Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Create a Vintage Christmas Scene in an Illuminated Rustic Shadowbox

My partner, Joe Morgan, loves vintage decorations, especially Halloween and Christmas! A Rustic Shadowbox made from reclaimed lumber (pallet wood) was the perfect frame to showcase some of the miniature animals he has collected. This vintage Christmas scene is illuminated with 20 LED battery powered lights.

Proxxon tools make it easy to work on a small project like this. The scale of the tools is perfect for a project this size.

What You’ll Need

Steps to Follow

1. Cut the paper to fit the shadowbox and adhere it with the quick dry adhesive. This makes the background for your scene.

2. Use Smoothfoam to make the contour of the ground. First, decide on the maximum height (most likely at the back of the scene, the depth (give yourself about ¼” from the front to show the wood of the shadowbox) and the length (the opening of the shadowbox). The foam in our shadowbox is about 1” tall, 8” wide and 2-3/4” deep. Use the bench top Proxxon Cutter THERMOCUT 115/E hot wirecutter to cut the foam block to the desired dimensions.

3. To continue making the contour, use the handheld Proxxon Hot Wire Cutter THERMOCUT 12/E to “carve” the contour of the ground. Make it slope to the front and dip up and down, just like snow drifts.

4. Adhere the Smoothfoam to the shadowbox using quick dry liquid adhesive.

5. Decide where you want lights to shine through the back of the shadowbox and mark the spots lightly with a pencil. Use the ProxxonProfessional Rotary Tool and drill bits to drill the holes. You can vary the size of the bits if you want different sized “spots” of light.


6. Adhere the lights to the back of the shadowbox using hot glue. Line up each bulb with a hole you drilled. Work your way from one side to the other. We tried adhering the lights with electrical tape, but it didn’t stick. Other tapes didn’t work well either. Hot glue worked perfectly!

7. Cover the back of the shadowbox with black felt. Adhere it with quick dry adhesive. This prevents light from peering out the back of the box when you place it on a shelf. You can also adhere the back of the battery box to the shadowbox. Just be sure to position it so you can slide the top back and forth to change the batteries!

8. Cover the Smoothfoam with quick dry liquid adhesive and apply the snow glitter.

9. Build your scene and adhere the pieces to the foam with quick dry adhesive.

10. Optionally, decorate the front of the box with vintage sparkle pipe cleaner, adhered with quick dry adhesive.

 Do you collect vintage decorations and trims! Everyone at Create N Craft loves the look of old-time goodies! Check out the boxes we went through to decorate our shadowbox!

What are your favorite vintage finds! We would love to know. Mention what you like in the comments below.

Happy Crafting!
Joe Rotella


Joe M said...

Awesome idea and project! I love anything with a vintage and/or holiday look. I love the thought of the little animals gathering around the Christmas tree. :-)

Jamie said...

Love this! This looks fun and an item that will be within someone's holiday family tradition for many years!

Jamie said...

Love this! This looks fun and an item that will be within someone's holiday family tradition for many years!

Steph Ackerman said...

Awesome shadow box.

BethW said...

I keep coming back to this-it is so sweet. Brings back memories of childhood Christmases. Trying to figure out how to recreate with the tools at hand. I love it Joe-another creative win.

Tammy Santana said...

Love this project Joe!

IndigoEarth said...

Love the project and awesome background light idea!!