Carving Stick Elves
Wood whittling for beginners
You may think that knives and children don’t mix well…. However, wood whittling with kids is great fun and a good way to teach them a bit of knife safety.
These stick elves are an ideal introduction to wood carving for beginner whittlers. Easy to make and perfect for decorating your garden with!
How to carve a Stick Elf;
- Find a stick – any stick will do. Ideally about 1 foot long and straight.
- Carve sitting down, holding the stick to one side of your body and carving away from you (see safety tips below)
- Carve the bark off the top end of the stick where your elf face will be. Leave a smooth, clean surface
- You can try a few funky tricks like carving a hat brim, adding some curly hair and chipping out a mouth (see video for details)
- Decorate your elf with pens and sheep’s wool or cotton wool for beards and hair.
As you decorate you elves, create characters with them and make a story; then plant them around your garden or park.
Knife safety and responsibility is a really important lesson to teach children.
Some essential safety tips:
- Adults will need to supervise and perhaps lend a hand, especially with the younger ones.
- Whittle away from your hands and legs
- Put the knife safely away when not being used
- Keep a safe distance between each other when whittling
- Invest in a good whittling knife, or alternatively try a potato peeler or children’s whittling knife (we have the Morakniv Pro C Safe Knife)
There are some good tips for beginner whittling, including which tools to use and more safety tips from the Woodland Trust here.
- Find a good stick
- whittling knife
- Paints, pens and sheep wool or cotton wool, glue
Time needed: 1 hour
Watch this video from GoWildGoWest’s Advent Calendar on how to whittle a stick elf:
Other mini-adventure ideas: