini guitar that can be used as a keychain. The channel, Volos Projects on youtube, has a thorough guide on how to achieve that goal in a video of theirs. The tutorial is even beginner-friendly.

28. Whittling Chicken in Egg

This is a basic project that could be a nice gift for a child or even prove to be a great project if easter is near. The youtube channel, Home Wood Spirit has an easy-to-follow tutorial on how to carve it. The project’s design and guide is simple and beginner-friendly.

29. Whittling a Mouse 

Another beginner-friendly, simple woodcarving project. Gene Messer has a very detailed tutorial video on youtube that you can follow step by step for carving out a mouse. The wooden mouse could be given to a child as a gift or even used as decoration.

30. Small Wooden Heart 

If you’re a romantic person, carving out a small little wooden heart is a great way to express your feelings to your loved one. In fact, Doug Linker has a great tutorial that is super simple to follow on this youtube channel where he creates a cute little heart out of wood. He even attaches a magnet to it so that it can be easily hung up for display.


We hope you have found a project that you feel excited about. However, always remember to follow the safety rules; keep your fingers out of the blade’s way, work slowly, crave out small shaving and if you cut in deep and your knife gets stuck, instead of applying force and pushing forward, retreat! Wear protect equipment if necessary. 

Finally, good luck with your carving. Enjoy!

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