Introduction: Wood Ring

Picture of Wood Ring

This instructable will show you how to make a simple wood ring.


-Piece of wood veneer, approximately 6 by 6 inches
-Wood glue
-Food coloring
-Clear nail polish


-5/8" drill bit
-Belt sander or sandpaper

Approximate time:

1 to 2 hours of work and about two nights of drying time for woodglue and dyes

Step 1: Cutting the Chips

Picture of Cutting the Chips

Use heavy-duty scissors to cut chips that are about 1 inch on both sides. This ring has a thickness of 6 chips, but depending on the veneer you use and the desired thickness, you can adjust accordingly.

Step 2: Dyeing the Wood

Picture of Dyeing the Wood

This step is optional. I've made rings in the past without dye. For those, I use a woodburner on low give the ring a slightly rustic look and polish. That aesthetic is more appealing to me, but I'll include the directions for the colored ring since it is more complicated.

Using a glass dish, mix a strong dye out of water and food coloring and let the chips soak in it overnight. I chose pink and teal for these chips - three of each color. After about eight hours, rinse the chips and let them dry completely.

Step 3: Making the Ply

Picture of Making the Ply

These veneers will be glued together to make a very thin, strong plywood. Decide on a design for the ring, based on your colors, alternating the grain of the wood to make the ply stronger. Between each layer of wood, lay down a thin, even layer of wood glue, then clamp it all in place between two spare pieces of wood.

Step 4: Shaping the Ring

Picture of Shaping the Ring

Choose a drill bit that is slightly narrower than the diameter of your finger. This will allow you to sand the inside of the ring smooth. I've found that a 5/8" bit generally works for an average finger. Drill a pilot hole, and then the final hole, making sure to leave room around the edges for the ring itself.

Then, use a band saw to carefully cut out the rough shape of your ring, leaving it slightly larger than desired so that it can be sanded smooth.

Step 5: Finishing the Ring

Picture of Finishing the Ring

Using a belt sander or rough sandpaper, sand the ring to its desired shape and size. The ply is quite strong, so don't worry too much about keeping it thick for strengths sake. Then hand sand the ring using a fine sandpaper (something around 400 should be the last sanding). Now finish the ring. The finish should offer an aesthetic as well as functional purpose. For the colored ring, I liked something clear and shiny, so I used a hard clear nail polish. For the non colored ring, this is when I would lightly burn the wood.

Step 6: Finished Ring

Picture of Finished Ring

Once the finish is dry, the ring is done!


mrwonton (author)2017-11-27

looks good

jason hamilotn (author)2017-05-01


SeanS17 (author)2015-06-09

Thanks I may use this for an idea I have down the road.

Lewboo222 (author)2014-05-07

another idea for this would be to take a blank, drill your hole, and turn it on your lathe in between centers, and then cut to the width you want. This would guarantee perfection plus you could detail it, and us a CA finish that would never wear off!

ideaknock (author)2013-11-06

nice job!

rjfabre (author)2013-08-23

how did the finger nail polish hold up? is a clear stain a better idea for long haul?

iLikeToLearn (author)2013-04-07

Any tips for the dye? It's not coming out well

delno (author)iLikeToLearn2013-04-08

This is a cool video someone made about dying wood that might help you out.

KnownGroove (author)2012-12-26

Another thing you can do if you dont have veneers, and this is what ive done:
As avid skateboarder i always have broken skateboards, and guess what there made of? veneers. i have made several skateboard rings, they look amazing and they are quite easy to make!

paulus_js (author)2012-10-29

good ring color !!!

a918bmxr (author)2012-04-12

If you can't get veneers then just dye some Popsicle sticks and glue them together, that's what i did.

adjjessop (author)2011-11-06

I tried to do this with larger pieces of veneer to make a bracelet, but when I attempted to dye the wood, they curled up immediately. Obviously, this makes it much more difficult to laminate them. How can I avoid that?

delno (author)adjjessop2011-11-07

Cool idea to do a bracelet. Have you tried slightly different thicknesses of the veneer? That might help. I also tried using a vacuum sealer to get the dye to penetrate the wood (kind of like marinating meat) and that might help prevent the wood from warping. If you can get it not too bent, it shouldn't be hard to flatten it using clamps. Good luck!

msutton1 (author)2011-09-22

LOVE the idea and I am working on making 2 of them right now, both different sizes and types of patterns. My only problem is that no matter how concentrated I made the dye and how long it sat, I feel as though It never got as dark as your pictures...Any tips?

dmadru (author)2011-07-08

This Could Also Be Done Very Easily For Anyone With A Old Skateboard Because Usually The Layers Of Wood Are Differently Colored. Just An Idea...

delno (author)dmadru2011-09-03

That's where I got the idea from!

dmadru (author)delno2011-09-04

Oh Sweet.

supersoftdrink (author)2011-07-08

Lovely! Have you considered finishing the rings with superglue? It's durable, shiny, and often used to finish small wood projects that will be in contact with fingers, like wood pens and rings.

delno (author)supersoftdrink2011-09-03

I hadn't thought of that - thanks for the tip.

I've seen people make all kinds of wood things and finish them with epoxy too

ohsnaps1219 (author)2011-08-27

where do you get the veneer?

delno (author)ohsnaps12192011-09-03

You can get thin wood veneer at any craft store.

ExtensionChord (author)2011-07-12

what does it look like if you don't dye it?

Po1nd3xter (author)2011-07-09

That is a very cool piece of jewelry. And I never would have thought that the dye was simply water and food coloring! Nicely done.

jhonny (author)2011-07-07

Great job 5 stars. I have to make this.

Dream Dragon (author)2011-07-07

Nice work, and no REAL reason it has to be round.

rimar2000 (author)2011-07-07


Void Schism (author)2011-07-07

For those without a bench jigsaw, a powerdrill with a hole saw works well enough.
Pick a saw with suitably large diameter, drill out a disc, then use a rat-tail file or sanding drum in a hand drill (such as a Dremel) to enlarge the hole 'til it fits

rocketsurgery (author)2011-07-06

Nice finish! Great 'ible! Thanks for posting!

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