20 Beginner-Friendly Wood Lathe Projects (That Sell)

Last Updated on November 4, 2022 by Charles Wilson

Wood lathes are commonly used for small scale projects involving platters, bowls, and even furniture.

Even though lathes can appear to be daunting to use, they are fun and addictive even, once you get the hang of it.

Ultimately use of the lathe involves only two basic turning methods; spindle turning and faceplate turning.

Today we will talk about 20 cool things you could make on that wood lathe sitting at your home with your family. These projects all make great gifts, or you can even sell them for a profit!

So get yourself a nice wood blank, and let’s get turning! Read on.

20 Cool Things to Make on a Wooden Lathe

bowls made with wood lathe

1. Wooden Bangles

Even in this day and age of rubber bracelets, you can almost never go wrong with the old school bangles. And what girl hasn’t gone around sporting bangles at some point of their life. Even to this day, bangles remain a staple in jewelry.

Bangles can also be great gifts. So, whether you want the bangles for yourself or for someone you love you can always take it to a more personal level by making the bangles on your wooden lathe.

The process is fairly simple and can even be done with kids. Wooden bangles themselves happen to be quite durable. And while making it on your lathe, you have the option of making it very unique by burning a design into the bangles.

2. Weed Pots

Pots can be very cute crafts to make, esp. when it is a weed pot. Weed pots are basically miniature vases for keeping and displaying weed flowers in general.

The main difference between a vase and weed pot other than their size difference is that in vases the empty space is hollowed out, whereas it is drilled in case of weed pots. It is for this very reason that weed pots can house the displayed plant for a short span of time.

These pots are a very nice way of displaying the random flowers your loved ones might bring home out of their affection or even display origami craft flowers.

3. Wooden Spoons

Wooden spoons can be one of the most, if not the most important and valuable tool in any kitchen. While making acidic foods like pasta, a metallic spoon is known to alter the taste. A wooden spoon is very much immune to this.

Metal utensils are also known not to go very well while handling foods that have bacteria or yeast, namely dough. Making ornate spoons on a wood lathe is very easy and can even be done at the beginner level, which means it requires fewer skills to produce better results.

This is a project that can be used to teach beginners and kids how to use a wooden lathe.

4. Candle Stool

A candle stool can be a very functional tool to make on a wood lathe. Of all the things you can make on a wood lathe, this is the quickest and simplest to make. It consists of 4 simple parts.

Provided that this project would potentially ensure kids a lot of practice room, this is one of the best beginner projects for wood lathes out there. You can also make it of various sizes so that you can use it as a doll stool for your daughter or as an elevated weed pot stand.

5. Table Legs

Spindle turning is relatively easier than turning faceplate. You can do it on any mini wood lathe with a decent swing on the center. Any 1/2 HP variable speed motor lathe can handle it.

If you are confident about your wood lathe skills, you should go for this project. A chair should come in handy for anyone. Moreover, the ones made of wood can be substantially fashionable and can be tailored precisely to your taste when you make it in your lathe.

That exactly is where the beauty of owning a wood lathe and making a chair in it lies. If you feel like it, you could even make a deck chair and install it in your back yard so that you can relax on the weekends with a book under the open sky.

6. Three-Legged Stool

One handy thing you can make out of your wood lathe is a three-legged stool. Such stools usually come in handy and can be fashionable as well. These are generally very versatile pieces of furniture that’ll fit anywhere in your house.

It is more preferable to make these tolls with footrest, connecting the legs of the stool also. You should also remember to make it a bit high if you plan on using it to sit at your kitchen counter.

7. Wooden Vase

A wooden vase can be a very powerful tool to bring about a charming effect in your home decoration. And as all vases do, a wooden vase you make in your lathe will also be used in holding flowers.

The wooden vase project can be a bit different. You can customize your own vase to almost any shape. The thing with making an actual vase is that you have to hollow out the middle portion instead of drilling a hole. A wooden vase can actually be a very good thing to make on your wooden lathe.

