Saturday, June 19, 2010

Somebody's got a Shadow... Box

One of my favorite things to do is travel, be it a road trip, a weekend visiting friends, or a big vacation.  Of course, it can get pretty pricey, with hotels, flights, food, and memorabilia.  While I can't lower your airline ticket, or convince the hotel concierge to upgrade your room, I can show you how to create a pretty sweet-looking keepsake.

Will and I went to Washington D.C. back in August of '09 (yea, I'm just now getting around to putting this together, get over it!).  I wanted a cute way to collect memories, without spending a lot of money, especially since things in D.C. cost more than what we're used to here in Texas.  This idea came to me, while in Hobby Lobby (i.e. the mecca of crafty ideas), looking for a frame.  I passed the shadow boxes, and it hit me!  I decided I would keep EVERYTHING, while also collecting cute little trinkets from the places we visited.  I looked for things like magnets, pendents, key chains, and pins.  I kept our hotel key, subway passes, ticket stubs, you name it, we kept it.  I also picked up every brochure, free postcard, free anything from every visitor's center.  Ironically, the most expensive thing we got was the pin from when we visited the Washington Nationals' stadium.

When I got home, I was able to score a shadow box from HL for 50% off.  Then I asked for a sample of American flag fabric that I found.  I decided on American flag fabric to keep with the patriotic theme of our vacay.  Turns out, they'll give you about 3 inches of fabric for FREE!  I used our subway passes to create a border, and put the fabric in the middle of the shadow box.  I glued these down using mod podge.

I then arranged all the pieces I had, until I had them just the way I liked them.  I used tacky glue to set those in place.  Allow tacky glue awhile to dry.  Also, you might need to lay something flat on the tickets and other paper items to keep the edges from curling up.  One of my favorite pieces in here are the pennies.  Most touristy places have those penny engraving machines.  Pop in 51 cents and out pops the cheapest keepsake ever.
Once you've given the tacky glue time to set, hang your masterpiece!  This is in our (now) hobby room!  I plan on making one for every vacation we go on, and hanging them around the room.  It was tons of fun searching for just the right trinket from each place.  And as I said, the most expensive one was from the ballpark at a whopping $7.  Most were between $2-3.  As you can see, some of the things we got didn't fit inside, so I just set them on top! Also, the little bottle of shredded money we got from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing isn't glued in, its just sitting in there.  Good thing we don't live in Cali- earthquakes and my shadow box would not be friends. 

And from far away!

PS- a quick picture hanging tip I came up with for this project: I took a thin strip of paper, placed it against the back of the shadow box, and marked on the paper where the hangers were.  After leveling the dots, I just hammered the brackets through the piece of paper.  Cuts out the lines I used to always have to draw to keep pictures straight.

I'd love to see any shadow boxes you've created- vacation themed or otherwise. There is so much you can do with those little 3D picture frames!!



  1. You are so talented! I love it, and I am hoping you are adding a lot more decorating sense to the not so bachelor pad, lol! Hope you are having a great summer! I also found the volcano pics that I wanted to send you. Do you have a different email address I can send them if you want them? I cannot post them since the students are in the pics.

  2. I adore your patriotic spirit. It is red, white and bluetiful!

    I hope you'll stop by for my bbq on an Anthropologie inspired white tablecloth. :)