Makeupkist graveren / Carve a wooden box

Today I am sharing another one of my dremel-carving projects with you: a makeup-/jewelry box.

It was a gift  for my sister (well, that’s not true, she ordered it). Actually, the gift almost didn’t make it to her house. I wanted to keep it for myself . Love it!

Carve a wooden box with a dremel

Carve a wooden box with a dremel

As you’ve noticed, no Dutch this time! Allthough I decided to write my blog specifically in Dutch, this project is an exception. There is so much inspiration out there if your English is fine and you will definitely find it, but there are quite a few Dutch people who are a bit insecure about their English and prefer Dutch. I am too a bit anxious about my writing (it’s no scientific writing you know, it has to be fun to read…), but hey, what’s the worst that could happen? I’ll give it my best!

Since I found the beautiful design for this project on the Graphics Fairy website, I gathered that it would be nice if all of you non-Dutch readers can also understand what I’m babbling on about. So, HI to all of you!

The Graphics Fairy
Back to the project. Though it’s not on the blog yet, I’ve carved another makeup and jewelry box for myself before. I needed something where I could put my earrings and makeup that I wear a lot, so it wouldn’t take me an hour to find my favourite eye shadow and mascara. The rest is stored in big big boxes in my bathroom (yes, me, big boxes! People who know me will tell you that I am not a girly girl and hardly ever wear makeup…so why would I need so much makeup??). Of course it never took me an hour: my makeup and earrings were lying around, all over the place. So, time to organize!

When my sister came to visit me, she thought the box was kind of practical and that it looked nice, so she asked me to make one for her. And she ordered some decorated teaboxes as well, which you can check out here later.

So, how do you make a box like this?

Start with an empty, blank box and a design.

First problem for me. I like to sketch and draw, but designing, that’s a definite no-go for my skills. Well, for now anyway. So, I used an existing design from the graphics fairy (“a day of beauty”). Of course you can just draw your design on wood, before picking up your dremel. Maybe even use transfer paper (‘carbonpapier’ in Dutch). However, since I already got used to image transfer with Art Medium (Mod Podge) ánd knowing from experience that carving through a layer of paint or varnish helps stabilize the dremel tip, I thought it would be perfect to transfer a design to the box with Art Medium and then carve away the ink.

Start with a blank box (I know, it's a terrible picture!)

Start with a blank box (I know, it’s a terrible picture!)

So, just transfer the image to your wooden object! Let it dry well, you don’t want your design to rip or fade while carving…

Remove all screws and hinges etc. and clamp the lid to a solid surface (a table will do just fine). Wear something to protect your eyes! I already wear glasses, so no extra worries about that. It took me about two times an hour a day to carve the box, because my muscles got very sore after a while. So, take long breaks! Have a cup of tea and watch a movie or two.

Work in progress

Work in progress

Once your carving is done, sand your project to remove rough spots and edges. Then, choose a finish. Do you want to paint your project? Or just use varnish like I did? If you do want to paint your project, think about whether you want to make the carved pieces pop up in a different colour.

Once I had put a layer of dark, ‘wengé’ varnish on it, I instantly knew it would get too dark. Therefore, the next two layers of varnish were a mix of the ‘wengé’ varnish with transparent, blank varnish. Still dark, but much better! Some of you may have noticed the dark spots on the side of the box lid? Yes, how very clumsy of me, my enthusiasm to start made me forget which side was supposed to be up… I transferred the image upside down, haha. This was easily fixed by using some wood filler. Because of the ‘wengé’ varnish it’s almost invisible now it’s finished. Sorry sis, now you know 🙂 Thanks for taking these nice images though!!

To finish the inside, just cut some felt to the size of the box and glue it to the bottom with Art Medium or Mod Podge. This stuff is so versatile, I just love it!

What do you think?



Top view

Top view

The inside

The inside

With a tray you can take out, how practical!

With a tray you can take out, how practical!

I did some accidental damage to the top of the lid while sanding, but I think it turned out pretty nice. This is exactly what makes the result a bit more playful and less perfect. Which seems pretty perfect to me 🙂

Try it yourself, it’s easier than it seems! I dare you!

Veerle ondertekening


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