How to carve a Christmas Elf
Follow this step by step guide of how to make your own little Elf family!
If you have carving tools, that's great, but if not, you can get by with a sharp pen knife or a Stanley knife.
**The most important thing, no matter what tools you're using is that you practice safe carving techniques. This mean not cutting towards anything that can bleed! Think about every cut before you make it. If the knife slips, you want it to hit nothing but air!
Start with a straight, round piece of wood. Hazel is ideal but any type of wood will do.
Don't cut it too short to start with as it makes to carving a bit fiddly.
Using your axe (or knife if you don't have an axe), work steadily around the end of the wood to give it a blunt point. We will be rounding the top later so no need to put too sharp a point.
If you used an axe, you can go over the cuts with a knife to clean up the tool marks.
Use the knife, or a very fine saw to make a horizontal cut about a centimetre below the hat. This will be the elf's brow.
You need to use a fair amount of pressure here when using the knife so make sure your other hand is well out of the way in case you slip.
You can also round the top of the hat at this point.
For the eyes and nose, make three distinct cuts, stopping at the line you cut in the previous step.
Now you can saw the elf off! Make it as tall or short as you like but try to saw it level so that it will stand up well.
To make it look a bit neater, carve a small chamfer around the base.
You can add some detail like this to the hat or just carve a rounded point.
This can be left unpainted and looks like a little, white bobble!
I use a pyrography pen to burn the eyes on, but black paint works just as well.
You can then paint the hat any colour you like or leave them natural!
If you didn't carve a bobble but you still want a white tip on the hat, then wait until the paint dries and carefully carve off a thin layer to expose the pale wood underneath.
And that's it! You can now fill your home full of lots of festive friends!