Carved Totem Pole

By  Michelle Zimmerman  for  AMACO

size: 5" tall

  • Carved Totem Pole


  • AMACO: Balsa Foam Block, EZ Grip Modeling Tools
  • Acrylic paints, in colors of choice
  • Flat toothpicks
  • Jumbo craft stick
  • Craft glue

Basic Supplies

  • paintbrush, newspaper (to cover work surface)
  • 1. Measure and cut balsa foam block into 3"x4-1/2"x5" pieces creating four blocks. Use one block for each totem pole.
  • 2. Research animals and choose two for totem pole. Sketch designs on scratch paper. Use sketches when carving totem pole shapes. (For bird, use tool to cut 1/2" from top of block. Cut 1/2" square into two 1/4" pieces for wings.)
  • 3. Use craft stick to gently carve outline of animals in block. Carefully carve out larger areas first, creating general shape of animals.
  • 4. Use tools to create details, lines, and eyes.
  • 5. For bird's wings, attach onto sides of totem pole by inserting toothpicks into center and gently pushing into sides of totem pole.
  • 6. On covered work surface, paint totem pole animals black and brown. Let dry. Paint details on animals in white and other colors. Let dry.