MillWorks: "Turned" Wood Christmas Ornaments

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"Turned" Wood Christmas Ornaments

You can create icicle create ornaments with the look of "turned" wood!

At your local craft store, look in the wood findings aisle. Choose wood pieces with holes in the center. Any size and shape will work, but look for ones that fit together well with less visible seams. Unfortunately, the holes in the beads generally vary in size, and this makes the craft a bit more difficult and less sturdy. If you can, find beads with holes that are similar in diameter.

A finial cap piece is used for the top. A finial cap is almost like a bead, except the hole doesn't go all the way through. This will need a hole drilled in it later on, in order to put thread or wire through--so make sure it has a significant-sized area for drilling.

Next, pick out a dowel rod that can fit through the smallest bead hole (For the ones pictured, this was an 1/8" dowel). It should be a tight fit if possible. The bags of beads should list the size of their holes.

Before beginning, drill holes in each finial cap, to allow for string or wire. The one hole in each cap should go from side to side, rather than top to bottom.

Once all the pieces are ready, do a dry run to see how long your dowel should be. Next, piece them together with craft or wood glue, using the dowel at the core for added stability. It can take some extra effort if the pieces have differing-sized holes--so it helps to glue the pieces together, too--not just to the dowel. Wood patch--or some added glue (if painting)--can help close up the hole in the bottom bead that doesn't get covered.

Stain doesn't take well to glue, so if you like the stained look, apply stain first (hold off on varnish until it's done). If painting the ornament, you may also wish to paint first if you're using different colors.

Think about different ways to finish them. The sky is the limit! Some techniques I used included gold paint as a "wash" over solid colors, antiquing, and multiple layers of paint. My two ornaments are the icicle ones that cascade down.


There are no rules to this craft--please don't make any! Some people may see the ornaments as "turned" icicles and want the larger beads at the top with a solid color. But others may want their ornaments to consist of different colors and look like beads strung together. The photo you see here is of the projects two different people made with the same instructions and parts--and you can see how different they can look!

Have fun!

Providing crafts since October 2011. Ornaments created in 2011. Copyright 2011- and all contents by Melissa J. Taylor. Resulting products can only be kept or given away as gifts. Always keep safety in mind.