Jewelry Boxes

Jewelry boxes come in an amazing array of sizes and styles. Maybe it's an old cigar box with some rings tossed in it, maybe it's a free standing armoire made from solid cherry, maybe it's something in between.

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Jewelry boxes are fun to make because, while they have a specific purpose, they can be any shape, size or style.

Some people consider their box an extension of their jewelry, for others it can be a status symbol or sign of elegance. For many it's simply an elegant (or perhaps not so elegant) place to stash jewelry.

When I make a box I like to think about three things.

First the purpose. Is it going to hold mostly rings? Is it for someone who likes chunky bracelets or long necklaces?

large jewelry armoire

This will include thinking about whether it will have drawers or a place to hang things. Maybe I'll put in a lift-out tray, or decide to leave it simple and open. One thing that almost (but not all) jewelry boxes has is some sort of system of dividers and these can make the box more useful or it can be frustrating if the size is just wrong.

Will it hold all the person's jewelry or just a few favorites. I'll go about making a presentation box differently from a more generic box, for instance.

From there I decide on the general size and layout.

oak bandsaw box

For that reason it's best to think about the purpose carefully before buying a box for your jewelry.

bookmatched box

Finally, my favorite part, I choose the wood.

As you may have gathered, I love wood.

wooden box with landscape design
jewelrey box

I like to use contrast, so I often pick a couple different species for a single box.

I'm continually amazed at the variety of colors and grain patterns. By picking interesting wood I can change the entire "feel" of a box.

Sometimes,  I'll even paint the wood - or some of it, to give the piece an entirely different feel.

Quite often I'll start the process in reverse. I'll have a piece of wood I really like, perhaps a burl, or some beautifully figured wood. In that case, I'll design box around it. I'll decide that this piece will be perfect for the top, therefore the box will be thus and so size, and since it's a busy grain I'll keep the design simple, that sort of thing.

Either way, I tend to use the wood, rather than the design as the focus.

My idea of a successful box is one that is both beautiful and useful. While some people like ornate boxes overflowing with design. I prefer a simple box that shows off the beauty of the wood itself.

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