Little Heart Box





Introduction: Little Heart Box

My daughter's 10th birthday was coming up and I was wondering what to make for her when I chanced upon the DIY Small Furniture by redboxdesign and knew this was it. Full credit goes to him/her for the original steps, which I adapted slightly.

I won't spend much time on the actual steps since Redboxdesign's instructable lays it out very nicely but mention some things I did differently.

Step 1: Starting Block

The box is a 2" cube as my scroll saw can accommodate a max 2". Glued two 1x2 pieces of scraps, taking care of the grain to create the end-grain pattern you see.

The template was copied and cut on a piece of paper and then scroll sawed the shape out.

I saved the left and right cutouts from the lower part of the heart to build the base (more on that later.)

Step 2: The Box

Cut out a slice off the back, which will be the back of the box.

Step 3: The Drawer

I realized that I didn't take pictures of cutting out the drawer from the box, so would encourage you to view the Redboxdesign instructable for that.

This picture is the inside cutout for the drawer and I sliced out the front and back, to be glued back later. The completed drawer was again filed ans sanded to give it's final shape.

Food color stained and 3 coats of poly used to finish.

I was racking my brain for the handle of the drawer when I came upon this heart locket that my daughter had lying around from a necklace-making kit. Couldn't have been happier. Shaped an 'eye' with wire, put the locket through and glued it to the drawer front.

Step 4: The Base

The base was built from a 2" x 2" piece of 1/8th inch ply scrap and the two cutouts glued to it.

Used food coloring (diluted) for the stain and then finished with 3 coats of water-based poly with light sanding between coats.

Step 5: Before the Stain/finish

Thought this looked good, too, and almost applied the poly for a natural look (one could stop here.) Then decided to stain it different colors before finishing.

Step 6: Final Product

So here's the final product. Let me know what you think.

2 People Made This Project!


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I'm a 23 year old male and I'd be stoked to get that box. How did you stain it with food coloring? Please explain. I'm super intrigued

6 replies

I added 2-3 drops of the food coloring to 5-6 drops of water (undiluted, the food coloring is too dark.) Since it's a small box, there's not much needed. Used a small arts paint brush to brush it on. Don't apply liberally since the untreated pine will soak it up and warp or the glue joints will open up (it happened to me.) It dries quickly since it's just water, after which I lightly sanded it to smooth down the raised grain. If the color's too light, you can always apply another coat.

Then it was just applying 3 coats of satin water-based polyurethane, sanding lightly between each coat. Again, dries quickly since it's water - you can do all 4-5 coats in half a day.

Of course, try it out on a piece of scrap first, which is what I did as this was my first time using food coloring. Good luck! Let me know how it goes.

Sweet, sounds doable. I'm tired of the same brown hues at lowes. Always wanted to stain a blue /green color. Does the food coloring stain hold up over time? That you know of any way. I know the polyurethane will seal it and protect it but I mean as far as lasting color.

Good question - no idea. Check in again in a year's time :-)

Well, it's been just about a year :)
How's that color???

I'm amazed you remembered to follow up! Here's a picture of the box I took yesterday. Honestly, I am surprised at how little the color has changed/faded - what do you think?


I was actually just going through my favorites and saw it. Looks awesome. That red is rockin. I'll definitely do the food coloring, save me a ton of money on stain. Thanks for the tip!

I have tried my first scroll saw project today making your instructable it came out not to bad for a first try, thanks for sharing

1 reply

That's wonderful - I am so glad that my 'ible helped you a bit! Thanks for using my 'ible for your first scroll saw project. Would love to see pic/s - please post.

P.S. Love your 'Must Weld' pic :-)

is it 2'' wide and 2'' tall or is it 2'' tall and 4'' wide?

1 reply

looks pretty good . Will make someone very happy well done

2 replies

Thanks a lot! My daughter was thrilled - well worth it to see her happy.

yea I know a two year old would like it

thats the cool purpose of instructables. sharing proyects for those who wants to create something from almost nothing or like scrap wood. i hope you keep making nice stuff.

1 reply

hii Neeraj Juneja it was awesome really..pls can you send me the complete process..i wanna do mail id thanks a lot

1 reply

Thanks! Between my steps and Redboxdesign's, all the steps are here. If you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to try and answer them.

such a rich colors of red & blue! and it is just achieved with food coloring, water, & and polyurethane!

1 reply

Thank you. I was happy - and surprised - how well it turned out.