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Matchbox Shadowboxes


matchbox shadowboxes photo

Donít throw away those empty matchboxes just yet Ė turn them into shadowboxes instead! Today weíll make a set of four shadowboxes. Your stash of paper and scrapbook embellishments will be very useful for this project, so do have them on hand. Letís begin!

You will need:

* Four discarded matchboxes
* Sturdy cardboard
* Assorted papers in seasonal colors
* Acrylic paint to match your papers
* Paper doily
* Assorted embellishments: flatback gems, clay flower, plastic heart, small shell, etc.
* Silver glitter
* Sand
* Leaf skeleton
* Dimensional glaze
* Foam core board
* Glue runner or double sided tape
* White glue
* Craft knife
* Cutting mat
* Ruler
* Scissors
* Pencil

Choose various papers and embellishments based on your theme. In our example, the theme is the four seasons, so we chose papers with colors and prints that are associated with the seasons: silver, white and blue holiday tissue paper for winter; pink floral scrapbook paper for spring; teal giftwrap for summer, and red orange patterned paper for fall. The embellishments represent the seasons too: silver glitter and an icy blue flower for winter, a paper doily, a pink clay flower and plastic heart for spring; sand and a small seashell for summer; and a leaf skeleton and leaf-shaped flatback gem for autumn.

Here are the general directions for each shadow box:

Remove the cover from the matchbox and set it aside.

Paint the matchbox inside and out with acrylic paint in a color that matches the base color of the box's background paper. This is to disguise any gaps in the paper. Let it dry completely.

Cover the inside of the box with the background paper. It might be easier to do this in stages with two pieces of paper rather than trying to cover it with just a single piece. First, measure, mark and cut a strip of paper to cover the bottom of the box and two opposite sides. Fold the ends to fit the sides of the box, and glue it to the inside of the box. Next, cut another piece of paper that covers the bottom of the box, plus the two remaining sides. Fold the ends and then glue on the second piece. Trim any excess paper.

Cut a heart from thick cardboard, small enough to fit in the matchbox. Cover one side of the heart with the background material, then glue on the embellishments.

Cut a small piece of foam core and attach it to the back of the heart. Attach the foam core to the bottom of the box. You may add other embellishments inside the box if you wish, like text or other small objects.

Carefully remove the label from the cover of the matchbox, and separate the cover at the seam. Cut a rectangular opening on one side of the cover using a craft knife. Wrap the cover in a neutral colored paper, using a glue runner to secure the paper to the box. Cut out the opening on the paper.

Glue the back of the box to the inside of the cover, and then reassemble the cover of the box, securing the seam with double sided tape or a glue runner. Type, stamp or write the seasonís name onto a scrap of paper, cut it out and adhere it to the bottom of the opening. Your box is done!

Here are the details for each box:

Winter: Paint the matchbox white. Cover the box with glittery winter-themed tissue paper. Apply a coat of glue onto one side of the cardboard heart, then cover it with silver glitter. When dry, attach a blue crystal flower to the heart.

matchbox shadowboxes photo


Spring: Paint the matchbox pink. Cover the inside of the box with pink floral patterned paper. Cut a heart shape from thick cardboard and cover with pink paper. Cut another heart from a paper doily and adhere it to the cardboard heart. Attach a small flower and heart embellishment. Proceed as above.

matchbox shadowboxes photo

Summer: Paint the matchbox blue. Cover the inside of the box with teal giftwrap. Apply a coat of glue onto one side of the cardboard heart and cover with sand. Let dry. Pour some dimensional glaze onto the sand to simulate water, and then attach the shell. Let dry completely, then proceed as above.

matchbox shadowboxes photo

Autumn: Paint the matchbox orange. Cover the inside of the box with red orange paper. Cover one side of the heart with cream colored handmade paper, and glue on a piece of red orange leaf skeleton. Trim the excess paper and leaf. Glue on a leaf embellishment, then proceed as above.

matchbox shadowboxes photo

To display the shadowboxes, stand them on a shelf or table top. You can also glue the backs to a thick cardboard base, then add a hanger by tying a length of ribbon through two holes punched at the upper corners. Or you can attach strong craft magnets to the back and display them on your ref.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Mia C. Goloy. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Mia C. Goloy. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Mia C. Goloy for details.

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