When I participated in Fine WoodWorking's conference (FWW Live!) I purchased the book "52 Boxes in 52 Weeks" by Matt Kenny and was inspired to build as many boxes as I could. In addition to the great techniques and skills you develop from such an effort, you will start asking yourself "how do they do this" for many simple every-day objects.
One of my favorite box techniques is bandsawn boxes, by Michael Cullen: he takes a block of wood and through multi-directional cutting on the bandsaw creates beautiful organic shapes:
Build Mike Cullen's bandsawn box
After cutting the initial interior shape and gluing the pieces together you can cut the outer shell in a different angle to create a thin top lip:
Tilting the bandsae table allows you to create a compound cut that is unexpected:
This was the first time I used scalloping carving tools and it was a lot of fun playing around with the dimple shapes. I was pleased with the result...
Check out the album for a few more boxes I built.