Introduction: Mini Tree and Snowman Earrings

About: Teacher. Climber. Craftsman.

I love making small project like earrings on the lathe. They can be completed quickly and are great skill builders for developing good technique at the lathe - if you make a mistake and ruin the piece you don't have a lot of time or material invested.

In this Instructable I'll make snowman and tree earrings using different species of wood for each detail.



Poplar 1/2 inch x 1/2 inch x 8 inches

  • I used a piece with lots of green heartwood

Walnut 1/2 inch x 1/2 inch x 8 inches

Maple 1/2 inch x 1/2 inch x 8 inches

Ear Wires

5x11mm Screw Eyelets

Wood Glue

Finish of choice



Skew Chisel, Spindle Gauge, Parting Tool

Drill / Drill Press

Table Saw

Step 1: Prep and Glue Up


Rip each species of wood to 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch at the table saw or on the bandsaw.

I used a crosscut sled at the table saw to cut each segment to length.

In the pictures you will see I prepared two sets of blanks each for the snowmen and trees. This will give me extra if I make a mistake.


1 inch walnut

1 inch maple

3 inches maple


3/4 inch walnut

1 inch poplar

3 inch poplar

Glue Up

Glue the segments end to end, clamp, and allow to dry overnight.

Step 2: Turning

The stock is chucked at the lathe with a jaw chuck. Begin by rounding each piece.

Next, use a pencil to mark out the major elements (like the 3 body segments and hat for the snowman).

Shape one piece, and then use it as reference to create a matching piece.

In general, you will work from right to left establishing detail before the connection point gets too thin.

Sand if necessary.

Step 3: Finishing

Mark the top center of each earring with an awl. This will help keep the drill bit from wandering.

With a 1/16 drill bit chucked in the drill press I hold each earring and move the earring into the spinning bit. You could also drill with a hand drill.

Install the eye screws by hand.

Bend a bit of wire to hold the earrings.

I dip them in an oil based polyurethane, wipe off any excess with a cloth, and hang to dry.

Step 4: Final Assembly

Install the ear wires.

A pair of jewelry pliers is helpful for this.

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