How to Carve Celtic Knots in Wood

Written by ehow hobbies, games & toys editor
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Celtic knots were first created during the late Roman Empire. Carving Celtic knots requires sharp tools and sharp eyes. These knots are intricate interlaced symmetrical designs that some people believe have magical attributes due to their near perfect symmetry.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Outline the Celtic knot pattern in the wood using a pencil or tailors chalk. More intricate patterns will have multiple levels, so mark the deeper levels with a different color chalk or pencil to note the depth.

  2. 2

    Use an Exacto knife with a new #11 blade to rough in the outer rings of the Celtic knot.

  3. 3

    Remove the wood from the center of the design by working from the outside of the pattern. Pay attention to the areas of overlap where the knot's various elements link together to provide the illusion of multiple knotted cords or links in a chain.

  4. 4

    Gouge down to the bottom of the design and create a curved under effect by carving slightly beneath the lowest edges of the pattern. This will enhance the three-dimensional impact of the Celtic knot sculpture.

  5. 5

    Sand and apply a finish to the wood. A fine 400-grit sandpaper should provide a smooth surface. A two-toned finish deepens the field of the knot pattern and provides an aesthetically pleasing design.

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