Are you wondering what to make in woodturning? Look no further! Woodturning is a creative and fascinating craft that allows you to transform a simple block of wood into beautiful and functional objects. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced woodturner, there are endless possibilities for projects that will challenge your skills and bring out your artistic flair.

From bowls and vases to pens and bottle stoppers, woodturning offers a wide range of items that you can make. The choice of project depends on your interests, skill level, and the tools and equipment you have at your disposal. You can start with small projects like pens and keychains, and gradually move on to larger and more complex pieces as you gain experience.

One of the great things about woodturning is that you have the freedom to express your creativity and personalize your projects. You can experiment with different types of wood, shapes, and finishes to create unique and one-of-a-kind pieces that showcase your style and craftsmanship. So, let your imagination run wild and get ready to embark on an exciting journey in the world of woodturning!

Now that you know there’s no shortage of ideas for your woodturning projects, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get started. Whether you want to make functional items for everyday use or decorative pieces to showcase your artistic talent, woodturning offers something for everyone. So grab your lathe, sharpen your tools, and let’s dive into the wonderful world of woodturning!

what to make woodturning?

What to Make Woodturning: Unleashing Your Creativity

Welcome to the exciting world of woodturning! If you’re a beginner looking for inspiration or an experienced woodturner seeking fresh ideas, this article is for you. Woodturning is a versatile craft that allows you to transform a simple piece of timber into a stunning work of art. With the right tools, techniques, and mindset, you can create a wide range of beautiful and functional items. So, let’s dive in and explore the possibilities of what to make through woodturning!

The Art of Woodturning: A Journey of Creativity and Skill

Woodturning is an ancient craft that dates back centuries, where woodworkers shape pieces of wood on a lathe to create intricate and unique objects. From decorative bowls to elegant pens, woodturning offers endless possibilities for self-expression. Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional, exploring new ideas and challenging yourself is crucial to honing your skills and expanding your artistic horizons. In this section, we’ll explore seven exciting projects that showcase the versatility of woodturning.

3D Segmented Bowls: Unleashing Creative Designs

Segmented bowls are a fascinating project that allows you to experiment with different wood species and create captivating patterns. The process involves cutting small pieces of wood into segments and gluing them together to form a bowl blank. Once the glue has dried, you can mount the blank on the lathe and shape it into a beautiful, three-dimensional bowl. The possibilities are endless when it comes to design, from simple geometric patterns to intricate mosaics. Segmented bowls are not only visually appealing but also a fantastic opportunity to develop your skills in precision cutting and assembling

To start, select a variety of wood species with contrasting colors to achieve interesting visual effects. Maple, walnut, and cherry are popular choices. With careful planning and precision, you can create stunning patterns that will leave people in awe of your craftsmanship. Remember to take your time and enjoy the process – the end result will be a unique piece of functional art that can be displayed and cherished for years to come.

See also  Does Wood Glue Work On Particle Board?

Pens: Craftsmanship in Miniature

Wooden pens are a great project for both beginners and experienced woodturners. They offer a quick turnaround time and allow you to showcase the beauty of different wood species in a small, functional item. Pens also make excellent gifts for friends and family, adding a personal touch to everyday writing instruments. To get started, you’ll need a pen-making kit that includes the necessary components like the pen barrel, refill, and hardware.

Begin by selecting a wood species that suits your preferences and desired pen style. Exotic woods like zebrawood or cocobolo can create striking visual effects, while domestic varieties like oak or walnut offer a more classic look. After preparing the wood and attaching the pen components, mount the blank on the lathe and shape it according to the pen kit’s instructions. Finish the pen with a smooth, polished surface, and you’ll have a beautiful handcrafted writing instrument that’s sure to impress.

Decorative Vases: Bringing Nature Indoors

Decorative vases are a fantastic way to combine the natural beauty of wood with the elegance of a traditional vessel. Whether placed on a mantelpiece or used as a centerpiece, wooden vases add a touch of warmth and sophistication to any space. The first step in creating a wooden vase is to select a suitable piece of wood – choose a species that is visually appealing and has an interesting grain pattern.

