Introduction: Green Lantern Ring - Made of Wood!!

Picture of Green Lantern Ring - Made of Wood!!

Let me start by saying I am neither a jewelry maker nor a woodworker. I've made jewelry before, and I've worked with wood before, but I definitely don't claim to know a whole lot about either. Anyway...

I made a couple of simple bands out of wood one day and decided to try and kick it up a notch and make something a little more complicated. While thinking about rings I remembered an instructable I've always wanted to do but didn't have the tools or supplies for: How to make a Green Lantern Ring

I've always been a comic fan, and I know more about Green Lantern than most people, but it's never been a series I kept up with. I still think the ring is super cool though so I decided it was perfect for my personal wooden ring challenge.

Here's what I did. Enjoy!

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials


Cheap wood carving set
Dremel tool with Workstation and flex extension
Multiple sizes of grinding and sanding bits
Sandpaper - coarse and fine
Sanding block


Wood (I buy wood bits by the pound from American Science and Surplus)
Green wood stain (got mine from Ikea)
Wood filler (if you're better at carving then me you won't need this)
Brushes (unless you use spay polyurethane)

Step 2: Ring Size

Picture of Ring Size

First I used a drill to make a center hole in my piece of wood. I used the biggest bit I had (1/2 in), then used a grinding wheel on my Dremel to make it larger. To get the right size I just kept testing it on my finger until it fit just a little tighter than I wanted. I did this so that it would end up just the right size after sanding.

Step 3: Basic Shaping

Picture of Basic Shaping

I used a pencil to draw on the Green Lantern design and the basic shape of the top of the ring.
I used the grinding wheel on the Dremel to remove the wood around the circle part of the logo.
Next I started grinding down the sides into the shape I had drawn around the logo.
Then I started on the profile, leaving the circle portion alone for now.

I decided to keep it relatively thick in both dimensions of the band because I was afraid that if it got to thin it would break easily. Maybe someone with more experience in wood could give me an idea of how thin I can go before it gets to weak. I also don't have any idea of what kind of wood it is, but it seems pretty light.

Step 4: Better Shaping of the Band

Picture of Better Shaping of the Band

Pretty basic step, but probably the one I spent the most time on.

I used a fairly coarse sandpaper (don't know the grit) on a small sanding block to get the exact shape of the band that I wanted. I sanded and I sanded and I sanded, then I sanded some more. When I was all done I sanded some more.

At the same time I sanded down the circle so that it was flat on the top, and redrew the logo on top.

Step 5: Carving the Logo

Picture of Carving the Logo

I used a variety of blades to carve out the logo.
The first ones were flat, and I used them to "trace" the logo straight down into the wood. I think there's a name for this in woodworking but I don't know what it is. It cuts the grains so that as you carve the chips stop where you "traced" it. Then I used some curved blades to carve out around the logo.Unfortunately I also don't have pictures of this step so I hope my explanation helps.

Next i used a tiny grinding bit on my Dremel to remove extra material from the logo, and to flatten out the bottom. This I have pictures of, and I may have actually been able to skip that last bit and just done this for the whole thing.

Step 6: YAY! More Sanding!!

Picture of YAY! More Sanding!!

I gave the whole thing another once over with the sanding block, then again with a 600 grit.
There were two places on the logo, one in the circle part and one in the logo itself, where I took a piece out that should have stayed. I used a little bit of wood filler on a toothpick to fill them in, waited for it to dry, then sanded some more.

Step 7: Stain and Finish

Picture of Stain and Finish

I started by using a paint brush to coat the ring in stain, but ended up just dunking the whole thing in the can. I took it out and let it sit for a while, then wiped the whole thing off and did it again. It may have been the fourth or fifth repeat of doing this before it was green enough for me. I let it sit overnight to dry.
I gave it one more with the fine sandpaper.
Then I used a sponge brush and gave it a coat of Polyurethane.
I let that dry, sanded lightly and coated again.

When it was all said and done I didn't actually like the color that it turned out. That's not to say I wouldn't do the stain if I were to do it again, it gave a nice base color to work off of. I used two different colors of green acrylic paint, phthalocynine green and green gold I sanded the poly again to get a good painting surface and coated once with the darker green.
Next a did a dry brush with the green gold.

Step 8: Using the Ring

Picture of Using the Ring

The first thing I did was use the ring to make a giant hand that I then used to pick up a bank robber and hang him from a light post until the police arrived. The next thing I did was realize I was watching Justice League cartoons and that my spandex were starting to get really uncomfortable. I'll stick to just the ring for now.


Redlantern1337 (author)2016-09-20

Question can you make any of the lantern corps ring symbols on the ring if you wanted to?

lions2005 (author)2015-11-12

the ring is amazing:) how much is big the piece of wood?

