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Create Unique Wooden Gifts: Hand-Carved Bird Figurines

by Wooden Smile 28 Jun 2024

Hello everyone, this blog will teach you to make your new wooden gifts, two unpainted bird figurines that look very small and cute with their short necks and rounded bird bodies. Have your tools ready? Let's start learning to carve!

Create Unique Wooden Gifts: Hand-Carved Bird Figurines

Step 1: Prepare a rectangular block of wood.

We still recommend that you use basswood, a wood that is widely used in wood carving. Prepare a rectangular block of wood that can be sawn in two equal pieces for the two bird figurines.

The first step in making wooden gifts with bird figurines: choosing a wood block

Step 2: Draw a sketch of the bird figurines on the block.

Draw the front and side views of the bird on the sawn rectangular block of wood, the long side for the bird's body and the short side for the bird's head and tail. You can prioritize drawing from the bird body as a baseline. Draw three parallel lines at the bird's eyes, beak, and feet and extend them to the adjacent sides of the wood block. This step is to align your side view with the front view to create a three-dimensional bird figurine and avoid asymmetry once you start cutting.

Bird figurine wooden gift making step 2: drawing sketch

Bird Figurine Wooden Gift Making Step 3: Cutting the Bird Shape

Step 3: Cut the wood block along the edges of the draft lines.

Cut away the excess wood along the outline lines of the wooden bird figurine you drew in the previous step to make the bird's prototype. Care needs to be taken to keep slightly more distance to prevent cutting mistakes from ruining the whole piece.

Step 4: Carve the bird's wings.

In this step, a small wood carving knife is used to carve the bird's wings to make them three-dimensional. Start by redrawing the front view (the head side of the bird), refer to the curvature of the bird's wings on that side, and carve the wings in the side view (the body side of the bird).

Bird Figurine Wooden Gift Making Step 4: Carve the Bird's Wings

Step 5: Add details to the bird figurine's wings.

This step will add staggered scale-like indentations to the bird's wings to emphasize the feel of the feathers. The bird's feathers were roughly drawn in the previous steps of the sketch, in this step it is not necessary to follow the sketch lines exactly, please use your imagination to carve them, they need to be as consistently aligned as possible.

Bird Figurine Wooden Gift Making Step 5: Adding Details to the Wings

Step 6: Choose to keep the base of the bird or saw off the base.

If you want these wooden gifts of bird figurines to sit on a tabletop, then you can keep the base. If you wish to use it as a pendant or purely as a bird, you can choose to just saw off the previously reserved base to make it more like a bird with its feet curled up.

Bird figurine wooden gift making step 6: choose whether to keep the base or not

Step 7: Sand the whole thing with sandpaper to finalize the wooden bird figurine.

Sand the entire body of the bird to a rounded shape, being careful not to rub off the feathered parts. For a bird without a base, it is even more important to sand the bottom of the bird smooth, which can be flattened slightly to allow it to stand on a flat surface.

Step 7 of making wooden gifts with bird figurines: sanding with sandpaper


Like our bird figurine wooden gifts? Perfect for adding ambiance to various occasions as holiday decorations, with the option of punching holes in them and adding a lanyard for hanging. The pieces in this blog are medium in difficulty and may be a bit overwhelming for beginner wood carvers. If you want to hone your carving skills, you can start with the simple pieces in our previous posts.

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