Ice Fishing Fish Decoy Gallery

Learn how to wood carve your own Ice Fishing Decoy, a free wood carving project by Lora S Irish.

Ice Fishing Decoy Carving
Ice Fishing Decoy Gallery One
Ice Fishing Decoy Gallery Two

Fish decoys offer any carver a wonderfully creative base for your wood carving.  Once you have carved the basic fish body shape you can use that as a canvas for your other crafting and carving techniques.  This gallery offers just a few ideas on how you can make your fish decoys into miniature Folk Art masterpieces.

Celtic Knot Fish DecoyPractice Patterns

I often advice my students to do a practice board before they begin working on their larger finished work.  Practice boards allow you to experiment with a new technique or explore a new style of design without jeopardizing a larger, more expensive piece of wood.  Those scrap practice boards often end up in some box under the work table, yet they hold a wonderful, small carving.  Well, instead of working your next practice board on scrap wood, why not try it on a fish decoy.

This ice fishing decoy measures 2″ high by 5″ long, and has cork board and copper sheet fins.  After the body was shaped and sanded I traced a small Celtic knot pattern to both sides of the fish.  With my v-gouge I cut along the tracing lines.  to separate the knotted line from the background I used the v-gouge, working with the grain of the wood from fin to mouth, to create a scored lined background.

Pyrography Fish DecoyPyrography Fish

As a pyrographer I am always looking for something new to wood burn and this simple tear-drop shaped fish decoy was perfect.  the finished decoy measures 3″ high by 5 1/2″ long and uses aluminum sheet for the fins.  After the body was shaped and sanded I used graphite paper to trace this simple scroll leave pattern to the wood.  Using a ball tip pen and a medium-hot temperature setting I worked the design with my wood burner.


Scrapbook fish decoyDecoupage Wood Carved Decoy

Some yellow wood glue, the Sunday newspaper, and an ox hair brush turned this fish decoy into a decoupage treat.  The fish decoy measures 3″ high by 5″ long and 1 1/2″ wide.  the fins are cut from sheet copper and aged with liver of sulfur – a chemical available at most online jewelry supply shops.




Irish business cardBusiness Card Decoy Fish

Marking pens, colored pencils, and even crayons can be used to decorate your wood carving fish decoy.  This decoy measures 6″ long by 3″ high and uses a disposable pie pan for the fins.  After the basic painting was completed, just for fun, I turned it into a business card with my blog address using colored pencils and marking pens.  My special business card is guaranteed to catch the attention of some important client.






Irish_vintage_fish_400 Business Card Fish 2

Well, one was just no enough, so I did another.  In this vintage styled decoy I printed my blog name, tore the paper and t hen scorched the edges.  A little craft paste glue let me attach the name to decoy.  A light coat of burnt umber wash give this 7″ long by 2″ high fish decoy a nice, aged look.





basswood fish decoySomething Simple

This little fish decoy is a very simple, basic design.  Measuring 6″ long by 4″ high, it is made from a 1″ square by 3″ long basswood block and 1/4″ balsa wood for the fins.  The balsa wood is soft enough that you can use the back of your bench knife to score lines into the fins.  Several light coats of acrylic spray sealer allow the natural  colors of the wood to show cleanly.






wood spirit fish decoyWood Spirit Fish Decoy

Not all fish decoys need to be fish!  This one was a practice board piece to work through the steps to carving the wood spirit face.  With the face completed it only took another hour to turn him into a decoy for display.  The finished decoy measures 6″ long and is worked on a 1 1/4″ square basswood block.





penguin bird decoyExperimenting with other Simple Ideas

Bird bodies are not that much different from fish and fins can easily become wings.  For this 4″ high x 1 1/2″ wide penguin carving, adding a collar, vest, and long tail coats quickly turned him into a waiter.






Folk art fish decoy carving instructions by Lora S IrishWhittle Fish E-Project by Lora S Irish

Learn folk art ice fishing decoy carving with this in-depth step-by-step project taught by Lora S. Irish.  This sixty page e-book includes an introduction to the history of ice fishing decoys, the six basic carving cuts needed to create these fun fish, and two complete projects. Complete your decoy with the painting steps and by creating a simple wire hanger.

60 pages of instructions, patterns, and ideas included are 20 small decoys patterns with fin variations, 4 long minnow decoy patterns, and 21 large full-sized decoy patterns accompanied by full-colored photos of the carved samples.

Comes in Adobe Reader .pdf format!

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