Zebra Shadow Box
Use these step-by-step instructions to create shadow boxes and folk art greeting cards.
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Project by Zelda Grant.
Materials and Tools:
1/3 yd of solid backing fabric
1/2 yd of printed cover fabric
4-1/2" decorative cord
8" x 10" mat board backing
32" x 40" sheet of foam core board
8" x 10" mat board frame (5" x 7" opening)
double-sided tape or framer's ATG tape
hot glue gun
1. Lay mat board frame on wrong side of cover fabric and trace border onto fabric. Add 2-1/2 inches to all sides and cut the fabric cover to this measurement.
2. Cover the entire face of the mat board frame with glue. Lay the frame face down into the traced outline of the fabric.
3. Measure and draw out 20 1" x 8" strips on the foam board. Carefully cut them out with the ruler and craft knife. Put double-sided tape on one side of each strip.
4. Remove any paper lining and make four stacks of five strips each. Press firmly to be sure stacks are secure.
5. Put double-sided tape along the outside edge of the mat frame and remove liner.
6. Create the shadow box by aligning each stack around the four sides of the frame. Put double-sided tape across all tops of stacks.
7. Apply glue to all sides of the foam board stacks. Lift the fabric sides up and press onto the glued sides. Make sure to smooth any wrinkles with your fingers. Put glue in corners of fabric and pinch together.
8. Trim all sides to a 1/2-inch border that can be wrapped onto the back of the box.
9. Take the pinched corners and fold fabric into a triangular shape to produce a neat edge. Add more glue and press corners flat.
10. Find the center of the opening by drawing diagonal lines to crisscross the opening. Pierce a hole at the center of the "x". Cut four sections by following the lines up into the corners.
11. Trim each of these triangles to 1/2 inch. Apply glue to inside of frame, fold fabric up, and press in place.
12. Measure exact center of covered back board and attach a loop created from the cord.
13. Put hot glue on all four edges of back board and secure to back of shadow box. Hold in place of a few seconds.
14. The shadow box is now ready to complete by adding an art creation (such as the folk art greeting card, instructions below) or a collectible.
Tip: Try a different effect for this project by also covering the inside of box with fabric, handmade paper, a collage of magazine images, corrugated cardboard, etc.; then add your object.
Folk Art Greeting Card
Materials and Tools:
5" x 7" blank note card or card stock
4" x 5-1/2" fabric or handmade paper
hot glue gun
1. Prepare background of card by applying fabric or paper to center of card.
2. With all fabric spread out before you, begin to visualize the possibilities, such as a house and landscape. Decide what piece works for the base of the house and cut a rectangle piece about 2" x 1-1/2".
3. Put this piece of fabric just above the middle of the card. Does this piece already contain the front door or a window?
4. Go back to the fabrics and identify a good piece for the roof. Cut out a triangle and position onto the house. Trim as necessary.
5. Now's the time to add the front door or window(s). This house is almost built.
6. Create a walkway by looking for curved designs in your fabrics. If there are none, cut whatever shape you wish. Test different angles from the door and glue in place where you like.
7. Cut a 4-inch piece of selvage, the natural woven edge of any fabric. Many times, this edge offers all kinds of artistic possibilities. We can easily use the selvage edge to create a flower garden or fence-like border. Split the piece and place on each side of walk.
8. This picture is missing greenery. Let's plant a tropical tree next to the house. Once again, look through the fabric for a suitable tree trunk. Cut a slim section to place proportionately with the house.
9. Add foliage to the tree by cutting any shaped piece or pieces to add to the top of the trunk.
10. Look over your art creation to see of anything is missing. If not, place a moderate amount of hot glue on the center back of the card and carefully position into the shadow box.
You may choose to embellish your art by adding small accents of dimensional fabric paints, beads, buttons, cords, etc. As you fabric craft, save as many different elements of things as you comfortably can. Keep them organized and they will come in handy at the best times.
Recycle your old cabinets by turning them into shadowbox display cases.