Friday, May 3, 2013

Shadow box ideas: Displaying meaningful memories

So I told you yesterday about how I was rummaging under our bar where where we keep our party
supplies when I occurred to me I could easily change up the DIY utensil holders I had made to fit the theme of future parties.  Well, what I didn't tell you was I also came across three of these nasty,grimy, sticky shadow boxes that apparently at one point I though were "cute" kitchen decor.  At least my taste has evolved.  Anyway, I realized that they'd make great shadow boxes and I knew the perfect things to fill them.   Looks suspiciously like this >>>> Pottery Barn Kids $39.99 shadow box doesn't it? No? Just wait..it will!


First, I had to literally use a hammer and screw driver to pry these babies apart.  I don't know what kind of glue they use in China, but that's some serious stuff.  So was the cleaning I had to give the frames - they was a layer of sticky stuff and dust all over them.


Once I cleaned them all up, I turned to my favorite heirloom white spray paint to turn the wood into chic white frames.  Then I pryed the wine themed ceramic center piece off (don't worry I didn't throw it out - I spray painted it too for some future, still unknown project) and used the backboard for each of my shadow boxes.  

 TIP: I always spray paint on a hard surface outside instead of the grass because the grass comes up around the object.  However, then you need something to project your surface. I use a big piece of easel paper. Make sure you use rocks to hold down the edges or the wind may blow the paper onto your spray painted item.  You can probably guess, I learned that one the hard way.

My grandfather recently passed away and my mom and her siblings have been cleaning out their house.  My mom found this piece of loose-leaf paper with a blueberry muffin recipe I had written out for my grandmother.  It was dated July 1992 -- I was just 11 years old -- and I think it is so special that my grandmother had saved it for all those years.  (Of course she was also known to save paper McDonald's cups to reuse so maybe I shouldn't feel so special....)

Regardless, I immediately knew I wanted to display it in my kitchen, but wasn't sure how until I came across the shadow boxes.  I used mod podge to put it on the back board of the frame and then found a black mat from another picture frame to frame it out.  I wish I could have covered the holes in the paper, but I wanted to show off the date and that my grandmother had written my name on it so I had to leave the holes exposed.  I just added the spoon to a little something "more."

My second shadow box idea was to frame my daughter's first pair of ballet shoes and this precious picture of her and my husband before her first dance recital.   For this one, I used a piece of
scrapbooking paper to cover the backboard.  I used the DIYThickers (Foam stickers) for the lettering. I tacked everything in place with a spot of hot glue to make sure it wouldn't move -- but not too much in case I wanted to get the shoes out later.

I  was working on this while my 4 year old was at school today.  When she came home and saw it all laid out and ready to be framed she said, "Wow, mom that is awesome! Thanks!!!"  I think it came out even better than I originally thought.  Can you believe it's even the same frame???



And now do you see PBK?

I'm still dreaming up what I can use the third shadow box for...but I'm sure something will inspire me soon.

I guess my point here is this -- DIY doesn't have to cost a single dime.  If you reuse and upcycle things you would normally have donated or thrown out (and God knows how those shadow boxes even made it through one move let alone 3...), with a little creativity and imagination you can make something close to your heart for your home.

If you don't have shadow boxes around the house - look for them disguised in other ways at thrift stores.  Say, like "cute" kitchen decor.

Have a great weekend....

Posted by Melissa