A Birthday Wooden Shark with the Dremel Micro 8050


How to make a big wooden shark and add details like teeth and gills with a Dremel

When I was a kid, my favorite toys to play with were Fisher Price Little People. Not those chunky ones they have now; the real ones:Β  the ones you can choke on. I don’t remember much about actually playing with the Little People. What I remember is the part that came before that, where my brother and I would dump our entire collection of Little People and all their furniture and stuff out on the floor and then methodically take turns picking each piece for our personal stockpiles until they were all claimed. I was mostly in it for the accessories, you see.

So you can imagine how excited I was to get this new Dremel Micro 8050 to try out. Dremels are like Little People for grown-ups. They have approximately eight million different accessories available, most of which you can definitely choke on. But you won’t, because you’re a grown-up, and you know not to put them in your mouth!


You can do so many different things with a Dremel–cut, carve, engrave, sand, grind, sharpen, clean, polish–that it’s kind of intimidating. We considered a couple of different projects, but finally settled on this toothy guy.

My friend Tracy has a birthday coming up (not until late October, but one of the advantages of having a friend with a blog is that you get your present early if said friend’s Dremel post goes up a month and a half before your birthday) and she has, in the past, expressed interest in a wooden wall hanging like our whale….only a shark, because whales are for babies (well, whales are for OUR baby).

I remembered that Cassie from Primitive and Proper had posted about such a shark awhile back, and I showed Tracy a picture of that, and she loved it. But Cassie made her shark in collaboration with her neighbor who has some sort of incredibly fancy wood cutting machine that I don’t even understand. (That means it’s REALLY fancy, because usually I understand all power tools immediately. Not really). Now, while I like the look of the whales we’ve made as just outlines, I felt like the shark needed some additional details to the interior of the wood. Like big, scary teeth. And, until I got my Dremel, I had no good way to add these details. But now I do! So, to sum up, I made this shark for my friend, Tracy (along with Dave, but I did the Dremel part all by myself. Proud).

And here’s how we did it.

I found a shark drawing I liked the look of online and sketched it out on a big piece of thick plywood. (Our shark is about four feet long and made from 3/4 inch thick plywood). I free handed this, but if you’re not comfortable doing that, you could blow up the image with a projector and trace. My shark’s fin probably would have looked less…injured….if I had done that.


Then Dave cut it out with a jigsaw and sanded it down nice and smooth with the power sander.


Then I practiced nervously with the Dremel on scrap wood for a long time. The Dremel Micro comes with 18 different attachments, and I tried out a few different ones before settling on the engraving cutter. It made nice thick lines that would, I hoped, show up well on the finished shark.

It took me a little while to get confident, but things went pretty smoothly once I moved on to the actual shark. I drew the lines I wanted with a pencil first (gills, an eye, teeth, and a couple of lines where the fins come out), and then went over them with the Dremel. I was really pleased with how it turned out, especially given that this was my first Dremel project. Slow and steady and keep a firm hand–that’s my Dremel advice. Sometimes you hit a tough spot in the wood, and it wants to jump around a little, but if you go slow and tell that Dremel who’s in charge, it all works out.

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Another great feature of the Dremel Micro, incidentally, is that if you mess up and leave one of the accessories outside in the rain all night, it will get a little rusty, but it will still work fine the next day. I’m not sure how I would know that, though.

Anyway, when I was all finished, I sanded again over the places where I’d used the Dremel, and then it was all done except for paint.

I was worried about going too dark or thick with the paint and having it cover up my fabulous Dremeled lines, so I decided to go with a gray wash instead of plain paint. I took the leftover gray paint from our raven planter boxes, mixed it about 50/50 with water, and brushed it on. You can still see the wood grain through it, too, which is kind of a nice feature, if you’re into that sort of thing.


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More on the Dremel Micro 8050:

  • The Micro 8050 is fully compatible with all Dremel rotary tool accessories.
  • You can purchase the Micro 8050 online at Amazon.com and HomeDepot.com for $89 USD.
  • For more information on Dremel products, project ideas and problem-solving tips, visit www.dremel.com.

Dremel wants to celebrate its fans’ brilliant projects, work and ideas! Now through October 12, share, tweet or post photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that depict your brilliant ideas using the hashtag #MyBrilliantIdeaSweeps for the chance to win weekly prizes, including free tools and handmade gifts, or the grand prize: a custom-engraved Honda scooter and a Micro 8050. Visit www.facebook.com/dremel for rules and to learn more.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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A Birthday Wooden Shark with the Dremel Micro 8050 — 25 Comments

  1. The shark is so cute!!!

    And yes, I totally played with those little choking hazard fisher price people – in fact, my mom just gave me a garbage bag full of them because I begged her not to give them away… Your post reminded me to pull them out again – which I’m sure was the whole point of this, right? πŸ˜‰

    • Totally the point ;). My mom gave all my Little People away, so I’ve had to spend YEARS slowly amassing a collection for my kids. Who mostly didn’t care, but there’s still hope for Abe!

    • You can stop hinting now; I’ll make Weston a shark for HIS birthday, too. Sharks for everyone! πŸ˜‰ You’ll have to talk to Cassie’s neighbor about Andy’s present, though

  2. I want one! Like right now!!!! I was an art major and loved my wood working class though now I don’t have a great space for tools….this would so work for me!!!! And this Shark rocks! Love the pic up there of your cutie jumping back from it!! Outstanding! And I tried to comment on your last post with all of your beautiful halloween decor but for some reason it wasn’t letting me…anyway I wanted you to know that what you created is amazing! Happy day friend! Nicole xo

  3. Dude, we both must have sharks on the brain. My niece just turned one and I insisted on having her party out at my house. My bro is a huge fan of sharks so that’s our theme. I’ve been up to my neck in shark stuff for the past two weeks. Of course they wont be featured on the blog for another 2 years or so according to my turtle pace!

    Anywho, your shark turned out fantastic. That dremel is a pretty dang amazing tool!!

    Thank you for sharing at Outside [the Box]! Hope to have your bombdiggity projects again soon, Gretchen!

  4. Pingback: 20 Rad DIY gifts worth bringing out the power tools for - Lemon Thistle

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