decorazioni di natale progettiamole insieme foto in evidenza

Christmas is approaching and with it comes especially the time when we start to get crazy looking for an original idea to make our Christmas gifts. This is the time when everyone’s creativity reaches its peak, especially for gifts, but also for decorations. At home or out in the garden, the important thing is that you breathe the air of celebration!

I love Christmas, it is one of my most favorite holidays ever. Every year I look forward to the time to put up the lighted decorations in the yard and I also have to admit that in the house, Rudolph the reindeer, stands in plain sight all year long!

Creating emotion

As Vladimir of Home Wood Spirit said in his interview (link here):

Wood Carving and Whittling is fun and creative hobby which provides us with hours of very well spent time. It also brings us pride and deep satisfaction from what we make. It has the power to connect us with our ancestors who, kept this tradition and craft alive for more than 11000 years from first civilisations on Earth. Beside all of that above we make really nice handmade gifts, which are usually the most appreciated and makes the recipient truly happy
HOME WOOD SPIRIT
decorazioni di natale progettiamole insieme immagine scambio regalo

The expression of amazement and disbelief that is drawn on the face of those who receive a gift handmade by us is priceless! If you have never experienced this emotion this is the perfect time to start! 😉☺️

Maybe it’s my passion for the cartoon image of the reindeer or the chubby face of Santa Claus, the fact is that I’m eager to start the preparations! I want to infect you, so this year I’ll take you with me in my selection and we’ll see together some projects to make sure to impress but extremely simple!

Let’s get started!

First, you must always remember that with time and skill you can do anything, even create wonderful carved pieces for the nativity scene,

Wooden Nativity Scene, Photo by Iris Hamelmann
Wooden Nativity Scene, Photo by Iris Hamelmann

but when time is short and the decorations (or gifts) that we want to prepare are many, my advice is to choose very simple models, to be able to replicate without taking too long, and this magnificence leave it for the really important gifts!

Let’s cut the chitchat!
Let’s get to the heart of the article!!!
Even if you are absolute beginners and this is your first foray into the world of wood or DIY, do not worry! In fact, I have selected some very simple jobs that anyone can perform!

Cute reindeer faces

Wooden reindeer faces, photo by Gerd Altmann
Wooden reindeer faces, photo by Gerd Altmann

This work, for example, is the easiest ever, you can have fun creating comical expressions and make many different ones, a wonderful pastime also to make your children participate in Christmas decorations!

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15 minutes

from 0 euro by opting for the recycling of waste materials to less than 1 euro each by purchasing the materials

  1. Cut some rounds of about 5/10 cm in diameter and about 1 cm high from a piece of wood.
  2. Sand them to remove imperfections of the cut
  3. After cutting a correct size of fresh spruce twigs, to look like ears, glue them on the opposite side of the design, or if too short directly to the bark
  4. Glue in the center of the wood a red ball (if you do not find anything suitable, draw it)
  5. With acrylic paints, which are the most suitable for wood and the most durable, have fun creating comical eyes and mouth to your reindeer!
  6. By making a small hole you can also use them as Christmas tree decorations!

Fake wooden candles

Candles made with wooden logs, photo by Mathias Böckel
Candles made with wooden logs, photo by Mathias Böckel

Another very simple decoration of sure scenic effect, to be used both at home and in the garden, very fast to make.

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15 minutes

from 0 euro by opting for the recycling of waste materials to 1 or 2 euro each by purchasing the materials

  1. Cut into pieces of the height that you consider most appropriate (10/15 cm for example) pieces of wood of fir or pine (or wood that you like more) with the bark, and about 5 cm in diameter
  2. Sand the end of the base checking that it is flat and level.
  3. Make a hole in the center of the face opposite the base with a drill or an awl
  4. Insert a matchstick, a small straight branch, or a toothpick and secure it to the hole with a little vinyl glue.
  5. Draw the shape of a flame on the balsa or plywood board, or on a thin scrap of wood.
  6. Cut it out or carve it, making sure that it does not exceed 5 mm in thickness, but that it is necessarily thick enough to be drilled to introduce the other end of the matchstick
  7. Color both sides with acrylic paints, and as soon as dry, put a drop of glue in the hole and insert on the match. And here is your Christmas decoration ready! Simple isn’t it? ☺️😉

What’s Christmas without the gingerbread man?

Gingerbread man in wood, photo by Taken
Gingerbread man in wood, photo by Taken

Going up small steps of difficulty here we are at the inevitable traditional Gingy! Unlike the previous two jobs, this one is primarily based on a drawing. Therefore, to help you, I created the drawing that you can download, print and apply on the wood, or if you prefer to use as a false line to create your own design.

