I made a couple of these for Christmas. Everyone loved them!
I didn’t use any veneer. I just engraved the card pocket (and then attacked it with sandpaper until it was no longer smokey). For obvious reasons I used hardwood rather than plywood or Draftboard. I also only had 5mm magnets on hand, so I had to modify the magnet pockets accordingly.
The first was snowflakes on Proofgrade cherry. It would have been much better on maple or another wood with fainter grain, but this is ok. I took this picture before I sanded the card pocket, so it’s still rather charred in this photo. It looked a lot nicer after sanding it.
The second one is a Dalecarlian horse on padauk. My mom’s family is Swedish and loves them. I left the body of the horse unpainted, to let the natural reddish orange of the padauk show through.
Here it is when it was still only half painted, but opened up so you can see the card pocket. (This photo is also from before I sanded them to remove all the char. I also cleaned up the area around the magnets, sanding down some of the excess super glue that looks so messy in this photo.)
I ought to have taken photos after they were 100% finished but I forgot to. Oops.