Using the patterns that come with the plans, this is what I do:
If you intend to stain the box to make it darker, do so before putting the patterns
on. Print them out, then spray the sheet(s) with either Artist’s Fixative, or ordinary
hairspray. Ink jet printer ink will smudge if it gets damp, and run if it gets wet,
so the pattern will have to be protected if varnishing the box. When they’re dry,
cut out the shapes.
If you’re gluing the pattern to a solid side, that is a side with no moving parts,
you can apply the glue to either the paper or the wood.
If the pattern has to cover a side with moving parts (like sliders), only apply
the glue to the paper, and wait a couple of seconds till the glue is not so wet.
Putting the glue onto the wood rather than the paper, could cause the glue to seep
into the sides of moving parts, and jam them. Wait until the paper is really dry
before attempting to cut any slits (like the edges of sliders), otherwise, it might
When varnishing a box, as far as possible, remove any parts that will come right
off. Many boxes have parts that will move, but not come off. In this case, open the
box, so that all the moving parts are “open”. Apply a coat of clear varnish to the
box, and when it’s dry, make sure the moving parts can still move. Then apply another
coat of clear varnish, and again free up any “stuck” moving parts.
Don’t try to varnish a box when it’s closed, as the varnish will stick to the moving
parts, and they’re a bit hard to free up.