Complete this simple, customizable figure in one sitting—and then make a whole army of them!

By David Young

I love carving small figures. It’s incredibly satisfying to complete a carving in one sitting, but carving small has another advantage as well: with a few cuts at this scale, I can quickly create dramatic shapes that would take many cuts at a larger scale.

This little gnome character grew out of experimenting with shapes and looking for a simple pattern that had three essential elements—a tall hat, a textured beard, and a simple but recognizable body design. This pattern provides unlimited opportunity for customization. Try your own beard design, crazy hat shapes, color combinations, or any other details you desire. You won’t be able to stop at just one.

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Woodcarving Illustrated magazine is published quarterly for both subscribers and newsstand readers. The editorial team passionately searches for and features interesting and creative carvers, projects, and techniques. Each issue includes inspiring feature articles and galleries showing artists stretching the art of woodcarving, comprehensive step-by-step articles outlining the steps to recreate a carving, pattern profiles to inspire more experienced readers, and reviews of the newest and most useful tools.

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