Happy Christmas Gnome

Holiday Carving / Patterns & Projects

Happy Christmas Gnome

Easy beginner character can be carved as Santa’s helper or a garden gnome

By Ross Oar

This happy fellow started out as a project in a beginner’s carving class. The compact figure is easy to carve, but provides essential practice in carving faces and texturing hair. Intermediate and advanced carvers can quickly carve one as a last-minute present.

You can create any number of variations by changing the hat and color scheme. Turn the figure into a Santa by carving a traditional Santa hat and adding a ball to the top.

Follow the dotted line around the outside of the main pattern when cutting the gnome blank on a band saw. Leave a little extra wood to personalize and modify the carving. The buffer zone also prevents me from amputating the gnome’s nose or toes if I slip when cutting with the band saw.

Basswood block: 2½” x 2¾” x 7″ (64mm x 70mm x 17.8cm)
• Acrylic paints: yellow ochre (hat, pants, and mittens), green (coat, iris), white (hair, beard, mustache, eyebrows, eyes, eye highlight), flesh (exposed skin), light red (lips), burnt umber (boots), black (pupil)

Band saw
• Carving knife
• #9 gouges: 2mm, 5mm, 6mm, and 10mm
• #5 gouge: ¼” (6mm)
• #3 gouge: 5/8″ (16mm)
• 90° V-tools: 10mm, 12mm
• 75° V-tool: 8mm


CLICK HERE to view the Happy Christmas Gnome Pattern.


Carving-Wooden-SantasCarving Wooden Santas, Elves, & Gnomes by Ross Oar includes more than 20 delightful patterns of the jolly man in red and his crew of friends plus two step-by-step projects. It is available from www.foxchapelpublishing.com for $16.95 plus S&H.




Read more great articles from Woodcarving Illustrated Winter 2008 (Issue 45) here.



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