This project started when I saw an article on the BBC about the local police force;

An appeal to donate jewellery boxes so people who have lost loved ones can have items returned with "compassion" has been started at a police station. Posters were put up at Ely in Cambridgeshire asking people to donate boxes for rings, earrings, bracelets and watches. Family liaison officer Dotty Stott said she was sure it would make a "huge difference" to victims' families. "We deal with very, very sad events and in the process of that we return personal jewellery of loved ones to members of their family - that's usually done either at the hospital, or in our police property bags," said Ms Stott.

"And I thought that's not very nice or very sensitive, so I had a bit of a brainwave and I sent an email out to all our officers in Cambridgeshire asking for any old jewellery boxes so we can return property in a nicer way.

Ms Stott said through her own personal experience, she wished she had once received items with more "compassion" after losing a loved one, as opposed to "sign there for this stuff".

I didn't have any jewellery boxes, but I do have a laser cutter, and anybody with a laser cutter also has a few square inches of scrap plywood or acrylic. I quickly put this design together, and I'm putting it "out there" for anybody else to do the same.

Step 1: The Design

By far the easiest way to start any cuboid box design is to visit MakerCase.

I used that to create a 40mmx40mmx30mm finger-joint box template, and then edited it in Inkscape to have an opening lid and a simple graphic.

I've attached the files in all possible formats, so that anybody can use, edit or share them.

As it stands, this design is 120mm x 70mm on the cutting bed - most laser-cutter owners will have access to a scrap of material that size. On my small cutter, it took less than three minutes to engrave the thumbnail recess, draw on the heart and cut out all the pieces.

I’ve also attached a version ("Jewellery Box") for those people who want to get involved even though they don’t have a cutter. You can of course edit the design, especially the laser etching, then you can make the box as personal as you want. Getting it cut this way from a “P1” sheet of material will only cost you about $6.00.

Download Jewellery Box 3mm P1.svg
Download RingBox.dxf
Download RingBox.ecp

Step 2: Construction

Once you've cut out the pieces, the bottom five parts - base and sides - fit and glue together easily with a little PVA wood-glue (if you're using acrylic, a few drops of carefully-applied super glue will be perfect).

You do not glue on the lid!

With the intention of making this a simple, quick Make, and expecting the box to be opened very rarely, I did not design a hinge - the glue-free finger-joint at the top does a nice job of keeping the lid on until you need to remove it.

Step 3: Sharing

This project is not intended to be single-use.

Feel free to share this project, the files, and the purpose behind it with whoever you like, without restrictions.