How to make a Wine Box for your Wedding

By Brian Lemay 14 comments

Hey I’m Jaimie! And I’m Jay! Today we’re gonna show you how we made this awesome wine box for our fifth wedding anniversary! So why a wine box? When we got married
you had a wine box ceremony as part of our wedding. It’s a modern ritual where
you seal up a bottle of wine and love letters to each other and then open it
up on your fifth wedding anniversary. It was a lot of fun; we read the letters,
drank the wine, and we decided that it would be fun to do it again but this
time we’re gonna build a new box and do it together. Our design for our wine box
is a riff off of one of the designs in this book “52 boxes in 52 weeks” by Matt
Kenney. This is an awesome book if you like building boxes…I highly recommend
it. A lot of the techniques and the stuff we’re gonna try for this are based off
of things in this book. Check the link in the description if you want to check it
out. For the sides of the box we chose quarter sawn white oak. This is a
hardwood and it has some really nice straight grain which is gonna look great.
After measuring roughly what we needed and cutting it to size we went to the
bandsaw to trim out the middle section which had the straightest grain. Next we
take it to the jointer to make the face and the edge perfectly flat and straight
and then we’re gonna resize it into two pieces back on the bandsaw. The second
piece gets rejointed and then they both go through the planer to get to final
thickness, then they get ripped to final width. One really neat detail on this
project is that the wood grain is gonna wrap continuously all the way around the outside of the box. To do this we put the boards end-to-end like so and then we turn them
this way. Next we’re gonna grab a short and a long from opposite ends of the
board. The idea is that we cleverly align these pieces so that when you put them
all together again, the grain is going to be continuous all the way. This technique
is detailed in that book I mentioned. I definitely recommend checking it out. The
best part is once you figure it out it’s actually really easy! Just like our dice
tower project, we’re gonna use miter joints to hold this box together but this time
we’re not gonna add splines for that extra strength because we’re targeting
simplicity in the design. Basically in this case we’re trading the extra
strength of the splines for that clean uninterrupted look of that grain
wrapping all the way around the box. If you want miter joints to look good you
have to be accurate, there’s really no way around it. There are different jigs and
sleds and things like that you can make to increase your accuracy with cutting
miters, but really it comes down to patience and really just taking your time to set things up properly. The only other joinery in this box is we’re gonna use the router table to route a one-eighth
inch deep rabbet along the top and bottom of each piece. These are exactly
the same depth on both sides because we wanted to simplify the build process, but
also we’re targeting symmetry for the top and bottom. We still have a ways to
go before the glue up but we wanted to do a dry fit so we could start fitting
the top and the bottom of the box. This is done by aligning the pieces on a
straight-edge and then using blue tape to hold it together. We wanted to choose
a wood that was in the same tonal family as the white oak sides but gave us
enough contrast to stand out and so we ended up with Teak. The top piece we
chose has this big defect in it which we thought was perfect to offset the
otherwise perfectly symmetrical design. After milling up the two boards we
started on the top, cross cut one end and then took it to the shooting board to
true it up. This gives us a perfectly square end but it also looks really nice.
We put it in the top and then we marked where we needed to cut off, we trimmed
off the end, and then brought it to the vise and use the hand plane to dial in
the width. With three out of four sides fitting the last thing was to take it
back to the shooting board and trim off the end until it fit perfectly.
After that we repeated the exact same process for the bottom of the box. Now
that that top piece is fitting really well, we’re gonna use the X-Carve CNC
machine from Inventables to cut a little dish in the top which is gonna make it
easier to grab the pull. You don’t need to use a CNC machine to do this but this
makes it really easy. Once we secured our workpiece down to the waist board we
then hooked up our brand new dust boot, (which is amazing…by the way) and then let the X-Carve do its thing. If you want to learn more about this machine there’s a
link in the description. Now, conventional woodworking wisdom says that the way I’m gluing the top and bottom of this box is a bad idea because when this expands
with the humidity, which wood does, it’s just gonna blow the box apart…I haven’t
left any room for expansion. However, I have a theory. This has been in the shop
now for about a week and it hasn’t stopped raining in several weeks. It’s about 98% humidity in here so I’m pretty sure this is as big as this
board’s ever gonna get. Now, I planed it down to fit perfectly so I think it
shouldn’t get any bigger, and thus it shouldn’t break my box. I’ll report back
in a year and tell you what happened… On the inside of the box there’s going to be a removable divider that will help to hold
the wine bottle in place. To hold the divider in place we’re going to use a joint called a “dado” which is a groove cut across the grain of the wood. In this
case we’re using the table saw to cut these. The table saw is a really quick
way to cut these but it can leave an uneven surface so here we’re using a
router plane to make sure the bottom is perfectly flat and even. Before the glue
up, we did some basic sanding on the inside with a sanding block and some 320
grit sandpaper. We used a small craft brush to apply the glue to the miter
joints and we make sure to get every last bit of surface area. When the glue
squeezes out from putting the joint together we’re going to use the plastic
