Make a Vase




About: Hi I am Dutch and live in Sweden. I love to create things in my little woodshop.

Do you know that feeling: you have one beautiful flower from you garden that you want to bring in? Or you only want to buy a special flower instead of the whole bouquet? Or you want to cut one little branch of your tree and only one because you don’t want to damage your tree to much? And then you come to the conclusion that all the vases at home are way too big.

This instructables is about simple vases for example to surprise your mother on mother’s day, a friend for his birthday or a neighbor because they simply are there for you when you need them. This instructables is also about to change a piece of wood into a vase or a candle stick to brighten up your house. There are only a few materials needed: a test tube, a bit wood and a bit of brass or (copper) pipe.

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Step 1: This Is What You Need


- Beech (or other wood) 95 mm width and for the highest vase 170 mm in length

- Copper or brass pipe. I used 25 mm width outside (inside 22,5) and 105 mm long

- Test tube. I used 16 mm width and 15,3 mm long


- Pipe cutter or saw

- Sanding paper

- Band saw

- Pillar drill /foster bit drill 1 mm bigger than the width of your test-tube

- Mallet (chisel)

- A lath and turning tools (I used roughing gouge, spindle gouge, parting tool)

- Calipers

- Sanding paper (400-600 grid)

- Bee wax, fabric

- For the template: cardboard, pencil, scissors, dividers

Step 2: Drawings

I often make a sketch/drawing before I start, and in this project I followed my drawings precisely.

Step 3: Prepare Your Blank

Mark the length of your vase and take some 25mm extra material. Cut the blank in the band saw.

Mark the middle on both ends by drawing two diagonal lines corner to corner.

Cut away the corners of the blank. This is optional but it will make it easier to turn in the beginning.

Make an indentation to fit the blank on the drive spur. There are different ways to do this. You can saw diagonal from corner to corner with a (band) saw. Or take the drive spur (or a worn out drive spur) and hammer with a mallet so you get an indentation. Or use a chisel and a mallet.

Drill a hole in the center to fit the test tube. My drill was exact the same size as my test tube so after I drilled diagonal I held the blank slanting in order to make the hole slightly wider so the test tube does not get stuck.

Step 4: Get Turning/ Ellipse Vas

Put the blank in between centers, the dents on the drive spur and rough out the wooden blank with a roughing gauge. Start turning at slow speed (600 rpm) until your log is round.

When the blank had reached the desired diameter (for the vases in the first picture 90mm) I marked the end of the vase, the neck and the shoulder (where the messing tube will rest) with a pencil. Now you can turn up the speed to 1600 rpm and make indentations on the marks with a parting tool. When the shoulder and the bottom were finished I marked the thickest part of the vase. Measure the shoulder a few times with you calipers so the tube will fit precisely.

Step 5: More Turning

After that I changed my tool and use a spindle gouge. I turned the vase on both ends to the desired ellipse form. You can mark the middle of ellipse and turn it round with the spindle gouge on both sides of the mark.

Step 6: Almost Done With the First Vase

When you’re pleased with its shape, you can sanding the vase. If you are a good turner you maybe skip this moment, but I had to sand using 240, 400 and 800 grid paper. Apply bee wax. If you want a shiny surface let it dry in 2 hours before buffing. Take the vase of the lathe and cut the bottom clean with a knife. Put the test tube in the vase and put the pipe over the test tube and you’re done. The first vase is finished.

Step 7: The Bottle and Globe Vase

Start with the same procedure as the first vase. I took help of a template
to be sure to get a round vase.

Step 8: Cut the Pipes

Cut the tube to 10,5 cm long with a pipe cutters and sand the edges with
sanding paper.

Polish the tube with brass polish. Be careful as when buffing the tube the
brass will get hot. By mounting the tube on a stick you do not have to hold the tube.

Step 9: Enjoy!

Enjoy, cut some flowers from your garden or buy one or two flowers in a shop and you have a beautiful arrangement for your home or a beautiful gift.

Thank you for taking your time to read this instructables. If you have suggestions to improve this instructables please feel free to leave a comment below.

Have a nice day/Annemarie

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    19 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Love them great ideas


    Question 1 year ago on Step 8

    Beautiful project,
    thank you for sharing :-) Can you please tell me how you finished beech wood?
    Oil, stain, lacquer ? Looks so uniform and natural.

    2 answers

    Answer 1 year ago

    Thank you for the compliment. I used renaisence wax polish. See step 6.


    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks for the
    reply, should've read more carefully :$ I'm building small furniture so the
    wood turning part didn't really apply to me. I checked your other projects and
    in the candle holder one saw beeswax so had my answer before. Beautiful
    projects, I
    hope you keep posting :)


    1 year ago

    Wow that is really nice! Thank you for sharing this.


    1 year ago

    Very nice vases and cool to change it into a candlestrick. Well done!

    Tura Street

    Tip 1 year ago on Step 9

    You could have used a hole saw and hollowed out the inside of the vases.


    1 year ago

    The vase is beautiful: simple shapes and natural materials. Nice combination of wood and brass.

    It reminds me some chemical vials.

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Such a nice compliment thanks


    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you for your nice comment.


    1 year ago

    They look very nice. So the actual vase bottoms are not hollowed out? I was wondering how you were going to do that. But they do look very nice either way.

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you and no the vase bottoms are not hollwed out, I haven't skills to do that :-)