Small Craft Items

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Project by BarbS posted 02-08-2011 06:05 PM 2120 views 0 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been busy for a few weeks making up some small craft items to launch a new venture on a website. Some are fun, some are too much work for what you get (the salt/pepper shakers) and some don’t ‘turn’ out as you’d expect. I think some of my bottle stoppers are just too big! Have to make some more and bring down the size of them proportionally. That maple one on the right side of the photo is the tallest, and when I stick it in a bottle it is not very pleasing to my eye. Before you begin, you don’t think of that overall proportionment to the gosh-darned bottle! I wanted some to be used in salad dressing cruets, quite small bottles, but these won’t do at all. Even the stainless steel stoppers (say that nine times fast) are too big, really. I guess that’s why it pays to try things out before going into production mode.

Salt/peppers are maple, 3-1/2” tall, and apricot 3” tall. The wands are maple and birch. Stoppers are, left to right, osage orange, apricot, orchard cherry, osage orange, and maple. The mirrors are all colored chatter work on maple.
I keep getting more and more ideas for small items. Busy busy!

Comments on the work, most welcome.


24 comments so far

View hairy's profile


2926 posts in 4036 days

#1 posted 02-08-2011 06:13 PM

I like them all.

What are you chasing threads with? That’s something I’ve been thinking about.

The wands should be a big hit, kids love them.

-- Genghis Khan and his brother Don, couldn't keep on keeping on...

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4386 days

#2 posted 02-08-2011 06:16 PM

Nice little collection. I still think those mirrors are cool.

Seems like you really like your lathe. I guess blanket chests are off the table :)


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View michelletwo's profile


2783 posts in 3520 days

#3 posted 02-08-2011 06:25 PM

I wish you luck with your venture

View Woodturner66's profile


76 posts in 3176 days

#4 posted 02-08-2011 06:26 PM

Looks nice Barb. What I end up doing is making them a little shorter and bigger on the top. Bigger circumference. Seems to look better to me. Wish i had some laying around to show you what i mean.

Finish look great. How was it turning Osage Orange? Never turned it. My Mom has a whole pile of it laying in her back yard. Problem is she lives in Ohio and i live in Colorado. Had 3 tress cut down. Some day I got to get it.

Might want to try turning little Bird Houses. People seem to like them.

-- Chris Ward

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3579 days

#5 posted 02-08-2011 06:33 PM

When my wife owned a flower shop I set up a display and sold a lot of small items (usually turned) in her shop. The biggest sellers were pens, bottle stoppers and salt and pepper shakers.

I found all 3 to be pretty quick and easy to make. The biggest challenge for me was to get the salt and pepper shakers to appear to have the same shape. I agree that your bottle stoppers are too tall. IMO – they need to be between 2.5 and 3 inches.

I also sold bowls but I could never make much money on bowls. In the time it takes to make one mid-sized bowl (6 – 8 inches in diameter) I could crank out half a dozen pens, bottle stoppers or salt and pepper shakers.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4590 days

#6 posted 02-08-2011 06:55 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. Yes, SPalm, blanket chests are on a back burner for sure. Once a person starts on a lathe, the quickness of completing a satisfying project is just too alluring!
Hairy, I chased no threads. The S/P sets come with an acrylic insert pre-threaded to fit the aluminum top. The kits are quite expensive now; these were purchased several years ago. Not sure I’ll be doing many, as the time involved to sand down the recommended drilled hole for the acrylic tube to fit is not productive time-wise. I’ll see how they do.
Chris, your bird houses are a great idea. I purchased 100 tiny brass eye-hooks thinking to use them for these, so have a plan to get some done. Did you purchase the wire stands, or bend them yourself? Those are some of the best I’ve seen. I was thinking of them more for Christmas tree ornaments than stand-alones.
Oh, and Chris, if you can get some Osage Orange, grab it while you can. I had a sample piece and learned it is Silky to turn, burnishes to a high shine even before finishing, and is stunning with iridescence. I wanted more, and ordered it from Missouri, but much of it cracked when it arrived to our drier climate, and it seemed quite expensive to me. But then, I use free wood. ;-)
And thanks, Michelle.


View Woodturner66's profile


76 posts in 3176 days

#7 posted 02-08-2011 07:26 PM

Barb, I ordered the Stands from here.
They are Christmas Ornament holders. Just click on the ornament tab. All different sizes and kinds.

-- Chris Ward

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4590 days

#8 posted 02-08-2011 08:37 PM

Thank you, Chris. They’ll have those in stock this sumer, which is fine. Thanks for the new source.


View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 3343 days

#9 posted 02-08-2011 09:51 PM

Barb- nice work as always. I do think you could make those birdhouses! And I bet you will! :)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4590 days

#10 posted 02-09-2011 12:37 AM

View john's profile


2381 posts in 4886 days

#11 posted 02-09-2011 12:41 AM

I agree they are all beautiful !!

-- John in Belgrave (Website) ,

View StevenAntonucci's profile


355 posts in 4443 days

#12 posted 02-09-2011 12:57 AM

Good stuff! I think a lot of turners make their money in the craft market. Art stuff sits these days.

-- Steven

View peteg's profile


4435 posts in 3327 days

#13 posted 02-09-2011 01:03 AM

Busy Barbs, you’re going to be in the money with this lot, I like both designs of the salt n peppers
Just a suggestion you may find handy with getting a quick idea with proportions, I often use some kids Play-doh for making very quick shapes/ models mainly to get something to assess. it’s so quick. The likes of your stoppers simply mould a shape onto the insert pop in the bottle & see how it looks. (a lot qiucker than turning a dummy in the lathe) : )

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4590 days

#14 posted 02-09-2011 01:05 AM

Thanks Steven. I’m getting a lot of suggestions with feedback on the website that will help me improve it, and the products. If I can get started small, I can go Big. That’s the plan. Thanks for the compliment.

And Pete, that Is a good idea. I was just turning what looked good to my eye on the lathe, but found it a mistake. It has to ‘balance’ in the bottle! Thanks for the tip.


View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3361 days

#15 posted 02-09-2011 01:12 AM

a nice selection
Size is a strange thing
Toadstools sell, from the wee ones to the giants
When I get the chance I make honey dippers
I used to turn them out identical, then a gallery owner suggested I make them all different
Seems that way she sold one for syrup one for honey & one for treacle


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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