Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Making a TARDIS Jewelry Box with Wood Panels

I haven't been posting lately because a.) I'm completely swamped with school and b.) all my craft time has been dedicated to a new custom order request. I'm pretty excited about this one and I'm sharing it with you today.

I apologize in advance, this is not a tutorial with the level of detail you might expect from my blog. Since I was trying out some new techniques, I decided to skip most of the step-by-step photos as they do take more time. Don't worry, though, I have learned a lot from this project and already have plans to ramp it up to the next level (more on that later).

TARDIS Jewelry Box with Wood Panels

Picking the Panel Materials

At first I thought I would be buying a thin sheet of balsa or other overlay wood and using a saw to meticulously cut the pieces down to size. Then I wandered over to the wood crafts section and discovered the myriad of precut wooden sticks available. Most are the same thickness. Check out the pics below for all the sizes.

And conveniently, the 2nd stick down in the top photo was the right width for the door panel crossbars. Voila!

Finding TARDIS Blue

Then it was on to picking the right TARDIS blue. I really loved the Americana True Blue I used for my other 2 TARDIS projects, but it didn't look right in pictures. I am thoroughly convinced TARDIS blue is the most difficult color to accurately photograph. I tried a couple of darker blues, but they looked too purple. Finally I decided to go back to True Blue and go for accuracy in person rather than in photos. When I walk in my friends' house, I can spot the TARDIS in the room almost immediately because the blue catches my eye. Next time (which I hope will be mine to keep), I want to try distressing the exterior like I did on the Distressed Gift Box.

Assembling the Panels

So here comes the tedious part. Basically, measure, cut, try it on the doors. Then get frustrated with the fit. Pry off half of what you put on. Cut new pieces. Accidentally crush a delicate window made of toothpicks. Re-glue tiny window. You get the idea. Spending hours fiddling with little pieces...and loving it (to quote Maxwell Smart).

Window and Door Assembly

The picture above shows the unpainted window mullions. To get them exactly right, I glued them directly onto the template I used for my cardstock panels. The assembly was very similar to the other two TARDIS projects which you can check out here or here.

Trim and Paint

If you look back to the various stick sizes photograph, you'll notice the longest sticks are pretty wide. In order to get the right length, I had to glue on extra and carefully trim it off. Then for some sanding and touch up painting (including the little narrow bits of the door panels). If you're wondering why there are white plastic toothpicks in the photo, I was thinking of using them for the window panels, but I couldn't get them to hold together and I fortunately found the wooden ones instead.


I didn't change much on the interior of this one from the other wooden one. In the photo below, the light bulb is jutting more in to the interior than it does in the final version.

Finishing Details

At this point, it was nearing completion and I was on a roll. So no pictures of the last few steps, sorry. I will tell you the drama of the light and casing, however. I had the auto bulb already, but had no idea how to adapt the casing from my previous TARDIS. On that one, I used a little bit of card stock to make a small box for it. For this one, I struggled for days trying to figure out how to replicate that one piece while making it sturdy enough to match the rest of the box. Then my sister came over to paint. She happened to have a mini canvas in her kit which I immediately seized. So that is what you see on the top of this TARDIS.

I also replaced the latch system. My other sister, who owns TARDIS 2, says the latch system on hers sticks and makes it hard to open. And by latch system, I mean a small piece of wood that holds the box shut with pressure. For this one, I upgraded the latch to a brass latch that matches the hinges. I also find some mini hooks which allowed me to put more hooks in the box (6 small rather than 2 large). With a box like this, some of the latch screws may poke in to the interior of the box. I used my trusty Dremel to file down the ends for safety and painted over them.

And without further ado, here it is! Okay, one more further ado. Remember my complaint about the color not photographing well? These pictures are all of the same box. That's what you get when you try to photograph something with a chameleon circuit, working or not.

The Door Panel

The Top

New Latch

The Back

The Interior

So What's Next?

Well, at the moment, house cleaning, home schooling, and completing my school projects. In terms of a TARDIS 4.0, doing one with a beacon that lights up, maybe adding the iconic sound when you open the door, installing glass in the windows and painting the back of the door panels like the back of the actual TARDIS doors, maybe making a plinth. Who knows? Coincidentally, all three of my TARDIS projects have been completed in April, so maybe by next April I'll have a TARDIS 4.0 tutorial up for you. Thanks for reading.