Once you have your blank, mount it on the lathe and start shaping the vase. Depending on your design, you may want to carve intricate patterns, create textured surfaces, or simply highlight the natural beauty of the wood through smooth curves. Take your time, sand the surface to a fine finish, and add a protective coating to enhance the wood’s color and grain. Your wooden vase will not only be a functional art piece but also a reflection of your creativity and skill.

Chess Sets: Combining Precision and Strategy

Wooden chess sets are a marvelous project for those who enjoy both woodworking and the game of chess. Creating your own chess set allows you to customize the pieces to your liking and challenge yourself to perfect the intricate details required. From the elegant curves of the king to the unique shapes of the pawns, turning chess pieces is a test of skill and precision.

Select a wood species that complements the aesthetics of the game and offers the necessary stability for the pieces. Popular choices include rosewood, ebony, and walnut. Each piece should be turned separately, taking care to maintain consistency in size and shape. After shaping, carve the fine details using hand tools or a carving attachment on the lathe. Finally, sand and finish each piece to ensure a smooth and polished surface. Your handcrafted chess set will become a treasured possession and an heirloom that can be passed down through generations.

Kitchen Utensils: Combining Beauty and Functionality

Crafting your own wooden kitchen utensils is not only a great way to flex your woodworking skills but also an excellent opportunity to create functional items that can be used daily in your kitchen. From spatulas and spoons to salad servers and cutting boards, the possibilities are endless. Woodturning allows you to shape the items to fit your hand perfectly and add decorative details to elevate their aesthetic appeal.

Choose wood species that are food-safe and can withstand the rigors of the kitchen. Hardwoods like maple and cherry are popular choices for their durability and beautiful grain patterns. As you turn each utensil, pay attention to ergonomic design and incorporate practical features such as grooves for gripping or holes for hanging. After shaping, sand the surface to a smooth finish and apply a food-grade finish to protect the wood. Your handcrafted kitchen utensils will not only enhance your cooking experience but also serve as beautiful additions to your culinary arsenal.

See also  Why Is Carpentry So Expensive?

Christmas Ornaments: Spreading Holiday Cheer

Wooden Christmas ornaments are a joy to make and share with loved ones during the festive season. These small, intricate pieces allow you to experiment with different techniques, such as texturing, piercing, and embellishments. From delicate snowflakes to whimsical Santa Claus figures, the possibilities for wooden ornaments are endless.

Select a wood species that complements the design and provides the necessary stability for the ornament. Softwoods like pine or cedar are popular choices for their light color and ease of working. Whether you prefer a natural wood finish or a pop of color, carefully shape the ornament on the lathe and add your desired decorative elements. Finally, attach a string or ribbon for hanging, and your unique wooden ornaments are ready to adorn your Christmas tree or be gifted to family and friends.

Embracing your Creativity: Tips and Tricks for Woodturners

Now that you’ve explored seven exciting projects in woodturning, let’s delve into some general tips and tricks to enhance your experience and unleash your creativity even further. These suggestions will help you make the most of your time at the lathe and produce exceptional pieces of turned art.

1. Explore Different Wood Species and Their Characteristics

Wood comes in a variety of species, each with its unique beauty, grain pattern, and working properties. Take the time to experiment with different types of wood to discover the characteristics you enjoy working with and the effects you can achieve. From stunning, highly figured woods like burl to subtle grains in ash or oak, there is a world of possibilities waiting to be explored.

2. Invest in Quality Tools and Equipment

The quality of your tools and equipment plays a significant role in the outcome of your woodturning projects. Investing in high-quality, well-maintained tools will not only make your work easier but also allow you to achieve finer details and smoother finishes. Remember to regularly sharpen your tools and replace any worn-out or damaged parts to ensure safe and efficient operation.

3. Continuously Learn and Improve

Woodturning is a lifelong learning process. Take advantage of online resources, workshops, and collaborations with other woodturners to expand your knowledge and skills. Joining a local woodturning club or attending demonstrations can provide valuable insights and feedback, while also fostering a sense of community among fellow enthusiasts.

4. Embrace Mistakes and Learn from Them

Woodturning is not always a perfect process, and mistakes will happen. Instead of getting discouraged, embrace these moments as valuable learning opportunities. Analyze what went wrong and use the experience to refine your technique and improve your future projects. Remember, even the most experienced turners make mistakes – it’s all part of the creative journey.


