Hand made christmas presents

To celebrate the end of the season (today being the Twelfth day of Christmas), here’s an overview of the christmas presents I made this year.

The first thing I made was this oloid for my mother. It’s a fun object to make: it has no straight surfaces and numerous different curves. Yet, there’s a very methodological way of making them with a pair of carving gouges. I won’t get into that here, but there is a site that describes a technique similar to the one I used. As far as I know, oloids have no particular function besides the fact that they’re very tactile and fun to play with.

Wooden oloid (elm)

Wooden oloid (elm)

Next I made a pencil box for my father. I challenged myself to use half-blind dovetails for the bottom of the box. Getting the four edges of the bottom to fit nicely was a lot of work. Also, the dovetails along the long edges were very fragile due to the grain direction (probably a reason why you don’t see this very often). I’m not sure if I’d use this technique for the bottom of a box again, but I’m pleased with the result:

Pencil box (American elm) with sliding lid

Pencil box (American elm) with sliding lid

Half blind dovetail bottom of box

Half blind dovetail bottom of box

I also made a series of stars using wood off-cuts, based on an instructional blog by Paul Sellers. The black star was made by ebonising pieces of oak. I did this by brushing the finished star with vinegar soaked in some steel wool:

Christmas stars made from off-cuts

Christmas stars made from off-cuts

My sister got a jam spoon with a carved a flower pattern in the handle. It seemed a bit lonely on its own so I made a box to go with it:

Jam spoon (walnut) with box (oak)

Jam spoon (walnut) with box (oak)

Jam spoon in the box

Jam spoon in the box

Next, I made a salad serving spoon and fork for my brother and sister in law. Making these was a fun exercise in carving and shaping. First I made two identical spoons. I converted one of them into a fork by sawing into into the bowl of the spoon:

Salad spoon and fork (walnut)

Salad spoon and fork (walnut)


Other gifts were this serving spoon with spoon rest for my wife’s sister, based on a traditional Japanese rice spoon design, with a carved a flower pattern in the handle…

Serving spoon with holder (walnut)

Serving spoon with holder (walnut)

… and this paddle/pencil tray for her husband:

Paddle / pencil tray (elm)

Paddle / pencil tray (elm)

Last but not least is this heart on a tray for my wife. I made the heart by laminating a piece of rosewood between two pieces of maple and carving the shape:

Heart on a tray (laminated rosewood/maple on oak)

Heart on a tray (laminated rosewood/maple on oak)

Making these projects has been fun and I got to practice my box making, dovetailing and carving techniques. I’m pleased with the results and am looking forward to more making in 2014!

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2 thoughts on “Hand made christmas presents

  1. wow, you have been busy! Thanks very much for the stars! We’ve been showing them off 🙂 Great to see you guys last week. We will phone at some point, hope your new year’s party was great!

  2. What a fantastic job you did! We are proud of you and grateful for the nice
    Christmas presents you made.
    The box with the sliding lid got a prominent place on my desk and mum is happy with the oloid.

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