in: How To, Skills

• Last updated: June 2, 2021

How to Carve a Turtle Out of a Bar of Soap

Whittling has long been a way people have wiled away the time. If you’ve got a younger child who isn’t quite ready to whittle real wood yet, they can cut their teeth with the skill by carving up a bar of soap.

Carving soap into animals is something you might have done in Boy Scouts when you were a kid, and is something you can do just for fun with your own children.

Soap makes an ideal substance for kids to whittle because it’s so soft. Soft enough that your kiddo can even use a butter knife for the job if they don’t yet have experience with using a pocket knife. This activity allows them to practice handling a knife without running the risk of cutting themselves. Also, soap is cheap and easy to come by. If your kid messes up, you can just toss the messed up bar of soap into the shower to be used as it was intended.

The shapes kids can whittle are endless, but a turtle is an easy starter soap whittling project. Here’s how to carve a shape that will turn out looking decently turtle-esque:

Step 1: Gently scrape off any branding/wording that’s imprinted on the top of the bar of soap.

Step 2: Use a skewer or toothpick to draw the outline of a turtle on your soap.

Step 3: Make rough cuts into the soap until you’ve cut down to the outline you drew on it. 

Step 4: Whittle your turtle to give it some shape and so that it looks more turtle-like. 

Step 5: Use a toothpick to add eyes/shell texture.

You can smooth remaining rough edges by wetting the soap and rubbing it with your fingers.

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