Tag: shadow box

RUSTIC RANKS:
A Gift for Him

 

 

This post contains affiliate links. We choose to only provide affiliate links for the products or businesses we trust and use personally. The affiliate links are provided for your convenience to recommended products and to help support the Navy Home. You can find our full disclosure here.

 

My husband, Chris, was on his first deployment when I made this military rank box for him. I wanted to make something special as a gift for when he got home and came up with the idea several months before he even deployed. Since I would never be able to hide it when he is home, I knew I had to wait until he was away to work on it!

 

After commissioning, he had been talking about needing to get some sort of box to store his ranks in, but the idea he managed to come up with was a plastic CD box… such a boy. 😉 I knew that wasn’t going to work because I wanted his ranks to have a special place for two different reasons. Not only will the contents of this box signify the time he spent serving our country, but it will also house the ranks my mother passed down to him from one of our fallen, LTJG Cole Patrick O’Neil. Chris was completely shocked when I presented him with my gift after he got back home, he had no idea I was making it! This rustic rank box was honestly the most exciting gift for me to give to my husband; it was sentimental for both being handmade for him by his wife and for what resides inside. 🙂

 

 

Materials

Unfinished Wood Shadow Box w/ Glass Top

Painters Tape (if laser etching glass)

Wood Stain

Staining Rag or Paper Towels

Gloves + Mask

Peel + Stick Craft Felt

Polyester Fiber Fill

Fabric

Ruler

Needle + Thread

Sewing Machine (Optional)

Glass Engraver (Optional)

Box Knife (Optional)

 

Exterior

If you plan to get the glass engraved, begin with this step first and remove the lid from the box. I was in school when I made this project for my husband; therefore, I had access to a laser cutter within the architecture wood shop to laser etch the glass for me. If you have a very steady hand or want a handwritten look, you could try a handheld diamond-tipped engraver, but be sure to practice on a scrap piece of glass first! Otherwise, you could go to a glass engraving shop and have them professionally engrave the lid. Tip: Some architecture colleges allow non-students access to the laser cutter for a fee in addition to completing a safety test.

 

Note: If a laser is being used to etch the glass, cover the wooden edges of the lid with painter’s tape. The tape prevents the wood from getting any burn marks.

 

Before the stain is applied, remove any wood dividers in the box that might be in the way for what it is meant to store. For example, I removed one divider on the right side of the box to create a larger space for Chris’s shoulder boards to fit in. You may want to do the same if watches are going to be stored in the box. Be very careful when removing any of the dividers – you don’t want to break the ones you want to keep! Use a box knife to gradually wedge down between the pieces. I admit this is when my dad stepped in to help! I needed some pure manpower because the dividers in my box had been, what I think was, industrially adhered together! Once the pieces are detached, use the box knife to shave down any glue or wood residue to get a flat surface.

 

Select your color of stain, I used special walnut, and remove any hardware from the box and lid. Use your staining rag or paper towels to apply the stain to the exterior and interior of the box. Apply additional coats until you reach the desired color, allow for adequate drying time between each coat. I decided against applying polyurethane since the box will not come in contact with anything that would require it to be sealed. Also, I loved the unsealed look that the special walnut stain gave the wood; the color has a dry and slightly weathered vintage look. 🙂 Apply the polyurethane at this time if you want a glossy or more finished appearance. I recommend using a sponge brush to apply thin coats of polyurethane, allow for adequate drying time between each coat.

 

Note: Read all the directions on each product before use. Remember to stir the stain and polyurethane before use, do not shake. If using paper towels to apply stain, make sure the paper towels are not too soft and leave paper remnants on the project. Always wear a mask and gloves when applying stain or polyurethane along with working in a well-ventilated space. A well-ventilated space creates a cleaner workspace to breathe in and faster drying time.

 

 

 

 

 

Interior

Use a ruler to measure the interior surfaces you want to cover with felt, taking into account the thickness of the felt. Cut out the felt pieces, remove the paper backing, and adhere the felt inside the spaces. The peel and stick felt makes this quick and easy!

 

Add 1” to both the length and width measurements of each space to get the dimensions for your cushions. This 1” addition accounts for ¼” seam around and ½” extra material both ways to make your cushions fluffy. Cut two pieces of fabric for each cushion and lay them face-to-face. Hand stitch or use a sewing machine to sew your ¼” seam around. Leave a 1” opening and pull the fabric through the opening to flip the fabric correct side out. Fill the cushion with polyester fill to the desired thickness and complete your seam across the opening. Place the cushions in their spots and reattach the hardware onto the box and lid.

