Butterfly Box

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Project by PaulfromVictor posted 12-19-2009 07:42 PM 1825 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a gift for my sister in law. Her son was killed in a traffic accident a few years ago. In memory, every year she raises caterpillars into butterflies and releases them at his gravesite. It has grown into a hobby for her. She asked me to build her a box that would contain the caterpillars and milkweed. It also needs to be able to go outside.

It is made out of flat sawn white oak. The corner posts are mahogany. It disassembles for storage. There is no plywood, and no finish on this, because of concern for the health of the little critters. The top is not attached. I will have to have her try it and tell me what modifications to make. I am concerned that it will cup without being attached, and with no cleats.

I considered inlaying some butterflies on the top, but it was a bit to literal for me, plus I ran out of time. Have to give it to her today.

Merry Christmas to all!

7 comments so far

View bigike's profile


4050 posts in 3256 days

#1 posted 12-19-2009 08:02 PM

the box is sweet, i would later put an inlay of sorts of the caterpillars turning to a butterflies.its alot of work but if u have a scroll saw it would make it a little easier or u can cut pics form a book/mag. and glue them to it and put a thing called mod podge on it to seal them in, they sell it at craft stores.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View LesB's profile (online now)


1684 posts in 3411 days

#2 posted 12-19-2009 08:33 PM

If you want to put butterfly inlays in you should consider making some templates out of 1/4” masonite and use a a router with a template guide to make the butterfly cut outs and recesses to put them in.
If you are not acquainted with the process, it involves a template guide with a sleeve that is removable. This allows you to make the recess using the template with the sleeve in place. Then remove the sleeve (it is 1/8” larger then the guide) and using the same template carefully cut out the piece to be inlaid. If you need more specifics on how to do it let me know. Once you get the hang of doing it, it goes pretty fast.
Most of the wood working catalogs have this template guide set up for about $20 -$30 with the 1/8” router bit. Buy an extra bit because they break easily….

-- Les B, Oregon

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3302 days

#3 posted 12-19-2009 09:45 PM

An unusual unique project. Also nice work

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View bobkberg's profile


439 posts in 3041 days

#4 posted 01-28-2010 11:35 PM

It’s not only lovely, but made and given in a love – I hope it helps her spirit heal.

As for a finish, you might consider a clear food grade epoxy finish, or perhaps a salad bowl finish. I don’t know how delicate those critters are.

-- Bob - A sideline, not how I earn a living

View PaulfromVictor's profile


228 posts in 3314 days

#5 posted 07-19-2010 01:55 AM

The box is finally in use. Here is a picture of the box without the lid, as a current home to many future Monarchs.

View PaulfromVictor's profile


228 posts in 3314 days

#6 posted 07-19-2010 02:03 AM

View Thomas Keefe's profile

Thomas Keefe

131 posts in 3377 days

#7 posted 08-30-2010 07:31 PM

Nice job on the box. It is beautiful.


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