I decided to make a jewellery box for my girlfriend for Christmas as a cheap yet meaningful present. Used old pieces of wood (an oak headboard etc), didn't spend much money apart from tools and decorative materials though finished product was better than anything I could have bought for her. Great idea for anyone else wanting to give something special without spending as much money. I designed the initial shell and layout, though improvised everything else (when using wood, exact measurements cannot be made until certain activities are completed). Took me a months worth of weekends and evenings, enjoyed every last minute of it. Hope this provides some pointers and inspiration.
Step 1: Cut Out Shell
Used a table saw to get the best cut.
Cutting list: - bottom and top (same size), two sides (same size), back.
Step 2: Sand Wood to Desired Finish
Used coarse sandpaper to remove original varnish. Get it to a smooth, workable finish. Don't worry, this won't be the last sand.
Step 3: Cut Holes for Fixings, I Only Used Dowels, No Screws
Used uniform size 6mm diameter 30mm length dowels, drilled an appropriate size using pilot hole and then 6mm drill bit. Didn't drill more than sensible depth as I didn't want to go through the wood. Measure accurately, I used digital callipers everywhere I could. No set list of holes to be drilled or where to place them, just consider the features you wish to include and place dowels appropriately.
Step 4: Drawers
Use whatever measurements for them to fit snug in your box. Use a router to cut a slot for the base part to fit into the sides (see photo if unsure).
Step 5: Finishings
Chisel hinges for lid, attach hinges and any other handles etc. Take it slow, don't rush as mistakes at this stage aren't fun. Glue using PVA and clamps when you are satisfied it is at a stage you will not have to take it apart, sand, drill more holes etc.
Step 6: Finish Decorative Materials
Lay felt (if you are) using PVA Glue.
Step 7: Seal, Sand, (Varnish) and Wax
Apply sealer, leave to dry for specified time, lightly sand off, apply varnish (if desired, I did not), apply wax on and leave for 1 hour, then buff wax off.
Step 8: Finish
Anything else you have left to do then finish. Your box is now finished.