Photo Box (Wedding Gift)

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Project by John M posted 09-21-2009 02:21 AM 3284 views 10 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a gift for my step-sister’s wedding coming up on October 3rd. The box could be used for anything I suppose but I intended it to contain three 4×6 photo albums for the wedding photos that don’t get bound into a wedding book or hung on the wall.

This is my first attempt at an “Andy” type art box. And I would just like to say before I go any further: Andy’s work was not only the inspiration for this type of box but Andy was also good enough to give me tremendous support and encouragement as I stumbled through some very new (to me) techniques. Thank you once again Andy… you’ve got me even more hooked on box making than before and have given new life and purpose to my angle grinder! ; )

For those of you who have not seen Andy’s excellent tutorial, please see it here. It is a wealth of information.

I was not able to shape the lid as much as I would have liked as the lid stock was not thick enough (they only had 1/2” maple in stock) but I am happy with it nonetheless. The frame around the medallion was as the result of a little mistake I made while trying to route out the spot for the medallion. That is one technique that I will be focusing on mastering but I’m happy with how the fix came out.

The wood is walnut and curly maple with spalted birch for the medallion. The lift tab is a piece of spalted ash that I had kicking around from another project.

The shaping was done with an angle grinder with first a 50 and then a 120 grit sanding disc. I used chalk to mark the outline of what I wanted before I started grinding. That helped a LOT.

The finish is sprayed lacquer (4 coats) which I then rubbed down with steel wool and finished off with two coats of paste wax buffed up to a nice sheen. In addition to Andy’s blog and help… I can say that THIS BOOK was perhaps one of the best resources I had to guiding my finishing of this project. I highly recommend it!!
The bottom of the box I lined with self adhesive black felt.

I originally planned on using barrel hinges for the lid but due to the thickness of the lid as well as a need to cover up another small mistake, I switched to the piano hinge. I also added a small chain to stop the lid from going back too far.

I printed out and traced the words on the computer, traced them on to the under side of the lid with graphite paper and then used a wood burning iron to burn them in for a personal touch.

I finished it off with my brand ( one of my favourite birthday gifts ever!) for another personal touch.

Thanks once again to Andy for all the support.

Thanks for looking!!!

-- John, Ontario, Canada

20 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3304 days

#1 posted 09-21-2009 03:09 AM

youve made a beautiful project…i love the design and the wood choice …im sure it will be recived as a welcomed gift…...good job..

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3286 days

#2 posted 09-21-2009 03:20 AM

John, Your box is awesome. I really like your frame around the medalion(don’t care if it was a design change in mid stream). Andy’s tutorial on the art box was great and has really helped a lot of us. Great combination of woods…well done.

-- John @

View a1Jim's profile


117095 posts in 3578 days

#3 posted 09-21-2009 03:26 AM

Looks good John very nice box

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3503 days

#4 posted 09-21-2009 03:29 AM

They’re going to love it, John! Nice Job!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 3196 days

#5 posted 09-21-2009 03:32 AM

Really nice.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View dustyal's profile


1294 posts in 3476 days

#6 posted 09-21-2009 03:40 AM

Your box is great… a very memorable gift.

I just happened to have finished reading Andy’s blog… after I finished my third box. Now I need to do another just to get it right—uh, more correct perhaps?

You got it much closer to Andy’s tutorial then I’ll be able to achieve in my first try… way to go. You didn’t make mistakes… you just validated the hand-made quality of product…

nice going.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3591 days

#7 posted 09-21-2009 03:59 AM


-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View Wingstress's profile


337 posts in 3516 days

#8 posted 09-21-2009 04:06 AM

Great job! Although it is an “Andy” box, you definitely put some originality into it. Well done!!!

-- Tom, Simsbury, CT

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 3431 days

#9 posted 09-21-2009 08:00 AM

Fantastic box. Another “Andy” inspired success. Great design and wood choices. The medallion really stands out.

Keep up the great work.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3433 days

#10 posted 09-21-2009 12:13 PM

Beautiful box for a wonderful occasion.
I just love how you “waved” it.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Bradford's profile


1434 posts in 3824 days

#11 posted 09-21-2009 12:59 PM

Gotta get an angle grinder…

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1099 posts in 3808 days

#12 posted 09-21-2009 02:31 PM

It’s not just a beautifully crafted box/design…It’s a fantastic idea too! Well done.

-- Max the "night janitor" at

View Derrek LeRouax's profile

Derrek LeRouax

129 posts in 3295 days

#13 posted 09-21-2009 03:35 PM

Fantastic box, and I am sure the box will get shown off just as much as the pictures!!

-- Derrek L.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3287 days

#14 posted 09-21-2009 05:14 PM

Great box—-Thanks


View shopmania's profile


701 posts in 3183 days

#15 posted 09-21-2009 06:33 PM

Looks Super!! Thanks for the links to the tutorials! I’ve been wanting to try something like that.

-- Tim, Myrtle Beach, Just one more tool, that's all I need! :)

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