Woodturning offers a world of creative possibilities, where you can transform a simple piece of timber into a masterpiece of artistry and skill. From 3D segmented bowls and wooden pens to decorative vases and chess sets, the options are limited only by your imagination. Combine your love for wood and craftsmanship, and let your creativity run wild. With the right tools, techniques, and mindset, you can embark on an exciting journey of self-expression and create beautiful objects that will be cherished for generations to come.

Key Takeaways:

  • Woodturning is a great hobby for beginners and experienced artisans alike.
  • Start with simple projects like bowls, vases, and candle holders.
  • Explore different wood species to create unique and beautiful pieces.
  • Try your hand at making small decorative items like pens or bottle stoppers.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment and push your creative boundaries in woodturning.

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our FAQ section about woodturning projects! Here, we’ll answer some common questions about what to make when woodturning. Whether you’re a beginner or looking for new ideas, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in!

See also  Can You Do Woodworking In An Apartment?

1. How do I choose the right wood for my woodturning projects?

When selecting wood for woodturning, consider its hardness, stability, and aesthetic appeal. Hardwoods like maple and oak are great choices for durability, while softer woods like pine and cedar are better suited for decorative pieces. Look for well-seasoned wood with minimal moisture content to avoid warping or cracking during the turning process. Additionally, pay attention to the grain patterns and colors to achieve the desired look for your project.

It’s also worth experimenting with different types of wood to discover new possibilities and unique effects. Don’t be afraid to try out various species to find the perfect match for your project!

2. What are some beginner-friendly woodturning projects?

If you’re new to woodturning, there are plenty of projects to start with that are both educational and rewarding. Turning a pen is a classic beginner project that allows you to practice basic techniques such as spindle turning and finishing. Another great option is turning a bowl, which introduces you to faceplate turning and shaping. Trivets, bottle stoppers, and honey dippers are also beginner-friendly projects that can hone your woodturning skills.

Remember, the key is to start with simple projects that allow you to build a foundation of skills and gradually progress to more complex pieces as you gain confidence and experience.

3. What are some creative woodturning ideas for advanced turners?

If you’re an experienced woodturner looking for new challenges, the possibilities are endless. Consider exploring segmented turning, where different pieces of wood are glued together to create intricate patterns. Turning hollow forms or vessels allows for artistic expression while pushing your technical skills. You can also experiment with natural edge bowls, box making, or even incorporating other materials like resin or metal into your woodturned pieces.

Remember, advanced projects often require more specialized tools and techniques, so continue expanding your knowledge and skills to tackle these new and exciting projects.

4. How can I incorporate creativity into my woodturning projects?

Woodturning is not just about creating functional objects; it’s also an opportunity for artistic expression. To add creativity to your projects, consider experimenting with different shapes and forms. Play with asymmetry, curves, and texture to give your pieces a unique touch. Incorporating wood stains, dyes, or even pyrography (woodburning) can also add an artistic element to your creations.

Another way to infuse creativity is by using unusual materials or combining wood with other mediums. This could mean adding resin, metals, or even recycled materials to create one-of-a-kind pieces that truly stand out.

5. Where can I find inspiration for woodturning projects?

Inspiration can come from many places. One great source is nature itself. Observe the shapes, colors, and textures of trees, flowers, and objects in the natural world. Additionally, explore woodturning communities online, such as forums, social media platforms, and websites dedicated to woodturning. These platforms often showcase the work of talented woodturners and can provide you with fresh ideas.

You can also experiment with altering existing woodturning designs or combining elements from different projects to create something new. Don’t be afraid to let your imagination run wild and think outside the box!

what to make woodturning? 2

Woodturning – Five Minute Projects ANYONE Can Do!


So, if you want to start woodturning, here’s what you need to know. First, you’ll need a lathe to spin the wood. Then, make sure to have the right tools like chisels and gouges. Safety is important, so wear goggles and a face shield. Practice on scrap wood before tackling bigger projects. Consider what you want to make – bowls, pens, or even chess pieces. And most importantly, have fun and enjoy the process of turning wood into something amazing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *