Introduction: Pet Ashes Boxes

About: I love to create sci-fi models, paint figures and generally stay a kid at heart.

I had a friend whose dog passed and she was wondering how to store the ashes, which was placed in a plastic sealed bag from the crematorium. She wasn't interested in an urn, so I told her I could fix up a craft box from Michael's and place a photo and her pet's name on the top. When I delivered the box, she took pictures of it and within a few weeks, I was asked to make one for her cousin's cat, Festus.


Candy: 6" x 6" x 3" wood box, 6" x 4" x 1/4" birch wood (name plate), 5.5" x 5.5" x 1/8" plexiglass, pet picture

Festus: 4" x 4" x 3.5" wood box, 4" x 3" x 3/8" birch wood (name plate), 3.5" x 3.5" x 1/8" plexiglass, pet picture

280 grit garnet sandpaper

Craft acrylic paints and paint brushes

Elmer's glue

5 minute epoxy

Minwax polyurethane

Minwax Mahogany stain

pneumatic pencil grinder with an 1/8" dia. carbide burr

Step 1: Box Sanding

Both boxes were sanded with 280 grit sandpaper to smooth the outside surfaces. A moist paper towel cleaned the dust off from sanding.

P.S. I couldn't find a photo of Candy's box, so this one was the closest I could find!

Step 2: Box Painting

Candy's box was brushed with 2 coats of polyurethane, allowing a day of drying time between coats. The coatings changed the colour just a tad darker, which was exactly what I wanted, thank goodness! The next colour painted was a dark chocolate brown band 1/2" wide on the lid and bottom box, as well as the inside edges. Once dry, gold leaf paint was brushed on. After it dried, I went back with a detail brush and painted a thin line of brown to outline the gold.

Festus' box was stained with Minwax Mahogany and allowed to dry overnight. The next day, Gold leaf acrylic craft paint was drybrushed on the box band, giving a mottled appearance.

Step 3: Name Blocks and Photo

Since I don't have photos of each step for both, I will use each photo for both steps!

Candy's wood block letters were penciled in, then the perimeter was band sawed out. For the inside areas, a pneumatic pencil grinder with a carbide burr (photos above) was used to "clean" out the wood, adding depth to the letters. The cleaned out areas were painted black, and the letters were painted gold. Once dry, Plum was stippled on and when dried, outlined with gold.

Candy's photo was trimmed to fit the top box frame, inserted, and the plexiglass cover was added on top the photo. A thin line of Elmer's glue was used around the plexiglass edge to bond it to the box frame. Once dry, the name block was bonded with 5 minute epoxy.

Festus' wood block letters were done the same way. The letter edges were painted black and the top was left unpainted. The name block was bonded to the box top with 5 minute epoxy.

Also with Festus, the photo was cut to fit to the interior, as was the plexiglass, and bonded in with Elmer's glue. The photo shows wet glue droplets. As the glue dried, they leveled out and dried clear.

When the name block was dry on Festus' box, the entire outside was coated with 2 coats of polyurethane.

Step 4: Finish

RIP Candy and Festus.