8. Cutting Board

This is probably one of the most useful things to make out of a wooden lathe. Every household has a requirement for cutting board. Cutting boards are easy to use and very efficient.

This can make your endeavors in the kitchen very easy. And gifting a cutting board that you made out of your own hands should also be nice for both of you.

9.Wooden Clock

Clocks are absolute necessities and almost every household sports a clock on their walls. But have you ever stopped to wonder how classy that clock you own would look if it were made of wood?

Well, lucky for you, because you can make a wooden clock with your wooden lathe that will not only look classy but also show proper time.

10. Saving Box

This can be a very handy piece of furniture, if you may, to own. You can use it to save things or money in this box. Moreover, it is possible to make such a box with your wooden lathe.

It can be a very good substitute for cardboard boxes that aren’t as strong and durable as the wooden box would be. You could even decorate this box while making it in your very own way according to your taste and preferences.

11. Mirror Stand

This project could be a bit complex to accomplish with the wooden lathe for most people. However, it could be a very unique home decoration to add to your collection.

To sport your mirror on the wall proudly you would need a mirror stand anyways. This can be a very useful thing to make in this way. Moreover, this also saves space in your home.

12. Wooden Bowl

A wooden bowl is a very useful thing to make out of your wooden lathe. It’s also easy so you can make a bowl with children even. Wooden bowls also last longer. You can use this to keep fruits, or food or water. All in all, a wooden bowl is a very simple yet useful thing to make on your wooden lathe.

13. Arm Rest Drink Holders

Armrest drink holders are very useful things to have, be it in your car or with your deck chair where you relax and read that morning newspaper. And making an armrest drinks holder in your wood lathe can be a rather interesting project. A wooden drinks holder also looks very classy esp. if it’s dark-colored.

14. Beer / Whiskey Flight

This is especially for the people out there who own bars or have one inside your house. If so, you should definitely try making this using your wooden lathe. You should, however, keep in mind to use oak, preferably, and not make it any bigger than a few inches.

15. Beer Tote/Caddy

A beer tote/caddy is a very handy thing to own. You need one time to time when you decide to go out for a picnic or a long drive with your friends and family.

Regrettably, you can’t go out for any of these without good old beer.
This is where the beer totes come in, efficiently managing the beer cans in one place, and saving space.

What is even better is that you can make a wooden beer tote yourself out of your wooden lathe, and it’s not even that hard to make.

16. Book Racks

Book racks, especially the ones that hang on the walls, are considerably elegant and classy. A bookworm would fully value a bookrack.

While book racks are useful for keeping your books in order in a fashionable way, they can also be used to sport various showpieces.

The good news is for you if you have a wooden lathe because you can make a book rack using your lathe.

17. Wooden Frames

Photographs always have a special emotional pull to them for everyone. And it’s only natural that we want to flaunt the best of our photos that may feature a special memory or an exciting experience.

You can add a more personal touch to these photographs with a wooden photo frame, especially if it’s one made by your own hands.

Thanks to wooden lathes that is not an impossible feat. Provided that a certain level of patience is maintained, it’s relatively easy to make wooden photo frames in wooden lathes.

18. Wooden Beads

Wooden beads are also very nice and have a classy look. They may also serve as a good gift to your mother, sister, or your significant other. You can take it a step further by adding a personal touch to it by making it yourself on your wooden lathe.

19. Phone Cover

Are you tired of the same style of phone covers and using them over and over again? Well, you could spice up your phone cover game by personal wooden phone cover made in your own wooden lathe.

20. Key Ring

This a very simple yet useful thing to make out of your wooden lathe. You will also have the flexibility of carving it out in shapes of your choice and even burn designs on it according to your choice and preference.


That about sums up the list of cool things you can make with your wooden lathe. However, you may find other projects to be more interesting to make than some of the ones mentioned above.

The important thing, however, is that you go and start trying to make things on your wooden lathe. This can serve as a very productive pastime habit.

See Also:

  1. How to turn wood on a metal lathe?
  2. Affordable midi lathes for your home shop