Diy Crafts: How To Make A Picture Frame Shadow Box

Recycle ordinary cardboard boxes by using them to make a unique wall accessory for displaying photos or valuable items in your home. Instructions and tips included.

When receiving packages in the mail, think twice before throwing away the box. You can make a tabletop shadow box by filling the box with miniatures, then attaching the picture frame. The materials you'll need will depend upon the type of scene you want to put inside of the box. It can be a seascape, a Nativity scene, or even a tribute to Elvis. Get an idea in mind of what you would like your scene to look like, then purchase or make the needed props. For a baby's box, you can line the box with pink, blue or white satin, and then arrange a bootie, the hospital bracelet, a photo of the baby and a birth announcement. For a sea scene, line the box with sky blue satin for the top of the box, then dark blue for the bottom. Lay out some shells, a starfish, a small wooden helm, or something similar. To commemorate a special event, place a newspaper clipping, a medal, a photo and other small items. And don't forget that you can also hang items from the "ceiling" of the box by using a clear string, like fishing twine. This is perfect for hanging stars, a moon or a banner.

To begin, choose a box which is an approximate size of a picture frame that you have at home. It can be a 5"X7" frame, an 8"X10" frame or even a tiny, 2"X3" frame. The box doesn't have to be the exact size of the frame, but it must be no bigger than the frame, and large enough to where you can't see the box edges through the front glass. Place the box, concave side up, and lay the frame, without the mat or backing, on the box to see if it is an appropriate size. If the box edges can't be seen outside of the frame, and also can't be seen through the glass, it's a good size for the project.

Decide on the interior backing for the box .It can be satin, plain or printed paper, wallpaper, shelf paper, or even cotton balls. Measure the back of the box, and all four sides. Use white glue to adhere the fabric or paper to the interior of the box. Now set up your scene. You can use miniatures to build a small town, make a snow scene featuring trees with a horse and buggy walking by, or anything that you can imagine. Use mirrors, rhinestones or glitter to capture light, when possible. For instance, you can use a small, round mirror for a duck pond scene, then glue miniature ducks or geese to the mirror "pond". Or you can mix glitter in with sand for a sparkling beach scene. Since the box interior darkens the scene, try to choose light colored backgrounds and eye-catching colors.

After the scene is set the way you want, and everything is then glued in to place, glue the picture frame to the front of the box. The frame can be painted prior to gluing the box onto it, if desired. If you use a picture frame which is much larger than the box, the scene will tilt back slightly when set on a table. If you don't want it to tilt, glue two small legs on the back underneath side of the box, using whatever materials you have, such as bottle lids or two large beads.

You can further decorate the scene by adding little coordinating touches to the picture frame, like beads that spell out "BABY", tiny shells, or stickers. These boxes can be made as small or as large as you want, so long as you have a frame that will fit it well. With a little imagination, you'll be able to come up with even more ideas for this project.

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