Introduction: Make a Box and Bracelet to Your Dearest Star

About: Hi I am Dutch and live in Sweden. I love to create things in my little woodshop.

Christmas time is coming and I like to give away homemade gifts. This year it will be a bracelet in a carved box with a special message.

I wanted to play with words and stars. On the lid of the box I carved: "You are the star in my life". On one side: "All that I want" and on the other side: "Starting the day with you". On both short sides "is". Instead of writing letters I used the symbol for star. It doesn’t matter on which side you start reading because I carved the word ‘is’ on both short sides. All that I want is starting the day with you. Starting the day with you is all that I want. Afterwards the box can used for pencils.

The bracelet is made in bandwood (veneer) and after I sawed out a star in siver plated metal. I glued the silver strip on the veneer.

Step 1: The Box

The box is made of Basswood. I’m a beginner in carving and basswood is soft and easy to carve. I “gold plated” the stars. (I bought the cheaper “metal leaf”).There is a lot of first times in this instructables: I had never gold plated (gilting?) before, to glue metal on bend wood is something I never tried before and I'm almost new att carving. So feel free to give your comment for approval.

I’m quite satisfied with the result of the gold plated star on the box and find it more beautiful than painting the stars with gold paint. After Christmas day the box can be used for several other things (see step 22).

Step 2: The Bracelet

The bracelet is made of four layers veneer and silver plated metal. I rather would like to use .925 silver but this was the first time I glued metal on veneer and I wasn’t sure it will work. Moreover .925 silver costs a lot more, but the next time I will use .925 silver now I know this technique works.

Step 3: Materials

This is what you need

The box:

Wood, if you want to decorate the box choose a soft kind of wood (I used Basswood) and plywood

Saw (band saw)

Sanding paper, sanding machine, wood glue and 4 clamps

Pencil, paper and tape

Knife, v-tool and chip-carving knife

Paint (red), brushes, AMI glue, metal leaf, shellac

The bracelet:

Bending form, adhesive plastic and a clamp

Veneer, box cutter, wood glue, brush, hot water

Jewelry saw (or jigsaw), Silver plated metal (or Sterling silver), epoxy glue, buffing polish and Dremel or buffing machine, drill

Shears or bench scissors

Duck tape, masking tape

Stain (dark brown), paint tape and lacquer

Step 4: Start With the Outside of Your Box

Determine your sizes of your box

Cut the sizes of your box, two side pieces and two end pieces.

Sand them smooth.

Step 5: Glue Your Sides

Glue your box together and wipe away the glue (or let the glue dry and cut it carefully away with a sharp knife).

Place your clamps and let the box dry.

Step 6: The Lid and Bottom

The lid:

Take away your clamps and put your box on plywood (0.3 inches thick) and draw the inner size twice (one piece for the lid one piece for the bottom) with a pencil on the plywood.

Saw the plywood with your band saw.

Glue one piece plywood on the wood that you want to use for the lid. This piece can be a little bit bigger than what you need for the box.

Clamp and let the glue dry……

Step 7: ​The Bottom and the Lid

The bottom:

Sand the second piece of plywood.

Glue the sizes of the bottom piece and place it in the box while the lid is drying.

Sand your bottom.

Finishing the lid:

Put your box upside down on the lid.

Draw your outside measurements with a pencil.

Take of the box and saw and sand it in the right size.

Sand your box, I started with 150 grid up to 400 grid.

Step 8: Copy the Pattern to the Wood

Draw your pattern and copy your pattern to the box.

I painted the backside of my pattern black with a pencil, taped the pattern on the lid and copy the pattern by drawing with a pencil on the lines of pattern.

Step 9: Carving the Letters

Now comes the most exciting part of the box: The carving. I haven’t carved much in my life and started with the letters because this was the easiest part.

You can carve your letters with a knife or a v-tool. I carved them with a sharp knife. It is hard to explain how to carve but I found this video on youtube:

I started on the end, if you start on the top you can wipe away the letters with your hand while carving. I also taped a piece of paper on the star to prevent that I wiped away the lines of the star.

Step 10: Carving the Stars

Start by pressing your knife on the straight lines in the wood.

Cut the right side (see pictures), then the left and lastly the third part with round edge.

Work around your star.

This was the third time I carved a star and as you can see I’m not a professional. The cuts are not clean. Well, I have to practice a lot more, but this time I used the v-tool and sandpaper to correct the failures.

Step 11: Some More Carving

The star on the lid

Step 12: Ground the Stars

Apply a red paint (acryl) as a ground.

Apply the glue to the surface and let it dry for about 20 minutes.

Step 13: Gilt the Stars

Place the metal leaf on the star and apply the metal leaf gently with a soft brush.

If you get some cracks in the first layer and the red paint is visible you can apply some more glue and put one more layer metal leaf on the cracks.

Wipe off the excess metal leaf by using a somewhat stiff brush.

