How to Carve Your Own Wooden Spoon

Yep, so say the worst happens. A major disaster or terrorist attack comes about and forces you to live on your own for weeks or months.

Or, if you’re more of an optimist, everything in your life is going well and you simply want to get out with your family and experience what it’s like to rough it.

In either case, you’ll need survival tools to make your own wooden spoon. And here’s how you might do it:

1. Flatten the Wood So You Can Carve from It

First, you can start with an axe or hatchet. Choose a soft type of wood, like basswood, because it’s much easier to carve.

Start by making precise and controlled cuts on the wood so it’s as close to flat as you can get it on one side.

Then, use a carving knife to make precise push cuts to flatten the wood further so you can draw the outline of a spoon on it.

“Push cuts” are likely what first comes to mind when you think of carving or whittling. You grab the wood in your off hand, while grabbing the knife with your dominant hand.

Then, you simply carve with the grain, using cuts that push away from your body. Watch your fingers on your off hand so you don’t accidentally gash yourself!

2. Draw the Outline of Your Spoon

Your spoon’s outline doesn’t need to be a work of art. It simply needs to be a rough outline for you to follow.

Consider how you’d like to use this spoon. Will it be to eat or serve?

You can carve the outline in with your knife. You can also use a thick carpenter’s pencil.

3. Shape the Handle

Position the wood vertically. The handle side should be touching the ground. Cut down so you’re going with the grain.

This is fairly precise cutting, so aim to remove small pieces of wood. It also protects you from slipping and possibly cutting yourself.

Leave about ½ inch of space between the edge of the wood and the outline of your spoon.

4. Shape Your Spoon’s Head

Flip your block of wood so the head of your spoon now touches the ground. Make push cuts, leaving about an inch of space between the outline of the spoon and where you cut.

This is where you most likely will cut yourself. So, aim for short pushes and cuts, and don’t place a lot of tension on each cut.

5. Form Your Spoon’s Bowl

A hook knife makes this job much easier. Use downward scoop cuts just like you’re scooping ice cream.

When done, use a carving knife to cut the remaining wood outside your outline so that it comes flush with the outline.

6. Sanding

If you’re in a survival situation, you may want to skip this step. It’s precious time and energy wasted, as sanding is really only for aesthetics.

It also takes the most time out of all these steps.

If you’re not in such a situation, use 400, 800, and then 1200-grit sandpaper to give your spoon a beautiful look.

Initially, a spoon sounds like a large undertaking. It’s work. But, now you realize it’s not impossible and that you can make your own.