Bohemian Toothpick Upcycle



I have always had the influence of carpentry in my life, my father is a very skilled woodworker and craftsman, and there is always something coming out of his woodshop. I also know how to whittle, thanks to the many summers spent at Boy Scout camps, and it is a mostly peaceful and creative hobby. I like the idea of things being natural, and done by hand, which is something that we seem to be moving away from as a society at large. In Anna Lugthart’s post on the bohemian aesthetic one of the most important components are “Organic elements like plants or wooden objects are popular in addition to visibly handmade objects, especially those made by the owner.” I think my project fits nicely within this criteria and therefore I will not be painting or using any “non-organic” elements to finish the pieces. I think that there is also an arts/crafts or craftsman aesthetic at play too.\

Wood Carving


Bohemian Coffee Table


Bohemian craftsman aesthetic my new aesthetic is defined by craftsmanship and natural beauty. functionally I wanted to create two small wooden objects one purely sculptural and one functional if possible. Artistically I wanted to challenge myself to only use hand crafting methods. This laborious task would hopefully, bring me closer to the objects I was creating.



Using hand tools, to really hit the bohemian craft aesthetic home

Probably going to get a neighborly complaint about the amount of shavings from whittling on the patio

(Left) “prototype porcupine” ; (Right) Hedgehog

Final Products:

Hedgehog, sculptural, toothpicks cut, tiled, and wood glued to its back.

Porcupine, functional, toothpicks inserted into 5/64″ holes drilled into back.

Functional Goals

I think I functionally achieved my goals that I had at the beginning of the process, but hindsight is always twenty-twenty. When the craftsman looks at their object of creation they are aware of every single flaw in its fabrication and always have the most critical opinion of their own work. I am not immune to that bug, so there are certainly changes I would make to make the process easier or produce a slightly different product (especially the porcupine).

Artistic Goals 

The only fault I had with my artistic vision was the necessary usage of a power drill in order to drill the holes in the porcupine’s back. I would not say that this compromises the artistic integrity of the piece, but with the time constraints it was a required modern advantage that was too good to turn down. I wanted to make something cute, which I think was achieved with the hedgehog, but after many facial reconstruction sessions, the porcupine insists in having a face that only a mother can love.

What’s next?

The hedgehog may be cute enough to keep as a knick-knack, my porcupine friend was supposed to be the functional one that I would keep, but I think his days as not a pile of wood chips are numbered. I’m thinking of a replacement for the porcupine, but right now it’s not much more than a faint idea.

Presentation Video


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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Ankit Karkhanis
    February 26, 2023 8:32 pm

    Hey Chris,
    Firstly, great choice on the featured image. I was immediately drawn to the post. Beautiful photography. I really liked the Bohemian look you have achieved with your aesthetic and I appreciate the efforts you have put in these artifacts. Was the shape of the wood for the body intentional? Would you be considering a more spherical shaped wood for the body, if you chose to take another attempt at this project?

  • Peter Jakubczak
    February 22, 2023 5:54 pm

    Hi Chris,

    This is awesome! I love how much detail you put into the project. This seems like an awesome gift for someone. Have you considered painting it?


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