Gift box for my Pisces sister

A quick writeup on another gift box.

This one started from a prefab box (Darice unfinished cigar box), and went through a few finishing stages.

(Boooorrriiiinnnnnggggg zzzzzz)

First up, the engrave. I made a stylized Pisces symbol out of the fish and surrounded them with a wave border. I filled in the waves with a textured background to give the vector shapes some variation in the engrave. (engraved with variable power setting turned on) The box fit nicely in the GF and required no extra height adjustment, the top naturally sat in the 0.5" engravable height range of the GF.

Once engraved, I quickly cleaned up an smoke residue with a denatured alcohol wipedown. Once it dried thoroughly, I mixed up some black ink (Speedball #3400) with water to make a fairly dilute mix, I’d say it was about 20:1 water to ink, and wiped it liberally on the surface. After about 5 seconds I immediately wiped the ink off, I was going for a very light wash of color. I think it came out nicely, my sister is very beachy and this looks a great deal like driftwood.

The interior is lined with self-adhesive printed cork sheets (DCWV brand premium cork stack), I chose two contracting prints and I think the effect is pretty pleasing.

(Calipers for scale. Definitely not because I was in a hurry and just left stuff everywhere. Nooope.)

For hinges, I used leather tabs to make a rustic living hinge. This is definitely my new favorite trick. The box came with some serviceable silvery chromed hinges, but they looked cheap (and were cheap, the whole box was $5!). I think the leather adds to the design.

[PHOTO NOT AVAILABLE]. Dang forgot to picture this. See my other gift box post for the gist… Gift box for my Aries sister

I didn’t make a proper “latch”, but I did make something to keep the top aligned, a custom sea turtle adornment. This is made from non-PG maple (Green Valley Wood Products), and was dyed in a similar way to the rest of the box with more ink (Speedball #3409 Turquoise).

I decided not to finish the wood any further. Oiling it or anything would have taken the “driftwoodiness” from it.

In all, I’m pretty pleased with it. :slight_smile:


I love how the turtle looks seamless until you open it! :heart_eyes:


Thanks! If I were going to do it again, and were not in a hurry, I would have engraved the turtle, flipped it, then cut it. This would have made the seam even less noticeable. I’m happy with it though, and I think she’s going to be very surprised and pleased. :slight_smile:

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Very cool, and love the turtle latch. :grinning:


The turtle! Wow!

Bit disappointed that you deviated from the international unit of scale though.


He might not have had a banana. :smile:

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My apologies. Here’s something to try to make it up.


Love it! :joy::banana::banana::banana::banana::banana::banana::banana::banana:

Loving the turtle latch, very clever way to hide the functionality of closure and still keep it aligned!

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Of course the whole project is wonderful but I especially love the turtle latch. Genius!


This is wonderful! And yes, I’m joining the love-the-turtle-latch group…great implementation!

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That is really cool. I especially love the sea turtle.

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Ditto on the turtle dude.

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Really like the box, but the turtle clasp blew me away. Simple yet awesome.

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Wow! Impressive!

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Holy crap I love that sea turtle design!

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Your finish definitely gives the beach feel … and my goodness … the turtle is just the most adorable feature!

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Hey turtle people, here you go! As mentioned before I’d do it in two stages if I did it again, engrave the shell, flip, and cut the outline/divider. You’d get tighter kerf results that way. If you make one, be sure to post it :slight_smile:

Zipped SVG: (7.2 KB)


Wow very impressive! I’ve only worked with proof-grade materials. What settings did you use for the cigar box if you don’t mind sharing?

I can’t recall the settings, sorry. Was ages ago :slight_smile: