Introduction: Wooden Christmas Ornament

In this Instructable I'll show you how to make a wooden Christmas ornament on the wood lathe. This is part of a 6 Days of Beginner Woodturning series I'm launching. I'll have 5 more videos all showing some easy projects you can make on the lathe that make great gifts.

Be sure to watch the video above, and if you like it please subscribe to my YouTube channel!

You can see the full 6 Days of Beginner Woodturning series here: 6 Days of Beginner Woodturning Playlist

Step 1: Gather Tools and Materials

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Step 2: Rough Out the Wooden Blank on the Lathe

Picture of Rough Out the Wooden Blank on the Lathe

I'll be making this Christmas ornament on my wood lathe and I started with a nicely figured claro walnut wood blank. It's basically just a wooden brick.

The first task is to turn it from a four sided blank into a cylindrical blank. I did this by mounting the blank on my lathe in between a drive spur and a live center. Then used a square carbide cutter to knock off the corners and make it round.

Step 3: Shape the Body

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Next I changed out the spur drive for a midi chuck and mounted the cylindrical blank in it.

From there I started shaping the body of the ornament with a combination of round and detailed tools. This is the fun part!

I just took away wood until it started looking good to my eye. The beauty is you can do any shape you want here.

Step 4: Shape the Ends

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With the body defined I moved on to the ends.

I used the round tool to put a little stepped cone on the bottom of the ornament. But I left enough on the end to keep support on the piece with the tailstock.

On the top of the ornament I narrowed down blank and put a few details up there. Then I made a small stem that I'll later use to attach a ribbon to for hanging it.

Step 5: Finish Off the Ends

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After defining the shape I sanded the entire ornament from 150 to 600 grit. I left the end of the ornament intact for full support.

When it was all sanded I came back and trimmed off the end with the detail tool then sanded the end up to 600 grit just like the rest.

Step 6: Apply Finish and Remove

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I applied 5 coats of woodturner's finish to the piece. I sanded in between each coat with micromesh sanding pads using the 2400 and 3200 mesh pads.

After the finish was done I used my parting tool to cut off the stem and free the ornament.

Step 7: Drill the Hole in the Stem

Picture of Drill the Hole in the Stem

I used my drill press to drill a hole in the stem with a small drill bit.

A backer board is key here to help minimize any blow out when the drill bit comes out the back of the stem.

Step 8: Hang the Ornament and Enjoy

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I put a 1/4" ribbon through the hole and hung the ornament on the tree and it looks awesome!

If you want to see more of these beginner woodturning projects you can check out my playlist:

6 Days of Beginner Woodturning Projects

You can also follow along by Subscribing to my YouTube channel.

Hope you enjoyed it!



muth (author)2017-12-14

You come across very well in your video, easily understood, smooth and to the point. The only thing else I might mention, is that friction finishes go on well but do not last as well as others, due to the oils from handling.

Sharing through wood turning is a warm and fuzzy!!

Magnusf0711 (author)2017-12-13

WOW. Very nice tutorial. I am 100% going to make this. Great job!

gm280 (author)2017-12-12

Very nice ornament and nice tutorial as well. I have two lathes. One for wood and the other for metal. And it does get addicting for sure. I've made tons of pens and pencil sets and other turnings over the years. Your ornament design looks really nice. Bravo sir, Bravo!

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