Howdy my good friends! Did anyone get a lathe for Christmas? We’ve got a fun new tutorial for ya. And even if you don’t have a lathe, it’s so fun to watch this one come together on the time-lapse video below! We tried a new wood-dying technique to add some color and pattern to the wood grain of plain ol’ pine, and turn it on the lathe to make a super unique bowl!
Would you believe this bowl started out as a single slab of pine from the home improvement store?!
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Isn’t that wood grain INSANE?! The dye seeped into the wood grain and created this amazing blue stripe-y effect! I’m totally obsessed! Let’s chat about how this all came about.
Supplies for Dyed Wood Turned Bowl
- 1×10” pine board (try to choose one with zero cupping and minimal knots)
- Behlen Alcohol Dye
- Wood Glue
- Clamps (at least 4)
- Miter Saw
We started out by cutting down our board into 7 perfect squares on the miter saw. They ended up being about 9”x9”, but this doesn’t need to be exact. You can make your bowl as big or small as you want!
Find the perfect center by connecting opposite corners with a pencil.
If you have a large protractor, use it! Otherwise, you can copy our white-trash version of a protractor by connecting two carpenter pencils with a small clamp. Hold one side in the center while you turn the other side to draw you a perfect circle.
Head back over to the miter saw, and slice off those corners so you have an octagon! Once you’ve done that first octagon, you can just trace it onto the other pine squares so you don’t need to bother with the protractor circle on all of them.
Now it’s time to dye these suckers with Behlen SolarLux Dye! We went with Sea Blue, but you could use any color from this collection, or use a different color on each board for a rainbow bowl!
We had one extra hexagon, so we decided to cut it in half and see how far the dye soaked in! This was soaking in the dye for 20 minutes. Amazing right?!
Let’s glue these up! We slathered on some wood glue with a chip brush and pressed down the next hexagon. We alternated the ‘points’ of the hexagons with each addition, but we didn’t really have a reason for doing that. LOL
Clamp it down and let that glue dry.
Now that it’s an enormous and heavy hunk of wood, find your center again by drawing an X. Then put on your 4-jaw chuck and pop it on the lathe! We have this lathe and it’s SO FUN to play on!
There are TONS of amazing tutorials for how to turn a wooden bowl on a lathe on YouTube, so we’re not going to go into specifics on that. We just wanted to show you this amazing technique on how to dye the wood with alcohol dye and glue up your very own turning blank!
I love the bright colorful grain that’s so swirly and blue! You could use a bowl like this for just about anything! I put a potted plant in it for these pictures, but I’m going to end up cutting a spiral in it to make a knitting bowl! I’m not confident about how that will turn out, so stay tuned. If it works, I’ll do a tutorial!
Check out the inside!
I loooooove how this turned out, and am itching to try making more alcohol dyed bowls using different colors… or even a rainbow bowl!
Be sure to check out these other projects we’ve done using Behlen Solar Lux Wood Dye!
Thanks for pinning!
I can’t seem to find this dye anymore. Are you using something new these days or can you direct me to where I can source it? Your pieces are beautiful!!
Excellent work! I’m definitely going to try this. (One tiny critique: your wood is cut into octagons, not hexagons (just pointing this out because hexagons are my favorite geometric shape))
I’ve been looking up ways to add color or decoration to my bowls, and this gives me some great ideas! One note: the thing that draws circles is a compass. A protractor measures angles.
Andrew McLaughlin says
This was actually my first project on my lathe. I saw it and figured pine is inexpensive so I gave it a shot.
Bethany Sy says
Sweet! I would love to see pictures! firstname.lastname@example.org
fernandez jorge says
verdaderamente noveso y practico graciasd por ello jorge de argentina
John Glenn says
Very nice tutoral, I need to try the dye. I usually turn exotic woods but an inexpensive turning once in awhile would be nice. Also nice to hear you have 3 children, they are blessed to have you and your husband.
Bethany Sy says
You’re too kind! Thank you John!
Simon James says
Has anyone successfully managed to replicate this and get the dye to penetrate wood this deeply? Looks great, but in my experience the dye never soaks deep enough to achieve this effect.
Bethany Sy says
Have you tried using alcohol dye? It penetrates deeper than just stain.
Simon James says
Yes, and it seems to travel down the end grain of pine quite nicely, but very little else where. May try leaving it to soak in the dye over night though.
Fire as in a propane torch does a great work on wood. Then course sand leaving the char.. Nice bowl !!! simple just starting wood turning in my retirement years.. Thanks for the inspiration !!!!!!!
WOW! That’s gorgeous!
Norma Rolader says
Oh wow how awesome can’t to see more from you
This is amazing! My husband is dreaming of a lathe. I’ve never seen this dye but it looks like so much fun. Live your bowl & the effect you achieved with the dye.
If you bore hole in the center of the segments that will be cut away the stain may penetrate more evenly through the wood.