Maybe we should rename our site Young Shadowbox Love. They’re just my jam. I’ve stuffed them with everything from calendars with special dates circled…
… to keys from all of our past homes…
… to wedding paraphernalia.
I think it just goes back to loving the idea of displaying things that make for happy memories instead of tucking them into a closet in a box that never gets opened. So pretty much from the second we started writing our book over three years ago I had my eye out for things that I could save and stick in a box to forever commemorate this crazy journey that we never could’ve guessed we’d ever be on. One of my favorite things to collect throughout the process were the pencils that we used to make edits on the manuscript and the giant layouts that we’d ship back and forth between the publisher and ourselves.
The pencils started out long, but over the 336 pages that make up our book they’d slowly get worn down. We’d use different colors depending on the rounds of edits that we were doing (the spellchecker would write in one color, our editor would use another color, and we’d write in a third color) and the papers would get sent back and forth looking like a fun little rainbow of chaos that only the typesetter could understand. As you might imagine, since the outline for the book was written over a year ago, and things were refined and revised over the last ten months with those crazy little pencils, we amassed quite a collection of them, many of which were worn down to half their size after lots and lots of notes in those margins.
I contemplated just putting the pencils in a shadowbox on their own, but thought it would be fun to add in some other meaningful items to remind us of this crazy book-rollercoaster, so everything from the textured wallpaper to a swatch of fabric, a random post card, and the little personalized rock that reminds us of Burger (all from secret book projects) ended up in my shadowbox pile.
I had a 6 x 6″ shadowbox from Ikea on hand already (they’re super cheap – $5 I think), so I just cut the textured wallpaper to the size of the frame to act as our background, and then used super glue to hold everything from the pencils and the rock to the fabric swatch in place.
I let everything dry in place (don’t wanna hang it up until the glue is totally cured since things have to fight gravity once they’re hanging) and then the next day I stuck it into the frame…
… and hung it up in a nice little place of honor in the hall bathroom. I thought about putting it in our hallway of frames, but for some strange reason it felt like I’d be “burying it” – so I love that it gets a little place of its own so we can gaze at it whenever we’re in that room (it’s where Clara takes her baths and sits on the potty, so we’re logging lots of time in there these days). Oh and we don’t worry about any steam getting in and hurting it since Clara’s baths aren’t hot and we don’t shower in there (our guests have their own guest bath). Whew.
Isn’t that bike towel cute? It’s supposed to be a dishtowel (I got it for John back here) but it works just as well for drying hands on the way out.
What have you guys been shoving into frames lately? Anyone else doing odd things like collecting used-up pencils and saving tiny fabric swatches? I can’t be the only one…
This work is so lovely !
Your job is really great. Thank you for showing us all your talent and all your great ideas.
Kisses from France !
Aw thanks Mina!
Allison @ House of Hepworths says
That’s a really cute idea. I love how sentimental you are. The book memory frame turned out really cute.
Julia @ Chris Loves Julia says
Presh!! I can’t wait until our book comes so I’ll be in the circle of trust on all of these “secret book projects.”
We just hung a gallery up in laundry room/half bath and I have to agree that art in the bathroom is a must! It makes such a nice difference.
Although I am seriously needing more shadowboxes in my life!
Haha, the circle of trust = hilarious. And the gallery in your laundry room is awesome!
[email protected] says
Cute! Love this idea!
Meagan G says
That’s a great idea- I have a tiny little box full of random bits from our wedding.. I think I might just go ahead and pick me up a shadow box from ikea this next weekend (I’ll give them the rest of the week to make sure they have power)
Glad to hear that you guys made it through the storm okay- I hope your family and ours didn’t suffer too badly in NY.
Yeah, I’m waiting to hear from my brother (mom and dad are accounted for, thank goodness). Sending lots of love to everyone up there!
Allison @ Gold Stars Double Rainbows says
What satisfaction to look at that little box of reminders of the countless hours and hard work you two put into your book! I can’t wait to get my copy and read about all these secret book projects!
Aw thanks Allison!
I just recently finished a shadow box of all my dads patches and pins from when he served in the Air Force. I love that they are contained and being preserved! And I also like it that you dont have to explain every detail you put in. You know what it all means, and if someone else wonders, they can ask! Btw, where did you get the horse towel holder?? I love that!!
That’s such an awesome project! Sounds so cool! As for the horse towel holder, it’s just a weird iron horse from a thrift store, but I thought he was perfect for holding towels! Haha.
Such a cute idea! I can’t wait to start hanging art on our walls. I have lots of ideas for personalized wall art, I just think it’s wonderful to have memories of life surrounding you on the walls rather than art that anyone can buy at a store (although that’s good once in a while too!). Windows go in today at our place, then the painting can begin!
So exciting about windows and painting! Good luck!
Thanks! We just started up our own blog to document the process…only 2 posts so far (started on Monday) but so far I’m one of those excited stalkery types who refreshes the page every few minutes to see how many reads. Even some international readers already which is kind of cool.
This was a SNL Justin Timberlake song reference title, right? It’s stuck in my head now!
