Fall Carving / Holiday Carving / Patterns & Projects

Double-Sided Holiday Ornament

turkey-side santa-side










Ingenious Turkey/Santa ornament is a real attention getter

By Glenn Stewart

carved this turkey one autumn for a fun project. A few weeks later, I was carving Santa faces on different things, like clothespins and pencils. The turkey was close by, so I tried the Santa face on the back of it. It fit perfectly, and that is how the turkey/Santa came to be.


Carving the Ornament

Start by transferring the turkey pattern to the basswood blank. Cut the perimeter with a scroll saw, band saw, or coping saw. Mark a centerline around the edge of the blank. Stop-cut along the pattern lines using a small V-tool, and then carve into the stop cuts with a knife and shallow gouge. Angle the feathers so each one appears to tuck behind the next one. Use a small V-tool to carve the feather shafts and details. Use the gouge to gently round the body. Repeat the same steps on the Santa side, outlining the parts and then carving into the stop cuts to create dimension. Use a micro gouge to add the beard and fur textures, being careful to carve curvy lines.


Basswood, 1/2″ (13mm) thick: 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ (89mm x 89mm)
Finish, such as Howard Feed-n-Wax
Small screw eye

Carving knife
Detail knife
V-tool: 1/8″ (3mm)
Micro gouges, such as Dockyard: 3/64″ (1.5mm), 1/8″ (3mm)
#3 gouge: 3/8″ (10mm)
#5 gouge: 1/4″ (6mm)
Small paintbrush


CLICK HERE to download the Double-Sided Holiday Ornament Patterns.


Read Handcarved Christmas (Best of WCI) for more information on carving ornaments. Giving a handcarved Christmas ornament or gift is as much fun as it is to make one. Includes projects for caricature ornaments, whittled pencils, a folk art tree topper whittled pencils, and more. The book is available at www.foxchapelpublishing.com for $19.95 plus S&H.

See Woodcarving Illustrated Fall 2013 (Issue 64) for full step-by-step instructions.

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