straw technique to slide it across the inside corner and get the rest of that
glue out. This process gets repeated for all four joints and then we’re
gonna use blue painters tape to hold these joints tightly together. A quick
check for square shows we’re looking good. The final pieces of tape go on with everything
tightly together. We’ll use the straw one more time to get any more of the squeeze
out and then we’re gonna take the top and the bottom of the box and we’re gonna
loosely put them in just to keep it square while the glue is drying. One of
our favorite small details on this wine box project is we’re gonna use a piece
of fabric on the inside bottom of the box this is something that’s also
detailed in that book. I think it’s a really cool technique. What we really
love about this technique is that it opens up a whole world of creative
possibilities for you to add contrast to your work. There’s a million different
types of fabric and you can choose one that works really well with your piece.
We posted all these fabrics on our Instagram and asked for feedback and
ultimately you guys chose this one. We agree! We’d never done this before so
we’re kind of making it up as we went along but we rough cut a piece of fabric
and then used an iron to make sure it was nice and flat and then used a spray
adhesive to spray it onto the piece of wood. We then carefully align the fabric.
The way this stuff works is that you spray it onto the surface and you wait
a few minutes for it to start to get tacky. From there you apply the second
surface and it will stick but you have to be careful because as soon as it’s on
there it’s pretty much stuck for good. We took our time and made sure to align it nice and
straight so that the arrows align with the wood. I think we waited about 15
minutes and it seemed pretty good so from there we trimmed off the excess
using a utility knife. Not that we expected it to be hard but it’s still
nice when something you’ve never done before works the first time. By this time the glue is dry so we carefully remove the tape and give it a look. Well, the good news is
this glue up went perfectly. I’m super happy with how this came out so far. The
bad news is I forgot to check the length of this little divider piece before I
set the depth of these dados…and now this piece is too short. Well, it doesn’t fit so we have to make a new one. We decided before continuing up the
divider that we should glue the bottom of the box in. We were worried that if we
weren’t careful the glue was gonna squeeze out and ruin the fabric so we
applied it very very carefully. This was ridiculous. If you have a better idea
on how we could have applied this glue and not gotten squeezed out everywhere
I’m definitely interested to hear it. Now that the bottom was on we trued up
the ends of the divider and trimmed it until it fit perfectly. With that fitting
well we want to turn the top so we took most of it off at the bandsaw cause it’s
quick and then with the hand plane we dialed it in so they perfectly fit. Next
we took it out and then used the wine bottle to mark the exact position of the
top. Quick trip back over to the X-Carve is going to give us a really clean hole. A few quick swipes with some sandpaper help get any burrs off the edges and then we give it a test fit. The wine bottle slides in
like this and a perfect fit! Really happy with how this is turning out so far! So
now we’re gonna do some surface prep and then finish our parts. The handle for the
lid is a small rectangular piece of oak. This one was pretty simple to prep we
just hit it a few times with the smoothing plane. The lid of the box had
some weird twisty grain which would make it hard to hand plane so we sanded it to
320 grit. However, we did use a hand plane to break the edges and give it a chamfer.
We stuck a towel in there to keep sawdust off the fabric and then we
sanded the rest of the box to 320 grit as well. Then we burnish the surface with
some hand plane shavings to give it a nice luster. To finish the box we’re
using shellac and applying it with a foam brush. Shellac is a nice finish to
work with because it dries quickly and we were able to get three coats on in a
matter of hours. The divider insert and handle got
three coats of shellac as well. We taped off the fabric with blue painters tape
before finishing out the inside of the box. After three coats we had a nice
glossy finish but we’re not a fan of high gloss finishes so we use some 0000
steel wool to take down the sheen. To do that we take a fresh piece of
steel wool and lightly rub it across the surface until we get the sheen we like. Once you get it looking good just take a clean rag and wipe it down. Before we do
the final polish on the box we’re going to attach the handle using the hidden
nail technique. This gives you the added strength of having a nail in there
without leaving any exposed hardware. The nails get hammered halfway into the
handle and then the heads get snipped off. On the lid we make two small
corresponding holes and test to make sure everything lines up properly. From
there we make those holes as deep as we can without them poking through the
bottom. We attach the handle and lightly trace the outline. Wood glue doesn’t
stick to shellac very well so we use something sharp to scrape it away before
carefully gluing on the handle. Our first wine box will always hold a special
place in our hearts because it was part of our wedding ceremony but five years
from now when we open this wine box we’ll be able to look back and remember
how awesome it was building it together. Hey guys thanks for watching!! If you
enjoyed our video hit that like button and then leave us comment and let us
know what type of project you want to do next. Be sure to subscribe to the
Wicked Makers Channel – we have a lot of projects coming up that I hope you’ll
love and then check out our other videos too. Until next time…stay wicked! Now
we’re going to do finish prep and then..bleh. Did you notice the wine box
is the first project with no skull on it? Fun fact!