That’s what I was thinking! You posted a link to a JT SNL skit yesterday, let’s see this one too! Hahahahaha!!!
Hahah, this one is more of a subtle nod. Those in the know, are in the know. Wink, wink. Haha!
Yeah, I thought of that vid, too! But figured you couldn’t put it on a family-friendly blog… hee hee!
Glad I’m not the only one with this in my head now!!
Love it! Such a cute idea!
[email protected] says
I love those shadow boxes from Ikea, too. We had to DIY a gift for Secret Santa among friends a few years ago and I used several of those in black & white glued together, forming a checkerboard. It turned out great!
Love the shadow boxes – this one is a nice reminder of all the hard work you put into the book. But what really caught my eye in the post were the pillows – I must know where you got that green & aqua pillow on the couch – please share the source. Thanks!
The pillow on the left in that pic is from HomeGoods and the one on the right is an old West Elm clearance find. Hope it helps!
Kenz @ Interiors By Kenz says
I love this creative way of displaying memorable things. It looks great. For the non-scrapbookers, like myself, this is a terrific idea.
Oh how I love that fabric swatches idea!!! I am currently in the final stages of a collection that’s taken me over a year to develop and I’ve been trying to figure out a way to remember it (you know, other than the overflowing closet in my sewing room, of course). I think I might get a big shadow box and fill it with all my fabric swatches and samples I’ve collected. Thanks for the idea!
Love that! Send pics!
Monica Crowder says
I wishI had a quarter of the design sense that you guys have. Right now I am saving pennies to buy some adorable rugs. (Inspired by your bedroom rug) Love all the shadowboxes.
we used that graham and brown wallpaper in our basement! love it! hope to see it in the book…
Jess @ Little House. Big Heart. says
I love it! I’ve been thinking about making a shadowbox of our wedding stuff, I guess I need to get on that!
I use drafting pencils like those for marking up engineering drawings at work. It bugs me that they don’t have erasers!
Is your little dog “Burger” or “Hamburger”? I think you’ve always called him the former, correct? The “About the Author” section of the your book page on Amazon refers to him as Hamburger!
His full name is Hamburger, but we call him Burger most of the time. Haha!
Karen T says
I framed an amazing photo of my parents holding hands. My Father suffered from Alzheimer’s for many years, and even though he lost the ability to speak, he would always hold my Mother’s hand. People have looked at that photo and said: “you can see the love in their hands!”. I guess that’s what happens when you are married for 62 years.
It’s one of my very favorite things. Having it in a frame reminds me of the special love they had for one another every time I walk by it!
That’s so sweet!!
Nicole @ Wonderful Joy Ahead says
Admittedly, we just filled the 11×14 frame in our master bedroom that has had the stock photo in it for over 4 years. I have a shadowbox in my 2 1/2 yr old daughter’s closet that’s waiting for me to get my act together and fill with her bracelets, foot prints, and tiny hat from the hospital when she was born.
Emma (Broke Ass Home) says
Cute and creative :) I think that is a sweet, sentimental and yet, no such an OBVIOUS way of memorializing something that matters to you.
Snaps from us.
[email protected] says
So cute. I like the idea of scrapbooking, but I love the idea of really living with your memories so much more. I need to get it together and do this to commemorate some things in our lives.
I’m really glad your family’s okay, Sherry. On a slightly more shallow note, I saw the flooding in Rehoboth. I hope John’s family’s place is okay. I used to feel awful, worrying about my mom’s beach house during hurricanes (because people/people’s actual homes>vacation homes, you know?), but that house was super important to us and I have so many great memories of it. I know you guys must feel the same.
Yeah, no one has made it out there to see the damage yet. Fingers crossed the house is ok!
My daughter is a sophomore in high school and lettered in 2 sports last year. She didn’t want a letterman’s (letterperson’s?) jacket, so we put her varsity letter in a shadow box. I used her school colors as a background. We’ve also included her sport-specific pins, her state championship pin, and will include her stripe pins as she letters additional years. I love the cost factor: $5-ish for the Ikea shadow box frame vs. $300 for the jacket (which she probably wouldn’t have worn much.)
Such a fun idea!
Caitlin @ Desert Domicile says
So cute! You guys are so sentimental :) I wish I saved half as much stuff as you do for projects like these!
I actually commemorated our belated honeymoon in the same shadow box from Ikea a month ago. I opted not to affix anything since there was so much stuff, I like to just shake it up now and then! http://ink361.com/#!/photo/287662544585111613_3547957
That’s so much fun!
[email protected] says
Love this!! You’ll have a series of these one day, for all of the books you will have published :)
PS. Can’t wait to meet you in Toronto!!! Yay!
I used your shadowbox key idea recently. I recently remarried and we blended our families. We had the kids read a poem “The Key to Love” as we all dropped skeleton keys into a jar. I recently printed out the poem and glued in the skeleton keys! I’ve had many compliments already – the most important ones from the kids!
I recently picked up some colorful maple leaves when out on a walk and stuck them in some white frames and placed them around the house. The colors are so gorgeous! Your picture wall inspires to start putting “random” things in frames and rotate things around every now and then. I get bored with the same things all the time!
