Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Family History in a Shadow Box

About 2 years ago my Mom was taking one of her regular trip down to see my Grams. I was living at home during this time while my husband was deployed in Afghanistan. Among going to school full time and working, I was also running with my local rescue squad as an EMS volunteer. I had signed on in order to put something more than just good grades on my future nursing school applications. Little did I know this resume booster would turn into a true passion.
Any way my Mom came home from her visit with my Grams and told me she had something special for me. My Mom reached into her purse and pulled out a tattered old badge that read "American Red Cross Motor Service". She went on to tell me that my Grams helped drive the ambulance for the Red Cross during WWII in her local area... I was shocked! I knew that my Grams was a Navy Wife during and after World War II but I had no idea she helped in the ambulance service! I was so struck by how amazing it was that 2 generations later I was doing the same thing she had done over 50 years ago. We both had men at war and while waiting for our husbands to return home safely we helped others in need by driving our local ambulances. The cool thing is my Mom had no idea she had ever done that either, until she came across the patch and asked her about it.
So this shadow box is a tribute to the strong women in my family who during our own time of stress and uncertainty reach out to help others through theirs. I'm so proud to come from women like this and my little shadow box now reminds me of that every day.  I hope you enjoy it and my little bit of family history.

Supplies needed:

Hot glue gun and sticks
Quilt or craft pins
Shadow box: the right size to display something special to you
Craft felt: enough to fit over the front of your shadow box
Quilt batting: same size as felt or more if depending on thickness desired
Fabric of choice: at least 2 inches larger than felt on all sides, this will be your background so pick something you really like.


I started by taking the back off of the shadow box and cutting my felt to size. I then trimmed off an extra bit around the edges. There was a lip to the shadow box and the wooden piece had to sit on that lip directly in order for it to close. ( I learned this the hard way)

I got a great deal on this shadow box from Hobby Lobby.... 40% off coupon made it only $5.88!

I took two pieces of quilt batting (cut to match the size of the already cut felt) and layered them on top of some left over muslin I had and then placed the craft felt on last. The muslin was my material of choice as it has an almost old bandage appearance to it, which was perfect for my patch and its history.

I trimmed the muslin so that there was about 2 inches extra around the sides of the felt/batting pile. I went around tightly pulling each side and hot gluing them to the felt.

I folded in the corners, making sure they were tight and hot glued them to the felt. It doesn't have to be pretty because you hot glue the felt to your wooden background so you never see it.

After gluing it all together I testing it to make sure it would fit. This is where I learned the hard way that you couldn't have anything between the lip of the shadow box and the wood background or you wouldn't be able to close the box. I had to start over the first time so what you are seeing is the correctly done second version. But luckily for me round 2 was a perfect fit!

The edges of my wooden background were showing this time which was a good thing since there was that pesky little lip on the shadow box. I tested it...again! before adding any thing else and it did indeed fit perfectly! So I removed it and was now ready to add my patch.

I placed four pins around it to hold it snugly in place and made sure it was centered. I put it all back in the box and....


Not to shabby for a 30 minute project! Especially because I had everything, except the shadow box, laying around. This whole project cost me only $6 and now my Grams patch is displayed beautifully. I couldn't be happier. As always thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave me your thoughts or comments.

Creatively Yours,
Christina Marie

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