Turning Halloween Bottle Stoppers

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Halloween is a fun and enjoyable time of year.  Most people dress up on Halloween , so we thought why not dress up a project kit for Halloween too.  In this article we are going to be making a couple different Halloween themed bottle stoppers. The first project is a witch’s hat and the second project is a Ghostly bottle stopper.  Let’s get started!

Witch’s Hat Bottle Stopper

Preparing The Blank

First, we need to select the right blank for this project.  I recommend using a 2″ x 2″ x 3″ blank using blackwood or other dark wood.  You can also use a lighter wood and dye it black if you like.

Select a 2 " x 2" x 3" piece of blackwood
Select a 2 ” x 2″ x 3″ piece of Blackwood

Mark the center on one end of the blank and drill an 11/32″ hole 1″ deep.  I recommend using a drill press so the hole is straight.  Next, thread the hole using a 3/8″ x 16tpi tap.   Make sure to thread the blank by hand and not by using a drill!  Mount a drill chuck with bottle stopper mandrel into the headstock.  Thread the blank onto the mandrel, bring up the tailstock for support and tighten.  Now we’re ready to turn!

Turning The Witch’s Hat

Set the lathe speed to around 2,000 rpm.  Use a spindle roughing gouge to turn the blank to round.  Once round, use a spindle gouge to shape the blank to look like a witch’s hat.  They come in many shapes and sizes so play around with different ideas until you find a shape you like.  Once you are satisfied with the shape of the hat, you can proceed with sanding or you can add a couple of decorative bands that will take your witch’s look even more festive!

Use a spindle roughing gouge
Use a spindle roughing gouge

To make these decorative bands, use a pencil and mark on the hat where you want the bands to be.  Using a narrow parting tool, cut a 1/16″ deep groove on the lines.

Use a narrow parting tool to make a decorative band
Use a narrow parting tool to make a decorative band

 

Filling the grooves with inlay material is easy.  Simply mix some orange aniline dye with some epoxy and fill in the grooves.  Any excess epoxy will be sanded off so don’t worry about being a bit messy.  Let the epoxy cure completely before sanding.

Mix orange aniline dye with epoxy for a decorative band
Mix orange aniline dye with epoxy for a decorative band

Once the epoxy is cured, use 180 grit sand paper and sand away any excess epoxy.  Finish sanding the witch’s hat working through the grits ending at 400 or 600 grit.

Now we’re ready to finish this project.  For this, I recommend using a glossy spray lacquer although you can use whichever finish you prefer.  Build up the finish spraying multiple light coats with a light sanding between coats.  Now your Witch’s Hat bottle stopper is ready for the holiday!

Finish the hat with a high gloss spray lacquer
Finish the hat with a high gloss spray lacquer

Ghostly Bottle Stopper

Preparing The Blank

Before we can turn a ghostly bottle stopper, we need to select the right blank for this project.  I recommend using a 2″ x 2″ x 3″ blank of Ash or any type of inexpensive wood that turns well as we’ll be spray painting the wood.

ghost1
Select a 2″ x 2″ x 3″ piece of Ash

Mark the center on one end of the blank.  Mount the blank in a vise and drill an 11/32″ hole 1″ deep.  I recommend using a drill press so the hole is straight.  Now we need to thread the hole using a 3/8″ x 16tpi tap.   Make sure to do this by hand and not by using a drill!  Now, let’s mount a drill chuck with bottle stopper mandrel into the headstock.  Thread the blank onto the mandrel and bring up the tailstock for support.  Now we’re ready to turn!

Turning The Ghostly Stopper

Set the lathe speed to around 2,000 rpm and use your spindle roughing gouge to turn the blank to round.  when, round use your spindle gouge to shape the blank to a bell shape. Once you are satisfied with your ghostly shape, sand the blank through 400 grit.  Now we’re ready to make this look like a ghost.

ghost3
Use a spindle gouge for shaping

Remove the blank from the chuck and take it outside where you can spray paint the blank.  Use white spray paint to color the blank white.  Make sure to apply multiple light coats, otherwise the paint will run.   Once the paint is completely dry, use a black marker and draw a ghost face on the blank.  When you are happy with the ghostly face, mount the ghost on the bottle stopper.  Now your ghostly bottle stopper is complete and ready for Halloween.

Use a marker to draw the ghost face
Use a marker to draw the ghost face

We’ve finished our Witch’s Hat and Ghostly Bottle Stopper!  If all went according to plan, you should have some fun useful decorations for the festive fall season!  Leave any comments or suggestions you might have in the comment section below, we’d love to hear them!

halloween-final
Finished bottle stoppers

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5 COMMENTS

  1. YOu know, only get your emails because I ordered little compacts from you for bead work. I just had to comment that I LOVE LOVE LOVE this little witch hat bottle stopper. Sometimes I wish my DH did this type of wood work (he’s a carpenter by trade but little time for this type of project.) but mostly I guess I’d rather have him building the house. LOL (been there done that too!) Now if we could just retire…

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