Niche Shrine/Shadow Box – Finale


I left this project in Part 1 with just having painted the interior of the box so it would bring it forward out of the shadows.


After much deliberation, I went with Tim Holtz Ideaology Wallflower 12 x 12 inch paper pad.  These pads always have multiples of the patterns, and more importantly, in various sizes of each pattern so I was able to find a ‘nest’ that fit my hand perfectly.


Before I start adding ephemera to the inside of the box though, I want to define the inner dimensions of the shadow box as well as add some aged patina.  Using a stencil brush, I rub ink into all the corners and seams using a coffee color.


I cut out the piece I needed but as usual I sponged some coffee colored ink around the edges to soften the lines so it will look more aged and blend into those seams I just inked, better.


In my 2nd hand store/garage sale shopping I sometimes run onto bags of old ‘handwork’.  This bag has bits of tatting with a bonus – some are wrapped around wood thread spools.  Those spools will get used in projects sooner or later, too.  But for now, I want some of this beautiful ivory tatting.


I cut the length I need and sponge on a bit of ‘coffee’ stain here and there.  I dab on some Aleen’s craft glue on the inside walls of the box and gently place the tatting.


You’ll only catch glimpses of the side walls, but it’s the little touches like this that make for a beautifully layered finished product. (IMHO)


My next step involves Tim’s Fragments.  These are little ‘windows’ of plastic that you can glue down over paper or a stamped or painted surface and it looks like it’s under glass.


The size I’ve chosen should fit perfectly over the grouping of eggs in the upper left corner.  I’ll use Glossy Accents to glue the square down.


Once it dried, I covered the top surface and went generously around the sides with Glossy Accents Crackle.  When it dried it left the cracks you can see which I made more visible by rubbing some coffee ink into them.


Next up, a pretty metal flower.  Tim Holtz Foliage pack has a variety of metal flower pieces in three metal tones.  But, you can color these, too.


It’s really easy – just use an acrylic paint, I chose white for the smallest section of the flower.


Once you have the paint on, you need to decide how much you want to leave on and how much to remove to accent the piece.  The longer you let the paint dry, the harder it is to wipe off with a soft cloth and the more paint will stay on your piece.  Don’t worry though, if you take off too much, just repaint and try again.


I went with a soft pink for the main portion of the blossom, and a soft green for the leafy part.  I am color matching these to another Tim product:


These are reproduction Vintage die cuts and as you can see, you really get a pile of them in every package.  There’s two pieces in here that I’m going to work with: the robin and a  pretty floral banner piece.


Most of the pieces come in a couple of sizes so you can find the piece that will be the best fit for your project.  I’m using the lower, smaller piece here but before I place it in my project I, of course, sponge the edges with coffee ink – can you see the difference here?


But the next piece to go in is the painted metal flower.  It’s important to build a project in layers to give a balanced 3-dimensional look.  It’s a matter of adding layer upon layer.  Here I started with paper, then I added the ‘window’ over the eggs which brought the view out a bit more and now, the flower will step out even further with the help of a Pop Dot spacer.  See how it’s far enough raised above the egg window to overlap above it a bit?


The robin will go in in a moment but I wanted to show you the Pop Dots.  This is two dots stacked together where the flower only had one.  This way, the robin will be stepped out even further than the flower adding even more depth to this really rather small area I have to work with on this project.


But the next piece in is a little wire flower spray.  I want this to appear to be the ‘branch’ the robin is sitting on.  Once I have it in the right position, I put a small blob of hot glue in to anchor the main piece of the branch.  I lessened the appearance of the hot glue by using the stencil brush and coffee ink.


The robin’s in place and I like the way he’s perched on the branch, the layers look really good to me.  But there’s a bit of an open space in the upper right corner that I don’t like.


Remember the pretty floral banner?  I was originally going to put it across the entire opening at the top but it didn’t look right when the glass door was shut.  I just snipped off both ends until I had it down to the size I wanted and coming out just a bit beyond the metal flower spacing – I put some hot glue onto the walls, top and side, and made it into a little corner flourish.  Again, stencil brush and ink for the glue to make it less noticeable.

I also didn’t like how open the very bottom looked, so….  Another 2nd hand store favorite is old costume pearls.  I ALWAYS keep a healthy stash of these around because they make wonderful ‘fillers’ on projects like this. A little glue and now my bottom of this tiny nature scene doesn’t just fall off the map like it was doing before.


And it’s done!  When I found this hand-shaped shadow box the first thing that came to mind was “a bird in the hand”.  I did come up with some alternate ideas but I just kept circling back to the bird theme.  I’m glad I went with it and keeping with my favorite Vintage Distressed look, there’s just something comforting and softly lovely about an aged patina.

As usual,  this finished project is now listed in my Etsy shop at OldRaven.etsy.com  If you get a chance, check out my shop as I have a number of fun pieces currently listed as well as lots of Vintage and Antique treasures you might enjoy.

Now please, craft on, too.










2 thoughts on “Niche Shrine/Shadow Box – Finale

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