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How to Make Your Own Wooden Gifts: a Prep Guide

by Wooden Smile 09 Jun 2024

If you want to make a do-it-yourself gift for a close friend or family member, then wooden gifts are definitely original ideas! It's a natural material, durable and more stylish than metal or glass, and it can be hand-carved so that each person's piece will be completely different, making it a unique and meaningful gift. If you don't have art skills or engraving experience? This guide will show you what you need to do to prepare for a zero-experience starter.


Cut-resistant gloves and a cutting mat are two essential pieces. They protect both your hands and the table you're working on. In addition to this there are three other tools that will help you with your carving.

  • Sharpening stone: the sharper the knife, the easier it will be to sharpen.
  • Sandpaper: sanding the surface of your wood carving before coloring will make the coloring more even.
  • Water-based wood clear protective varnish: depends on whether you want your piece to last longer.

Cutter and tool selection

These three tools are used to cut away all the excess material from a square block of wood, such as in the picture below.

The four carving knives on the left in the picture will be used at a later stage, so those who want to make wooden gifts as a hobby for the long term may choose to buy all four at once.

The two carving knives on the right side of the picture are mandatory for carving, and are suitable for the beginner's pre-practice. If you just want to try your hand at carving, these two knives are enough to save your budget.

Timber Selection

Top Recommendation: Basswood

The most used wood, basswood is suitable for carving all wooden figurines and ornaments, it's not particularly hard and is easy to work with.

Second recommendation: Balsa

Ideal for those with little strength, it is light and fluffier and requires little force to carve.

Pigment Selection

Beginning woodcarvers can use acrylic paints for coloring, or no paints if they want to retain the original wood color.

Technique tip: Apply a coat of white before painting and then apply other colors to make it brighter.

Wrapping it up

This is the basic preparation required for hand-carving wooden gifts, and we will continue to update specific carving steps and techniques. If you are in a hurry to prepare a gift for someone and don't want to make it yourself, you can just shop in our store, we have dozens of shapes and styles of wooden gifts for collecting, decorating and celebrating any occasion.

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