Woodworking projects often start with wood purchased at a lumber yard or hobby shop, but some of the most creative wood projects can be done using tree wood, whether directly on a tree or gathered in the woods. Whether you've got your sights set on a small project using a carving knife or a larger project using power carvers, tree wood can provide you with all the material you need to create your project.
A dead tree in your yard can be expensive to remove. An alternative is to use the tree to make an artistic presentation. Tree characters are fun to make and provide an activity for your whole family. With a hammer, chisel, a knife and paint, you can carve faces right into the tree in bas relief. Tree characters don't need to be detailed. Simple carved faces can turn dead tees into conversation pieces.
Wood Spirit Walking Sticks
Try gathering tree limbs and carving them into walking sticks. Tree limbs, especially from hardwood trees, make ideal starters for a walking stick. Find a branch that has good circumference and use a carving knife to shape it, then carve a wood spirit into the handle. A wood spirit is a character made up of human features and elements of nature. Wood spirit walking sticks are attractive works of art that you can also consider selling at a local flea market to collectors.
Tree Stump Furniture
Instead of digging tree stumps out of your yard, use a chainsaw to cut and shape them into pieces of yard furniture. You can easily fashion tree stumps into chairs or a table, leaving the bark on for a more natural look, or peeling it off and sanding for a more finished look.
Homemade Lincoln Logs
Try gathering up scrap tree wood, pieces all about the same size, and using a carving knife to make your own Lincoln Logs. Use a carving knife to shape and notch the tree pieces until all of your pieces are nearly uniform, then use your homemade logs to build a log cabin model.
Tree branches come in all sizes and shapes, suitable for a variety of projects. Many tree branches might suggest a project just by their shape or density. Select a variety of tree branches and use them to make homemade toys such as slingshots and stick people. You can even use thinner tree branches to weave purses and baskets.