A couple of months ago my wife was having some trouble trying to find one of her favorite rings. She was keeping them in different boxes so this struggle came from time to time. I decided to design her a themed jewelry box, but I needed to find some inspiration on what she likes, from colors to shape. After collecting some info I decided to use Gustav Klimt as a source of inspiration for my design. Something simple but useful.
I also decided to use a laser cutting service for the first time. Therefore, the design uses this advantage to make it easier to assemble. Since such machines have also the ability to etch surfaces, I wanted to give it a try with acrylic glass.
Step 1: Design
The first step was to determine the shape and dimensions. I googled and looked up for several ideas and made a list of elements that I wanted for the jewelry box. One constraint I had was its size, I knew from experience that my wife doesn't like complex or bulky things, so I counted the amount of rings she has and made an average of their size plus some extra space for future acquisitions. I ended with a box of 170 x 124 x 69 mm (6 11/16" x 4 7/8" x 2 23/32")
The original idea was to add doors in the inside to be later used as earring hanger but at the end I scrapped the idea because something bigger came to my mind. I will be covering it in an upcoming instructable.
Using CAD software, I modeled the basic shape and later added some details. Since I have access to a laser cutting service, I made puzzle-like unions. You can find the 3d model here and also the DXF files to start cutting your parts.
Step 2: Graphic Design
The inspiration came from a little music box I found containing one of the most iconic paints from Gustav Klimt, The Kiss (in German Liebespaar, which means Lovers). Later, I searched for a good quality picture of it and try to use it for etching the acrylic glass.
However, it is not that simple. In the first place the machine will not recognize any colors so the image should be preferably in black and white, and secondly it needs to be saved as a vector graphics. There are different programs out there that you can use for this purpose. After some small tweaks I ended with a clean image that can be used for the etching process.
If you want to use the same image, the DXF file is provided.
Step 3: Bill of Materials, Tools, and Services
Now it's time to get our materials and tools.
- (1x) Acrylic sheet - 200 x 200 x 3 mm (8" x 8" x 1/8") - $1.80
- (1x) Triplay sheet - 250 x 700 x 5 mm (10" x 27" x 13/64") - $4.00
- (1x) Plastic foam for packing - 1 m (3 ft) - $1.60
- (1x) Smooth brown corduroy fabric - 1 m (3 ft) - $1.00
- (2x) Metal surface-mount hinge - 2.54 x 9.5 mm (1" x 3/8") - $1.67
- (1x) Wood glue - $2.00
- (1x) Varnish - $4.00
- (1x) Gold acrylic paint - $1.00
- (1x) Black acrylic paint - $1.00
- (2x) Paint brush - $2.00
- (1x) Foam paint brush - $2.00
- (1x) Rotary tool
- Laser cutting - $5.31
- Etch on acrylic glass - $2.66
Tools: $6.00 - (Mototool and clamps not included)
Total cost: $33.71
Step 4: Cut, Assembly, and Paint
- Let's start by cutting the parts and then proceed with the assembly.
- Check for any flaw in your material and change it if needed. Once done, proceed to bond the pieces with wood glue and clamp the parts together. Let it dry based on the instructions provided by the glue you are using.
- Depending on the quality of the wood you have, you might need to sand the box before painting. In my case I didn't have too much time so I decided to start painting it right away.
- To paint the Klimt details around the box I used first the gold paint as base and later, with a smaller paint brush, I added the swirls in black. It was more or less random, so don't be afraid of doing something wrong, you might find a way to fill the gaps. I also added some small golden dots on top of this.
- Use varnish to protect your work of art.
- Place the hinges in the desired position. I placed them around 25 mm (1") from each side. In my case, I didn't find small screws so I used the ones that come together with the hinges. The length was about 1 cm so I decided to use a mototool to trim the excess from the inner side of the box.
- Finally, attach the acrylic glass with glue.
Step 5: Final Details
The final step is to add the interior of the box.
- Start by cutting the foam with a length of 160 mm (6 19/64 in) or the total length of the interior of the box. I cut 7 of them, but you can manage to add more or less depending on your needs.
- Now cut the corduroy according to the size of these pieces and wrap it around them. You can use any multipurpose glue to keep the fabric in place.
- Cut corduroy to cover the interior sides of the box and glue it.
- Finally, place strips inside the box, it is not necessary to glue them to the interior.
Congratulations! The Jewelry box is ready.