Mike Mike

Nov 11, 2018, 8:05 pm Reply

Awesome stuff!! And yay!! First!

Jarom M

Nov 11, 2018, 9:51 pm Reply

That's a really cool tradition that I hope you carry forward throughout your marriage. For your next project, how about an atypical rocking horse for your little one?

Randy Rodriguez

Nov 11, 2018, 10:40 pm Reply

Nice one! The teak was a great choice.

Mark Reyes

Nov 11, 2018, 6:21 am Reply

I had never seen the hidden nail technique before this video sooooo cool!!! Also love the continuous grain!


Nov 11, 2018, 12:13 pm Reply

My wife and I celebrated our 25th year anniversary this year. I've never heard that tradition with the wine before but I think I'm going to start it with my wife. Better late than never. Great job on your box.

The Marine708

Nov 11, 2018, 8:17 am Reply

1) Congrats on the anniversary!

2) A speelbook kinda Grimoire container would be awesome. If your not sure what I'm talking about, on Amazon you can buy these wooden "Spell book" Grimoirs, which are basically iversized and over glorified deck box's. Although they do look really neet, they are way to expensive. So seeing something like this made on your channel, with your own wicked spin would be super cool!

Aujourd’hui on fait !

Nov 11, 2018, 10:09 am Reply

J'adore ! you are ready for France now?

Hey I’m a Maker

Nov 11, 2018, 3:56 am Reply

Nice and simple, And congrats on the anniversary 🙂

Bruce A. Ulrich

Dec 12, 2018, 5:57 am Reply

Just found your channel…subbed! I like how the box turned out. Happy Anniversary!

Al St Aubin

Dec 12, 2018, 12:48 pm Reply

Great project. I am looking to make one for a wedding I am officiating. Thanks for the tips. Did the one you used for your ceremony have a lock on it?


Jan 1, 2019, 6:03 pm Reply

Really cool and pretty project.
I came here from your dice tower video.
I can't wait to see what else you come up with!

Bearded Gremlin

Jan 1, 2019, 6:44 pm Reply

I’ve just binged your channel and I love it. I feel like the two of you are me and my wife. It seems like we like a lot of the same things. I can’t wait to see what is next.


Feb 2, 2019, 2:50 pm Reply

That, along with a bottle of wine would make a nice gift or item for sale at a craft show. I don't drink wine, so unfortunately I wouldn't know what to buy to put in the box. It's a thought though.
PS: I found your channel through your Instructables article on the how not to make a river table, (for your chair!).

Steven Rochon

Apr 4, 2019, 4:13 am Reply

Nice box…distracting death metal.

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