How to Make Wooden 3D Pirate Skulls

By David Sandoval

From the stories of Sinbad the Sailor to modern-day movies, pirates have served as a subject of fascination for thousands of people around the world. Representations of the Jolly Roger flag and skulls in general are often associated with “pirate culture.” A decorative, three-dimensional pirate skull can be carved out of a block of wood by using a few common woodworking tools.

List of Items Needed

  • Block of wood
  • Pencil
  • Handheld multipurpose tool with cutting accessory
  • Wood chisel
  • Hammer
  • Sharp pocketknife
  1. Draw or trace an outline of the skull’s features on the wood block. This outline will be used as a template showing the parts to be carved out of the wood block to create the skull.

  2. Use the handheld multipurpose tool to cut the shape of the skull out of the wood block. This tool may be used to round the top of the skull as well as to flatten the bottom edges of the skull.

  3. Use the wood chisel to cut the major facial features – such as the eye sockets and sinus cavities – out of the skull. Cut surface features by facing the chisel bevel down and tapping the back of the chisel to remove small slices of wood from the features. Use the hammer to strike the back of the chisel to remove larger chunks of wood from the major features.

  4. Use the sharp pocketknife to whittle smaller features – such as surface “cracks” and tooth details – out of skull. Smooth any rough edges on the skull by scraping these edges with the unsharpened side of the knife blade.

© Demand Media 2011