Carved Wood Family Crest or Coat of Arms

Sarah Brown
by Sarah Brown
3 Days
I had a spare piece of wood from building furniture that I decided to carve into a Family Crest for my Grandparents.
You'll need:
Wood block
Wood chisels, Mallet, Paints, stain, polyurethane or Krylon Triple thick clear spray, paint brushes, Xacto knife and small chisels for details. Sandpaper
Approx. 8-12 hours depending on how detailed you get with the carving. I estimate the time. It did take course over a few days of my spare time to complete, with drying times of paint and polyurethane held out.
19 x 20 inches, Pine relief carving. The wood was only about a 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick so I opted to do a low relief carving.
Select a crest to carve. I made mine from a combination of two separate crests. Then you can freehand or trace with carbon paper the scaled image onto the wood. I used a heavy pencil so I could follow the outlines better.
make a plan. Decide what you will carve out and what wood you will leave. Always point the chisel away from your body. I used large chisels to remove the bulk of the wood and smaller (craft chisels) to get the details.
The fleur de lis for example are carved out of the shield so that the shield could be flat. Slight depth differences makes a large imact.
once you have the image fully carved you can think about if you want to sand and stain the entire crest, or as I did paint and stain.
I decided to paint the crest to further bring out the depth of the image and keep it vibrant. I really thought the bold blues and yellows would be very nice against a dark background.
Be very careful with staining if you painted the crest. You don't want to get stain onto the areas you just painted. Once the entire thing is dry. Firstly use the polyurethane on just the painted parts of the image then the stained.
Once well enameled with polyurethane or a clear spray and dry. You can add picture hangers to the back of the wood. I used tooth style hangers and matching wall hooks.
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
Join the conversation