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Wooden baskets and boxes

1512 Views 14 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  TenGees
I am been making wooden baskets, boxes, and funeral urns - around 5-each week. It takes about 45 minutes to cut one out, but applying the finishing takes a week. I generally have 8 or 10 going at all times. I make 240 last year.

Just about all of the boxes and baskets go to Down Syndrome Society, kids with cancer or severe birth defects, or mothers that have lost her baby. For baskets that I send to kids I generally put a stuffed animal in it. I ship all of these all over the country. I have also made several infant funeral urns as well as urns for adults. Lately I have had a lot of request for double funeral urns for husband and wife.

I have noticed there are a lot of little girls in this country between 4 and 10 years old with leukemia. I also ship them a basket with a stuffed animal in it. I think they love the animal more than the basket.

I recently got some striped cherry and some spalted sycamore. That is what I have in these pictures.

The last two pictures of the striped cherry are funeral urns for adults.


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Wow, those are downright elegant. It must feel good to know those kids are getting something nice while in treatment. Those treatments are no fun at all, and a stuffed toy to hold on to has to be comforting, and I bet the baskets become more valuable to them as they finally get to go home. Feels good to contribute.
Here are a couple of the kids that have leukemia that got a basket with stuffed animals. There are a lot more kids - probably 40 or so each year and probably 40 or so mothers that have lost babies that got memory boxes. Down Syndrome Society said they lose 20% of their kids the first year. They work with kids with severe birth defects. They contact me often for memory boxes for moms.


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It's been a long time since, but I used to make nontheatrical films, one of which was a fundriser film for a Christian home for kids and adults with severe downs and other developmental issues. I thought it would be hard to be around them, but it turned out to be one of the happiest things I've ever done. Those kids were all about love and affection, and they were incredibly curious about my cameras and lights.
Yes I understand how hard it is. I've had a lot of folks tell me I should quite making these items for kids since they said it is so depressing. It is difficult at times, but I know it is for the good of the kids. One dad told me his daughter was 17 years old, but had the mind of one year old. He said she has had more surgeries than most adults, but the basket with the stuffed animal helped to brighten her bedroom.

I recently was asked for a funeral urn for a 14 month old. She had spent her entire life in the hospital. Also recently made a memory box for a mother that lost her baby. I heard that her entire life just fell apart after that. She was unable to function. Maybe the memory box will help her.

I made a tea box for lady that she said was molested by her dad when she was 12 hears old. When she had kids, her dad molested her 12 year old daughter, and her 4-year old niece. Her mom and dad said all of the girls were lying. I have known the family all my life.

I just do what I can and keep going.

Malcolm / Kentucky USA
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I don't have plans. I just make them up as I go along. I have been doing these for several years, and always looking for ways to improve how I make them.
I took a class 15 years or so ago on box making. I knew more about them than the instructor. Like I said, I design and fine-tune my boxes and basket making. It takes about 45 minutes for me to cut one out, but to finish it takes about a week. I generally have 8 to 10 going at all times.

Right now I have one funeral urn that I'm making out of spalted sycamore, two baskets out of spalted maple. two boxes out of spalted sycamore. Tomorrow I will probably cut out 4 or 5 boxes out of walnut, and a couple out of mahogany.
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I may write out a few instructions on how I make boxes and baskets enough to get someone started.
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