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Thursday, January 28, 2016

shadow box tutorial

I am a bit of hoarder regarding packaging and I always see potential in everything. And yes I am guilty of buying food and such, just because the use of what it comes in!! We are a big fan of french cheeses and they come in awesome wooden or cardboard containers. I usually save them and make shadow boxes out of them.

Today I want to share my latest shadow box project...

I start out with this rectangular box. It had a really nice strong french cheese in it hahaha. It aired out so it is not smelly anymore ;-)

I cut strips from my stash of pretty papers to cover the outside and inside of the sides of the box. The inside of the background will be covered with something else.

Here you see the sides covered with the paper.

The inside of the shadowbox will be my focal point. I cut some watercolour cardstock to size, and stamp my focal image with stazon or archival ink. I am going to layer some stamps, so I will be using a mask to cover the gentleman.

After I covered the Chemist with a mask, I stamped the background in Sepia Archival ink and blended some distress ink to give it a weathered and antique look. I love the various masking techniques. Here I just used a standard mask I made from blank masking sheets and my stamp. After I remove the mask, my focal background image is ready to be coloured in with distress markers...

After I coloured him in, I glued him to the back of the box. My background now has a base.
I will now add more dimension by adding layers of embellishments and stamped images.

I stamped a apothecary image, part of the stamp set the Chemist is from, a set by Tim Holtz, who else hahaha. I stamped it on vellum so it is a bit translucent and gives a nice effect once coloured in. I decided to colour it in with sharpies.

After I coloured everything in I cut it up in pieces so I can start assembling my layers.

To give it dimension I used 3D glue dots, I couldn't use foam tape, as that would show through the vellum. At some points I had to use more than one dot as I really wanted itto be three dimensional.

I just doubled and trippled the dots on top of eachother.

I stuck the vellum pieces to the background. I can now add all the embellishments to complete my little apothecary scene.

I added some glass viles I altered, you can read in my previous blog post how I did that, and added some embellishments I made with stamps, dies and shrink plastic.

Befor I glued in the background, I attached two hooks with two brads, this way the box can be hung on the wall. The background image covers the brads.

I always like to personalise the shadow boxes for the person I make it for. This box is for a lady that works with essential oils and does aroma therapy, and her favpurite bird is the red cardinal. So I found a little bird in my stash of charms, I coloured it red and black to resemble the cardinal. I cut of the ring off and glued it in the box.

More embellishments were added like a clock and glasses. Once I am happy with the content I cover the box with a sheet of acetate as I want to protect the inside from dust.

I glued the acetate on top of the rim of the box and secured it with a washi tape strip. I covered that with a strong glue medium, so it all stays in place.

On the acetate I glued a word band to give the box its identity so to speak. Glossy accents is my go to glue for nearly everything!

The box needed something to give it the finishing touch, so I took four metal corners from my stash and covered them with paint to give them a faux patina. The paint is wiped off once the paint is almost dry. This way it stays on the corners in certain areas and wiped off on others. I love doing this to metal embellishments, it sort of brings them to life!

The corners are glued on the box with hot glue and the altered box of cheese is now a miniature laboratory.

What a way to upcycle huh? I hope it gave you an idea what you can do with the simplest thing!

Have a wonderful crafty day and take care.
Until next time :-)



  1. This is just a wonderful idea!! Beautiful upcycle, thankyou for the tutorial!!♡♡

  2. I buy stuff too with the potential to create with it! You shadow box is AWESOME! I love the chemist. It reminds me of the one I made a few years ago! FABULOUS!!!!

    1. Phew! So I am not the only one crazy like that hahaha. Thank you for your kind words. Very much appreciated!

  3. I buy stuff too with the potential to create with it! You shadow box is AWESOME! I love the chemist. It reminds me of the one I made a few years ago! FABULOUS!!!!

  4. Fantastic Freddie!!! I really do love this x

    1. Thank you dear Sam! I am glad you love it. Have a wonderful day :-)

  5. Love your recycled cheese box Frederique. I know how you feel, I can see a use for so many things others would put in the recycle bin lol! Thanks for sharing your tutorial. Hugs Jennifer xx.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Jennifer. Huggles from Holland xxx