How to Carve Love Spoons

Written by jonah morrissey
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How to Carve Love Spoons
Love spoons often feature intricately carved handles. (love spoon / détail image by Claudio Calcagno from

Love spoons are a traditional wood carving that was often given to a girl as an engagement or wedding gift. These intricately carved spoons were designed and painstakingly carved for the recipient as a symbol of the carver's affection. Symbols such as knots, hearts and bells were often incorporated into the design. For your first carving, keep the design simple by making three hearts stacked on top of each other for the handle and a larger heart for the spoon bowl. Select a wood with a distinct colour, such as cherry or walnut.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 1-by-4-by-8-inch cherry board
  • Pencil
  • Band saw
  • Carving knife
  • Gouge chisel
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Wood finish
  • Cloth rag

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  1. 1

    Place the cherry board on a work surface. Draw the outline of the love spoon on the board using a pencil. Draw three connected hearts to form the handle. Draw a larger heart to form the bowl of the spoon.

  2. 2

    Cut the outline of the love spoon using a band saw. Feed the wood through the saw slowly, allowing the blade to cut as you move the board along the pencil lines.

  3. 3

    Use a wood carving knife to carve out the handle. Make the edges of the hearts on the handle smooth and rounded. Continue carving the hearts on the handle so that they are a pleasing shape and have a nice dimension from the front and back view. Make small cuts with the knife, removing small slivers at a time to achieve a detailed carving.

  4. 4

    Carve the bottom of the spoon bowl so that it is rounded using a carving knife. Use small cuts to achieve a desirable result.

  5. 5

    Use a gouge chisel to hollow out the bowl of the spoon. Start from the outside and carve towards the centre of the spoon bowl. Take small slivers at a time for the best result. Keep working until a nice curve to the sides and bottom of the spoon bowl has been achieved.

  6. 6

    Sand the spoon with fine-grit sandpaper. Hand rub a wood finish of your choice into the surface of the spoon using a cloth rag. Allow the finish to dry prior to handling the love spoon.

Tips and warnings

  • Carve initials or a small quote into the centre heart of the love spoon handle to personalise it.
  • Wear eye protection when woodworking.

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