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

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Step 1: 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

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

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

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

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

Once the finish is dry, the ring is done!



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30 Discussions


Question 7 months ago on Introduction

I'm interested in how the ring looks with the wood burner, do you have an image you could share?


1 year ago

looks good


4 years ago on Introduction

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


5 years ago on Introduction

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!


5 years ago

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


Reply 6 years ago on Introduction


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


6 years ago on Introduction

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!


7 years ago on Introduction

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


7 years ago on Step 2

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?

1 reply

Reply 7 years ago on Step 2

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!


7 years ago on Introduction

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?


8 years ago on Introduction

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...

2 replies

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.

1 reply