MN Memory Box

9 Aug

I’m a collector of memories. I’ve got boxes of momentos sitting and waiting for me to scrapbook.  Yet somehow the scrapbooks never get finished and the concert tickets are constantly floating around my house looking for a home. For the past few months or so I’ve been seeing memory boxes like this one pop up on Pinterest and I’d pinned a few, but had never taken the steps to make one.

Then I was struck by inspiration from my college roommate Kate who made her own version with the words “good times” inside. It inspired me to finally get off my seat and make one- that and the fact that she said the boxes were on sale at Michaels!  By the time I arrived at Michaels they were no longer on sale, but a kindly clerk gave me a 40% off coupon for my purchase which then left the cost of the shadowbox at $10.17.

I’ll tell you up front that this project had a few bumps and hiccups along the way. Hopefully, you can learn from my mistakes and it should go much more smoothly for you. To get started I flipped over the frame and removed the backing. You can see from the photo above- although I didn’t notice in the store- that there was some sort of glue/paper stuck to the black of the shadow box liner. Unfortunately I didn’t notice until I had pulled the whole thing apart and started working on it. I’ll remedy that problem a bit later in the post. After removing the back of the board I traced a small rectangle on the backing board-using a ruler to find the middle of the board and the appropriate distance from the top of the frame- about an inch and a half. I used an exacto knife to cut through the back. Unfortunately, I underestimated how thick the backing board was and it was soon clear that cutting through both this backing board and the cardboard attached to it would take more than my poor exacto blade could handle.  Thus, I carefully peeled away the backing board from the cardboard underneath.

I repeated the process above to cut an appropriate sized hole on the cardboard with success this time.

I was left with this-where you can clearly see the glue/paper mess on the side.  Fortunately I had some extra black felt in my fabric stash.

I ironed the felt to make sure it was smooth. Cut it to size and adhered it by spray mounting it with 3M Super 77 to the original cardboard.  Using the exacto knife, I cut the slot in the felt and made sure to leave a nice clean edge by pushing extra fabric through to the back side of the board.

You can see in this photo that the black was much more solid and rich looking than the original that came with the shadowbox.  I had decided instead of mounting the typical phrase in the shadow box- “memories” “admit one” are all versions I had seen- I was going to mount a postcard print I had picked up at a craft show at the State Fair Grounds earlier this summer.  To do so I used clear adhesive Zots pictured above. And in case you were wondering that is felt “fuzz” on the zots- I had pretested a couple to make sure they would stick before putting all four on the postcard.

Here is the nearly finished product.  About midway through this project I decided this was going to be the perfect birthday present I had been hunting for for a friend.  The postcard is the work of Adam Turman, a local Minneapolis artist.  With the Minnesota image it was apropos for Kara as she starts her first post-grad school position here in MN!

I hunted down a few memories we have shared together and I will gift her with these included- or rather color copies- I’m determined to make my own version and I want to make sure I still have MY ticket stub to add to my collection.  You can see I left the backing board off of this for now, but I probably will give it to Kara with the back on the shadow box. It is easily removed for easy access to the slot for future stubs and photos. The back will allow her the option to hang this shadowbox in addition to being a tabletop frame.

I could see so many other options for altering this project:

  • As an anniversary or wedding gift it could be fun to frame a photo of the couple or their wedding invitation- they can add memories for years to come.
  • Use it as a showcase for foreign currencies or airline stubs or travel memories and mount a travel quote such as “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine
  • For the music lover or to be gifted to a teen at their first concert along with the quote  “Music is forever; music should grow and mature with you, following you right on up until you die.” -Paul Simon

What kind of memories would this box hold for you?

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2 Responses to “MN Memory Box”

  1. jenb. August 9, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

    I love this idea, as I have seen it several times as well. Thanks for the step-by-step. One addition is that I would write a note on the back of each ticket/memento, with a note about who I was with, favorite moment, etc. so that when I look back at them, I have an even better memory of each one! 🙂

  2. Tashia August 10, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    I love that Jen-going to incorporate that into my own box!

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