I'm going to show my version of a butterfly on a leaf trinket box. I got the idea from IDEAforWOOD in woodworking and used his butterfly because I can't draw any better than a 2nd grader.

I changed it up a little. This is my first instructable so please bear with me. I used hard Maple for the box and fit it with maple plywood for the bottom. I used Poplar for the Butterfly for contrast.

I would like to thank IDEAforWOOD for his inspiration.

You will need the following:

2 sided tape

Hand chisels

Hand saw

scroll saw hand or power

sanding paper 120 Grit 240Grit 280Grit

oscillating sander if possible but not necessary.

cnc router if possible but not necessary



finishing spray

3/4 inch hard maple 5.750 X 6.000 inches 5 3/4 X 6 2 piece for carcass

1/4 inch hard maple 5.750 X 6.000 inches 5 3/4 X 6 1 piece for cover

1/4 inch hard maple 4.000 X 4.750 inches 4 X4 3/4 1 piece for locating plate

1/4 inch maple plywood 5.750 X 6.000 inches 5 X 6 1 piece for base

1/4 inch poplar 4.000 X 2.500 inches 4 X 2 1/2 1 piece for butterfly

stick on felt buttons 3 pieces

stick on felt for inside

Time to make the box


Step 2: Cut 2 Pieces of 3/4 Maple 6 X 5 3/4 Inch

Step 3: Glue and Clamp Together. Let Dry Overnight.

Step 4: Layout Leaf Pattern Inside and Out From Pattern.

Step 5: Drill a 1/4 Dia Hole Inside3.

Now if your real observant you will notice that I forgot to take a picture before drilling the hole. "First time author"

Step 6: Saw Outside Pattern Leaving Room to Sand to Line.

Step 7: Insert Blade Through Hole and Cut Inside Leaving Room to Sand to Line.

Step 8: Sand Inside to Line and Remove Saw Marks. You Really Want to Work on This, It's the Last Chance You Will Get.

Step 9: Use Pencil and Label Top Side and Bottom Side of Box,

DUH! Forgot another picture.

Step 10: Turn Box Upside Down on a Piece of Paper and Draw Line of Inside of Box.

Label the paper for inside of box. You will need this template later.

Step 11: Glue Plywood to Bottom of Box and Clamp. Let Dry Overnight.

Step 12: Saw and Sand to Box All Around.


Step 13: Trace Around Inside Pattern on 1/4 Inch Maple. Cut Out and Sand to Line.

Step 14: Cut Out and Sand to Line.

Be sure to check fit inside top of box.The reason for this is that unless your a total expert at marking and sanding there will be minor differences in the two sides of the cutout and the plate will only fit one way. Be sure to mark top side of plate. this is the side you will glue to top.

Step 15: Locating Inside Plate

Stick plate to top with tape and place on box to check that top panel overlaps edges of box all around. If not then move plate and try again. When you have overhang all around then mark around plate with a pencil. Remove the tape and glue to the top. Clamp and let dry overnight.

Step 16: Set Box on Lid and Trace Around Box. Saw and Sand to Line

Step 17: Now for the Butterfly

The first time I made this I hand cut the bug using a hand scroll saw and chisels to give depth to the wings. This time because I was making 5 boxes I used the cnc machine. Mark butterfly pattern on Poplar. Use chisels to add some depth to wings then saw and sand to lines. Just remember this is your butterfly and can look how you want it.

Step 18: Sand a Slight Angel to the Lower Edge of the Butterfly

This is so when it's glued the head is standing up giving it a more natural

Step 19: Glue Sanded Area of Butterfly to Lid

Clamp and let set overnight. Placement isn't important as in nature I don't
think the butterfly cares what direction he lands on the leaf.

Step 20: Now We Will Apply the Finish

I used Old Masters Poly Urethane Spray. Coat the entire box and lid with a
lite coat. Allow to dry and sand with 400 grit wet dry paper. Repeat till you have 3
coats. It should shine like a new penny.

Step 21: Stick on Felt

Use the inside pattern from earlier and cut a piece of stick on felt, color of your choice.

Step 22: Finishing Up

Stick on felt buttons 3 places.

Mark your name on the bottom and it's ready for your loved one.

Thank you for your time

Homemade Gifts Contest 2017

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2017

First Time Author Contest 2018

Participated in the
First Time Author Contest 2018