Thursday, August 23, 2018

Deco Front Shadow Box

Hi everyone!  Today I want to share a peculiar shadow box with you using Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts
Deco Front Shadow Box and Graphic 45's Olde Curiosity Shoppe Collection.  Of course, this is just my jumping off point.  Who knows where this will lead me.

Back of Box
Here is a diagram of the parts of a dovetail joint.  It's really easy, just pins and tails.

Cut paper to 6-3/4" square for the back of the shadow box, and four strips 1-1/4" by 6-3/4" for the inside of each side piece.  Glue each piece to the respective chipboard, leaving the dovetail pins and tails uncovered so they can be inserted into their respective openings, as shown.

Glue chipboard pieces together to form the box.

Ink up front of shadow box with Patina ink and heat emboss with Patina Oxide embossing powder.  Work in sections so you always have a part to hold onto.  

Repeat process for back side of frame.

Put glue on inside and outside of box pins and inside each of the tail openings.

Lay frame over them and push down on the pins to adhere frame to box.

When the glue dries, ink up the box pins showing through on the front and emboss with the Patina Oxide embossing powder.  I happened to have a reinker for my ink pad, and it made it easier to just ink and emboss the pins, but is totally optional.

You will still see the pins, but you could always continue adding embossing powder until it levels out.  However, I chose to leave it because most of it will be covered up by embellishments, and I kind of liked the texture and design it gave to the front.

Cut two  pieces print paper to 1-¾"x 7-¾" and cover two sides opposite each other, mitering corners, as shown.

 Cut two more pieces 1-3/4" x 7", glue to remaining sides of box, turning edges only, as shown.

Cut a piece of print paper to 7" square and adhere to back, as shown.  Edge box with Black Mixed Media ink pad.  Use heat tool to dry ink.

Use Glossy Accents on the bottles and clock bezels in and on the cabinet to bring them to life and add a bit of dimension.

Cut out the words "the Olde Curiosity Shoppe of Unusual Oddities" and layer it onto a slightly larger piece of black cardstock.  Adhere to inside along top edge with pop dots, as shown.

Fussy cut some images from the Graphic 45 paper.  I used Ultra Matte Varnish on the pieces because it adds strength to the paper and dries completely invisible.  I also added a layer of glossy accents to the legs in the jar at upper right in the photo.

Fussy cut a second shoe skate, curve it outward with your fingers and pop it up on top of the printed one using black foam squares or pop dots.  It's hard to tell in the photo, but I think you can see a shadow on the right side because I was shining a light inside the box from the left.  There is also a cut line showing on the right side of the skate because the paper is elevated by the foam dots.

To disguise the join between the two skate images, I fussy cut some additional leafy flourishes from the paper and edged each one with a Sepia Big Brush pen.

Then I carefully placed them over the edge of the skate to cover that cut line and add some cool dimension at the same time.

Cut apart the wrought iron border piece, as shown.  I used only two portions of what was left of my border piece.  Click on this link to see the entire Wrought Iron Set.

 Ink pieces with Black Mixed Media ink and heat emboss with Oil Rubbed Bronze embossing powder.  Repeat this process for the two corner pieces in the  set.


Put dots of glue onto the right side of the border piece, as shown below.

Place border piece under lip of box frame and sides.

Repeat embossing process for the two corner pieces in the Wrought Iron Set and adhere them to the inside edge of the frame, as shown.

Use a distressor tool to rough up the edges of the Olde Curiosity Shoppe sign.  Add Walnut Stain DS to the edges, then "water down" the color using the Antique Linen DS.

Use your fingers to shape the sign and glue it to the top of the frame, centering it over the opening.  I used clamps to hold the paper in place while it dried.

 Color some small ivory feathers with Peeled Paint and Antique Linen DS.  Use water to actually lighten the color.  The feathers will look like a hot mess, but they will dry back to their normal "fluffy" state.

See, I told you so!  LOL

Insert the feathers inside the shoe skate, as shown below.

I layered all the bottles and clock bezels in and on the cabin with Glossy Accents.  I recommend you do this just before bedtime or when you are taking a break to let the Glossy Accents dry.  I tend to forget it's there and inevitably stick my finger or arm or something into it.

I started adhering my remaining fussy cut pieces, as well as that last piece from the Wrought Iron Set which I placed just behind the lady.  I used a tiny wooden spool to elevate the larger flying pig, and a piece of a paper straw to elevate the smaller pig.  I also adhered the legs in glass piece to the right side of the frame (lower corner).

 To make the lamp that I placed above the jar with legs, I cut apart the sconce piece from the Fancy Lamp Post & Sconce Set Small.  The bottom of that is still useable as a corner piece.

I also chose four propeller pieces (one is hidden beneath the pile of embossing powder).  I inked all pieces, both sides, with Adobe Mixed Media ink and heat embossed them with the Chunky Rust embossing powder.  

To finish the lamp, I traced the lamp area onto a small piece of mica with a black sharpie marker.

I cut the mica out and glued it to the back of the lamp with Glossy Accents.  Then I glued it just above the jar with legs, as mentioned before,

The propellers were layered with small metal beads glued between them.  I found it was easier to glue a bead to the back of  each propeller and let it dry.  Then I would stack them on top of each other.  This photo also shows how I glued the tiny wooden spool to the back of the larger pig.

Here is what I mean.  I used a rusty screw piece from Prima on the very top propeller.

As you can see, the propellers were glued on either side of the Olde Curiosity Shoppe sign.

I fussy cut some butterflies from the paper and placed them randomly over the shadow box.  

Supplies Used:

GSL Deco Front Shadow Box
GSL Fancy Lamp Post & Sconce Set Small
GSL Wrought Iron Set
Graphic 45 Olde Curiosity Shoppe paper collection
DecoArt Media Ultra Matte Varnish
ColorBox Mixed Media Ink Pad (Patina) (Black) (Adobe)
Patina Oxide Baked Texture embossing powder (Seth Apter)
Chunky Rust Baked Texture embossing powder (Seth Apter)
Oil Rubbed Bronze embossing powder (Allure)
Tim Holtz Distress Stains (Peeled Paint, Antique Linen, Walnut Stain)
Mini Mica Tiles (USArtQuest)
DIY Shop Paper Straws (American Crafts)
Mini wooden spool
Glossy Accents (Ranger)
3D Foam Squares (black optional)
Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky Glue
Distressed Tool

Well, I hope you enjoyed all the photos and step-outs today.  Be sure to check out the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts shop to see what fun things you will be inspired to make.  And don't forget to share your projects with us on our Facebook Group Page.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a wonderful day!



  1. Wonderful project!! I love your attention to details and added textures!!! Really amazing artworly and sine of my favorite Graphuc 45 papers

    1. Thanks Jon. It is one of my favorite papers too. The more odd the better.

  2. What an amazing creation! Outstanding attention to detail. I really appreciate the detailed tutorial, as well as all the work that goes into creating a piece like this. Great tip on using the glossy accents right before a break or at bedtime. Nine times out of ten, I forget and... well, you know what happens:)