Origiinal & Custom Handmade Decorative Wooden Boxes

VanEss Expressions is ceasing all operations.


We will sell what little remains in our On Line Store , but then we are going to
re-think exactly what we want we want to do & how best to proceed in the future.

VanEss Expressions is a Ma & Pa operation - and we both work full time 'regular' jobs.
We started VanEss Expressions because we love working with wood and creating
unique & original wood gifts and home decor items. But in the past few years - it has
started to totally consume our lives, and we have found it just impossible to keep up.
We hope to be back someday- but I don't know when.

We apologize for not responding to those who have recently sent in inquiries,
and our sincere apologies and 'Thanks' to our long time, devoted customers.

VanEss Expressions creates original & custom handcrafted wooden boxes in a variety of sizes and types of wood; and for a variety of functions. Jewelry boxes, memory keepsake boxes, book boxes, tea boxes, display boxes, recipe boxes, and purely decorative gift boxes.

100% Hard-Wood - - - 100% HandMade in the USA

This page is to give you a few examples of some of the original & custom decorative wooden boxes we have made. To see the wooden boxes currently available, go to our Decorative Boxes.

Decorative Handcrafted Wooden Box

Original & Custom Handcrafted Wooden Boxes ~ Multi-wood, handmade of Maple and Brazilian Cherry. Angled sides, distinctive & dramatic box-joint corners, handcrafted wood knob.

All of our decorative handcrafted wooden boxes have distinctive box-joint corners, which are structurally superior and give a very unique look. When using a single wood, this effect is subtle, but when combining contrasting types of wood, can be quite dramatic.

Our standard types of wood are Oak, Maple, Walnut, Hickory, Ash, and Cherry (although other wood may be available). We like wood left natural - to show the its unique natural colors, but do occasionally use wood stains or dyes to enhance the grain or add color (this is specifically identified in the description).

Custom Handmade Wooden Keepsake-Memory Boxes ~ Handcrafted of solid Cherry. Angled sides, box-joint corners. Beautiful wood grain.

Handmade Wood Keepsake/Memory Box

Keepsake Memory Boxes bring together those precious gifts, momentos & souvenirs as a memory of a particular person, place or time. Handcrafted wooden keepsake boxes are a beautiful way to store those special photos, medals, 'Letters from Dad', dog-tags, awards, jewelry or baby teeth. Custom wooden memory boxes are many times made for the specific item(s) to be stored. This handmade wooden box was made of cream Cherry with beautiful coloring and subtle box-joint corners.


Custom Handcrafted Wooden Book Boxes ~ Large custom made Walnut book box, to be given as part of a wedding gift. Striaght sides, box-joint corners and hinged lid with sculpted lift & ribbon.

Handcrafted Wood Book Box

There are many 'special' books - a family Bible, a wedding or baby photo album, rare or collectible books, or a special book from a loved one - all deserving a special place. Our handmade wooden Book Boxes are typically custom made just slightly larger than the book, with a ribbon to gently lift the book from the box. The custom handcrafted wooden box shown was made of solid Walnut to hold a large 1873 atlas that was to be given as a wedding gift. The hinges were chosen for their antique appearance, and the delicate looking ribbon for contrast to both the box and the leather cover of the atlas.


Very Large Custom Handmade Wooden Display Boxes ~ Handcrafted of contrasting wood - Walnut & Ash. Beautiful wood grain. Straight sides, distinctive box-joint corners, hinged glass lid with velvet display pillow.

Handcrafted Wood Display Box

Our handmade wooden Display Boxes / Display Cases are custom made for the item they are to display. They can have a hinged or fixed glass lid and made to sit on a table or hang on a wall. The custom wooden display box shown was handcrafted of Ash with a hinged Walnut lid and bottom. We included a red velvet pillow to highlight a large gold-tone knife (saber shown was just to gage weight)

Original Handcrafted Wood Recipe Boxes ~ Handmade of contrasting wood - Oak & Walnut. Slightly tapered sides, dramatic box-joint corners. Beautiful multi-wood lid of Oak, Walnut & Maple.

