November 16, 2010

Project: Shadow box

A while back, I attended an Uppercase Living party and received free with my order a "Welcome" decal.  I didn't want to apply the decal directly to my walls, but I hated to throw it away, so I decided to combine it with another item I had in storage: a Pottery Barn shadow box that we had been given for our wedding but that I had never used.

I began by cleaning the glass front of my shadow box so that the decal would adhere properly.  Next, I rubbed the top of the decal so that it stuck to the front paper (I believe the technical term for this is "burnishing").

I didn't want to use the flourishes at the top of the decal, and I wanted to space the letters differently, so I cut around each letter so I could use them separately.  This is a great way to use a resource like Uppercase Living; if the decal doesn't fit in the spot where you want to apply it, or if you don't like the design's layout, just cut it up and space the letters or designs however you want.

Once I had cut out all the letters, I played around with their placement on top of my shadow box.  When I was happy with the arrangement, I taped them to the glass front of my shadow box so that the pattern wouldn't shift while I worked.

After putting my design in place, I carefully peeled off the back of each letter and positioned the decal directly onto the glass, rubbing on the surface to adhere it (do one letter at a time, leaving the others taped in place).

I removed the top piece of paper, one letter at a time, double checking the alignment and spacing as I worked.  Here is the finished product:

I opted to set this on a dresser, using it as a tray with a lid, rather than hanging it on the wall.  Therefore, I simply attached a few felt pads to the bottom to prevent scratching the dresser on which I am using it.  You could use this box in a guest room to store extra supplies (small tubes of toothpaste, little soaps, spare sets of keys, etc.).  It would also be helpful in an entryway for storing your wallet or keys.

This project could easily be adapted.  For example, you could make a shadow box with a child's name on it and let him or her store little treasures inside, or it could be used in the kitchen to house recipe cards.  Of course, you could also use it in a more traditional manner: fill it with pictures and small mementoes and hang it on a wall (maybe add a short phrase like "Family Vacation 2010" to the front).

The shadow box I used is no longer available, but Pottery Barn does make one with a creamy white frame and a linen interior (click here).
Target also carries a version with a black frame (here).
Make sure that whatever box you choose is fairly easy to open and close and is deep enough for whatever you want to store within.
View the current Uppercase Living catalog here.

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