I have a love/loathe relationship with creating client scrapbooks, truthfully anyone’s scrapbook; at least I am being financially rewarded for my efforts with a client. I love designing a pictorial assemblage of a vacation or celebration with photos, mementos and souvenirs. Matching papers and sourcing decorative elements that coordinate with the collected assortment to fabricate a cohesive story is the artistry of scrapbooking. However constructing one is tedious, laborious and time consuming, but upon review, a finished book is completely gratifying.
But a scrapbook is only suitable if the keepsakes are 2D. A trip to the beach that yields seashells and starfish requires a different type of showcase. A shadowbox is the solution and one that is super fun to make. I’ve got nothing, but love for a scrapbox. Having the ability to build layers within the frame fulfills my crafting sensibilities while developing a visual moment behind glass satisfies my desire to convey a memory.
A shadowbox need not be limited to events that a scrapbook dictates, but something that can be preserved for presentation. On a visit to a Memphis 5 & Dime, I became obsessed with all the old-time beauty remedies in the original retro wrapping. Since I am a fool for package design, I continued to purchase unnecessary and inappropriate grooming products. It wasn’t until years later that I fashioned the disparaging items into a united arrangement to be prominently displayed in my bathroom thus creating a theme within a theme. Every time I look at the framed collection, I reflect on how much fun my friends & I had on our Tennessee adventure even though the contents are void of personal affects and photographs.
There are ready-made shadow boxes, though sometimes a curated assortment requires something unavailable in the marketplace. For my bff’s birthday present, I had researched extensively for a display case that would accommodate champagne corks and a replica of the liberty bell. I had considered a custom made piece from my local frame shop, but fortunately found a picture frame with a wide support that could serve as a shelf.
Small wooden boxes, wine crates with sliding tops, errant drawers, lunchboxes, even a child’s suitcase can be employed as a shadow box. A decorative frame can have a box configured to exact specifications and affixed to the back. The options are limitless which makes designing one creatively indulgent. Once the materials and supplies are amassed and placement has been mapped out, be sure to view it from several different angles. I failed to do this on the beauty aid layout and 8 years later it still irks me. (Of course, I am not going to point out which component is off, but if you guess I’ll concede.)
Time to start thinking inside the box,