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20 minutes

from 0 euro by opting for the recycling of waste materials to 1 euro each by purchasing the materials

  1. Download and print the drawing, taking care to choose the size you want to obtain when printing, and then cut it out.
  2. Apply a light coat of glue stick to the board and stick the drawing on. Or use it as a reference to make your design, or use carbon or clear paper to transfer the design to the board. The various methods are described in this article.
  3. Make your Gingy with precision using a band saw, or a scroll saw. The thickness of the board is at your discretion.
  4. Once cut out, sand down the edges with some sandpaper to make sure there are no splinters.
  5. Now let your imagination run wild and color your face or decorations with acrylic paints.
  6. If you want to make the decorations recreating the effect of sugar paste you can use vinyl glue. Use it to create the decorations, let it dry and then color the relief with acrylic colors.
  7. In the same way, you can insert objects or pieces of fabric and glue them, whatever your fancy suggests!
  8. If you opted for a small size, your Gingy, with a small hole can become a nice decoration for the Christmas tree or a festoon!

Clothed reindeer

Wooden reindeer with dress
Wooden reindeer with dress

Here we enter a little bit in the carving area, but don’t worry, making them will be much easier than you think! For the design, as in the previous work, I’ve already taken care of it, here it is, ready to download and print!

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1 hour

from 0 euro by opting for the recycling of waste materials to 3 euro each by purchasing the materials

  1. Download and print the drawing, taking care to choose the size you want to obtain when printing, and then cut it out.
  2. Apply a light coat of glue stick to the board and stick the drawing on. Or use it as a reference to make your design, or use carbon or clear paper to transfer the design to the board. The various methods are described in this article.
  3. Cut fairly precisely using a band saw, or a handheld scroll saw or by cutting through with a carving knife.
  4. In this case the drawing you should follow is the one drawn with thicker strokes because you don’t have to deal with the three-dimensional at this stage. I drew it only to let you understand the depth. Similarly, do not cut the horns now in the monoblock, but cut them separately from a scrap of wood will be much easier. (For greater simplicity you can also make the head separately and then glue it).
  5. After cutting out the reindeer the carving part begins, make some simple cuts on the edges to soften them. As you can see from the picture, the reindeer have a cubic appearance.
  6. Take the measurement of half the width to create the legs. Carve to create a space by hollowing out equally from the right and left.
  7. When you have finished this operation, go to drill two holes on the sides of the oval of the head to insert the horns that you have prepared separately from a scrap of wood.
  8. Pour a little vinyl glue into the holes and insert the horns into the slots
  9. Let the glue dry and move on to decorating the little faces and clothes with acrylic paints.
  10. If you want, you can also glue pieces of fabric or other materials.
  11. If you like tie ribbons around your neck that will act as scarves! Don’t they instantly make Christmas? 🤩

Reindeer with pedestal

Wooden reindeer with pedestal, photo by Alexas.fotos
Wooden reindeer with pedestal, photo by Alexas.fotos

Staying with the reindeer theme, this project is perhaps even simpler as it doesn’t involve carving but you just need to precisely cut out the wood. Again, the biggest difficulty is in the design but here it is already done for you! 😉

Since it is a project that lends itself to different stylized shapes here are two, the first is the reindeer design you see in the photo and the second is a design of a more dynamic reindeer as it is jumping.

All in all, the difference in preparation is only that the jumping reindeer needs a pedestal of greater weight and balance as it stands glued with only its hind legs.

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30 minutes

from 0 euro by opting for the recycling of waste materials to less than 2 euro each by purchasing the materials

  1. Download and print the drawing, taking care to choose the size you want to obtain when printing, and then cut it out.
  2. Apply a light coat of glue stick to the board and stick the drawing on. Or use it as a reference to make your design, or use carbon or clear paper to transfer the design to the board. The various methods are described in this article.
  3. Cut fairly precisely using a band saw, or a handheld scroll saw.
  4. Create with a scrap of wood a pedestal keeping in mind the weight it must hold. Then combine an appropriate thickness and width.
  5. You can choose to glue the legs with vinyl glue directly onto the pedestal, or make small indentations and glue them a little further inland.
  6. At this point you can decide whether to decorate with acrylic paints, leave the wood natural, or opt for a dark impregnating agent that leaves an effect as in the photo.

Garden Reindeers

Garden reindeer made from pieces of logs
Garden reindeer made from pieces of logs

I don’t know if it dawned on me and I don’t know about you, but for me a Christmas without reindeer is not a real Christmas 😂, so let’s end the saga of these cute animals on a high note with these fabulous reindeer for the garden made from pieces of logs and branches.

Since not everyone is lucky enough to have a garden to place them in I’ve put together a little photo tutorial to recreate a very nice home version 😇.