Zombiefly (author)2009-08-16

I found it ironic that the original green lanterns weakness was wood. Very nice ring though btw To bad agent orange never saw this guide and swapped lanterns rings when he wasn't looking

isac.duncan.1 (author)Zombiefly2015-01-22

Larfreeze would just take both lanterns

FlutterVertigo (author)2008-11-20

I know more about Green Lantern than most people

Does this include the original GL's weakness? (wood ...discussion of wood rings...)

jflynn1 (author)FlutterVertigo2011-06-08

Well, the Golden Age Green Lantern was a magical ring that was had a weakness for wood. The modern Green Lantern held a weakness against the color yellow until a few years ago. As Raj on TBBT pointed out, you could, at one time, take them both out with a number 2 pencil.

fergus22 (author)jflynn12013-08-25

are you a slayer? xoxo

Don't worry -- I won't tell. It was too easy to pass up.

toaignika (author)2009-07-22

Would aspen be a usable wood for this project? I have an abundance of larger branches in my back yard and don't want the wood to go to waste.

aintMichael (author)toaignika2009-07-23

to be totally honest, I'm still learning about different types of wood, and what they're best for. At the very least I'd say try it. No harm in having it not work and learning something.

toaignika (author)aintMichael2009-07-23

i tried it and the ring broke in the shaping process.. not sure if it was the wood or because the wood was too green

korgoth25 (author)toaignika2011-04-09

it was probobly a bit of both. I know close to nothing bout wood, but for this a good hard wood or if your like yourself then cut the block out drill a quick ring hole and let it sit for a good week. or to speed it up leave it in the oven at LOW temps, it shkd speed up the (Curing? that the right word?) process

Waffle2 (author)2009-11-04

Hey I am a big fan of the green lantern. But I am only a kid. So if you can? Maybe make one for me? You dont have to.

ShockValue (author)2009-05-05

Looks great! You know how ironic it would be if someone made an Alan Scott ring? lol.

catfan63 (author)2009-04-14

Neat idea- I do work with wood and you did just fine!!

BTW- the last picture looks like you might turning into the Hulk (thumb)!! :)

aintMichael (author)catfan632009-04-14


zanzibar_stallion (author)2008-07-19

Has anyone tried making a simple band with juniper heart wood, willow, mozambique, rosewood, ancient kauri, hawaiian koa, oak, padauk, or winewood??? If you have please let me know how it turned out.

you can use any wood thats hard enough. the wood must be really dry so it doesn't break or something..

daiatlus79 (author)karin_la2008-12-30

baking on a low heat would help as it would act like a kiln in a way

daiatlus79 (author)daiatlus792008-12-30

and as well remember the softness and hardness of certain woods as well, as well as if its fresh the sap and oils...

aintMichael (author)karin_la2008-08-13

if it's too dry it will crack, it will also swell and split if it gets any moisture in it. at the very least it should have a small amount of oil to keep either of those things from happening.

thanks now I just need the proper tools

Thank-you I really want to make one!!

daiatlus79 (author)2008-12-30

we need to see more rings.. i will have to try to make a Blue Lantern (Hope) ring.. if anyone else is willing to make the other colors, like: Yellow/Sinestro Corps (Fear) Red Corps (Rage) Orange Corps (Aravice/Greed) Black Corps (Death) Purple/Zamarons (Love) (yes, they have rings now as well) i would list the Indigo (Compassion) but they use staffs but if u wanna make one of those too it would be cool.... then we can have the War of Light! lol :P

mynameisjonas (author)2008-12-14

very nice, I made five rings like this. they all turned out great

FlutterVertigo (author)2008-11-20

When you're for those who have) at a hardware store, pick up a dowel and ask someone if there's any chance they could lop the end with a saw. IOW, let them do the cutting. When you ask them to help, just make a comment about "I'm cutting them short because I don't need the rest of the dowel." More times than not, they won't charge you for very much and just put the dowel in one of the bins which have all of their other stuff they can. You also could ask them to cut them to slightly different lengths, just so you can experiment. I know more about Green Lantern than most people, If you've got a garage, it might pay off to keep the remainder of the dowel.

crafty_crayons (author)2008-10-14

nice but how do u do such a good job with wood???

it's easier to do this in wood than a lot of other materials. Thanks

k :))

Kaiven (author)2008-10-01

nice ring! and LOL green thumb...

WurdBendur (author)2007-12-03

I'm going to try slicing a piece of a branch. It's just about the right size and already roughly round, which means less work for me.

Rishnai (author)WurdBendur2008-05-25

I tried to slice off a piece of a maple branch I had one time for a belt buckle, and it was really more trouble than it was worth. I hope your attempt goes better!

