Shaker-style pantry box

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Shaker box tower
Shaker pantry box molds

The Shaker-style pantry box is a round bentwood box made by hand. Such boxes are "associated with Shaker folklife because they express the utility and uniformity valued in Shaker culture."[1][2][3][4][5]


Shaker boxes' distinctive characteristic "swallowtails"

Shaker boxes were traditionally finished with milk paint made from milk casein, tinted with earth pigments. Milk paint is incredibly durable, lasting hundreds of years when used indoors.[6]

Brother Ricardo Belden making oval boxes in a workshop at the Hancock Shaker Village, Massachusetts in 1935
1990s lidless Shaker sewing carrier equipped with a pail handle

Shakers cease actual production[edit]

The concept continues to be meticulously honored by modern woodworkers, who are aware of the difficult process involved.[7][8][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bronner, Simon J (2015). Encyclopedia of American Folklife. Routledge. pp. 1115–1116. ISBN 978-1317471950.
  2. ^ Steege, Gwen (1990). Simple Gifts / 25 Authentic Shaker Craft Projects. Pownal, Vermont: Storey Communications. pp. 1, 2. ISBN 0882665812.
  3. ^ "Shaker Boxes". Wooden-Box-Maker. Kate Taylor Creative Woodworking. 2014. Archived from the original on June 5, 2015. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  4. ^ Miller, M. Stephen (2010). Inspired Innovations. UPNE. p. 77–79. ISBN 978-1584658504.
  5. ^ "Tidbits about Shakers". Brent Rourke. 2000. Archived from the original on July 2, 2015. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  6. ^ "A brief history of milk paint". Naturally safe Historic Paints since 1974. The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co., Inc. 2015. Archived from the original on July 30, 2015. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
  7. ^ Handberg 2007, p. 49.
  8. ^ Tilson, David J. "Making Shaker Oval Boxes Second Revision". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  9. ^ Wilson, John (August 2003). "Building Shaker Oval Boxes". Popular Woodworking. (135): 32–41. Archived from the original on February 23, 2015. Retrieved June 3, 2015.


  • Handberg, Ejner P. (2007). Shop Drawings of Shaker Furniture. Vol. 3 (1st ed.). Countryman Press. ISBN 978-0881507775.