Wood Carving

In the past I have carved out wood to make works of art with purely blood, sweat, tears and hand tools. But when I started to tackle another carving, I thought, ‘There has to be a better way!” Hellooooo Dremel. I do not in fact own one of these beauties, but let me tell you, that baby is on my list!

I have wanted one of these versatile little tools ever since I created the project above. Don’t get me wrong, it was still labor intensive, but that little dremel got me through those long hours a lot easier than actual hand carving!

I made this piece for a friend’s birthday. Homemade gifts are the best right? Right.

{ Step 1 } Wood
I started out by buying a piece of wood from my local home improvement store { Lowe’s }. When you’re searching for the right wood to use for a carving, I go for something with a soft veneer on top 1) I can see when I’ve carved far enough because the wood of the second layer appears, and 2) it’s cheaper, haha! If you’re not sure what type of wood to choose, press your fingernail into the top layer, if it easily leaves an imprint of your nail, then it should be soft enough to work with….at least that’s how I test it out!

{ Step 2 } Stain
Next I stain the board with about 3 coats of Espresso or some other rich, dark brown color. Make sure you sand down the board first though and clean off any dust and particles before staining. Usually instructions will be on your can of stain anyway, but just a head’s up!

{ Step 3 } Design
I was a little pressed for time when I thought about this gift, so I went online found a drawing that I liked, and decided to make it my own! I then printed out the design, tiling it on about 6 sheets of paper. I laid it on the wood and took my actual wood carving tools, and basically traced the whole pattern by punching holes every cm or so. Think tracing patterns on pumpkins for carving!

{ Step 4 } Dremel Carving
Amen for the Dremel!! It took several trials and errors to find the bits that I liked and the amount of pressure and steadiness of hand, but I just kept at it, and it was fun to see the progress of the light wood showing up after each stroke of the Dremel.

{ Step 5 } Polyurethane
Now it was time to make it all shiny and professional looking. A quick coat of poly fixed that up in no time!

{ Step 6 } Buttons
I decided to add a little more dimension to this by adding different yellow and ivory colored buttons where there were circles on the pattern. I just used a hot glue gun to tack them on and voila, my piece was complete!

I have no idea how long it took me to finish the entire project, but I think it turned out beautiful. Maybe when I have the time, and a Dremel, I’ll do another….one day….

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