 

 

You’re done! Whether you made this for a service member to store his ranks or a husband to store his watches and cuff links, you now have a handmade gift any man is sure to love! 🙂

 

 

Please leave us a comment below to share your thoughts with us!

Filed under: UncategorizedTagged with: , , , , , ,

THE FIRST ROSE:
Flower Preservation

 

 

Do you want to cherish those heartwarming feelings you got when your special someone brought you your first flower? I know I did when my darling husband, then boyfriend, brought me my first rose on Valentine’s Day. To make it doubly as sweet, my husband began a tradition with this single flower. Every year he adds a rose to the bouquet he brings me to signify how many Valentine’s Days we have shared together. Each time I look at that single rose I am reminded of the days of our blooming relationship, his sweet smile as he stood there holding the brilliant red rose, and the beautiful memories of our first Valentine’s Day together. 🙂

 

The First Rose continues to be one of my favorite projects to this day and beautifully resides on our Storytelling Fireplace mantel. This shadow box is the perfect addition to our homes living area for it serves as a conversation piece as well as a visible daily reminder of the wonderful husband and beautiful life God has graciously blessed me with. 🙂 Are you ready to preserve your own special moments?

 

You can find written instructions below; however, I do not have pictures of the process for making this shadow box since I had made it some time ago. If you would like some visual aids along the way, check out my other post, Treasured Shadow Box.

 

Materials

5” x 7” Shadow Box

Decorative Scrapbook Paper

Dried Floral Arrangement

Decorative Ribbon

Hot Glue Gun

Glue Stick

Scissors

 

Background Panel

A Treasured Shadow Box and this project follow the same basic process: you begin with the background first and then move forward towards the glass of the shadow box. The first step is to select a decorative piece of scrapbook paper that compliments your dried floral arrangement. Cut the paper to fit the back panel of the shadow box and use a glue stick to attach. Using a glue stick for adhering the scrapbook paper will prevent any uneven or warped surfaces.

 

Dried Floral Arrangement

Cut and arrange the floral to your satisfaction if adequately dried and ready for use. Take care to test the placement of your floral so it does not interfere with the 1/8-1/4” lip of the framework when assembling the shadow box. Attach your floral arrangement to the previously assembled background panel with a hot glue gun. To make for an easier assembly, place small beads of glue in multiple locations to stabilize your arrangement. And now for the finishing touch! Cut and tie your ribbon into a bow and attach to the base of your floral arrangement with the hot glue gun.

 

Note: Follow these steps if you are unsure of how to dry your floral. Wipe off any excess water from the stems and hang them upside down for a few days to a week until dry – I have tied mine onto a cabinet knob or clipped them onto pants hangers. I recommend hanging them in a well-ventilated space to help them dry quicker in addition to not getting icky. Keep in mind that if your floral is not completely dry when worked with, it will continue to dry over time and change color. The greenery in this project continued to dry after assembly and became less green over time than when I first made it, but that is okay, because I actually love the way the colors work with the background!

 

 

Assembly

Before you go and eagerly assemble your new shadow box, first spray and wipe down your glass! You do not want to find fuzzes or fingerprints on the interior glass after careful assembly… ask me how I know this. 😉 Now you may assemble! Very gently set the back panel into place on the shadow box and close the latches. It’s time to display your beautiful arrangement! I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and use your shadow box to always remind you of life’s sweet moments! 🙂

 

 

Please leave a comment to share your thoughts with us!

Filed under: UncategorizedTagged with: , , , , , ,

TREASURED SHADOW BOX:
A Gift of Memories

 

 

This post contains affiliate links. We choose to only provide affiliate links for the products or businesses we trust and use personally. The affiliate links are provided for your convenience to recommended products and to help support the Navy Home. You can find our full disclosure here.

 

Not sure what to do for someone you know who has lost a loved one? You’re aching to do something special for them that has real meaning, shows them you truly care, and possess the deepest sympathy during this life changing time. We know exactly how you feel. My husband and I experienced these same feelings one year ago.

 

On this day last year, we lost a dear friend to a tragic accident when a car from the opposite direction lost control and crossed over into their lane on an undivided highway. He was one of my husbands best friends growing up, a groomsman in our wedding, and a man with the warmest smile you will ever know. When he was called home, he left behind a beautiful wife and two precious babies. They had just welcomed their son into their then complete family only two weeks prior. The whole family was in the car at the time of the accident that left his wife in critical condition and his babies safe. When my husband called to tell me the news I remember falling to the floor and praying that God would bring his wife to full recovery, their babies needed her. This wonderful family has already lost a husband and dad; they could not lose their mom too.

 

We had sent care packages with items for her and the babies, but we still felt that there was something more we needed to do for them. Desperately wanting to do something special for his wife, we asked her if there was anything she wanted or needed in particular. Her response was simply to share our memories of her husband to help keep his memory alive. After going through a few different ideas, I felt I had finally come up with the perfect idea; a memory box. My initial thought was to make a scrapbook, but like most scrapbooks, they end up on a shelf and pulled out on occasion. A memory box would allow for many sweet and funny moments to be on display in their home where she can reminisce in them each day and share those stories with her children. I have to admit my heart was overjoyed with how it turned out and watching his wife open our handmade gift for her and her babies.

 

How to Make a Treasured Memory Box

 

Materials

8” x 10” Shadow Box

Decorative Scrapbook Paper

Solid Cardstock Paper

Branch or Twigs

Wooden Letters

Acrylic Paint + Brush

Hot Glue Gun

Glue Stick

Scissors

Pen

Cricut Electronic Cutting Machine (You can find them here!)

 

Background Panel

This project and The First Rose follow the same basic process: you begin with the background first and then move forward towards the glass of the shadow box. With that being said, let’s start with the background. It’s time to hit the box of scrapbook paper! I chose to go with a printed background and added detailing. The detailing was done by cutting decorative strips and phrases out of scrapbook paper. You could use pre-cut scrapbook edging or stickers as well. For these elements use a glue stick for your choice of adhesion, this will prevent any uneven or warped surfaces. Cut and glue the background paper onto the back panel of the shadow box. Next, glue and add your detailing. Lastly, I chose to add his initials in wooden letters. I painted the letters with acrylic paint and adhered them with a hot glue gun.

 

 

Note: Be sure to take into account the 1/8-1/4” lip where the back panel sets into place when gluing down your detailing, otherwise you might end up with some detailing being blocked by the frame (like my “S” on “Moments” 🙁 ). Yes, I am drawing attention to my error in order to help you not do the same! 🙂

 

Pieces of Nature

Time to venture out to the great outdoors (front yard) for some branches! You can use branches or dried floral like I did in The First Rose. Cut and arrange your pieces of nature while making sure to test their placement does not interfere when assembling the shadow box. Use the hot glue gun when attaching these pieces to your previously assembled background panel.

 

 

Note: If you are wanting to dry your floral, wipe off any excess water from the stems and hang them upside down for a few days until dry – I have tied mine onto a cabinet knob or clipped them onto pants hangers. I recommend hanging them in a well-ventilated space to make sure they do not get icky, plus they will dry quicker. Keep in mind that if your floral is not completely dry when worked with, it will continue to dry over time and change color. I noticed the greenery in The First Rose became less green over time than when I first made it, but that is okay, because I actually love the way the colors work with the background!

Memory Tags

Now for the final step! For the memories, I did a combination of paper tags and descriptive words cut out from a piece of scrapbook paper. I chose two different paper colors and used my Cricut to cut out two sizes for the paper tags. Choose your favorite memories to share, write them down, and arrange them to your liking! Use two drops of glue from the hot glue gun on each tag to adhere them to the branches; this will keep the tags in place and not move around.

 

 

Assembly

Before final assembly be sure to spray and wipe down your glass! No one wants to find an interior smudge after careful assembly… ask me how I know this. 😉 Very gently assemble the back panel into place on the shadow box and latch into place. There you have it, a very special and unique handmade gift to show someone you are there for them during this time and forever. 🙂

 

Alternative Ideas

You could use this same concept to create a treasured shadow box of vacation, college, children’s sports, or life memories, etc!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you have found inspiration in this tutorial and can bring happiness to a loved one! Please feel free to leave comments, I would love to hear from you!

Filed under: UncategorizedTagged with: , , ,