Wooden Jewelry/gift Box With Living Hinges




About: I'm a fanatic of self-fabbing!
Hi there! As I told you recently when publishing my previous photo Instructable, We love letters: Scrabble wooden (bamboo) brooch, I've finished the design (and fabbing) of a git box for my aunt's birthday.

Here is the needed material:
  • a sheet of white masonite (3mm)
  • a sheet of cork (3mm)
  • the current Instructable
  • the appropriate attached design file
  • a laser cutter 
  • No glue, no supplementary tool needed
The design is relatively straightforward:
  • 1 main sheet (top+bottom+front+rear sides of the box)
  • 2 sheets for the left and right-hand sides.
  • 1 small piece to hold the box closed

I used the following techniques:
  • the living hinge, from SNIJLAB (in the Netherlands). They found how to bend rigid materials like wood, ply, medium or PMMA (aka plexiglas or perspex) while cutting them as you can see on the photos.
  • nodes, following instructions of Dan Emery, to make interlocking joints (between the base and the side pieces)
  • reducing the cutting lines, to reduce the cutting time, energy & cost.

Well, how do you find it? Could it be improved? Can you help me find an idea to skip the last piece that I use to hold the box closed?

As always, I design it basic so that you fab it custom, show me your creations based on this model!!!

Thanks for any comment, I love reading & answering you!

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    12 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    How do you measure the living hinges so they fit on the sides? Ive tried to do something like this but the hinges or the bend too much or they dont bend well and end broken. Please help

    2 replies

    You probably can start my figruing out the circumfrence of your bend, using pi*r^2, and using that length of living hinge in your design. I would add just a smidge more, because of the flat surfaces. IF you know how many, you could probably fit that polygon outsdie of your circle in a cad program, and use the length of each face.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Hi borregotv,
    Thanks for your question, which exactly stresses the hard point of this design!
    In fact I made some guesswork :-)
    The first try was relying on the fact that "ends" would touch each other, which is not the case... Then I reduced the length "a little bit" (ie.: guesswork) and it worked.
    If you find a way to calculate it before hand, I'd be interested by the resource!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I made a 180 degree 4.5" diameter living hinge, but found that the hinge compresses, making it too short. I had to allow for the compression.

    3 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for such a feedback, tr6canuck!

    I guess that the radius have to be checked carefully, yes, otherwise the material can break... Do you have images? It could help understand your case better!


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    This is my first living hinge. The circles are 4.5" diameter. The circumference is 7.065". I made the hinges 7.065" long, but each hinge was 1/4" too short, so I had to stretch them to fit over the tabs.

    Living Hinge Box.jpg

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah! Really cool! Congrats'!

    I also had problems with my first living hinges, the first was too short ;-( And the second too long :-D

    Anyway, you seem on the right track! Keep up the good work!