Handmade Wooden Recipe Boxes

An original handcrafted wooden recipe box would be a great gift for a novice cook with just a few recipe cards or a gourmet chef with a drawer full. Our wooden Recipe Boxes are made to hold 3"x5" or 4"x6" recipe cards, and can be handcrafted with a lift off or a hinged lid. The handmade Oak & Walnut box shown here was actually made to hold envelopes, but gives you an idea of possibilities. Lid was made of Oak, Walnut & Maple - beautiful, natural wood color - no paint or stain needed.

Original Handcrafted Wooden Tea Boxes ~ Handmade Cherry Tea Box with a cherry stain. Slightly anagled sides, box-joint corners. Removable deviders also made of Cherry.

Handmade Wooden Tea Box

Our handcrafted wooden Tea Boxes come in varying sizes and made to hold standard wrapped tea bags. Tea Boxes have wooden dividers to separate the various types of tea. The unique, custom wooden box shown was made of Cherry with a light cherry stain and 4 compartments with removable dividers. The sides angled in at the top & bottom and subtle box-joint corners.. The lift-off lid had beautiful grain, decorative router detail and solid brass knob.

Custom Handcrafted Wooden Cremation Burial Boxes / Cremation Urns ~ Handmade of Hickory, selected for the wood grain & coloring. Slightly angled sides, distinctive box-joint corners.

Handmade Wooden Cremation Burial Box/Urn

There are many companies that specialize in items and services related to the passing of a loved one. Wood cremation burial boxes is not one of our standard product lines, but we do offer affordable handmade wooden boxes -. custom made to the specific dimensions of the cremation ash container. The cremation box shown was custom made of Hickory, the wood chosen for its unique coloring, and its meaning to the recipient.


Original Handcrafted Wooden Gift Boxes ~ Handmade Walnut Box. Beautiful wood grain. Subtle box-joint corners.

Handcrafted Wood Gift Boxes

What better way to present that 'other' special gift, than to put it in an original or custom handcrafted wooden gift box, that is a unique and practical gift in itself. The wooden box on the left was handmade of Walnut with beautiful wood grain, angled sides and box-joint corners. Add a little tissue or padding in the bottom, and add that watch, piece of jewelry, keys to the new car, whatever. A gift inside a gift - for an extra special surprise.


Custom photo memorial/memory box. Photo boxes are a great way to store those special memories (note 'photo' shown in this box was just a computer generated picture printed on paper - no matting, etc).

Custom Handmade Wood Photo/Picture Box

There are many occasions where a photo box would make a very personalized way to hold those very special items. A photo box can be custom made to hold a wedding photo album, displaying a picture of the couple on the lid. Or be used as a mememorial box for a passed loved one. Or all the bits of memorabilia from that once-in-a-lifetime trip - with a favorite photo in the lid. Custom hanmade Photo Boxes make very special gifts that will be cherished for years.

Custom laser engraved wooden boxes. Wording & photo laser engraving done by local laser engraver.

Custom Laser Engraved Wooden Boxes

VanEss Expressions does not do laser engraving, but we have recently found a local laser engraver who does very nice, reasonable laser engraving - including laser engraved photos. Laser engraving really makes the gift unique. Having a name, dates, favorite scripture or photo engraved on any box (or other wooden gift) makes it as special as it gets. Click on picture to see more close up photos of this laser engraved pet memorial box.


Original Handcrafted Wooden Jewelry Boxes ~ Handmade of contrasting wood - Walnut and Ash. Tapered sides, box-joint corners.

Handcrafted Wooden Jewelry Box

Jewelry Boxes are typically segmented with a felt lining, and can have a hinged or lift-off lid. Some jewelry boxes have an upper and lower section to arrange the different jewelry items. Most of our jewelry boxes are custom ordered depending on the amount and type of jewelry, The handmade wooden box shown combines Ash and Walnut with tapered sides and distinctive box-joint corners.

We are a very small Minnesota woodworking company. Each of our unique decorative wooden boxes is personally handcrafted by us in our Minneapolis workshop. To see the original handmade wooden gifts and home decor items (including our handmade boxes) available for immediate shipment, please go to our On-Line Store. And if you don't see what you are looking for, please Contact Us, and maybe we can custom make that unique, handcrafted wooden gift or home decor item for you. (more handmade wooden boxes)

100% Hard-Wood - - - 100% Hand-Made in the USA

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