DIY Lacquered Boxes

I have been eyeing beautiful lacquered boxes like these for a while now.  However, the high-end designer versions can cost you upwards of $80 per box.  I was inspired to create an inexpensive version of my own.

lacqured box 2 Here is what I did.

Jewel Box WM 4


  • Plain wood boxes from a craft store.  I bought mine at Michael’s and it was about $8 for both.
  • Paint color of choice.  I used spray paint because I had it on hand, but anything would work.
  • Wood filler
  • Sandpaper or sanding wedge
  • High gloss coating
  • Small Phillips head screwdriver
  • Jewels or stones to decorate the box (optional)

Jewel Box WM 5

First, take the box clasps off with the screwdriver, but keep the open and close hinges in place. Then fill the holes with wood filler or wood putty. After it dries, sand the holes down so the surface is smooth.

Next, paint the boxes with your paint of choice.  Be sure to use painters tape over the opening or else you will seal the box shut.  I have learned this the hard way before!

Jewel Box WM 3

Once your base coat is fully dry, give it a light sanding, if necessary to remove any brush strokes. If you want to create stripes around the edges, use painter’s tape to form the stripes.

Finally, use two coats of a high gloss finish to give the boxes that ultra shiny lacquered look.  I used Martha Stewart High Gloss and it did a nice job.

I had an old bracelet that I never wear anymore, so I cut it apart and used the pieces to make a decorative shape on the top of one of the boxes.



Jewel Box WM 2


Jewel Box WM 1

Once they are finally dry, you have a look a like version for a fraction of the cost.  Are they as smooth as the real deal?  No.  Can you see a bit of the wood grain.  Yes.  But they are still just as pretty and because I used mostly materials on hand, they only cost me about $11 total for both!

I am considering adding some striped detail to the outside of the box like the one in the sample picture.  However, I think it might be too much with the decorative pieces on top.  What do you think?


  1. Father Bob says:

    No stripes.

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