NO POWER TOOLS NEEDED.
Step 1: Materials
A sketch or diagram of compartments (it makes things easier later if this drawing is to scale).
- Wood I used about 90 sq. inches of 3/8 inch thick clear pine for the box itself, and about 1 sq. foot of 1/4 inch thick basswood for the interior dividers.
- Hinges and Hasp I used three sets of hinges; one for the box lid, one for the earring screen, and one for the interior compartment door.
- For the Earring Screen: Wire Mesh I used the mesh from and old screen door.
- Drill I use an old fashioned hand cranked drill, but really any will work. (not pictured)
- Ruler This functions as both a straight edge and a measuring device.
- Wire Cutters/Pliers
- Saw and/or Knife
- Chisel This is for cutting grooves to fit the interior dividers into. The thickness of the divider wood and the width of the chisel should be the same.
- Sandpaper (preferably a course and a fine grit)
- Wood Glue
Step 2: Top, Bottom, and Sides
Top and Bottom: The first pieces of wood needed are the lid and the bottom, so I first cut out two pieces of 9 by 11 inch of clear pine.
Sides: Cut two 2 in. by 11 in. Pine boards for the long sides, and two 2 in. by 8 1/4 in. boards for the short sides (or in other words, for the short side board length = the short side length - two times the thickness of the board to account for the thickness of the long boards).
For cutting narrow fairly thin pieces of wood accurately, I find it helpful to use a knife to make a groove in the board at the proper place before sawing. I use a straight edge to make a shallow knife cut across the board and then angle my knife to about forty five degrees and cut out a sliver of wood on the side I will not be using. This creates a nice little groove for the saw to fit into easily.
Step 3: Making Channels to Set Dividers
This is an excellent place to have you sketch/diagram handy. It really helps to make sure that everything will line up when everything is put together. Some of y joints weren't exactly square, but most were pretty close thanks to my grid paper sketch.
Make a line on the appropriate place on the side where the interior divider will be and then make a parallel line 1/4 in. away. Using a straight edge, make a shallow cut on each line. These are called stop cuts to make chiseling the channel neater and easier. (See pictures for clarification on this step) Place the chisel perpendicular to the stop cut on one side and gently press across and down. Don't try to go too deep, just take off small wedges of wood over and over, alternating which side your start on until the channel is about 3/8 of an inch deep or so. Then run your chisel down the channel a few times to smooth and even it out. Hopefully your chisel, channel, and divider wood are now the same width. Do this on all sides for all places where the dividers will touch the sides.
Step 4: Making the Box
Because I included an earring screen, my dividers were only 1 1/14 in. deep even though the box was 2 in. deep. This left 3/4 in. for my earrings.
For the dividers, I measured from the deepest part of the channel to obtain the exact length of each divider board. I didn't use any glue to hold in the dividers because they fit very tightly, but there's no harm in gluing them in. If you have a partition going from another partition to an outside wall, its much easier to make a channel in the partition before you wedge it into the box. (I made that mistake and it was difficult to work in the box without damaging it.) I used some 100 grit sandpaper to make some finer adjustments along the way to get a better fit.
I also cut a small rectangle of wood to fit as a door into one of the compartments.
This is a good time to give the whole thing a good sanding, first with course then with fine grit sandpaper.
Step 5: Earring Screen
I then cut a piece screen out of an old metal screen door that was slightly bigger than the frame. I then bent the edges under so that the sides would neither fray nor snag things. I carefully stapled the edges down with a standard office stapler, careful to keep the screen square and taught across the frame.
Step 6: Hinges, Hooks, and Hasp
3/4 in. cup hooks in the largest compartment will hold necklaces and bracelets nicely. I pre-drilled for those as well.
I next attached the small door hinge. The handle is a furniture tack and small piece of leather because there wasn't enough room with the earring screen for any larger hasp or handle.
Because the earring screen is inset and I wanted it to be able to open a full 180 degrees, I had to place small pieces of wood as spacers between the hinges and the screen. (see pictures) I attached the hinges to the box, then to the spacers and then glued the screen to the spacers. So It ends up as four layers; hinge (screwed to) spacer (glued to) frame (stapled to) screen.
Step 7: Finishing
To hold rings in, I used a sponge, cut to fit snugly in a compartment, covered in cloth with slits cut for rings.
Fill and Enjoy!