Catrina’s Jewelry Cabinet

The inspiration for this project was my wife. I’d been playing around with a few jewelry cabinet designs and sketches for her for a while. I knew I wanted to use bubinga and maple, but for the functional design, I tried to think of what would work for my wife. She definitely prefers not to open (or at least close) little doors and drawers, so I figured it had to be primarily open for use. In the end, I wound up adding a few drawers anyway, but I think they will be more for storage of rarely used items. Her every day stuff would be stored in the open.

Necklaces hang from the eight hooks at the top, and earrings (stud and hook) can be stored just below them using the exposed slotted bar and the black ring bar. The two top boxes will likely hold the less used pieces, the empty space under the mirror is for pictures or perhaps other small jewelry or ring boxes. The bottom three drawers were basically needed to complete the look I wanted for the piece and we all know that a few more drawers for storage is always good. There is an integrated french cleat that makes up part of the back when the piece is sitting on a table or dresser, but can be removed and mounted on the wall if you want to hang the cabinet.

I was going for a bit of an asian/arts and crafts blend and think that comes across. There is a slight curve in the top rail and the sides. In hindsight, I wish I had made the curve a little more obvious.

The cabinet measures about 20″x 20″x 6″ and is definitely my most detailed piece yet, comprised of 16 sliding dovetail joints, dozens of pieces, and dozens of mortise and tenon joints. The two top boxes with the lift lids are all made with 1/8″ dados, rabbets and tenons (finicky router table work). I’m not sure of the actual time spent on this. I started sketching on paper at least three years ago and finally got started with real sketchup designs about a year ago. If I had to guess, I’d say over a hundred hours, but hopefully less then two hundred :).


  1. Patrick Schupbach December 31, 2012

    WOW!!!!! The maple looks like marble…. You nailed this for sure!!!!

  2. TennesseeYankee December 31, 2012

    Very nice colors, figure choices, and build quality.
    Great job.

  3. daniel drabek December 31, 2012

    Your workmanship looks excellent. The chamfered edges are very classy.


  4. Chris December 31, 2012

    It’s beautiful projects like this one that make me realize I am in the minor leagues of woodworking. Must hide from wife, in fear she might ask me to attempt this…

    Happy New Year All!!

  5. Rod December 31, 2012

    Way to go! Truly inspiring!

  6. Incredible work. I love the design and wood choices. It’s hard to go wrong with bubinga and spalted maple in my opinion, but you definitely knocked this one out of the park!

  7. lancer December 31, 2012

    What a eligant peace. Great attention to detail. Im shure she will love it.

  8. Dave Hahne December 31, 2012

    The wood choices make for a very appealing visual. Your wife is really going to love this.

  9. Very nice. Great design.

  10. Thomas G. Kaiser December 31, 2012

    very nice

  11. Thomas G. Kaiser December 31, 2012

    very nice

  12. Beautiful! What a great piece of art. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  13. emmrys December 31, 2012

    Lovely workmanship and nice looking piece. This is just the sort of thing that is so wonderful about woodworking. You can build just what you want and need. I am happy to hear that you customized a piece to fit your wife’s needs and desires rather than just something you could find a plan for without regard to use and user. This is a fine example of why woodworking is such a nice hobby. Look forward to seeing your next project.

  14. Robert J December 31, 2012

    Fantastic. Your attention to detail really stands out, plus the obvious care you took to get those details just right.

  15. The time you spent mulling over the design is apparent and paid off. The attention to grain, delicate curves and minor facets really make this piece stand out! Really inspiring! Thanks. By the way, look at some of Tom Buhl’s pieces. Much of what I love in his design is understatement. He tends to use curves, but they’re almost always very subtle. To almost feel them more than see them. This piece has that effect for me.

  16. Jason Bracy December 31, 2012


    That is beautiful piece of work. Amazing… Did you cut all the small pieces on a bandsaw or scroll saw? Again, Beautiful piece.

  17. The curly spalted maple is what grabbed me, but the attention to detail is really what impresses me the most. This an an incredibly well done project. Your wife must be thrilled and proud. Well done sir!

  18. The wood used is absolutely stunning. The design is perfecet and took you some time. The excecution and craftsmanship are the most inspiring of all.

  19. TJ71 January 2, 2013

    Killer Piece Devin.

  20. Brandon West January 2, 2013

    Holy smokes Batman!!!! Awesome job… Wood is beautiful, joints are tight, well done.

  21. Devin, I love that you were able to make a piece with loads of detail, yet visually keep it visually easy to take in. This is the type of work that invites exploration over time, thus adding to its appeal.

    Your time was well spent, I would say.

  22. Devin January 3, 2013

    Thanks for all the great comments guys, appreciate it! Hope you all have a great new year!

  23. Scott McClaury January 3, 2013

    Beautiful piece! The grain matching on the maple is fantastic. I second emmrys’ comments; being able to make artistic pieces like this that fit your specific needs is a great aspect of woodworking.

  24. Scott Dimelow January 4, 2013

    Really nice work, I love the contrast of those two woods.
    I bet it was a challenge working on something of that scale, not much room for error.

    Keep up the good work


  25. Bill Maniotakis January 4, 2013

    Spectacular attention to the details Devin!! Beatiful work.

  26. Clint January 5, 2013

    Phenomenal work. Just beautiful.

  27. matthew rakowski January 5, 2013

    Very nice job it looks like you did a wonderfull job. I really like degsin and the woods that you used and the jointery is beautiful. Keep up the good work.

  28. What a beautiful piece. Fantatsic joinery and such precision on the chamfered edges. Great work.

  29. severedeffects January 5, 2013

    1 word… awesome!

  30. roger January 5, 2013

    Wo Wo Wo WoW!!!! Total WoW!

  31. tony cordero April 12, 2013

    master craftmen with w/ a sharp eye for beauty

  32. Heather Kesler October 17, 2013

    Could you possibly send me a blueprint on how to build one of the beautiful jewelry boxes.

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