tips on arranging flowers

The Five Most Impressive Wood Figure Patterns For Jewelry Boxes

Any pattern or design visible along the surface of cut lumber is referred to as the figure of the wood, and this figure turns ordinary oak and maple into natural works of art. If you're just getting into the hobby or business of making jewelry boxes, you're likely looking for a way to make your work stand out from the crowd. Experiment with these five exciting types of wood figure for boxes with immediate collectible value.


Have you ever admired the shimmering waves produced by water running down a glass window during a rainstorm? If so, then you'll love the look of wood featuring a pomele figure. Some pieces feature very rounded and droplet-like spots, while others fade into waves and lines that look like they're moving as you admire it from different angles. This pattern is primarily found in the four exotic hardwoods known as sapele, bosse, bubinga, and makore. All four of these woods are relatively light colored, allowing the subtle pomele figure to show clearly against the background. This development can also rarely appear in domestic hardwoods too.


Otherwise healthy trees sometimes develop large tumor-like growths known as burls, with walnut and oak trees being the most prevalent hosts of these lumps. The veneers and lumber produced from these large lumps feature a wide range of round and swirling patterns, dotted liberally with ringed eyes. It's still not known exactly what triggers every type of burl development, so many hardwood varieties fetch an outstanding price when a piece of burl figured lumber becomes available.

This makes every item crafted from the material valuable as well. Some of the reasons behind the high value of burl include

  • The rarity of the wood itself, since it's uncommon for both healthy and unhealthy trees to grow these tumors.
  • The crumbly and broken quality of many harvested burls, making them unsuitable for crafting use and limiting the number of useful pieces.
  • The intensity of the figure patterns, which can create unique fractal designs when matching pieces are layered together properly.

If you don't have the budget for figured lumber worth thousands of dollars but still want the beauty of burl, try walnut. The trees producing European walnuts are grafted onto American walnut root stocks to encourage better growth, and this joining of two different varieties usually causes at least one or two root burls. Walnut is the least expensive hardwood that features this type of pattern due to this somewhat controllable method for producing this otherwise rare figure.


Quilted wood is hard to describe in words, but it features wavy lines that connect in lattice or ribbon-like layouts with an eye-catching satin shimmer. When polished and inlaid carefully on the lid of a jewelry box, the piece looks like it's crafted out of colored light instead of wood. This figure is even more highly prized than burl for some crafts, including box making.


While other figures arise due to natural growing conditions or damage to the tree, spalting patterns develop only as fungus kills the tree and spreads through the wood. This leaves behind dark, dramatic streaks of color running along the grain in classic marble-like archs and waves. It's hard to harvest the wood at the precise time when the fungus has spread enough to create a visible effect but hasn't dry rotted the wood enough to weaken it. Spalted wood works great for jewelry boxes with large and small lids alike since the patterns are so distinctive, especially against light woods like birch.


Curly figure isn't uncommon or particularly flashy on its own, because it only features basic wavy lines, but it's very versatile. It makes the perfect wood for beginner and intermediate jewelry boxes because you can experiment with stains, dyes, and different sealants to create completely different styles. It's easy to get and the more affordable price tag makes it less painful when you make a cutting or joinery mistake.

For more information, contact a professional supplier, such as The Lumber Shack.