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1 hour

0 euros, I used only of waste materials of objects that are found in every home and some twigs that can be found in every park

  1. Here are the materials we need for this photo-project: a cork, a piece of scrap wood, 4 matches, a pin and two compound twigs.
  2. Normally corks have winemakers’ names and other information imprinted into the surface. For a better result I removed them with a knife.
  3. Please be careful to remove the inscriptions without going too deep or creating holes in the surface, we try to leave it homogeneous as in the photo.
  4. I take the scrap wood that should be about half the size of the cap and shape it in this way, leaving a flat part and creating a tubular snout that goes down to the tip. For this operation we must figure that in the smooth part we will make the eyes, the nose will be applied towards the tip but must have enough space to enter with the pin, support, without remaining in sight the metal, the red plastic and finally leave a little space for the mouth.
  5. I inserted the pin in the lowest point of the muzzle, so as to leave a small part for the mouth. The pin is inserted diagonally to stay high above the muzzle but following the shape. I drew the eyes. Drilled two holes on the head, toward the end of the piece, with a nail bit (or with a drill like the Dremel and a very fine bit) and tested if the compound twigs would fit. I drilled a hole at the eyes, obviously on the opposite side, where the matchstick that will serve as the neck will go in.
  6. I take the cap back and turn it upside down. I make 4 holes, always with the awl or drill, calculating a diagonal as in the photo. The holes should not be very deep 5 mm will be sufficient. On the opposite side I make another hole that will be used to fix the head. I insert the matches to make the legs. If you had an eye for making the hole you won’t need glue, if not put a drop of glue on the matches before inserting them. I cut them off about an inch, see what height you want to keep.
  7. Now I insert a small piece of matchstick into the hole on the cap, on the back, and with a drop of glue on the end then I joined it to the hole in the head. Next I inserted the twigs into their holes, again with a drop of glue. With some wood shavings I made a pigtail and two small ears, applied with glue. I colored the eyes with a little acrylic paint.
  8. Here is my Christmas reindeer ready to run in the snow!

Good Luck Owl

Wooden good luck owl, photo by Alexas.fotos
Wooden good luck owl, photo by Alexas.fotos

We conclude this series of ideas on Christmas decorations, which can also be a welcome gift, with an ever-present good luck owl! Again, for this work the greatest difficulty is the design and also in this case, you can find it below nice and ready to be printed.

There are two main approaches to this work: a very simple one that involves only cut and paste, and a more creative one that can be done with a knife and gouges to create the reliefs of the glasses and wings.

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30 minutes / 1 hour and a half

from 0 euro by opting for the recycling of waste materials to less than 22 euro each by purchasing the materials

  1. Download and print the drawing, taking care to choose the size you want to obtain when printing, and then cut it out.
  2. Apply a light coat of glue stick to the board and stick the drawing on. Or use it as a reference to make your design, or use carbon or clear paper to transfer the design to the board. The various methods are described in this article.
  3. Cut fairly precisely using a band saw, or a handheld scroll saw.
  4. Sand the edges well so you don’t risk wood splinters.
  5. Cut apart, on the plywood board, the parts in relief, so glasses, nose, wings, paws and if you want the belly.
  6. Color with acrylic paints and decorate all the parts of both plywood and the base, let dry
  7. Proceed with the gluing with vinyl glue of the parts in relief.
    1. For those who chose to use a knife and palm gouges, proceed to forming the reliefs by hollowing out the wooden board precisely starting at the edges of the reliefs with the knife and then chipping away at the wide parts with the gouge.
    2. On the body, if you like, you can create the feather effect with irregular lines created with a V-gouge.
    3. Have fun creating different effects on the reliefs as well, after that clean, sandpaper very thin and move on to color.
  8. If you would like to get an antiqued effect as in the photo when everything will be dry pass a light hand of impregnation on all the work, will also serve as a protective.

If you’re still not satisfied, my friend Cousin Jack just made a video on how to create a cute and very simple Christmas decoration, maybe this tutorial will give you the right sprint to start your own projects!

from the Youtube channel of Cousin Jack Carves

And here we are at the end, now I can not wait to read your comments but especially to see your work or how you decorated your home for Christmas. I look forward to your photos or videos in the facebook group of Whittled Lovelies, Showcase woodcarving group.

I hope this article has been useful and has entertained you and….
Let the Christmas season begin!

Ciao! 😘🤗


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2 Comments

  1. Jack Loring says:

    Sara, Thank you so much for including my “Holli” ornament video. I hope it helps bring joy during the holiday season! Cousin Jack

    1. My pleasure, your videos are always beautiful and interesting! I’m sure our decorating tips will be appreciated, and the decorations will look great in any happy home!