What started out as a functional craft is now a hobby craft. Whittling was used in ancient times to make utensils, tools, toys and weapons. These days, hobbyists make similar items as a pastime or for entertainment purposes. Whittling is done with a block of wood and a knife with a small handle, such as a pocket knife. Beginner whittlers can start with small, simple shapes and work up to more challenging projects.
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A favourite whittling project is a bird figurine. The birds can range from a backyard bird to a bird of prey. The best way to whittle a bird is to select the bird you would like to create. Draw the shape of the bird on a piece of tracing paper until you get the correct shape. Trace the shape onto a block of wood and cut a rough shape with a band saw. Whittle the details of the bird. Duck decoys are also a good whittling craft. Many crafters carve decoys and then stain or paint them to look like real ducks.
Walking sticks or staffs are a good whittling project. This is a good craft to do when camping because you can put it to immediate use after you complete your stick. When making a walking stick, choose a sturdy piece of wood that will bear weight. Carve space for a handle or a grip. Walking sticks can be plain or you can incorporate a design into the shaft. Draw the design with pencil or marker for an easy to follow pattern. Polyurethane can help protect your stick from the elements.
Animal figurines are excellent for short, quick, afternoon projects. Beginners can start with simple figures such as a penguin or a seal before moving into complex animals such as jungle cats. The size of the figurines can range from 1 inch to 8 inches. Whittling the animals in the stable for a Nativity scene is an ideal Christmas craft.
Spoons are a useful camping tool. Whittle your own spoon the next time you are in the great outdoors. Make a spoon that is big enough to dish food into a bowl but one that can also can fit into your mouth. Carve your name or initials into the handle for a personal touch. You can also try to make novelty miniature spoons. Carve floral or other decorative designs on the handles and bowls.
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