Protect the gilded surface with shellac.

Fantastic you’re done with the box!

Step 14: Make Your Bracelet But First Some Information About the Form

The form is an ellipse and is 6.7 inch (17cm) circumference/outline, 2.4 inch (6 cm) x 2 inch (5 cm) and1.6 inch (4cm) high. I attached a bit plywood at the bottom so that you can clamp it in the workbench. This gives you free hands to work with the bending of the wood.

I applied a fabric strap. This strap is sewed in cotton and has Velcro so that you can easily fasten the strap. When placing the veneer around the form you can use the strap to bend the veneer snugly around the form. Cover the form and the inside of the strap with adhesive plastic to prevent that the veneer will fasten on the form. I have been using the form several times and find it very practical.

Step 15: Bending the Veneer

Cut the veneer I used 1.6 inch (4 cm) 7.9 (18 cm) long. I used four short pieces veneer but you can also cut one long strip and after applying glue wrap it around a form without a strap (see link in next step)

To be honest I don’t know what type of wood my veneer is, this veneer was dry, old and porous so I decided to lay it in very hot water for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile place your form in the workbench.

Dry the veneer with paper tissue and

Bend the 4 layers veneer by hand around the form and pull the strap tight around the veneer and place a clamp in order to get the ends of the bracelet as narrow to the form as possible.

Let it dry and take out the four layers.

Step 16: Glue the Veneer and Get a Bracelet

Cover the form and the inside of the strap with adhesive plastic to prevent that the glued veneer will fasten on the form.

Apply wood glue on the first,second and third layer veneer.

Put the four layers on toip of each other and place your bracelet in the form and close the strap.

Let the glue dry (two days).

Remove the bracelet from the form and you have your base to the bracelet.

Sand the surface (outside and inside) of your bracelet.

There are lots of other ways to make a bend bracelet check out these instructables

Step 17: Cut Your Metal

Cut out your metall 0.04 inch (1mm) with a shears or bench scissors(The star is about 0.3 inches 1 cm)

Use a rasp to smoothen the edges.

Step 18: Saw Your Star

Glue the design on of the metall with wood glue. This makes it easy to remove the paper afterwards. Let dry. You can either draw your own design or find it on internet when you search on "free templates"

Before you start to drill: Make an indentation with a nail and a hammer to prevent the drill from slipping away.

Drill a hole (0.08 inch) in the center of your design.

Prepare your jewelry saw (or jigsaw) and cut your design. I used a blade for metal.

Remove the picture after wetting when you’re done.

Step 19: Buffing the Metal

Use a rasp to smoothen the edges of the star.

I buff the metal with a cloth-wheel and buffing compound, to get rid of the scratches and to get a shiny surface. I have used a buffing machine (Sorry I do not know the name in English) but you can also use your Dremel. Wear safety glasses when you use a buffing machine. If necessary clean with alcohol.

The metal is quit soft so I used a piece of wood to support the plate while buffing.

Sand the bakside of the metal plate, the glue will stick better with a rough surface.

Step 20: Bending the Metal Plate

Saw your bracelet in the right size.

Put the bracelet back on the form.

Fasten the plate with tape on the bracelet and hold the plate in the right place with a clamp

Bend both ends of the plate down on the bracelet while you still press the center of the metal plate on the bracelet with your thumb.

Close the strap tight over the bracelet.

Use a hammer to adjust the curvature.

Step 21: Glue the Plate on the Wooden Bracelet

Paint the part where the star will be placed with dark brown stain.

Mix your epoxy glue and apply it on the inside of your metal bracelet. But be careful and don’t apply glue in the area round the star.

Slide the metal bracelet on the wooden bracelet and press the metal bracelet to the wooden bracelet with duct tape.

Let it dry for 24 hours.

Remove the tape and buff away the epoxy glue if there is left someone on the metal bracelet.

You can mount your plate with rivets if you don’t want to glue your metal plate.

Step 22: Sand It in the Right Measurements

Remove the epoxy glue which was pressed out on the wooden bracelet with a v-tool or knife. But before doing this put masking tape on the metal to prevent scratching the surface.

Sand your bracelet, I left about 2 mm wood on both sides of the metal plate.

Step 23: Buffing and Painting

Sand the edges smooth and buff the metal with a Dremel.

I wanted to have a really dark bracelet. I painted the inside and edges with dark brown stain.

Finally, I painted the inside of the bracelet with lacquer to prevent the stain coloring the skin.

Step 24: Enjoy!

Yeah I realy like it! Put the bracelet in the box and there it is, your home made gift!

Step 25: When the Box Is Empty.....

She/he can fill it with pens and put it on her/hiss desk

I hope you enjoyed this instructables.

If you like this project, please consider to vote for me. Thank you!

Bye Bye Amaries.

Homemade Gifts Contest 2015

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2015