For MsDebbie's Toy Collection


This is a Jack in the Box that I made a couple of years ago. It is also a puzzle as each side has a drop in panel that has marquetry on both sides. Of the eight pictures, there are two each of the four characters and there are also two background colours and two background patterns (radial and concentric)

This is obviously a toy to be used with some degree of parental supervision, but should keep any child (and maybe some parents too) amused watching, manipulating the panels, finding matches in different ways.

On the simplest level it’s just a Jack in the Box with some parts you can move around. The ribbons will always line up. Then you (sorry, your child) can try to get all the colors to match, or all the grains, or both.

There are only two ways to assemble the panels where all the background grains and colors will match and no picture will be showing twice. I think that means that there are 30 ways to get it wrong, but I’m not a mathematician.

All gluing is done with hide glue (edible if not tasty) and the finish is shellac (same) so when the child tires of playing with it he / she can eat it.

Thanks for looking


The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.


You are one amazing woodworker! Everything you make is a treat for our eyes. Thank you for your wonderful inspiration! :)


oh my goodness….
it’s a jack in the box … nah, let’s not just leave it at that — let’s make it a puzzle that matched with design — nah, let’s make it harder and you have to match the colour.. nah, let’s make it harder and you have to match it with grain as well …

oh… AND it is beautiful!
(Love the “Jack”)

Toxins Out, Nature In - body/mind/spirit

That is Wonderful. Very impressive!

Might As Well Dance :

Who else but Paul could create a beautiful toy like this ?

That is an incredible piece of work Paul. Amazing.

Doing the best I can with what I've got

Your work is wonderful! Every piece you do is so unique. This box is amazing – and works!


Always impressive work.

Awesome piece.

Abbas, Castro Valley, CA


Exceptional work as usual for you! At first I thought maybe you had made the Jack-in-the-box with your fully hinged, take-apart box and wondered how Jack would work with the box taken apart. Your puzzle idea is very creative.

I’m assuming the black box at the bottom of your post is a video (which I can’t watch on dial-up). Does your Jack-in-the-box play “Pop! goes the Weasel”?


“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin

As a matter of fact ………. it does!

try this link

The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.

Geez Paul… WOW! Every project that I see from you would take me a lifetime of effort and yet it seems you pour them out as if pouring the morning’s milk on cereal!

As always, very well done!


I concur with all that’s been said. You sir are a master woodworker. Your work is always incredible !…Thank you for sharing

Measure "at least" twice and cut once

Wow Paul that’s a Jack in the box fit for a king, fantastic work a real eye popper

woodworking classes, custom furniture maker

Wow, that is so much FUN… and such beautiful work! I’m new here, and I will search for more of your work!

Amor Vincit Omnia