How to carve wood jewelry

Updated March 23, 2017

Making handmade jewellery is a fun craft project. Wood crafting is a popular hobby and an ideal way to create jewellery that stands out. Using a light wood, such as balsa, you can create pieces of jewellery that you can wear yourself or even sell online or at flea markets. Creating your own jewellery designs and carving them from wood is not difficult. With a little work, you can turn your jewellery design ideas into keepsake pieces that you'll be able to hand down through the generations or even sell for a tidy profit.

Design your jewellery pieces. Start with a simple sketch on paper to give you a rough idea of how you want the pieces to look. You want to have a guide to work from as you carve each piece.

Choose the wood you'd like to use for your jewellery pieces. Balsa wood is the best choice because it is light, which makes it easy to carve and comfortable to wear. Harder woods such as maple and oak are better suited for other wood-crafting projects. You can purchase balsa in strips or blocks at many hobby stores (see Resources).

Use a small pocket knife to carve your designs. If you're using a harder wood, you will want to use a professional carving knife and a small metal file to help shape the edges. Experiment with different carvings. Hearts, stars and crescent moons are good ideas. Balsa will not require a file because it is such a light, soft wood.

Use a very small drill bit (depending upon the hole sizes you want) to put holes in the jewellery pieces. You will use these holes to string the jewellery on a chain. The chain can be real gold or silver, or you can use yarn or string. You can make your finished pieces into earrings, necklaces or charm bracelets.

Use a clear lacquer on your finished pieces. A traditional lacquer will do. You can use a thin coat of glue if you want to save a little money. Use acrylic paints or even spray paint to colour your jewellery pieces. If you're making jewellery for kids, consider adding a little glitter to brighten the pieces up.

Things You'll Need

  • Balsa wood
  • Carving knife
  • Sandpaper
  • File
  • Drill
  • Clear lacquer
  • Acrylic paint
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About the Author

Carl Hose is the author of the anthology "Dead Horizon" and the the zombie novella "Dead Rising." His work has appeared in "Cold Storage," "Butcher Knives and Body Counts," "Writer's Journal," and "Lighthouse Digest.". He is editor of the "Dark Light" anthology to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities.