Making: DIY Home Decor

Ok, I made these last summer but I will share them now...

When we first moved into our apartment, I was in the worst possible design situation: it was our first post-college "grown up" apartment so we had little to no decorations and I was between jobs which meant I was bored out of my mind but had no money for home-improvement projects. So I had to really think outside the box for art.

The space most in need of help was our kitchen - white walls, white countertops, white appliances and bleached wood cabinets - boring, boring, boring. I needed a cheap and easy way to inject some color into the space, and this is what I came up with.

[Sidenote: When the hubby and I picked our Fiestaware we each got to pick a color; he picked red and I picked green. Of course everyone's first reaction is 'Christmas kitchen' so I needed some decor that didn't bring to mind figgy pudding and yule logs.]

One day while shopping at my big-box craft store I wandered through the fake flower/fruit section. Normally I don't give that stuff more than a second look, but something caught my eye. Amidst the wax grapes and plastic pineapples I saw a bin of red and green chilli peppers. Admittedly they would look a little silly in a bowl trying to pass as real food, but put them behind glass and they just might become art. I bought 8 peppers, a mid-sized square shadow box and some white craft paper, still skeptical that this might not work. But after playing with different configurations, I settled on what you see here. Simple, bold, almost with a graphic quality.

In the smaller box I chose to display 3 vintage measuring spoons - dash, pinch and smidgen - that were my great-grandmother's. I chose a bright green paper for the background to make the silver spoons stand out.
TIP #1: For shadow box background paper, one of my go-to sources is the scrapbooking aisle. You can choose from hundreds of solids and patterns, and the sheets are sold individually so there is no need to buy a large pack of paper you will never use.

This idea works with any small momento such as keys, shells, matchbooks or whatever strikes your fancy. Even better, this project couldn't be simpler!

-shadow boxes (found at most craft stores)
-background paper
-objects for display
-tacks or t-pins (if hanging objects)

-scissors or x-acto knife
-spray adhesive or double stick tape

-measure and cut your background paper to cover the back and sides of the inside of the shadow box (some shadow boxes have removable cardboard interiors that can be traced for a template).
-attach the background paper to the inside of your shadow box with adhesive
-hang or sit your objects inside the shadow box
-display and enjoy!

TIP #2: Because I inevitably shake or tilt the shadow box while assembling or hanging, I have learned it is very difficult to acheive a casual, random arrangement. Everything must fit snugly or be tacked into place, otherwise the outcome is somewhat hard to control.

Tell me, what interesting momento or object have you displayed in a shadow box?


Rach H said...

I really enjoy your shadow boxes!!

I love to make shadow boxes, I made this one for Ryan for Christmas:

Allison said...

cute stuff!

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