Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Family Tree Shadow Box

I've been wanting a Family Tree of sorts for a while now,
a few ideas have been tossing around in my head.
I'm a visual person, the type that doesn't really read
the articles in magazines, just scans through to see the pictures.
Which is ironic- being that English was my favorite subject
and our Dad is an Editor/Journalist.
So when we girls wanted to do something inspired by Martha Stewart
2 ideas came to mind.....
A sweet idea we had for a re purposed framed shadow box
It also doesn't hurt that we love vintage old photos!
(I'm feeling old enough to be vintage!)

We thought it would be fun to show 2 similar styles of trees,
one a Direct Line 5 Generation Family Tree
and the other a Family Tree with all sorts of Favorite Family Pictures.
(Because we know it's hard to find all those direct photos!)
I've wanted to build a shadow box for a while now for my daughter's blessing gown
because I'm too cheap to pay the $400 for a custom made one
and the others in the store are at least $150 for a plain box.
So we decided to experiment with these!
Candace scored some great deals (freebies) from a model home auction.
Remember those lovely ottoman's....
These two frames have sat behind my grill since last fall
and we'd actually forgotten about them till now.
First we measured and cut our pine 1x4's to build a box
just slightly larger than the frame opening.

We primed and painted the box and frame.
For the frame and hinges to sit flush on top of the box
you'll need to use your wood carving tools to scrape out enough for the hinges to be inset.
(Wood Carving Tools~~Harbor Freight $2.99
or if you're particularly handy with a flat head screwdriver...)
We pre-drilled our hinge holes and hand screwed them into place.
Once we had them in place on the box we laid
the frame on top where we wanted it to be and
marked with a pencil where the top hinges would be.
This makes it super easy to put them on.
Don't forget to add the little hook enclosure to keep it closed!

Next let's work on the inside!
We just used the mat board from the original art work.
Spray a good coat of spray adhesive and adhere your fabric.
I used muslin and Candace used creme burlap, each for a natural look.
Make sure you start in the middle and smooth your way out.
After trimming with a 1 inch border, 
glue the edges to the bottom side for a nice finished look.
Next we trimmed some branches from one of my trees
and started to arrange and glue them together.
We used a glue gun and really added a bunch for extra strength on the back.
Then we coated it with some brown spray paint
followed by a "mist" of pewter.  I love this effect!

Candace wanted to play with the Celluclay again
and after cutting her tree form from foam board, she covered it with the Celluclay,
mimicking the natural wood grains and knots.
It was fun to do!
After letting it dry overnight, it was sanded and painted.
We cut out a bunch of leaves on the Cricut,
We even "misted" some of the paper leaves to tie in with the shimmer on the trunk.
For even more 3-D effect we folded each leaf in half.
Using the glue gun we started gluing the leaves in place randomly as desired.
Candace glued on faux leaves from a lavender shrub instead of using the Cricut leaves.
Last but not least.....
and of course what takes the longest.....
is to start collecting your pictures.
After 5 phone calls, several emails and 2 trips to get copies.....
It took us a while to get them all sized, cropped and sepia'ed.
I got a little frustrated because the only options on my computer for smaller sizes were
Wallet vs. Thumbnail.
Wallet obviously won.
I didn't really want them that large to start with but
after seeing the excitement in my little girls eyes,
seeing all these amazing people who make us who we are.
Plus to see the excitement on our Mom's face to see this.....

We just glued the mat board into the back of the box
and put some hanging gear on and it's perfect!

Here's Candace's:

Here's Mine:



Unknown said...

AMAZING love it!!!! what a great treasured piece, way to go!

René said...

I love family trees and this one is too cute!

Crystal said...

Wow! I love your family tree. The pictures make it extra special.

Jenn said...

I absolutely love your family tree! You made it into something special. The pictures add a wonderful touch!

Amanda @ Healthy House on the Block said...

These are AMAZING -- I'm totally saving this idea. Thanks for the tutorial!!

Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

WOW...those are awesome! I love how you used real sticks on one and how unbelievably real the tree trunk looks on the other. Super adorable!

Thanks for linking up with us over at The CSI Project.


Unknown said...

Those are AWESOME! Love them both!

Colett (*.*) said...

Your is actually better than the original. I sell a more simple family tree if you are interested in a project that would be a little less of an undertaking. Love your blog.

Cassie Bustamante said...

that is just adorable! i love the texture of the tree, too. what a great way to display family photos and remember all generations.

~ Regan said...

GET. OUT. These are so cute!!! I love both versions, you two really are crafty! Great job with all the tiny pictures~

I just saw your chicken wire shelf, I am beyond impressed. Seems like you two are at your best when you are recreating something for way less! You SURE you can't come over to play at my house? :P

Kendra@My Insanity said...

Love this! And will have to copy sometime! Congrats on your CSI win!

Ann Marie @ Twice Lovely said...

I LOVE that!! Congratulations on the big win!! :)

Jen @ said...

Congratulations you guys! Such a wonderful project. I am so happy for you - you deserve it!


Sixty-Fifth Avenue said...

This is so fantastic! I really love everything about it.
Congratulations to you both for the #1 spot!!

Fleur de Bee said...

Oh how amazing! Hard to choose which I like as both have such different looks. I have created one of those trees with real branches on the wall and then hung picture frames from it long ago...perhaps try your smaller version so I don't have such a huge mural to decorate around. Thanks for sharing! What a fun blog!!

Decor To Adore said...

This was an amazing project! Congratulations on your win.

Thrifty Decor Chick said...

Wow -- this is so beautiful! Love this idea! I'm going to put this on my Facebook page! :)

Victoria Hayden said...

I think this is such a great idea and want one for myself!! Love pretty and creative!


josephinemarch said...

SUPER cool and inspiring! I love shadowboxes, they have been my main creative outlet the past year or so. Now my wheels are turning again! :) Thanks ladies!

mle said...

Those are truly beautiful and such great momentos!! Lovely!

Vanessa said...

These are great!

Beth@The Stories of A to Z said...

So beautiful! Congrats!!!

Jaden Paige said...

This is gorgeous! I don't know if I would have the patience for a project like this, but the results certainly are stunning!

Jen @ Just for Rachel said...

Wow, that's amazing! I just found your blog through TDC posting on facebook. You do great work! (I'm going to have to stick around here for a bit!) Feel free to stop by and visit me

faith said...

these are beautiful and priceless!! these will be a family keepsake for years to i have tons of ideas for some "shadowboxing projects" AND i am seriously considering going "out on a limb" (pun intended!!!) to buy a Cricut machine....i loved your "leaves"!!!! BEAUTIFUL PROJECT!!!!

Panamamama said...

Love these!

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