Pirate Ship Jewelry Stand




Introduction: Pirate Ship Jewelry Stand

About: I started a wood shop during the Summer of 2009, and have been teaching myself techniques and skills through the project's I've built, both for myself and for others. As a mechanical engineer, I love workin...

Sometime last year when I started my wood shop, one of my friends ordered  a custom-made and unique jewelry box to keep her jewelry in, specifically something that looked like a pirate ship, so I built this!  Rings and bracelets can go on the masts, necklaces on the deck, and earing on the sails, (which are made out of mesh).  

Now, I had all the materials on hand, so I have no idea how much this would cost, but I would assume somewhere in the $20-$30 range.


3/4" plywood sheet
3/4" dowels
3/16" dowels
1/4"x1/4" square wooden rods
about 5 ft  of bead-chain
fine wire mesh
Dark Walnut Stain
paper (for the flag)

Optional: Lego figure


power sander and sand paper
miter box/saw
drill press/gun
assorted wood clamps

Step 1: Find a Template

First, I found a suitable layout somewhere online (Google, what else?) to give the ship a proper "pirate-y" shape, so I copied it, blew it up to be approximately 14" long,  printed it out, and cut it out.

Step 2: Cut Out the Base

I traced the template onto the 3/4" plywood, and cut out the top layer with my jigsaw blade perpendicular to the wood.

Then, I traced the first piece again, but this time cut the piece out at a 15 degree angle.  After the second piece was cut out, I traced its bottom in the wood again, cutting this time at a 45 degree angle.  Thus, when the three pieces are stacked on top of one another, there appears to be a curve, much like that of a boat's.  The sanding to smooth out the angles comes later.

Step 3: Glue the Layers Together and Add the Poop Deck

I applied an ample amount of wood glue between the three layers, clamped them together aligning the bows and sterns, and let it set overnight.

After it dried, I traced the rear 4" of the top layer in plywood to cut out the Poop Deck, using the same method of angle cutting for the bottom layer of the Poop Deck.  I glued that to the deck, clamped it, and let it dry again.

Step 4: Cut Out the Masts and Yards

While the Poop Deck was drying, I cut out lengths of dowels for the mast, 14" tall each, and the cross bars that hold the sails, which are called "yards."

I cut the two yards on the front mast to be 6", and the two on the rear mast to be 7".

I also cut out the front triangular sail yard to about 4".

Step 5: Sand That Sucker Down

I used my power sander with 120 grit sandpaper.  Later down the line I used 240 grit paper (by hand) before applying the stain, but 120 can really get all the roughness out.  You can see how the sides and edges look much smoother than before.

Step 6: Drill the Mast Holes and Drill the Railing Holes

I drilled two 3/4" holes down the middle of the deck, approximately 4" apart, and about 1/2" deep.

I then marked with a pencil, where the railing posts would go around the entire deck, offset from the edge about 1/2", and then pilot drilled every marking with an 1/8" bit.

After that, I used the 3/8" bit to drill about 1/4" deep into all the railing post pilot holes.

I also drilled an 1/8" hole for the triangular sail yard at about a 40 degree angle, 1" below the deck at the very bow.

Step 7: Cut and Drill the Railing Posts

I cut out 29 of these posts at 1-1/4" long each.  I then drilled two holes, 3/16" diameter (to thread the bead chain through), as shown, about 5/8" apart.  I then sanded down the four edges of the tops of each of these, and set them aside.

Step 8: Drill the Mast Holes and Attach to the Deck

I drilled 3/16" holes through the masts as shown, at arbitrary distances, making sure to have the forward mast's holes slightly closer together than the rear one's.

Once drilled, I inserted the respective yards into their masts and applied glue, and let dry.

I didn't glue the masts to the deck yet because it would make it harder to stain them.

Step 9: Stain Everything and Glue Together

Now that all the wood pieces were cut out, it was time for staining.

I first stained the entire body, then each of the rails individually, putting them into their holes as I went (without glue).  Then I stained the masts, and inserted them into their holes to dry.  

Usually, it takes wood stain a few hours to dry, but I left it overnight just to be safe.

Step 10: Make and Attach the Sails

I used a fine mesh, which I had in my shop.  Not only does it look nice, but it is highly functional for hanging all different sorts of earrings, which of course was its purpose here.

I cut the sails arbitrarily to about the width of the yards, and to have a slight curve between the top and bottom yards

To attach the sails to the yards, I tied off a length of string at one corner of the sails, and threaded it around in a spiral shape down the length of the yards, as shown in the picture, tying the string off in a knot at the end.

The bottoms of the lower two sails were loosely tied around the masts.

I attached the triangular sail similarly, and tied a length of string between it and the forward mast after the glue dried.  I also added in more string to give it a more authentic "model" feel.

Step 11: Bead Chain the Poop Deck and Make the Flag!

I had bead chain lying around from a previous project, but yarn or thick string could work just as well, (it also has a really good contrast with the dark walnut stain)

I cut two lengths the same size so that it wouldn't be too tight or too loose between the posts.

For the flag, I just Googled "Pirate Flag," took one of the images and mirrored it in Paint, cut the two halves out, glued them back to back, and glued the flag to the mast with two flaps at the back of the flag with Elmers Glue.

Step 12: Thread the Rest of the Bead Chain

The bead chain on the main deck is all one long piece, threaded first through the top holes of the posts, then looped through the bottom holes.

I cut some shorted lengths to use as barriers to divide the deck into sections.  I had considered using Plexiglas as a divider, but it wouldn't have looked as good, and jewelry boxes can get unorganized pretty fast anyway, this this way it may not be as functional, but definitely retains some aesthetic.  

As a final touch, I reinforced the bottoms of the sails with string around the masts.

Step 13: Finished!

Here are some assorted views of the finished model.

Although there seems to be alot of detail, the assembly and design was fairly straightforward.  Because the base is made from solid plywood, there is little chance of it tipping over unless it is forcibly pushed. 

More strings could be added between the masts or yards, but I didn't want to over complicate it, for fear that the jewelry could get tangled in it, etc.

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    11 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Wow, I've been building ship models for awhile now and it never occurred to me they could serve a purpose other than ornamental. Awesome post, finished product looks great!


    8 years ago on Step 11

    A poop deck is essentially the stern deck of the ship. In a sailing ship, this poop deck is usually elevated from the roof.


    9 years ago on Step 13

    bravo! I will be attempting this design soon with maybe a few modifications later...


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Good idea & nice design. If you make one small box and fix in the base of the ship, you can hide the jewelry from others. Then it will become perfect jewelry box also.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    You might want to add a row of horizontal pegs sticking out of the hull on each side, (perhaps to hang rings on or something) since a pirate ship without any cannons isn't very piratey.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Oooooo such a good idea! I already gave this to my friend, but if she ever wants it refurbished, then thats definitely on the list


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Ah. Not a jewelry box but a jewelry stand. I kept looking for the opening in to the ship's hold and couldn't find it.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    That does make more sense, thanks for the correction!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Great instructable! Plenty of pictures to help the reader follow the steps. Thank you for posting. Ahoy mates!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    awesome! I love this. I made a jewelry stand awhile back from an old tree branch with mesh in back for earrings, but it's starting to fall apart, so i've been looking for a new pattern. brilliant!