Penknife Carving Projects and Techniques

Explore wood carving projects with a penknife for outdoor adventurers, hobbyist and wood workers.

  • Conceived as far back as the Iron Age, compact folding knives have proven to be indispensable personal possessions, taking on a wide range of forms over centuries of use. Whomever it is carried by and however it is used, this simple, lightweight device has become a popular resource for occupation and hobby alike.
    Photo by GettyImages/Willowpix
  • In “50 Things to Do with a Penknife”, by Matt Collins, he provides an introductory guide to carving many functional and rudimentary items, as well as a handful of more challenging whittling projects. While convenience and versatility make a penknife suitably industrious for survival in extreme conditions, they also make the perfect instrument for more recreational applications.
    Cover courtesy Princeton Architectural Press

In 50 Things to Do with a Penknife (Princeton Architectural Press) by Matt Collins, a horticultural consultant at the Garden Museum in London, showcases a practical guide for whittling with a penknife. Matt combines craftsmanship with savvy survival-skill projects that encompass a range of skills levels. Each project is accompanied by detailed step-by-step illustrations, making his book ideal for the creative adventurer.

Matt Collins invites adventurers, hobbyist and wood workers to explore the many uses of the indispensable penknife in his book 50 Things to Do with a Penknife. The hinged blade and protective handle make penknives a universal and portable tool that can be used on an array of unique projects that connect you closer to nature. Matt’s techniques encompass a wide range of skill levels, so you can find fun and relaxing projects to hone your whittling and carving skills no matter your experience. 

Here are projects from 50 Things to Do with a Penknife to get you started:

How to Carve a Willow Whistle with a Penknife
How to Carve a Fish Hook with a Penknife

This excerpt is reprinted with permission from 50 Things to Do with a Penknife by Matt Collins, published by Princeton Architectural Press, 2017.

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

50 Years of Money-Saving Tips!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters