From the brain to the board

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Project by maplerock posted 02-04-2015 04:10 PM 1200 views 5 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am trying to think outside the box (sorry.) I always make boxes. Always mitered corners, always splined, never painted or stained, just clear finishes. Usually hinged, never latched, and seldom with a handle. Lately I have been making toys, bird feeders, jigs, and a variety of other things away from my box fixation.

My lovely and talented wife has taken up carving, so back in December I thought I’d make her a box to hold her stuff. I decided to make it out of plywood. What? Yep.

I had some 1/2” primed plywood (pretty nice stuff) from Home Depot, and started construction. It was to be about 12” x 9” x 8”. It would have a tray and a handle. It would also have a clasp to keep it closed while carrying. I decided to paint ti in some fancy design to both make it girly, and to make it attractive.

After completing the unpainted box, I filled some voids, made a base for it, and primed it with gray Rustoleum inside and out. Then I set out to find a cool design that I would paint on it. After lots of surfing I found a great artist and settled on this design:

I then decided that with all the shading and technique involved, Maybe I would get some help. I know a local artist, so I gathered up one of my nice finished boxes and took it and the primed box to see him. He liked the idea and accepted my finished box as payment for him painting a loosely interpreted version of the artwork onto the box. I mocked up my vision of the finished product and gave it to him:

Her birthday was about 9 days away, and he graciously agreed to get it finished. That was asking a lot of him. Well, that time frame came and went, as did two weeks, three, four, etc. Then one day bam! He called and said it was ready. As you can see from the photos, he nailed it.

I love it. She loves it. Mama’s happy, everybody’s happy.
I am so glad I tried this. I can guarantee you it will not be my last painted box. It is a show stopper in person. People will love it. Next time I will try the painting. bright colors and brilliant shading… that’s my goal.

For the hardware I used a drawer pull for the handle (had to build it up a little, standard clasp from any hardware store, 3” hinges, and my standard chain.

I hope you like it.

-- Jerry... making sawdust in the Knobs of Southern Indiana

12 comments so far

View Boxguy's profile


2123 posts in 1692 days

#1 posted 02-04-2015 04:35 PM

Jerry, this is beautiful! I have concluded that real artist never care about deadlines…time is just not at the top of their list. I love the colors and the design. We may have to talk about this hardware some time.

I am sure your wife will get years of use from this. Half inch MDF might also be a good choice for painted construction. It is stable, flat, glues well on the corners, and works well with carbide bits and blades. This box is a show stopper and should sell well. As usual, your creativity is in high gear! Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

View doubleDD's profile


5074 posts in 1467 days

#2 posted 02-04-2015 05:09 PM

I’m not big on painted items, cause that means I am doing it. If someone else does it for me, that would be fine.
As in this case it was well worth it. I believe women like this more that the natural look of wood.
Great job thinking out of the box. Very creative painting I may add.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Woodbridge's profile


3451 posts in 1842 days

#3 posted 02-04-2015 05:30 PM

That is a beautiful box. The painting is outstanding.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2733 days

#4 posted 02-04-2015 07:52 PM

That is Phychodellic and reminds me of the 60’s.. It is always good to do a different design and it usually provides some ideas for future work. I know Linda must really love it and will put it to good use.

View Roger's profile


19714 posts in 2228 days

#5 posted 02-05-2015 12:57 AM

Fantastic Jerry! Your gonna have one happy happy happy wifee.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Grumpymike's profile (online now)


1899 posts in 1739 days

#6 posted 02-05-2015 01:09 AM

Well the box is a great build, but your involving a for real artist to enhance this gem was a stroke of genius.
Ya see, you can make a purse out of a sow’s ear.
Beautiful, beautiful … and lucky wife.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View DocSavage45's profile (online now)


7660 posts in 2267 days

#7 posted 02-05-2015 03:20 AM

Definite WOW!

The artwork makes the painting work o this project. WAAAAAAY Beyond me. LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View tyvekboy's profile


1311 posts in 2437 days

#8 posted 02-05-2015 05:04 AM

I really like the art work. Makes a plane box really something special.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View StumpyNubs's profile


6830 posts in 2225 days

#9 posted 02-05-2015 03:02 PM

I’d like to show this on this weekend’s episode of “Behind the Sawdust”. Do you mind?

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View maplerock's profile


521 posts in 1224 days

#10 posted 02-05-2015 03:10 PM

Thanks everyone. As I said, I love this box. I have a few more ideas for some painted boxes too. From conception to completion, this one really came together.

Stumpy Nubs, feel free to use it. Thanks!

-- Jerry... making sawdust in the Knobs of Southern Indiana

View helluvawreck's profile


22713 posts in 2291 days

#11 posted 02-05-2015 03:25 PM

This is beautiful. I like it a lot.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View johnhutchinson's profile


1173 posts in 1053 days

#12 posted 02-08-2015 12:02 AM

Gorgeous, but I think it’s a copy of the one I just saw on Stumpy Nubs. :-)

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

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