Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holiday Shadowbox Project by Linda Kay's Art

I love holiday cards! Sending them, receiving them, but most of all, upcycling them into wonderful projects. They come in so many designs, sentiments and colors, it seems appropriate to make them last a bit longer. I enjoy making shadowboxes out of them and I wanted to share my process with you today. I hope you enjoy creating one too!

To make this project you will need to gather a few supplies:
 A good premade shadowbox or sturdy box or frame that will let you build layers, the size should not be too big for the images you use. A glass front is a nice thing to include.

  • An assortment of holiday cards, 
  • stickers, 
  • glitter, 
  • glues, (I used Tacky, Modge Podge & hot glue), 
  • transparent tape, 
  • embelishments,
  • fuzzy yarns & fibers, 
  • holiday charms, 
  • any item that you feel fits your theme. 
  • Window cleaner
  •  paper towels.

Optional supplies: 
  • cord and eye pins for making a hanger.

Tools you will need:
  • Good sharp scissors,
  • hot glue gun, 
  • bone folder or popscicle stick, 
  • ruler, 
  • pencil.

Optional tools: 
  • glitter catch tray,
  • non-stick crafting sheet.

Choose your images with similar themes & colors. Play around with possible layouts that enhance each other. Your focus point should be your very top layer, so choose items that go well behind it. Cut these out very carefully with very sharp scissors. Do a dry fit before commiting with glues. Use your ruler to double check sizes before your final cuts are made. 

If your shadowbox has a glass cover, be sure to clean this very well before you begin, inside and outside. I found that spraying the glass cleaner onto your paper towel is much better than spraying the glass. 

I have an assortment of glitters that I like to use. I found that vintage colors look best and give an aged appearance to my finished project. You can use any you really like. I also like the fine and ultra fine grades of glitter as it looks more size appropriate to the images.

I like to use a glitter catch tray when I am working with glitters. It helps to reduce waste and makes clean up a whole lot easier. I also use a very fluffy paint brush to coax the glitter back into its container. Choose areas that you want to highlight with glitter and dab bits of tacky glue sparingly on these areas. Good places to choose are snowcovered tree branches, tops of buildings, tops of snow banks, moon light on surfaces, etc. Cover the glue with plenty of glitter, let it sit for a moment, then gently shake excess glitter into the catch tray. Set aside to dry. If you don't have a catch tray, a sheet of waxed paper works well too. Return extra glitter back into it's container before starting another color or glitter size. 

Now you can glue your back layer into your shadowbox. I used a thin layer of Modge Podge on the back of the shadowbox and placed my background layer in, smoothing out wrinkles from the center to the outer edges. Be careful around the glittered areas so that you don't knock it off. My bone folder was helpful in getting many of the wrinkles smoothed out. Try to get as smooth as you can. A few wrinkles as I have here, do not matter too much. Just be patient and keep working on it with gentle strokes, as it takes a while to dry and this alows you some working time


Now the real fun for me begins! Embellishments are my favorite part. I can customize and add details till my heart is content. I found some translucent stickers that I could use on all my surfaces including the glass cover. This allowed me to add dimentions without adding much weight or bulk and being able to add it to the glass was a real plus. I used smaller stickers on the background and larger stickers on the front to add a sense of dimension. 

I did a dry test run with my Santa layer to be sure there were enough snowflakes spread all around. I also played with some plastic dimentional snowflakes and some embellished snowflake stickers that had little gems on them. Use as much or as little as you like. For me, the more, the merrier!!

After all my embelishements were in place, I twisted some eyelash yarn with a thin silver thread and used my hot glue gun to attach it on the inside of the shadowbox frame along the box edges. This is good for covering up areas that don't quite fit or lie flat. It helpes detract from some of the wrinkles too! Small dabs of glue are all that is necceary and the bone folder is helpful to push the fibers into the hot glue and save your little finger tips. 

To add a little movement to my shadowbox, I tied silver strings to some of the plastic snowflakes and hot glued them to the top of the inside of the shadowbox. Again the bone folder came in handy.

Look your shadowbox over and trim away any stray glue strings, fly away fibers and shake out excess glitter that has fallen loose. 

My shadowbox had 2 small brackets for holding the glass into place. These came in handy for my top Santa layer. I carefully loosened the bracket, slipped in Santa against the glass and tightened the bracket again. A few small strips of tape along the sides of the Santa cutout hold him still and in place. Close the cover and check all is holding well in place.

The last step is to embellish the front cover of your shadowbox. I used some German Scrap papers to line the frame top, bottom and sides. Any gaps were filed in with the embelished snowflake stickers. A bit of glitter glue was run on both sides of the frame embelishments for that added touch. Let these all dry well.

My shadowboxes have an easel back stand that makes displaying it easy. You can also choose to make a hanger with some cording and small eye pin screws. Simply decide where to place your eye pins on the right and left sides of the shadowbox, use a pin to start the hole and screw them in. Tie your cord onto each pin leaving enough room for the shadowbox to hang on the wall or on your tree comfortably. 

Santa Arrives

Here are a few of my shadowboxes that I've made recently. I have used cigar boxes, papermachet boxes and covers and drawers from doll house dressers. Use your imagination and come up with something creative and upcycled. 

Inside of Snowy Night

Snowy Night

I hope you enjoy making your own holiday Shadowboxes this winter. It makes a great project to do on those very chilly days when you don't want to go out. 

Journey to Bethlehem

I invite you to come visit my website, blog and my Facebook page. I've listed the links below for your convienience. 

It's Snowing!

Best wishes and Happy Holidays!

Linda Kay

Use these links to find me. 

And make sure to come by the FB group and share all your projects!!

Cre8ive Klatch

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