Lacquered Agate Box

before and after lacquer diy DSC_6177

I love making things that are lovelier than something I’d purchase.  That is the whole point of DIY no?  For me, it’s either got to be less expensive or more cute.  If it isn’t either of those things, it really isn’t worth the effort. This agate lacquered box is both… prettier than what I would buy and way less expensive.  Would you believe me if I told you that the how project cost less than $20? Believe it.

I will confess, I had this box two other colors before I landed on a light ivory/beige called Light Sand.  I am really really trying to branch out from a color perspective.  First I had it light lavender, but that felt a little stuffy, so I went to a radiant orchid (the color of the year, right?) but that just seemed a little out of control for me.  You guys know me… I’m a black/brown/white/navy/gold kind of girl.  So, I just thought I’d let you know that I tired really hard, but couldn’t do it.  Light Sand it is.  I am beginning to embrace my neutralness.




I’m in love with the way it turned out and cannot wait to show you all how to make your own! Although there are a few steps, they’re all totally easy and can be done by anyone.  Shall we get on with the tutorial? 



lacquer box workflow


After removing the hardware, fill up the holes with wood filler and let it dry before sanding smooth.  Since your box won’t have hinges, it needs another way for the lid to stay on.  I chose to make an inner lip that holds the lid on out of thin balsa wood.  Since this 1/16th inch thick wood cuts with scissors, it’s so easy to work with.

Cut the balsa strips so that they’re the perfect size to fit snugly into the inner sides of the box, then glue them into place using wood glue.  While they’re drying, drill a whole into the center of the lid for the drawer pull to fit through. If you don’t have a drill, you can use a hammer and a nail.  If you are interested in getting a drill, this one is my favorite.  It’s very light and auto stops when a screw is tight.

After the holes are filled, drilled, and the lining is dry, paint your box inside and out. When the paint is dry, fix your knob into place.  If the ‘stem’ of the knob is too long, cut it off with a strong pair of wire cutters or a dremel.

DSC_6188 DSC_6193


So, I actually purchased a $5 box, a $1 piece of Balsa, and a $14 knob leading me to the grand total of $20.  I had the paint, wood filler, glue, etc on hand, but if you didn’t, the whole thing might still just cost $30.  Regardless, it’s a statement piece that will totally make it’s way into my next styling video!

It’s both a great deal and gorgeous! How soon will you make one?





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  1. says

    This is fantastic! I’ve been looking to buy one for a while, but couldn’t find anything that was exactly like what I want. Can’t wait to make one to house all of my random remotes.

  2. says

    beautiful!!! Genius addition with the balsa wood and the agate knob, definitely something I would like to try myself! PS – your rss feed is still broken :( you’re probably missing out on a ton of readers who read their blogs using a reader.


  1. […] Erin Souder created House of Earnest in 2011 as a way to (at least mentally) escape from her strenuous day job as a retail buyer.  She began writing about the victories and perils of renovating a century-old farmhouse in Columbus, Ohio, and how to put a creative spin on decorating by creating custom pieces for the home. Erin has since quit the corporate world and given full attention to her blog and beautiful brand, Grandiflora. And we’re glad she did because we can’t get enough of her lovely trend spotlights and clever DIYs (excuse us, but lacquered agate jewelry boxes?!) […]

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