Fall Carving / Patterns & Projects

Spooky Halloween House

Adding scenery and a sky gives a bark house a whole new look

By Bob Hershey

One of my favorite things to carve is a themed bark house. Over the years I’ve created houses for Christmas, July 4th, and Thanksgiving, but my favorite houses are for Halloween. Cottonwood bark lends itself especially well to an eerie Halloween look.

No two pieces of bark are the same, so any measurements, dimensions, and patterns are suggestions. Adapt the design to fit your bark. As long as you set your landmarks in well, your piece will turn out fine.

Cottonwood bark, 3″ (76mm) thick: 3 1/2″ x 13″ (89mm x 33cm)
Oil paints: Payne’s grey, black, reddish-brown, gold, brick red, orange, silver, green, white, buff titanium, cadmium yellow deep, ultramarine blue
Natural oil stain, such as Minwax
Finish, such as Deft: spray semi-gloss
Watco Danish oil wax: natural, dark walnut
Paper bag

Carving knife
#5 gouge: 3/4″ (19mm)
#7 gouge: 5/8″ (16mm)
#11 gouge: 1/8″ (3mm)
Micro gouge: 1/8″ (3mm), 5/32″ (4mm)
V-tool: 1/16″ (2mm) or stylus, 1/8″ (3mm), 1/2″ (13mm)
Paintbrushes: #2, #4, #8 round

CLICK HERE to download the full step-by-step article.

CLICK HERE to view a gallery of bark houses carved by Bob Hershey.


Read the Illustrated Guide to Carving Bark by Rick Jenson and Jack A. Williams for more information. The book is available at www.foxchapelpublishing.com for $14.95 plus S&H. 

Read more great articles from Woodcarving Illustrated Fall 2014 (Issue 68).


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