Pen Trays for a Jewelry Box

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Project by FloridaArt posted 05-30-2013 12:03 PM 1404 views 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

May, 2013—Making pens is fun to do with a small lathe. After making a few I realized I would need a way to store them and showcase them. Of course there are ready-made options available at Woodcraft and other stores. But as I wandered through a local thrift shop I noticed an old jewelry box for $4. I decided to buy it and make two trays to hold my pens.

The trays are about 10×7 x 7/8 inches overall dimension. I used scrap 3/16-inch plywood. The “slats” are spaced so there is at least 5/8-inch space between slats. It worked out to 12 slots in each tray, or a total capacity of 24 pens. I stained the plywood dark walnut (Minwax) and gave a coat of poly over that. But you really don’t see much of the plywood.

After the trays were built I covered them with a thin foam rubber product, which comes from the local hobby / art supply store in sheets that are 12×18 inches. I needed two sheets at 89-cents each. The sheets were cut to the inside width of the slots, and carefully pressed “over and under” across the slots. I used the Gorilla Super Glue to secure the foam rubber. By the way, it really sticks well.

To help cushion things, there is a piece of sponge-like foam padding glued to the inside of the lid. This came with the box, already in place.

I’m very happy with how this turned out, and I’m ready to make some more pens! Then I shall return to my first love, the band saw boxes. :-)

-- Art | Bradenton, Florida

6 comments so far

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2747 days

#1 posted 05-30-2013 12:09 PM

Can’t beat a 4 dollar bargain, I had to take a double take at the title as I thought at first you made the complete set. :) Nice set of trays Art.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View hunter71's profile


3315 posts in 3421 days

#2 posted 05-30-2013 01:41 PM

They will certainly be well displayed, just add customers now.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View TrBlu's profile


386 posts in 2860 days

#3 posted 05-30-2013 02:27 PM

Nicely done.

I love thrift store finds that can be upcycled for beautiful uses. The hinges alone are worth what you paid for the box.

I have also bought wooden cigar boxes from cigar stores to used as pen cases. There are a number of brands that make very attractive pen storage.

-- The more I work with wood the more I recognize only God can make something as beautiful as a tree. I hope my humble attempts at this craft do justice by His masterpiece. -- Tim

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 4022 days

#4 posted 05-30-2013 02:49 PM

Very appealing. Nice solution.

View Roger's profile


20965 posts in 3039 days

#5 posted 06-02-2013 12:59 PM

A gr8 idea for showing your variety of writing instruments. I have purchased old beat up jewelry boxes at flea markets for a buck er 2, just for the hardware. Really good idea for pens and such.

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

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3101 days

#6 posted 06-02-2013 01:19 PM

That’s nicely done and makes a great place to show off your pens.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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