Turned Christmas Tree

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Cut your own tree for the holidays 

For most woodturners, making Christmas ornaments is second nature. They’re fun and easy to turn from tasty wooden shop leftovers. They make great gifts, and don’t usually require special equipment. Such is the case with these Christmas tree ornaments, which can decorate a table or a Christmas tree itself. What’s special about them is that they’re decorated with ornaments themselves in the form of inlaid slices of colored pencils. The best part of giving away these little turnings is seeing people’s reactions when asked if they can guess what the little ornament balls are made from. It usually takes a minute, but when they realize they’re looking at the ends of colored pencils, a smile spreads across their face, and they want to know how I did it.

I make these trees in a variety of sizes. Small versions up to about 3" tall can be hung on a real Christmas tree. In that case, I just turn a tree body with an integral trunk, and install a shop-made wire hangar in the top. Table-standing models can range up to 12" or so, and include a base that attaches to the tree body with a dowel “trunk.” 

Here, I’ll take you through the steps of making a particular table ornament and hanging ornament. The overall dimensions given are not critical, and serve only to take you easily through my processes. Once you get the gist, you’re on your way making your own forest of ornaments. Have fun, and Merry Christmas!

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