What should I whittle as a beginner?

I remember when I was a beginner in whittling and sometimes I had fears of not mastering this art. Whittling is a very interesting form of craft I can say, and for those asking themselves, “What should I whittle as a beginner?” you have come to the right place. Finding the right objects for whittling is very essential because it will determine how fast you’ll be effective in it. This will also make you learn a couple of different objects in a shorter time.

As a beginner, resist the urge to go for big projects and complicated ones to whittle because it will only slow your journey. You should also know that not all videos of wood carving are for beginners, and I prefer researching written materials first like articles and books before going to videos.

Below, I will share with you a list of objects you can start with;

What To Start With When Whittling


A bunny is a very easy project for a beginner to start. You only need a whittling knife in this project and it takes 30 minutes to finish it. This is one of the reasons this project is on the top of my list

There are a lot of small cuts you will need to make in this project but not to worry, they are simple. In this project, the best wood to whittle on is Basswood, Pine, Cedar, Aspen, Butternut, Balsa, and others.

Always make sure that the knife you are using to whittle is sharp, it is always a good idea to hone your knife with a leather strop before starting to whittle and when your knife dulls as you are whittling, strop each side 10-20 times and continue.

When you are done with your project smoothen it with sandpaper and finish it with a sealant.


Birds are amazing creatures and there is thousands of species in the world. Starting with the small species of birds will take a very short time to finish ( around 30 minutes to completion) and having these short projects will get you to see the outcome early ad see what you will perfect in the next piece.

When you are starting to whittle, don’t focus on perfecting the first bird you have whittled rather, try carving another piece, and with that, the knowledge sticks because you get to correct the parts you missed in the previous projects.

There are guidelines that are shown step by step with the aid of images that will help you master this art not to worry, it won’t be hard to teach yourself and once you get the concept you will be one happy person.

All you need to whittle a bird is your knife and I would recommend using Basswood or Balsa because they are easy to carve and will give a good outcome once you are done


There is no other reason why a spoon is one of the most whittled. It is an easy craft to learn and understand and it can roughly take you 2 hours to finish it. As the world continues to modernize, new features and techniques, are at your disposal to try them out and find out the one that suits you best.

When whittling a spoon, avoid using softwoods like pine and ring-porous species like oaks and ashes. The best woods to whittle spoons are hardwoods like Black Cherry, Silver Maple, and Paper Birch. These hardwoods become so hard nearly impossible to whittle when they are dry so make sure you choose the freshly cut wood for your spoons.

To whittle a spoon, you will need a knife, a gouge knife, and bent knives. After you are done whittling, the next thing you need is to smoothen it and sandpapers with 120, 220, and 400 grit will help in that.

Wizard Face

Whittling a wizard face is another easy project a beginner should start with because it takes about 5 minutes to make the basic cuts, but to finish the project you will need more time, roughly 30 minutes, and persistence in practice will make you understand to whittle this project in lesser time.

The short time is taken to understand this project will take you to the next level of learning another project. You only need a knife and the wood you are carving on to whittle this project. Don’t expect the to have the best piece after the first trial. It takes more practice to perfect this art.

When whittling this project, be careful of the eyes and nose because sometimes you can end up taking out the nose or no lining right. So take your time knowing how to go about the nose and eyes parts over and over again until you get the right way to go about it.


When whittling a flower, I’m thinking of who to give after it is done. Whittling a flower is an easy project for beginners to start with, and there are different methods you can use to whittle this project which will result in different outcomes.

To begin whittling, you need to trace what you want in the first place or also draw an outline of the flower you are thinking to whittle at that time. Doing this helps you to get a clearer idea about its dimensions and it will also help you remove the excess parts from the wood you are whittling on.

Maintain the cutting angle at 85-degrees instead of 90-degrees because if any mistake happens, it is easier to fix it and after removing the piece, you can finally cut at 90-degrees.

After you are done whittling the flower, smoothen and finish it with a sealant for protection and you can either give it to someone special or gift it yourself.


If you need to get better at whittling faster, try out carving simple projects other than complicated ones. Don’t be in a rush to know, take your time and trust the process. Eventually, you will be good at it and if you want to share your knowledge in your understanding, it will be your choice to do it. Happy whittling.

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