The Tale of Two Shadow Boxes

Last Christmas, I stumbled upon wooden shadow boxes in the clearance bin at my local craft store. Marked at 90% off, I couldn’t leave them there, so I lugged them home. Then they sat on a shelf in my craft area for months. Unsure of what to do, I left them to do my other knitting and painting projects. Regret began to creep up on me. Like the clearance yarn bin, I could not pass up a deal, but in doing so I had again bought a bunch of stuff I would never use or finish. Every now and again I would see them hiding behind my paints and wonder about the possibilities. I could simply paint the scenes on the shadow boxes and finish them with a shiny lacquer, but since they were made of wood, would wood stain also work? Then it hit me: why not do both?

I am pleased with the results of both. But of the two, I do prefer the wood stained Santa scene. For the Santa shadow box, I used three different wood stains to complete the project and acrylic paint for Santa and the trees. I used mostly old paintbrushes to apply the stain and didn’t overload the brushes to prevent the stain from spilling out over the lines. The finished project looks rustic and would be a perfect nightlight in a kitchen or living room.

The Christmas tree shadow box looked a bit more whimsical to me and I decided to paint it in pastels. I even thought of embellishing the paint with Diamond Dotz. Looking back, I wish I had saved some of the unpainted wood to stain instead of paint, but it would work well in a child’s room and would be a fun holiday project for anyone young or old.

The wood section of the craft store is full of different ideas to paint or stain. Most do not require a lot of skill, so you can let your creativity run wild. During the fall and holiday seasons there is even more to choose from. There are signs, ornaments and more. With just a day’s work you or your child can create a Christmas keepsake for the tree or the mantel that will be cherished for years to come.

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