Domestic Renewal: Updating tired old shadow box art.

Shadow boxes can be a really cute, kitchy way to add character to a wall or bedside.  This simple craft can also be a great way to show off any antique trinkets that you have yet to find use for.  I happen to have two tired, old shadow boxes that I bought at Pier 1 when I was 16.  I’m going to use some vintage flare to breathe life into the art with antique newsprint and family heirlooms.

Vintage Trinket Shadow Boxes


tired, old shadow box or shadow box frame with glass plate (glass optional)
vintage inspired trinkets to display
(I chose these old spools of thread that belonged to my great grandmother.  This is a perfect opportunity to show off family heirlooms.) 
old newsprint for background
hot glue/gun
all purpose glue
razor blade to remove old adhesive
 (optional if you are starting out with a new frame)

What to do:

  • If you’re refurbishing an old shadow box, carefully pull the box open and separate the pieces.  Be sure to remove any old adhesive with a razor or small craft knife.  

  •   Chose a page from an old newspaper or magazine that you would like to use as the background of                 your shadow box.  Cut it to fit the back wall and glue it down.    

  • Apply a small amount of hot glue to the back of your shadow box trinkets.  Adhere them to the newsprint on the back wall of the box.  
  • If you’re refurbishing a shadow box that came with glass, be sure to clean it well in case of dust.  Line the edge of the box with hot glue.  IMPORTANT:  Wait about ten seconds before applying the glass to the glue so the glass does not crack from the heat.

  • After you apply the glass, replace the frame with hot glue being careful to let the glue cool for ten second before adding the pressure of the frame.  Let dry, and voila!  A new shadow box with old character!

Happy crafting!!

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