About Us

Whether you are a corporate business or private individual, we can specially design and create handmade wooden boxes to suit your specific needs.  As well as commissions, we create a small selection of wooden boxes that can be purchased directly from us or through Galleries in Ireland and England.

Our Service

Customer involvement is the key to the continuing success of our box making business and we keep you up-to-date during key creative stages of your bespoke box by sending work-in-progress images via email together with written details and telephone calls where appropriate.  We find this method of keeping in touch with our customers particularly useful when giftware is being personalised or specially commissioned.  For those who are having a box personally created for them, we can produce a 3D computer generated model.

Gift Personalisation is available for all our handmade box creations. All of our boxes are available with Certificates of Authenticity that can normally be personalised with around 25 words.  Certain light coloured wooden items can be pyrographed (burned) with personal details such as initials, dates, logos, or a special message.  Another option is to have marquetry inlaid to the exterior or a plaque added to the inside.  Gift Tags can also be specially made and for a handmade wooden box that requires extra special packaging we can provide a gift wrapping service (for further details please contact us).

Our Products

Based in Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, we started our craft business in 2002.  Our box creations are individually crafted and then sold worldwide via our website and Galleries in England and Ireland.  When you contact us for the first time with your box requirements we will respond promptly to discuss  and confirm details.  Hawthorne Crafts is a family business and both of us - Ian and Kate – work closely together on each box with precision and care to ensure you get the box you want.  While I (Ian) handcraft the box and send image updates to you via email, Kate assists with lining, pyrography and organises packaging and delivery.

We create

  • jewellery boxes,
  • keepsake boxes,
  • ring/trinket boxes, and
  • presentation boxes,

and a range of these can be viewed in our Gallery Section.  Our one-of-a-kind Bespoke boxes have been created with an Art Deco influence and can be purchased directly from us or from a small selection of galleries in England and Ireland where they are on display.  We also exhibit at select events throughout the UK and recently participated in the Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design event held in August 2012 in Cheltenham.  An image of our Epic Launch Collection featured in an article by Derek Jones on the Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design Exhibition, for Furniture & Cabinetmaking magazine, November 2012.

If you have something in particular in mind that is not currently on our website then you might wish to consider contacting us to tailor-make/commission your box idea.  To learn more about commissioning a box please go to our Commissions section.

An exciting recent commission includes creating a bespoke box as a wedding gift for Prince William and Kate Middleton.  To watch Ian talking about the brief for the box please click on the UTV image below which is a short 3 minute clip – Ian appears after 2 minutes.

Ian's Interview

You can follow us on Facebook to find out more about this and many other commissions we’re currently undertaking.

As a well known box maker, Ian writes articles for UK woodworking magazines including Good Woodworking and Furniture and Cabinetmaking.  Recently an article featured in Furniture and Cabinetmaking (edition 182, August 2011)  on how the Royal Box was created.  There are several recent articles that appeared in Good Woodworking including – an Article on the Steps Jewellery Box,(January 2011) the plans to create Furnace Ring Boxes (September 2011 ) and more recently a six-page spread on a very beautiful jewellery box with fuchsia marquetry, aptly named ‘Full Bloom’ (December 2011).  We are also in the Craft&Design Selected makers catalogue and featured in the May/June 2011 edition of the Craft&Design Magazine, Makers Gallery.  In addition, the April 2007 edition of Craftsman Magazine includes a full page article on Hawthorne Crafts.

Our business is constantly evolving and a few years ago we started to sell box hardware to other box makers worldwide.  Enthused by the overall response we continue to promote a selection of box hardware on-line and have recently progressed to promoting our own range of hardware – the Neat Hinge, the Neat Lock and the Neat Screw Caps, all of which we use on our own boxes.

Past Commissions have included a tobacco box for retired Labour MP Tony Benn; presentation boxes for Red Bull; a musical note for actor Dominic Brunt (Paddy, Emmerdale Farm); a Trophy as the prize for the annual Lagan Boat Race;  a Pen Set for Prince Charles; and the Mossley Mill Giftware Collection for Newtownabbey Borough Council’s visiting dignitaries including Members of Parliament.

Simple, 4 step process

Boxes are tailormade in terms of dimensions, internal layout, wood, hardware, lining, and personalisation through plaques and marquetry.
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