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The holidays are a popular time to stop and thank teachers and all of the wonderful staff at school for all they do.
Sure, putting them in a photo frame and hanging them on the wall is something special in and of itself, but putting them into a shadow box and decorating them in an elegant way takes the display up a notch turning them into even more of a keepsake for years and years to come.
You might thing making a shadow box is just too pricey, but I found the price of my shadow box base plus supplies to be just as affordable as buying a higher-end photo frame. Today, I want to show you how you can put your tools to use for you to make your own paper flowers to mix with a few ready-made embellishments instead of investing in pricey silk flowers to accent your photo(s).
To start you’ll simply need to gather: photos, a shadow box, some coordinating patterned paper, and small embellishments, rhinestones or gems to use as small subtle accents, paper trimmer, hot glue gun, hot glue sticks and your favorite paper adhesive.
In order to keep the display firmly in place I recommend adhering all of your background papers directly to the backer board of the shadow box. Then you can build your layers upon that background. Since this particular shadow box measured 10 x 13, slightly larger than the standard size scrapbook papers, I had to get a little creative to extend the width of my patterned paper. To do that I simply lined both sides with strips of patterned paper measuring 1 ½” x 10" in length. I then accented the seam where the green and striped paper met with border strips punched using the Interchangeable Border Punch Starter Set along with the Up In The Clouds cartridge.
Next, adhere your photos in a grid pattern onto a sheet of plain white cardstock. Trim out around the photos leaving a ¼” border all the way around. This particular project has one 5” x 7” photo along with two 3 ½” square photos. Adhere the matted photos to the patterned paper leaving more of a margin along the right side.
Now, you will begin making some paper flowers to accent your photos. You’ll want to make some in a variety of shapes & sizes, as they will be clustered together to mimic the prom attendees’ wrist corsage or bride’s wedding bouquet.Here are three very easy flowers that you can make. Once you get the hang of making them you can alter them slightly to get a completely different look each and every time.
For the first flower you’ll use the same Up In The Clouds cartridge with your Interchangeable Border Punch Starter Set. Punch a 1” x 12” strip of coordinating cardstock. Then start rolling the strip lengthwise.
If you’d like to make a larger flower, you’ll use the two strips of paper punched from the same border punch. Just adhere the pieced end to end using a glue dot. Continue rolling the punched strip lengthwise and repeat the same gluing process. Once rolled, place a generous amount of hot glue on the straight-edge portion of the paper and place it on a scrap piece of cardstock. Hold in place until the glue cools. Once cooled, cut the scrap piece of cardstock around the base of the flower.
Once it’s wrapped, use your fingers to manipulate the decorative portion to bend the ‘petals’ outward giving it more of a flower shape. If you want to glitz it up a little paint a small amount of Mod-Podge onto the petals and sprinkle with an ultra fine glitter.
Using your Seal of Approval Squeeze Punch along with a 1/8” or 1/16” circle hand punch, cardstock and a brad you can make a highly dimensional flower. You’ll need to punch 6 to 8 scalloped circles from the Seal of Approval Punch. Punch a small hole in the center of each one using the circle hand punch. Wad each piece up several times. Push a large brad through the center hole of each piece until they are all loaded onto the same brad. Open the brad prong to hold in place, and then start to manipulate the layered pieces until you are happy with the dimension of the flower.
And lastly, you can make a spiral rosette by simply cutting a 4” square and lightly drawing a spiral pattern on the back using a pencil. Cut out the spiral along the lines. Then beginning with the outside of the spiral, begin rolling the paper until you reach the center of the spiral. Put a small amount of hot glue on the center of the spiral and press the top of the rosette into the bottom with the glue. Hold in place until the glue cools. TIP: Before gluing you can loosen your grip on the rolled paper to loosen the appearance of the flower. I like to loosen it quite a bit and then sprinkle beads in between the spiraled paper.
Now that you have all those made, you can begin to build up the corner of your shadow box to resemble a bouquet or corsage. Since it is a shadow box you can use more dimensional items that you would typically use on a scrapbook page. I also highly recommend using hot glue as your adhesive because it is quick-drying and will be able to hold firmly for very long periods of time. You’ll never have worries of the adhesive dry-rotting over the years.
Before building up your collection of flowers, consider putting down a very small layer of Spanish moss or craft moss. This just adds another layer of texture to the finished project. Then you can hot glue your flowers right over top. It’s more pleasing to the eye if you start with a larger flower in the corner and work your way across the bottom and up the side allowing the flowers to get smaller as your work your way outward.
To keep up with the scale and dimension of the flowers I chose to use tulle to create a bow to accent the top of the photos. From there, you can keep building by adding special words, phrases or dates either right on top of the photos or along the open space along the top or bottom of the background.
Patterned Paper (Bella Blvd, Little Yellow Bicycle)Cardstock (Bazzill)Resin Flowers (Prima)Large White Flower (Prima)White Daisy Flower (Little Yellow Bicycle)Alphabet Stickers (American Crafts)Fabric Embellishments & Sequin Flower Stickers (Little Yellow Bicycle)Beads (C-Thru Ruler)Floral Wire StemsHot Glue GunHot Glue StickGlue DotsTulleCraft MossAdhesiveShadow Box (Hobby Lobby)