I was getting tired of carving flowers into empty wooden cigar boxes and transforming them into jewelry boxes and tea caddies. I needed to make something more manly; something a man could appreciate. I wound up making a box for my son-in-law for Christmas. A woman puts her “stuff” in a jewelry box. A man puts his “stuff” into a…valet box, or utility box, or something. I guess it doesn’t have an official name.
After carving and sanding, I used an Ebony stain to darken the recess area. I then stained the entire box with a Golden Oak stain. I lightly sanded all the raised areas of the design to give added highlights.
I made the interior trays entirely from wood from other scrap cigar boxes. The sides are Spanish cedar and the bottoms are thin plywood. It is not shown here, but I left the cigar manufacturer’s imprinting and brand on wood on the bottom of the trays. It sort of keeps a connection with the original use as a cigar box. It says “Made in Honduras” and “Hecho a Mano”. I added small wooden feet, which helps the transformation from an ordinary cigar box to handsome valet box.
I used a maroon felt with an alligator skin pattern, adding to the manly look. The top tray slides back and forth over the bottom tray to expose or hide the bottom compartments.
If, like me, you are tired of carving flowers, find a Celtic tattoo pattern and carve something manly.