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Crafts: Make a Valentine Shadow Box

Crafts: Make a Valentine Shadow Box
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Crafts: Make a Valentine Shadow BoxPhoto/Art by Webb Chappell/Wonderful Machine

This sweet and touching project has become my favorite Valentine’s gift, and it’s far more personal than the standard roses and chocolates! It’s so simple to transform a shadow box into a valentine keepsake inspired by your sweetheart or loved ones.

I dedicated this February 14th gift to my two daughters, Sylvie and Lila. During our summer vacations at the Rhode Island shore, we always hunt for heart-shaped rocks. Our collection has grown over the years, and I wanted to display them in a special way that would capture so many fond memories and, of course, my affection for my girls. I framed their baby pictures in smaller boxes covered in vintage music paper; also included is an old English saying often engraved inside rings: Many are the starrs I see, but in my eye no starr like thee. The final touch was a bit of dried hydrangea, that lovely blossom that’s so prevalent on the New England coast during the late summer.

I gave the exterior of the box a whitewash for a beachy effect and lined the interior with pink paper to highlight the holiday. Now my only dilemma will be to eventually create a second shadow box so that Sylvie and Lila can each take her own valentine memento with her when she heads off to college. (I still have a few more years to go.) Happy Valentine’s Day!

Materials to Make a Valentine Shadow Box

  • shadow box (available at craft stores, home-décor stores, or Ikea)
  • small cardboard boxes (such as ring boxes)
  • paint or wood stain
  • colored construction paper, colored printer paper, antique paper or sheet music, wallpaper, or fabric
  • collectible objects and/or natural objects
  • ephemera
  • photographs
  • scissors, pencil, ruler
  • white craft glue or Mod Podge
  • hot glue & glue gun
  • straight pins

Instructions to Make a Valentine Shadow Box

  1. Stain or paint the outside of the box if you like.
  2. Line the box’s interior with paper or fabric; affix with white craft glue or Mod Podge. Let dry.
  3. Cover small boxes with paper; affix with white craft glue or Mod Podge. Let dry.
  4. Lay out your composition of mementos and decide on placement within the box.
  5. Use a hot-glue gun to affix heavier objects (such as beach stones) in place; let dry.
  6. Use white craft glue, Mod Podge, or straight pins to tack lighter items in place; let dry (if using glue). Give to your Valentine!
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