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An Overlay Ornament tutorial will be published in More Woodturning in November 2019

To make the Overlay Ornaments I start with 80mm "shatterproof" (aka plastic) commercial ornaments, although one could turn and hollow wooden balls.  I make an overlay blank that is concave on the inside that matches the diameter of the ball, and convex on the outside.  The blank is then cut to shape, carved or abrasively shaped, and glued on.  The finial is likewise hollowed to match the curve of the ball and then turned to shape.


This is a smiling sun with curved, flame-like rays.  The finial resembles a chess pawn.  This year I changed my hangers a bit.  They're made from twisted brass wire as I've done for several years, but are also flattened which gives it a chain look.

Sun no eyes

This is another sun with flame rays.  I didn't make separate eyes for this one.

Sun unequal rays

This sun has unequal rays, and more carving around the eyes and mouth.  The finial has a square base with upturned corners, somewhat like a pagoda


A star with convex points.  The finial has a square base.

A star with mostly concave points.

A redundantly shooting star.  Alas, not everyone finds gun jokes funny these days.

Carved Moon

A carved moon.

Sanded moon

A moon that's mostly sanded to shape.

Moon and Stars

A moon with stars.  When's the last time you promised your significant other the moon and the stars and actually delivered?


An angry cloud with wind and lightning.  Put a sun on the other side and you'd have a mood ornament.  Just turn to match your mood.


For my grandkids I put a heart with their first initial on the back of the ornament.

Negative space heart

When I looked at the waste from the previous heart I thought it looked pretty good except for the entrance cut.  So I did the next one with a negative space heart.

Intertwined hearts

Intertwined hearts.

Intertwined hearts

Intertwined negative space hearts.