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Wood newels are a crucial part of any staircase, providing both structural support and aesthetic appeal. While there are many pre-made newels available, designing and creating a custom wood newel can add a unique touch to your staircase. In this DIY tutorial, we’ll guide you through the process of designing and crafting your own custom wood newel.

Design Your Newel

Start by sketching out your design on paper. Consider the style of your staircase and the overall aesthetic of your home. You can choose from a variety of shapes, including square, turned, or tapered. Once you have a design you’re happy with, create a detailed drawing with precise measurements.

Choose Your Wood

Select a high-quality wood that matches the rest of your staircase. Popular choices include oak, maple, and cherry. Make sure the wood is free of knots and imperfections, as these can weaken the newel.

Cut the Wood

Using a saw, cut the wood to the desired length. If your newel has a decorative top, use a lathe or a router to shape the wood.

Drill Pilot Holes

Using a drill, create pilot holes in the base of the newel. These holes will be used to attach the newel to the floor.

Sand and Finish

Sand the newel to smooth out any rough edges. If desired, apply a stain or paint to match the rest of the staircase.

Install the Newel

Once the newel is finished, it’s time to install it. Apply wood glue to the bottom of the newel and insert it into the pilot holes. Use a level to ensure the newel is straight, and then secure it in place with screws.


Designing and crafting a custom wood newel can be a rewarding DIY project that adds a personal touch to your staircase. By following these steps, you can create a beautiful and unique newel that enhances the overall appearance of your home.

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