Etsy CIJ Craft Party – Making a Patchwork Paper Shadowbox

Contributor post by Jennifer of CaffeinatedPapercuts

Good morning! Welcome to our first class today, Making a Patchwork Paper Shadowbox. Wall art is a great way to get your photos out where you can see them, and making a shadowbox is a really fun way to do just that.

The patchwork part refers to the patterned papers I used; I cut and sliced many different pieces to make my own background, sort of like piecing a quilt together.

 Materials Used:

– DCWV Rockstar mat stack

– Cotton Bag

– 1/2 sheet of Rhinestones

– Sentiment stamp from Pink by Design

– 2 buttons

-Pink by Design stamp set ‘Happily Ever After’

-Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Wild Honey, Tea Stain, and Crushed Olive

-StazOn True Black Ink

-Lawn Fawn Twine in Natural

-13″x13″ shadow box

-random piece of 12″x12″ scrapbooking paper

-crown stamp (dollar bin at Michael’s)

-foam tape

-black stamp marker from LePlume

Paper pads are fabulous as you can find them in any color or theme under the sun and if it’s in the pad, it matches. They make it so easy!

Here are some close-ups of the added elements that really make the shadowbox fun:

The muslin bag got distressed, stamped, and blinged-out with the rhinestones
The buttons got strung through some twine and wrapped around the whole page to make…
…guitar strings!

Yeah, that is one seriously cute, Goldfish-encrusted grin. My little love. That photo happened when he decided to come stick his face in the camera, so I clicked away. Who knew it would turn out so perfect?

Ok, on to the photo montage of how I put this bad boy together!

I started with the photobox frame which, in this case, measures 13″x13″, leaving me a workspace of 12.5″x12.5″. Lots of room! So I grabbed a piece of 12″x12″ paper I had lying around in a color that I really wasn’t crazy about and used that as my backer piece. I decided to make a patchwork quilt out of the different papers in the pack, so I started laying out my design then got cutting.

Figuring out spacing BEFORE cutting. Sometimes I’m so smart!
Paper all sliced up and edges inked
I used the white insert from the frame to line up my paper, then started gluing
My completed background

I really, really like how it came out. That’s the nice thing about paper stacks – all of the papers compliment each other. Thanks to the patterns, I could even work in some of the pink papers despite it being a boy’s layout. It came across as cool, not girly. Rock on.

From here I moved on to the muslin bag. It really didn’t match in its natural form, so I grabbed my Distress Inks and started layering them on. I tucked tissue paper inside the bag to prevent bleed-through and it provided a cool effect while rubbing on the inks. I have to say, that little bag loved the inks! Soooo easy. When I was happy with the colors, I grabbed the crown stamp I had that, gasp!, matched the crowns on the paper perfectly. Using the rhinestones as jewels was a perfect way to bring some bling in. I let the bag dry overnight and did wind up going back over the crown with my marker as it had faded too much. I love how grungy it came out! Since I already had my marker in hand, I added my little prince of a rock star’s name and called it done.

A blend of crushed olive, wild honey, and tea stain resulted in one cool, grungy bag
Close-up of the bag; you can see the crown is already fading
Oh yeah, the bag wasn’t the only thing stained…blech!
Completed bag with the crown drawn back in

While the bag dried and I scrubbed my hands clean (surprisingly easy to do, by the way) I chose and printed out my photos and got to work matting them. I also attached my “guitar strings” and buttons while munching on the hidden stash of candy in my craft room…shhhh! I laid everything out on my background and realized something was missing. In the end, I grabbed one last piece of paper from the stack and fussy-cut the flocked heart design out and added it to the middle. Perfect!

Final layout check before applying the adhesive
My fussy-cut heart embellishment

From here it was simple. Grabbing my ATG gun I glued everything down. I used foam tape to pop up the photo in the corner and the heart embellishment to give it some dimension. Then it was just a matter of lining it up in the frame, adding the bag, and I was done!

Thanks for stopping by my shadowbox class! Be sure to check out our full class schedule for today’s Craft Party on our main party post.

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