You can find many wood carving designs on the Web, in craft stores and in wood carving magazines. However, not all those designs are appropriate for the beginner level. The best patterns for new carvers include Christmas ornaments and walking sticks.
Before you get started, you'll need to invest in some graphite transfer paper for any wood carving design. Graphite transfer paper works much like carbon paper, only it leaves a pattern that can be easily erased with an average eraser, without leaving any marks on your carving wood. This makes it easy for you to trace a pattern or picture, transfer it to your block of wood, and then follow the traced lines with your table saw or chisel. You can erase any remaining marks after you've got the basic pattern roughed in.
Where Can You Get Pattern Ideas?
You can find simple pattern ideas in comic books, comic strips, children's coloring books, wood carving magazines and online. Check out sites like www.carvingpatterns.com that specialize in providing wood carving patterns. You can print out these patterns and even follow step-by-step instructions on how to complete the carving.
Wood Christmas Ornaments
Some of the most popular first-time wood carving patterns are those for wood Christmas ornaments. Decide how complex of a wood carving you want to tackle, and then trace a pattern from either a Christmas story book, a holiday coloring book or a source in a wood carving pattern book. You may want to carve a basic ornament and then do some wood burning on the ornament to jazz it up further.
Carved Walking Sticks
Another popular simple wood carving project is carved walking sticks. You can buy a length of aspen perfect for a walking stick online or from a hobby shop. Transfer the design of the pattern to the upper third of the walking stick, and then begin your project, being careful not to carve away too much of the wood, thereby weakening the stick. Protect the bottom of your walking stick with a rubber stopper attached to the end of the stick that will hit the ground.
If you want a set of the best wood carving tools, you need to get to know what the different tools are before you start buying tools you may never use. This list of must-haves can get you started.
You'll need to sharpen your wood carving knives often so you can carve efficiently and safely. Dull tools can cause serious injuries and destroy a beautiful woodworking project in a flash.