I love the shadowbox. So cute and such a good way to display memories. I frame all kinds of things in my house so I’m glad I’m not the only one! I once framed a post-it. And a dollar bill. And a cassette tape. I think I may have a problem…..
Haha, you’re a girl after my own heart!
I would have never thought of saving pencils… love it. I am working on a shadow box for our daughter’s birth… I have a photo, special congratulations card, and her id bracelet so far… can’t decide what else to add!
Love it! I love all your shadow boxes.
I have a whole bunch of odds and ends from my trips to Europe (maps, misc. coins, rocks from the beach, train passes, ect.) that I should really make a shadow box out of.
Megan @ Rappsody in Rooms says
This may be the kick start I need to get all those sentimental things out of the basement. I have special boxes right now that hold things, like memory boxes, but it would be even more special to see them every day!
Lindsey d. says
I put all the significant medals from my first year of real athletic endeavor in a shadowbox, along with a couple of race bibs. It holds medals from my first 10k, first triathlon, first half marathon and first ultramarathon relay (my team of six women ran 126.2 miles in just over 24 hours).
Think I might have to jazz it up with a better background, or even just white instead of black to make everything pop a bit more.
Love that idea!
I just finished framing the target I used at my first NRA shooting clinic. I did better than I thought I would, and thought my first foray into self-defense should be documented.
Looks great!! I just used that textured wallpaper in our kitchen! I love it bigtime!
Janelle D says
Thank you for posting this! Sounds like a perfect little 1 hour craft project for a gloomy night like tonight. We moved into our new apt over 2 months ago & so far we have one piece of art hung in each room. Haha. Not on purpose, it just happened that way.
This dude(tte) needs to get on that!
How fun! we just finished renovating our kitchen and although we didn’t find any $ in the walls, we did find a few old clothes pins. They are solid pieces and vary in size/color. I’ve been thinking that if they have been in the walls for 100 years, they now should be displayed. Thanks for the inspiration.
Nicole @ Liberty Belles says
what a great idea – not expensive, yet so sentimental. and being able to look at it every so often is a sweet way to keep that whole roller-coaster time of your lives in your memories!
Every time we visit a new city, my boyfriend and I buy a lithograph representing something emblematic of the place. I started hanging our never ending collection on the walls of the stairways, so the display can go on forever on the basement walls! In our bedroom, I hung some pictures of us from a winter photoshoot we did in February earlier this year. It always brings me a smile to pass in front of those precious memories. You must feel the same way as I do when you look at all the cute memories you guys have all around your house !
I love this box . . . but am more excited that Clara is logging hours on the potty! (that sounds really awful – I just mean it must be so exciting to be potty-training). I wasn’t sure if you guys would blog about that aspect of toddler-hood, but figured it’s definitely not an issue to press about. Clara might not want that all over the internet forever :-)
LOLOL. That is the best pun I’ve heard all day.
My boyfriend is in the process of making a shadowbox that contains the pieces of a pocket watch that he put on train tracks for the train to run over. He’s trying for an “exploded” effect. Yeah – he’s weird.
I dunno, I’m into it! Send us a pic! :)
I work at a tattoo studio so I’m surrounded by amazing artists. I’ve recently framed a tattoo design my friend did of an 1800s cross. One of the other artists gave my husband a colored pencil portrait of John Wayne for his 30th birthday. That’s the newest addition. It’s amazing.
Seriously Sassy Mama says
I got my hands on some frames in the as only section of IKEA. They sit empty in my entryway waiting for something to fill them.
We love shadow boxes, too. We have one from our wedding with the invitation, a piece of my veil, Steve’s boutonniere, a couple of trinkets from the decor, etc. And I am going to make one for all of my son’s karate belts, my good friend made one for her girl, so I will be copying hers :D
I love shadow boxes as well.I have one for each child with their photo and first shoe. Then I have one with my grandma’s baby booties, another with a birds nest the kids found, one with beer caps from a beer birthday party, etc. Love, them!
Have you ever seen Darcy’s (from MSW)) creative ones? they are so great.
Gabriella @ Our Life In Action says
So cute! I love, love, love how you create shadow boxes that are not only so pretty to look at but have such meaning.
So many details in your home have a meaning/back story and I love that.
Crystal @ 29 Rue House says
I love what you did! It isn’t sentimental yet, but I picked up this flat woven owl thing (wicker-ish material) and I thought I lay it inside a frame before I put it on the wall to give it a bit more structure. Wish I had a picture to show you! As soon as I get a frame big enough (it is probably about 16in wide by 24in tall), I will.
I made a shadow box with my dog’s puppy collar and her little puppy bone with a picture of her in it. I hung it in my bathroom too! Ha!
Are your book tour dates still on for NY, CT, and NJ?
We hope to hear something by tomorrow! Will keep you posted!
Christa @ a*typicaljourney says
I truly love all the sweet, sentimental things you guys come up with. I’ve got plenty of pretty accessories in my house, but I really feel like I’m missing the mark with things that MEAN something. I’m taking a cue and starting to scavenge our families’ homes for trinkets and things to infuse into our home. <3