Friday, June 1, 2012

Family Scrabble Shadow Box

The Family Scrabble Shadow Box was the first project I completed after Kevin and I got engaged.  Did I mention that this will be a 2nd (AND FINAL!) wedding for both of us?  A true modern Brady Bunch, we have FIVE kids and THREE dogs between us!  The completed project includes all of the names of our family members plus words of things that are important to our family.  It was fun to make and currently is on display in my living room.  I plan on displaying it at our wedding on a table with old family photos.

Supplies needed to make your own Family Scrabble Shadow box:

  • Shadow box (I found a black distressed one at T.J Max Home Goods for $16.99)
  • Scrabble letters (easily found on EBay)
  • Burlap
  • Jute rope
  • Glue Gun
Unfortunately, I didn't photograph the steps as I was completing this first project, but I can walk you through the steps
  1.   The first thing I did was cut a piece of burlap to fit the inside of the display case inside the shadow box.  I wanted a little bit of the white background to show in mine, so I cut it a tad smaller.  It's okay if it isn't a perfectly straight as the jute rope will help cover any imperfections
  2. I then took my glue gun and glued the burlap to the inside of the display case.  If I make another one of these, I may consider using a fabric stiffener on the burlap first and after it dries, ironing it flat and gluing the stiffened burlap to the inside of the shadow box.  This would prevent the burlap from moving around more than it has to
  3. I next got my scrabble letters out!  Well, even before this step, I had played with the idea of how I would organize the 7 names of the members of our combined family and wrote it out on paper.  I then decided to add words of things that held special meaning to us.  For example, my fiancee Kevin is the KING of Puns.  My man has a brilliant, sharp mind and sense of humor that keeps us all laughing.  I had to find a way to work that word in!  There are several different sizes of shadow boxes.  I would recommend planning out how you will organize the scrabble letters on paper first, then choosing a shadow box that will best accommodate your layout
  4. Organize your scrabble letters on top of the burlap.  This was probably the most time consuming part of the project, as I tend to be a tad anal and want everything to be straight and centered.  I kept a small ruler handy to help me keep every word straight.  Once you are satisfied with your layout, it is time to glue them on with the glue gun!  Pick up each individual tile one at a time and apply a small squirt of glue to the back and lightly pressed the tile into place on the burlap.  Take your time, as it is almost impossible to remove the tiles from the burlap once they have been glued!
  5. I applied thick Jute string around the edges of my burlap.  Start in one corner and measure the jute rope around.  I would suggest applying a small thin line of glue to the burlap and applying the jute rope and wait until the end to cut off the excess.  This will prevent you from cutting the rope too short!
  6. In the corners, I added a decorative detail by making a wheel out of the jute rope.  I experimented my rolling out a wheel the size that I liked.  I then cut the rope at the desired length and cut three more so they would all be the same size.  Once rolled up, I applied hot glue to the end to secure it and more to the back and glued it into place in the shadow box.  
  7. Buttons, lace, wooden hearts and other notions can be added to personalize your family's shadow box!
  8. Hang and Enjoy!

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