Making a Memory Shadow Box

“Gettin’ crafty wit it na na na na na na nah, na na na na na nah…”

Too. Excited. About. Crafts.

As you may know, I am moving into a new house in a few weeks’ time and I am in full nesting mode. I’ve always liked the thought of making keepsake boxes or scrapbooks of previous holidays that I’ve taken with Sarky but the procrastinator in me has put it off… Until now. Scrapbooking has never really been my thing, but I like to keep memories and trinkets of trips that we’ve taken. For example, I still have the flight stubs from our first proper holiday together (one that didn’t involve a group of friends, a party island and too many fishbowls).

I found this lovely idea on Pinterest (shock) to store all of these little keepsakes in box frames and have them hanging as wall art. This pleases me immensely! You can find the original idea here but I will take you through the way that I created such awesomeness in full detail.

Heads Up: It was so tricky for me to find a frame for this project. I don’t know if it’s the UK or what but box frames are super difficult to find on the cheap. Finally found one at Ikea (hooray) but it is a very awkward size.

Supplies:

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Background (this is a bit long winded – I couldn’t find a way to get the image I wanted in the size that I needed for the frame so please bear with me 🙂 )

  1. I used GIMP to cut letters out of my holiday images. You can find a really easy tutorial on how to do that here. In March we went on a trip with friends to Amsterdam so I wanted this word as the background of the piece. I used different images for each letter, but you could easily use one for the whole thing and skip the next few steps. I used the font Gill Sans Ultra Bold as this was thick enough so that a good portion of the image would show through.
  2. Once I had all of my letters in different files, I then opened up a new project in GIMP and made it appropriate size for my frame (9 x 9 inches). I then imported each individual image in and scaled them to the appropriate size for the page. You will want to scale them so that they all fit on the page whilst leaving some room at the bottom for your items.
  3. Upload your final image to the ASDA website (or other photo printers). Now here is the tricky part… As my frame is a 9 inches square I had to do some jiggery-pokery to get the right size image printed by Asda. The closest size that they offer to this is 9×6 inches so I rotated the image so that it would fit in this space. (It honestly took me forever to figure this out).
  4. Once your prints are back, use a craft knife to carefully cut out each letter. Arrange them on some nice card which is cut to the correct size for your frame and then stick those bad boys down. Your background is complete.

So that was a total faff. I’m sure there are many other, easier ways of doing this but this is the way I thought of and it turned out to be economical. My prints for 3 frames only cost £1.20 – Not bad eh! Now it’s time to assemble those knick-knacks. Here comes the glue gun…

I started with some playing cards with the famous XXX of Amsterdam that we never used. Then came a bottle opener from the Heineken Experience. I cut out of our tourist map the area where we stayed and also a picture of the beautiful canal boat trip which was a major highlight. I added in some euros which were minted in the Netherlands to break it up a bit. Once this was all glued down, I put the backboard back into the frame, clipped it all together and voila!

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I’m so pleased with how this all turned out! I have another two to make and then they will take up residence in our new bedroom as part of a photo/mirror headboard.

Have you had any crafty moments recently? I would love to hear about them!

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