My last few projects were far less intricate- a sewing desk, toy box, toy shelf, two chalkboards, three art frames and some trim work around the house. I really wanted to make this box special because it would be something she (hopefully) kept forever. Plus, it's made out of the most beautiful wood that I ever seen and had the pleasure to work with.
I started with a rough idea of what I wanted to make and created as I went. I initially wanted to cut the lid out of one solid piece of wood but I just didn't have the right tools and technique to do it. Hence, the pic below:
At some point during the build, I decided to offset the dark walnut with birch plywood scraps I had laying around. At first, I felt like I was disrespecting the black walnut by adding birch. Then after the pieces were attached, I knew I made the right choice. The contrast between the two woods really accented the box nicely.
I was going to stop there, attach the lid and call it a day but I know my daughter too well. A box is a box to her and nothing more. If left as was, I'm sure it would've accumulated Legos, dolls, blueberries, crackers, possibly a booger and car keys that we spent all day looking for. No, I had to make it extra special. To do that, I added a shallow tray with an underlying "secret compartment" for her to put really fancy jewelry in. Things like her rose clip-on earrings or one of her fancy play bracelets.
The last thing I wanted to do was add an ornate design somewhere on the box to fancy it up. We shopped at the local craft store and I found the perfect stamp. Not too big, or small, but just the right shape, size and design. I tested the placement in different locations with a scrap piece before finally deciding to put it on the lid.
A couple days later, I was in the final stages... After a few coats of polyurethane with light sanding in between, the box was finally finished! I gave it to Leah this morning and before I knew it, she already had one earring (not sure where the other one went), a necklace, a bracelet and one barrette inside. Perfect!
I had so much fun building this and learned a lot about box design and construction. Overall, the cost was pretty low because the beautiful wood that was given to me. I paid $25 for the solid brass stop-hinges, $5 for the stamp and $3 for the ink. The whole thing is held together by wood glue I had laying around.