I made this box as a Mother's Day gift for my mom. I bought her earrings and wanted to put them in something fancier than the little box they came in. I used black and white ebony, but most other kinds of wood will work. Woodworking stores often have bins of scrap wood where you can find small pieces of fancy or exotic wood that would work well for this.
Step 1: Stuff You Need
Stuff you need:
- Small block of wood - I used ebony, but use whatever you like.
- Popsicle sticks
- Miniature hinges - Easy to find online, get ones that come with nails.
- Tiny, round gem, stone, or bead
- Wood glue
- Dremel bit - Needs to be about the same width as the nails, probably 3/64"
- Carving knives
Step 2: Wood Pieces
First you need to cut the wood for the box and lid. Use the hinges to get an idea of how long you want your box to be. Mine is about 1"x 1/2" x 3/4". Feel free to mess around with the sizes. I usually add about an 1/8" to the length just in case.
Mark the wood with a pencil and cut off the piece with a saw. An electric saw will work best, but you can make it work without. For this piece I used the saw on a multi-tool.
Cut a second piece with the same dimensions. If there are deep cuts or dents in either piece, use a carving knife to smooth them down.
Step 3: Shape the Lid
Cut or sand down one of the pieces until it is about 1/4". This will be the lid piece. Sand all of the sides of both pieces with medium grit sand paper. Even if they already look smooth. Some finishes will look different on wood that has been sanded vs wood that hasn't.
Place the lid piece on top of the box piece and make sure they match up. It will probably take a bit more sanding. Just keep checking to see how far off they are and slowly sand away the parts that stick out.
Step 4: Hollow Out the Box
If everything is smooth and matches up, it is time to hollow out the box. Use a pencil to mark where you want to cut. You may want to use a ruler or straight edge to make sure the lines are straight and accurate. Leave at least 1/8" around the edge in all places. If you need it to be a little bigger later you can sand it out. You can use a Dremel if you want to. I used carving knives.
Use your knife to score along the marked lines. Use a wood carving chisel to start removing wood from the center. Re-score the lines with your knife and then continue "scooping" out the wood with the chisel. Keep doing this until the box is as deep as you want it. Clean up the inside sides with you knife and sandpaper.
Step 5: Hinges
Now it is time to add the hinges. This part takes a little patience. Choose which sides of the wood pieces that you want to be the front. Place both pieces together with the fronts facing down. I ended up using the side opposite the one in the first picture. Carefully line them up and make sure all of the edges match up. You can sand them a little more later, but try to get it as good as possible now. Place the hinges on the back of the box. Once you have them where you want them, use a pencil to mark each of the little holes.
Check the size of the little nails that go with the hinges. You will need to find a Dremel tip that is about the same size. It can be a little bit smaller, but don't use one that is larger. Use the Dremel to drill 1/4" deep holes exactly on each of the pencil marks. One at a time, place the hinges over the holes and use something small and hard to hammer the little nails into the holes. They should go in pretty easy. If the hinges seem loose, apply a small amount of epoxy or super glue between the hinges and the wood.
Step 6: Flower Petals
Popsicle sticks work best for the flower petals. They are usually made out of birch, witch is really soft. You can use other wood if you want to but it will take a lot longer.
These are pretty easy to carve so you can mess around with the shape and size until you find some you like.
Start by sketching the petal shape onto the wood. Carve out the petal shape and try not to break the petal off of the popsicle stick. Once you have the basic shape of the petal, start rounding all of the edges on one side. On the other side gently scoop out some of the wood in the center to give it a spoon like shape. Lightly sand all surfaces of the petal.
Break or cut your petal off of the popsicle stick now. You will need to make at least four more of them. Depending of the size and shape, you may need to make more. I ended up making six.
Step 7: Flower
Carve one small circle out of a popsicle stick. It should be about as big as the length of one of you flower petals. This is the base for the flower.
Glue the petals one at a time onto the base with wood glue. Give each petal a minute to dry before moving on.
If you like how the flower looks now and don't want to make another row of petals, you can skip the next step.
Step 8: More Flower Petals
You can skip this step if you don't want another row of petals.
These petals should be the same shape as you made in step six. Using the same instructions you used in step six, make the same amount of petals in a slightly smaller size.
Glue them right on top of the original petals. Try to work quickly this time, as you may need to fiddle with them a little to get them all to fit.
Step 9: Finish
You can use any finish you want. I used boiled linseed oil. It mostly keeps the natural color of the wood, but protects and enhances it. Read the instructions of any finish you chose.
Lightly sand all of the wood with fine sandpaper before you apply the finish.
If you choose to use boiled linseed oil: Apply the oil to an old rag and carefully rub it onto the box and flower. Make sure that there are no dry spots. Give it a minute and then rub it off with a clean rag. Carefully dispose of the rags according to the instructions on the container. leave the wood to dry overnight.
You can use multiple coats if you want a deeper color or a shinier look.
Step 10: Put It All Together
Use wood glue to attach the flower to the box.
For the center of the flower, I used a small metallic gem. Find a gem, stone, or bead that goes well with the wood that you used. If you use something hard and nonporous like a gem or a stone, you should use epoxy to attach it to the wood. Otherwise, super glue should work.