"Carving a Santa Ornament" #2: Beard and Hat

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Blog entry by mpounders posted 11-01-2011 06:53 PM 9818 reads 5 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Starting out Part 2 of "Carving a Santa Ornament" series Part 3: Finishing up & Painting »

So we left off after we carved the mouth and teeth in the first blog and it looked something like this.

It will really start taking shape quickly now, when we start removing massive quantities of wood. First we do the stop cuts on the corners under the brim of the hat and then remove those chips, to make the hair go under the hat. Remove that same chip in the back also, I shape the beard so that it curves to a bit of a curl at the front, and round over any edges. I’m trying to use my knife on any area that was cut mechanically, to round it over and make it not so flat in appearance. Don’t get too detailed at this point…we’re still just blocking things out. Make the stop cuts and remove the chips all the way around the top of the hat band and also the bottom of the ball as shown.

Next, we start cutting off more of the corners, on the band and the hat, in order to give it a more rounded appearance. I’ve completed the right side and left the other un-completed so that you can see more of a contrast. I’ve also started reducing the size of the ball on top of the hat and tapering the hat from the band up to be more narrow at the top.

And here is the completed roughed-in piece. I gave the hat a little curve at the top. You could make the ball smaller, or even carve it from a separate piece and attach it, or make a fold or two in the hat. This basic face shape is very flexible, in that you can just make a few changes and have a completely different character. Leave the hat off and it’s a wood spirit. Leave the ball off the hat and it’s a wizard. Put sunglasses on it and change the hat and it’s a biker (maybe add some bugs to the teeth?). Different hat and buck-teeth and it could be Uncle Jed!

I like to leave a little flat place on the back where I can sign and date it. The next blog will talk about some different detailing things that can be done. Thanks for looking!

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

6 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile


32073 posts in 2987 days

#1 posted 11-01-2011 10:23 PM

Mike, I will definitely follow along. Christmas is almost here and there’s so much to do and so little time to do it in. Thanks for this tutorial.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Billinmich's profile


245 posts in 3852 days

#2 posted 11-01-2011 11:03 PM

I’m following along,tried carving a couple of wood spirits 2 weeks ago.This will make it easier for me.Can you show us how to do eyes?Thanks for the lessons.

-- Bill in Mich

View Michael1's profile


403 posts in 2781 days

#3 posted 11-02-2011 02:24 AM

This is an awsome blog. About 25 years ago PBS use to have a show called Wood Craving with Rick Buttz. I loved watching it and learning to carve and then just as I finished my first or second carving, the show was cancelled in my area and I have never really learned anything about carving since then. Keep the lessons coming, I love the opportunity to learn this skill. Thanls for putting this lesson together

-- Michael Mills, North Carolina,

View 58j35bonanza's profile


395 posts in 2813 days

#4 posted 11-02-2011 02:35 AM

I have just started carving myself, I will try catch up. Will you have another after this?

-- Chuck

View Wayne's profile


196 posts in 2714 days

#5 posted 11-02-2011 03:48 AM

Great write up! Will be watching this one!

View mpounders's profile


890 posts in 3016 days

#6 posted 11-02-2011 04:07 PM

Thanks all! Bill and Chuck, I will do one on eyes and something else after this one is completed, so keep checking mu stuff. It may take a few days, but I’ll get something going! I’ll try and post the finish to this one today.

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

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