Dyed Keepsake Boxes

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Project by Aaron McCain posted 02-05-2016 05:25 PM 1420 views 4 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These are four keepsake boxes that I made for my nieces and nephews recently. They are all done in maple (same board in fact) and all started as blocks. The sides and the top are mitered, but the bottom is a 1/8” piece of plywood that sits in a grove cut into the side pieces. We cut legs into the sides for the girls (and raised the bottom). I discovered that it worked best if you glued up the sides and let it set up before adding the lid and the associated clamping pressure.

After everything was set up, I cut slots for splines to strengthen the mitered corners and then glued in the splines made from some maple off-cuts. Once everything was smooth and flush again, it was time to cut off the lids at the table saw.

I reattached the lids using double sided tape and started to shape the boxes. I was able to do all of the shaping at the table saw, except the green one. I broke out the dremel tool to carve out the low spots in the rings for that one. The shaping was very therapeutic and I tried to make each of the boxes unique.

I have always been intrigued by Trifern’s techniques for coloring his turned vessels and wanted to try a similar approach to these boxes. So I picked up some analine dyes and after learning the preferred colors of my nieces and nephews, I started layering on the colors as he described in his blog. I am very pleased with the results. I had a little trouble with the hardware, but it wall worked out in the end and I finished them with multiple coats of spray lacquer.

They were very well received and here is my niece with her box that perfectly matches the flamingo in her room!

5 comments so far

View Sasha's profile


575 posts in 632 days

#1 posted 02-05-2016 06:39 PM

Miraculously (wonderfully). For the girl, it is the best gift.

-- Ganchik Sasha

View Bobsboxes's profile


1091 posts in 2084 days

#2 posted 02-05-2016 07:23 PM

Great designs, nice boxes. I’m sure there were happy recipients.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View jeffswildwood's profile


1287 posts in 1397 days

#3 posted 02-06-2016 12:15 AM

What a nice collection of boxes!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way thats says "I meant to do that".

View Mean_Dean's profile


4932 posts in 2567 days

#4 posted 02-06-2016 01:01 AM

Great looking set of boxes! The dye jobs turned out very well, and it seems all the kids really like their boxes!

-- Dean

View majuvla's profile


8700 posts in 2287 days

#5 posted 02-06-2016 07:53 AM

Funny colours, I like those waves.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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