Ribbon Box with Candy Cane Striped Inlay

There are two parts to this project, building the box and making the inlays. They can be built in parallel, but for the sake of clarity, I’ll describe them in sequence.

The Inlay:

Pick contrasting colors for the strips. I used Red Cedar, Oak, and Walnut.

The thickness of the stock will determine the maximum height of the bows. I had 3/4 inch stock, so I glued two boards together to make 6/4 boards.

To ensure the strips are all the same width, make a simple jig from a piece of scrap wood. Cut a notch at one end of the scrap wood where the Cedar and Oak will rest when sawing it.

After the Oak and Cedar strips are cut, stack them in an alternating pattern and glue them together.

When that dries, square up the new board.

To cut the stripes I cut 45-degree angles into a couple pieces of scrap wood and clamped them to my table saw sled just like you’d normally clamp a stop block in a table saw sled. Sit the striped board snuggly against that stop block and rip the board into pieces about 1-1/2 inches thick. If you want your inlay to be thicker or thinner you can adjust this cut accordingly.

To accentuate the inlay, cut some veneer strips on the bandsaw. I used Walnut and Oak.

Glue and clamp the veneer to the sides of the candy cane striped boards.

When those dry, square up the new boards and cut the inlay on the band saw.

To cut the ribbon, tape the template provided to the sides of the candy cane striped blocks, and use a scroll saw to cut them out. I made six ribbons and chose the four best ones.

Cut 45-degree angles on the ends of the ribbons where they’ll touch.


The Box:

This is a pretty basic box, cut 5 pieces of 1/2 inch boards to size. The bottom will be made from 1/4 inch oak plywood.

The dimensions of the box I made are

7-1/2 inches long
5-1/2 inches wide
4-1/2 inches tall

Adjust those to whatever size you want.

Cut a 1/4 inch rabbet in the bottoms of the 4 pieces that make up the sides.

Use a large chamfer bit in your router to cut miters on the edges of the sides and top.

Glue the edges of the sides and tops and use tape to clamp them together.

Measure the exact size of the bottom, cut the oak plywood to size, and glue it in place.

When the box dries, use a trim router with a flush cut bit to cut notches for the inlay.

Use a table saw to cut the top of the box off. Don’t cut completely through the top because it’s easy to damage a corner of the edge after the top is free. Instead, cut about 90 percent of the way through the lid and finish it with a hand saw.

Attach the hinges.

Glue and clamp the inlays in place.

Glue the ribbons on top.

Finish the box with oil to make the contrasting wood colors stand out.

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