the art of the shadow box…

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Or, perhaps a better name for this post should be---when a collection of shadow boxes is the art.


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With an empty wall over our stairs, Jeff and I came up with the idea of displaying our photos in a grouping of shadow boxes. As soon as we had scrap wood on hand, Jeff was on to making them.


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With plywood and a nail gun he made shallow boxes to fit some old picture frames we had. For a couple of the boxes, he made simple frames from some of our bamboo.


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And for a few others, he actually used the railings from an old baby crib for the sides and back. He found it years ago, on the side of the road, and we have slowly been using the railings for all sorts of projects.


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He carved some of the frames with his Dremel tool.


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Then I applied some paint, to seep into the carved designs, and we sanded them so that the color only showed in the carvings.


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I painted the outer sides of the box---white, to match our walls. Then I lined the inside with paper, pages from an old dictionary and nautical maps.

So, here they are…



And now they just have to go up there.



Deciding what to put in them, and in what manner, has brought our little art installation to a halt.

I’ve noticed a theme of ‘un-decidedness’ in my posts and am beginning to think that this blog’s tagline should read: “the ambivalence born within the house of ocasio”---because that would be fitting.

I have completed one of them. It is filled with a collection of macro shot (meaning, really, really close-up) photos of the tiniest blossoms that bloom on a beauty berry bush.


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After printing the photos, I decided that I wanted them displayed in the box at varying levels. After all, it’s a shadow box, with depth, and you should make use of it, right?


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I figured paper boxes would be the easiest.


There are a lot of tutorials on how to make paper boxes. I needed my boxes to be 3 by 3 inches, and I found this video tutorial that teaches you how to make a 3x3 box from cardstock paper. (perfect!)

----I don’t have the fancy scoring pad, although I kind of wish I had one, I just used a ruler and butter knife. And, I used a glue stick instead of double sided tape.


But, I also came across these instructions for making boxes that deserve to be shared:

Here is a tutorial from Sister Diane on her CraftyPod blog---How to make a gift box from an old greeting card!
As always, it’s simple to follow and the outcome is too cute and ingenious.

Then, I found these beautiful origami gift boxes made from wallpaper scraps with a video tutorial by Lorajean on her blog, Lorajean’s Magazine. Only folding required---no cutting. (I like that, a lot.)


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The shadow boxes sit by our dining table. We usually have a couple out, on the table, and will play around with different photos and small objects, to see if any inspiration happens. I’m beginning to think that we should just put them up on the wall as is---as our shadow box collection. :-)


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I remember the day we made these. It was just like many days Jeff opens the door to his shed, under our carport, and begins to make things---things that we’ve talked about, dreamed about, sketched out to show the other (‘cause we don’t always comprehend what the other is trying to say), and things get made.

I remember it being a very good day.


  1. So very pretty....I think I will have my hubby make me some shadow boxes for some bare walls in my own house :)

  2. That's very sweet. I hope he does that for you. I know you have some pretty interesting paper around the house to at least line it with. :-)

  3. Lorajean, thank you, so much for stopping by. I think your blog is stunning, and I'm so happy to have found it!

  4. These shadow boxes are so beautiful, and I love what you did with the box-shaped photographs! Thank you so much for the link to my tutorial!

  5. Thanks for putting such wonderful tutorials on your blog! :-)