WurdBendur (author)Rishnai2008-06-02

It worked well enough. Because of the structure of the grain, I don't expect it'll be strong enough to hold up to the stress of everyday wearing, but it's just sitting in a drawer anyway.

Rishnai (author)WurdBendur2008-06-04

Yeah, if mine had worked I would have glued it to a steel backing plate so my new buckle wouldn't fall apart from wearing it every day. But it fell apart before it was even a buckle, so eh. I'll probably try again. When you tried it, what did you use to cut off your slice of branch, and how fresh was that branch? I've got a lot of various freshnessess of wood, but not enough time to use every cutting implement I have on every one until it works, which was probably my problem in the first place.

WurdBendur (author)Rishnai2008-07-03

I used a Dremel because that's what I had on hand. It was a bit awkward because my cutoff wheel was a little too small. If I had a saw, I would have used that instead. The branch wasn't too fresh. I had found it on the ground, still green, but that was some weeks before I decided to do anything with it. So not really fresh, but not old.

aintMichael (author)WurdBendur2007-12-03

That's probably a really good idea. I'd be curious to know how it turns out.

Kevvixx (author)2007-12-03

Wow! I'll defiantely have to try this, but without the green lantern symbol. Only because I have been wanting a wooden ring for a while now and now I have the chance to make it myself with my own design. Great Instructable by the way!

aintMichael (author)Kevvixx2007-12-03

I have a slidewhow here to that has a couple other designs I did. Check'em out, I'd love to inspire something awesome!

Ring Slideshow

I like the first ring that is kind of dark, with a light ridge in it. Do you have an instructable on that. Or can you just e-mail me on how to do it?

It's basically the same as this one, only i used a sharp knife to and cut from the middle to the edge (leaving that ring in the center) and then stained it. The coloring of the light part was an accident, I think it was the oil on my hands that made the stain not set in. I think I explained it somewhere else in these comments. Thanks

Kevvixx (author)aintMichael2007-12-05

yeah I like the 2nd one. I'll make something like that. and also where did you get the wood bit?

aintMichael (author)Kevvixx2007-12-05

I buy pieces by the pound from American Science and Surplus. They're not all the same pieces, but the rest of them are great for all kinds of projects.

Kevvixx (author)aintMichael2007-12-06

Where else can you get them?

aintMichael (author)Kevvixx2007-12-08

I'm sure if you just found a dowel from Home Depot or something you could just slice it up. A lot of craft shops also sell wooden dowels as well

smokehill (author)aintMichael2007-12-09

If you go to Home Depot, or someplace similar, they usually have several flavors of wood for dowels. You should probably pick the slightly more expensive hardwoods (pretty much any kind) rather than pine. I only made one wooden ring, but it worked well. I found an old silver ring at a yard sale, but almost all the square stone that had been set in it originally was gone. I originally planned on getting some nice stone cut for it, but later while I was doing some wood veneer, it occurred to me that a nice wood "stone" might be neat. I found a little scrap of neat burl veneer with a fine grain, and cut it to the right size square to fit the ring (after chipping out the last couple of cracked stone pieces). I epoxied the veneer scrap in, but it was thicker than the "stone" had been and stuck up quite a bit. I sanded it down with 2000-grit sandpaper, put on a coat of clear urethane, and it looked incredible. Everyone commented on it. I had to put a drop of polyurethane every year or so, and let it dry, since normal wear & tear, and handwashing, wears down the finish eventually. I have to try this one as soon as I figure out what design for the front.

If you use sesame oil or similar, the touch-ups are easier... and the oil from just touching it with your hands will keep it nice.

I prefer an oil finish, too, but I used the urethane primarily to protect the wood from the abuse and scratches it would pick up in normal wear. Even with the urethane, the amount of scratches that one picks up just from reaching into pockets with keys or pocket change is surprising. And of course spilling coffee, soft drinks, alcohol ... that, coupled with the constant soap & water from showers, or swimming -- jewelry really does take quite a beating. I had to be very careful to get the urethane tight into the gap between the ring and the wood insert, just to make sure moisture wouldn't seep underneath and loosen the wooden "stone." It would probably be smarter to use some sort of plastic , like that two-part liquid used for embedding objects in plastic.

aintMichael (author)smokehill2007-12-09

That ring sounds really cool. Happen to have any pictures? I would love to see it.

smokehill (author)aintMichael2008-03-26

Unfortunately I never took any pictures of that ring. I gave it to my son when he was about sixteen, and he wore it until it disappeared when he was in college. He suspected it was one of his friends that made off with it. I keep hoping to run across, at some yard sale, another gold or silver ring with a missing square stone, so I can try it again. It's almost too easy to be an instructable .... more of an idea that's almost self-explanatory.

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