Introduction: A Gift Jar

About: I'm a woodworker/DIY'er. Almost all of my projects are made using reclaimed materials, which is my contribution to caring for the environment. You may also find some cooking and painting videos as well.

When visiting friends or relatives a kind gesture is to bring a small gift. Their favorite candy, cookies or other treats is always a good choice. Bringing the treats in a reusable container will make a big hit.

In this instructable I turned an empty jar into a gift jar. You need to know how to operate a lathe before attempting this project.

My projects are made from reclaimed materials so I don't know what type of wood I used. The wood came from an old office chair.

There is a video attached to this instructable showing me making this decorative lid for this jar.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Wood Turning Lathe with chisels.

Miter saw


Wood Glue

Sand Paper

Rubber bands

Dust mask

Face shield

Ear protection

Wood finish of your choice. I used Danish Oil

Step 2: Cutting the Wood

This design style is called segmented wood turning. It is achieved by glueing segments of wood together.

I used two strips of wood each measuring 12" long 1 3/4" wide and 3/4" thick. Using the miter saw set at a 22.5 degree angle, I cut 16 pieces at 1 3/4" long.

I also use two strips of a darker wood measuring 18" long, 3/4" wide and 3/16" thick. I cut that wood into 16 pieces 2" long, those pieces I'll call spacers.

These measurements will vary depending on the size lid cover you need to make.

Step 3: Assembling the Wood Segments

I made a total of 2 rings consisting of 8 wedges and 8 spacers. Using wood glue I joined each wedge separated by a spacer and secured them with rubber bands. For this size project, strong rubber bands work well, anything bigger you will need to use hose clamps to secure the segments.

I let the glue dry overnight.

Step 4: Preparing the Rings for the Lathe

After the glue dried I sanded each surface using a disc sander. It is important to to sand them completely and evenly. I then glued the rings together. Align the rings as you like, I chose to position the spacers of one ring in the middle of the wedges of the other ring.

Clamp the rings together with as many clamps as you can and let the glue dry overnight.

Step 5: Creating the Lid Cover

I attached the two glued rings to the faceplate of my lathe and starting shaping the rings into the lid cover. After I achieved the proper size and design I liked I sanded is smooth. I started with 150 grit and worked up to 600 grit.

After sanding I used danish oil as a finish. Since the wood will not be in contact with food the finish you use does not have to be food safe.

Once the danish oil dried I used 2 part epoxy to secure the lid to the bottom of the wooden lid cover. The epoxy has a 5 minute drying time. Once the epoxy dried I attached the decorative gem on the top. You can also use hot glue.

Step 6: Conclusion

For an experienced wood turner this is a very simple project. Using reclaimed wood as I do, these are very inexpensive to make.

They make great gifts or can be sold at craft fairs with a very decent profit.

I hope you found this instructable helpful, questions and comments are always welcomed.

Homemade Gifts Contest 2016

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2016