Happy Tuesday! Ok, I know, it is really Wednesday, but I was sick yesterday and slept most of the day so I am pretending today is Tuesday. Last week you may recall that I shared a link to a project I created for the Petaloo blog. For today’s tutorial, I wanted to revisit that project and share a few steps to how I created it, specifically, how I covered the sides of the wooden shadow box.
The base of my project is an unfinished wood shadow box by Darice. The frame I used is about 12×12 on the outside, but you could use any size of shadow box that you would like.
Apply a generous thin coat of Mod Podged to the top and side of one side of the frame. I like to think of it as margarine on bread. You definitely don’t want excess as it will ooze out from under your paper. I prefer to work on one side of a box at a time. If you apply Mod Podge to more than one side at a time the box will be messy to handle. The Mod Podge can also soak into the wood and dry if you apply it to more than one area at a time. It really is best to just focus on a section at a time.
To cover the box, you could measure and cut each piece to fit, but I prefer to what I call a “no measure” system for the outside. I think it is a little faster and I like to minimize measuring as much as possible. I like applying the paper and trimming it after it is in place. To do this, place the edge of your pattern paper on the top edge of the frame. Line up the edge of each together. On my frame, the paper is slightly wider than the frame so I will trim it later.
Use a dry cloth to smooth over the paper. As you rub over the paper, use your finger to crease the paper over the edge of the frame.
Fold the paper over the edge of the frame. Use a dry cloth of soft spreader tool (shown Mod Podge Squeegee) to burnish over the surface. Pressure is helpful in bonding any surface together, decoupage is no exception. Burnishing also will help smooth out the adhesive under your paper resulting in a smoother finished surface and even distribution of the Mod Podge. Use a dry cloth to wipe away any excess Mod Podge that my ooze out from the edges.
Allow the paper and wood a few minutes to bond. Use a craft knife to trim along the back side of the box to cut away the excess paper. If your paper is wider than the box, trim away any excess from the sides as well. If your paper is slightly moist, it could tear when you trim it if you use a dull blade. I always use a new blade when trimming paper that I have used a wet adhesive on. Be sure to cut on a cutting mat to protect your work surface.
To miter the corner, simply lay a ruler over the corner of the box. Make sure to line up the edge with the center point of the inside corner and the outside corner. Trim along the edge of the ruler with a craft knife.
Continue with the same process for the remaining sides. I prefer to work on opposite sides so that I handle the freshly covered side as little as possible. I like to allow it as much bonding time as possible.
Measure the inside back of the frame. Cut the pattern paper for the inside using a trimmer. If you plan to ink the edges of your papers, you will need to ink this piece before adhering it. Apply Mod Podge to the inside back of the frame and lay this piece in place.
Once again, burnish over the paper with a dry cloth or squeegee.
When the outside edges are dry, use a sanding grip to sand the inside edges of the frame. Sanding this edge now will help you to not have any overlap when you add the strips for the inside edges.
Measure and cut the strips for the inside frame sides. Ink the edges of the strips if you are inking your project.
Apply Mod Podge to the back sides of the strips.
Place the strips on the inside frame sides. Burnish over the strips with a dry cloth or squeegee.
Allow the Mod Podge on the strips to dry. After all the pieces have dried, sand the exposed edges. If you want a really clean crisp look to your project, you can skip sanding. I wanted my piece to look very shabby and vintage so I sanded every exposed edge. I even sanded some of the flat surfaces on the outer frame to wear away the paper design slightly.
Use an ink blending tool to apply Vintage Photo Distress Ink the edges of the frame. Through out the entire project, I inked the edges of every element with Vintage Photo Distress Ink. Using the same ink and aging effect helps unify all the elements of the project.
I didn’t take step out photos of the inside of the box, but I want to walk you through the layers. The first embellishment layer is a scallop edge border sticker. (All papers, die cuts, and stickers are from Simple Stories Homespun collection. There are links in the supply section below.) I added a pice of scrap cardstock on the back of the sticker above the scallops to give it weight and stability. I sewed a piece of beige Petaloo ribbon on top of the scallop sticker. I added a red sparkle brad to each end. I adhered the assembled strip to the inside back of the shadow box using adhesive foam squares.
Tip: Many printed stickers have a coating on them that makes it harder for some inks to adhere. A light sanding along the edge will knock the finish down and expose raw fibers that will take ink and create a nice crisp inked edge.
The next layer is a piece of blue paper from the photo mat piece of pattern paper. I tore, curled, and wrinkled the edges to add some texture and age. I inked the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink. I cut out the scalloped photo mat, cutting around the scallop edge of the design. I used a tiny hole punch to punch out the center of each flower along the edge. I wanted to make it look as much like a doily as possible. I inked and wrinkled the edges and then adhered it to the blue piece.
I added two Expression Stickers to the lower left corner of the doily. I machine stitched around the inside of the doily piece.
I added a file tab sticker to the top right corner of the blue photo mat.
I cut a piece of chipboard slightly smaller that the paper and adhered it to the back to add stability. I adhered the assembled piece to the inside of the shadow box over the top of the ribbon strip using adhesive foam squares.
I added a scrap of cardstock to the back of the ruler sticker to add stability. I sanded over the surface and the edges to add age. I inked the edges. I adhered the ruler to the inside of the box over the assembled doily piece and overlapping the scallop trim slightly.
For the next layer, I drew a heart onto the yellow gingham paper. I had a vintage glass heart shape dish in my studio that was just the size I wanted so I traced around it. I adhered the piece of paper to a piece of Phoomph for added dimension. I cut the heart out and inked the edges. I adhered the heart to a piece of cotton batting. I trimmed the batting around the heart with pinking sheers. I brushed the edges of the batting lightly with my ink blending tool to soften them and give them a bit of age.
I machine stitched the heart through the paper, Phoomph, and batting. I stitched around the heart and stitched lines through the center to add a quilted touch. I adhered the assembled heart to the inside of the shadow box with adhesive foam squares.
Next, I adhered a small heart die cut from the Bits and Pieces pack to a piece of foam batting. I added a small red die cut tab in between the two layers. I machine stitched around the heart through the tab and the batting. I adhered the assembled small heart to a round doily die cut. I added a second small die cut tab between the doily and the assembled heart. I adhered the assembled piece to the top of the larger heart using adhesive foam squares.
I clustered small stemmed bead berries, leaves, and paper flowers by Petaloo around the outer edge of the heart. I brushed the edges of the flowers with ink to tie them in with the other elements.
Finally, I added a small die cut heart and word label sticker to the bottom corner to add the sentiment “made with love”. I wish I could get a whole sheet of stickers that say that! I would love to add that sentiment to every project I make!
I hope you loved this project as much as I do! It has such a great vintage feel. I love hearts so combined with the vintage look, it is perfect hanging in my studio!