Quick Gifts - Evelope for a Gift Certificate

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Project by Jim Bertelson posted 12-24-2015 03:24 AM 1749 views 1 time favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Need a Quick Gift?

Gift Certificates work great, but are pretty uninspiring.

I made this envelope last month for my wife’s birthday. Got it done in 4 hours, but not finished. Because it was cocobolo and took a high polish without a finish (to steel wool 4-0) it felt and looked great in an unfinished state.

Subsequently I finished it with one coat of rattle can water based Varathane Diamond Wood Finish, Semi-Gloss.

The construction is two pieces of envelope size Cocobolo resawn to 1/8”. I just sanded them with the random orbital sander, since thickness was not critical.

I separated the pieces with pieces of ebonized maple 1/8” thick and about 1/4” wide at the edges, except for the top, where you slide in the certificate.

Ebonized means Magic Marker..........(-:

Glue, because I was in a hurry was CA glue.

It is meant for reuse, and is already in service by my wife for a Christmas present for me.

..............interesting note…......this Cocobolo is 20 years old, a piece my wife gifted to me to inspire me to do woodworking, and 15 years later I got into it.

Best to you all for the holiday season…......

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

16 comments so far

View lew's profile


13317 posts in 4767 days

#1 posted 12-24-2015 03:55 AM

Merry Christmas Jim and to your family, too!

One thing nice about gift certificates- they always fit and are the correct color, every time!

Nice job!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4176 days

#2 posted 12-24-2015 04:36 AM


Thanks Lew, thinking about you and your family this Christmas season…..........

This is one for all of us, just have to be able to resaw….....

Retiring at the end of this year….......just nine days away…...

......and then I will be bugging you for advice…....gird your loins!!!!

Merry Christmas to you and yours….......

Jim and Sherie

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 4243 days

#3 posted 12-24-2015 04:36 AM

Merry Christmas to you and your family as well Jim! Wonderful project. I haven’t had much shop time lately myself. Spent it swapping out appliances instead. My lovely bride wanted new Stainless Steel appliances, so my 30+ year old Whirlpooll appliances got pulled and brand new ones went in, including a fancy schmancy microwave / range hood! (Woo Hoo I am in the 21st century now!).

Plus car repairs, lots and lots of car repairs… I am really starting to hate the 5.4L 3V in my F150…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4176 days

#4 posted 12-24-2015 04:50 AM


So nice to see you back in here. I missed you.

The practical always reigns…......

But I bet you could do this one with your hot rodded band saw, and use just any wood in the shop….......

.....retiring, probably too late. But should have more time with my friends on LJ’s….....

Merry Christmas to you David, and your family…......

Jim and Sherie

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View oldnovice's profile


7700 posts in 4379 days

#5 posted 12-24-2015 05:39 AM

That is a one of kind gift to be sure as each wood has its own color and grain pattern!
I really like this enough to make it one of my favorites.

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10961 posts in 5064 days

#6 posted 12-24-2015 07:16 AM


What a super cool job you did on that!

It looks so MUCH larger than it is… Magic…!!

Very COOL…

COOL wood…

I think that is the first wooden envelope I’ve seen…
... having a reusable envelope is Super COOL…

Do you put Money in it? ... or some other home made Card?

Merry Christmas to y’all… enjoy!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4176 days

#7 posted 12-24-2015 04:19 PM

Thanks for looking. Necessity is the mother of invention, and I needed something other than a gift certificate for my wife’s birthday, so I enhanced it. She and one of her best friends have the same birthday in late November. So we two couples always celebrate the girls birthday at a very fancy restaurant with a stunning view of Anchorage and the ocean. Sherie’s brother Doug, from Dallas, was also here this time so we had 5 of us.

The envelope can be easily built in an afternoon. If finished like I did mine, it would be ready for use the next day…....

Have a fun holidays, Hans….......

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4176 days

#8 posted 12-24-2015 04:29 PM

Hey kid, how goes it?

Just an ordinary gift certificate was used. But that is why I needed the fancy envelope. Money or a properly sized card would fit in there as well, but be sure you have a way to get it out. I am going to make some kind of springy thing to press fit onto the contents for retrieval. As a fail safe, a small opening in the bottom would allow something to be use to push the contents out.

Merry Christmas to you as well. Actually have to work a bit this morning, but then have the rest of the week off…........

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View patron's profile


13716 posts in 4353 days

#9 posted 12-25-2015 04:49 AM

nice of her to give you 15 years to make this jim

i’d say she is a keeper

great envelope

have a great christmas
and an even better retired new year

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4176 days

#10 posted 12-25-2015 06:43 AM

Thanks, for the view. Hope that big shop of yours is coming along, and maybe even staying warm?

It is interesting that I built the envelope out of a piece of wood she gave me. But she gave me an even bigger one as well, and that stuff doesn’t come cheap these days.

Have a great Christmas yourself, buddy. Tonight we had some people over, and they wanted to see the shop. My super sled was sitting on the table saw, just in use a couple of days ago. I remember you talking me into building it about 6 years ago or so. It has become a go tool in the shop, a real do all.

Thanks again for the advice and friendship…...


-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View MrLaughingbrook's profile


257 posts in 2979 days

#11 posted 12-25-2015 01:49 PM

Looks great. Thanks for sharing your great idea. I’ll try and make one too.

-- MrLaughingbrook

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4176 days

#12 posted 12-25-2015 04:21 PM

Mr. Laughingbrook
Thanks for the comments. Somewhere in this thread I think I noted that it is already being reused.

One of the things I noted when I finished it:
I sprayed one side with the rattle can water based Varathane Diamond Wood Finish, semi-gloss and let it dry. It warped while drying. But after I finished the other side, it pulled right back to absolutely flat again. So if you finish just one side at a time, any warp created will disappear after the other side is finished.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4346 days

#13 posted 12-26-2015 12:40 PM

Great gift Idea Jim. I like it’s reusability too. Merry (late) Christmas to you and your family. Looking forward to seeing how you settle into retirement and your woodworking projects.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4176 days

#14 posted 12-26-2015 06:19 PM

Thanks for look, and it was reused, for a gift for me, actually, yesterday. Necessity really was the mother of invention for this one, I just didn’t want to give Sherie an unadorned gift card.

What am I going to do in retirement? Somehow, I understand I will never put forth the effort into retirement that I put into my work. But I think that is a given. I do have projects in mind that are not shop projects. Actually, my first one in a row will be a simple pen and scissors holding box for Sherie’s desk. I ought to make two, since I could use one myself.

One of my physician’s assistants is trying to hire Sherie out of his own pocket. Sherie is a coder and did it for him as well as me, especially with the new coding system that came into use in October. In the USA, the codes are actually used for billing, and that is not true anywhere else, apparently. But Sherie wants to retire with me, so no go…........

Well off to do some mundane errands. And I have to look into buying a replacement piece of electronic gear, that Sherie funded with a gift card. 18 years is long enough to use a receiver, even if it is a good one. They just get outdated.


-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Roger's profile


21051 posts in 3816 days

#15 posted 12-27-2015 02:44 PM

A cool way to give

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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