I am excited to share this little "Message Center" with you today! When the 7 Gypsies small Shadowbox was presented this past summer CHA it was love at first sight. I loved the examples that were created showcasing them with baby, wedding and family pictures.
It is as products arrive in the warehouse that the pieces of a little "puzzle" begin to formulate in my mind. First came the shadow boxes, then the burlap panels from Tim Holtz, next the Chalkstock paper and when brainstorming here at work with Julia E. she tossed out the idea of a "key holder" and this message center began to build in my mind. This is a fabulous little gift that is super easy to create and would make a lovely holiday gift for the season ahead!
It started with the stunning rub-on butterflies from 7 Gypsies. I'm a sucker for butterflies in the first place and the colors of these are so realistic and breathtaking I knew that these would be a must in this project.
An important element to note in regards to the Burlap Panels is that they are backed with a hard surface. Altering these is SO easy. I haven't tried drilling through the surface, but my guess is that it is a thin piece of composite wood, so this might be a possibility. Definitely something I need to test!
Another new to us product is this fabulous chalkboard paper. I stamped several Memory Box Distress Tags in Snow Cap pigment ink on the chalkboard paper surface and allowed them to fully dry.
Simply cut a "template" from copy paper using the die and align this template over the stamped distress tag using a pencil to locate and mark the center of each locater hole.
Position the die so that these pencil marks align perfectly in the locator holes and use tissue tape to hold the die in place. Cut.
Adding the rub-ons to your project is super easy. I find that cutting out the butterfly, separating it from the large sheet, makes application so much easier. I don't worry about partially rubbing on an adjacent butterfly this way. Position the rub-on and use your popsicle stick, or rub-on roller, to burnish the butterfly in to place. Remove the backing and you are left with a gorgeous embellished tag.
Soften the whiteness of the Snow Cap ink by applying some Tea Dye ink with the ink blending tool.
I have always been enamoured with butterfly species display cases and felt that encasing these beautiful rub-ons in glass would replicate the look. Burnish the butterfly to a 1 1/2" square piece of glass and sandwich it between a second piece of glass. Place a piece of Natural White cardstock behind this sandwich and position in a Memory Frame. Once the frame is closed, twist the jump ring at the top of the slide and it will easily snap off. Be certain to wear protective glasses just in case you end up with flying pieces.
To complete the look I wanted to mount my glass framed butterflies on burlap squares. I cut three little pieces of Craft-a-board to fit the openings on the Shadowbox and inked them with Vintage Photo Distress Ink so that the white color of the Craft-a-board would not show through the burlap.
Each burlap square is made up of two pieces of burlap sewn together. I cut one down in size, removing the threads that held the two pieces together. Wrap the Craft-a-board in the burlap and use Fabritac glue to adhere it in place.
It's these little touches that really make this project have texture and balance.
TIPS TO CREATING THE LAYOUT
When I get an idea I pull a LOT of stuff - LOL! I always lay things out on the base, positioning and aligning my components, before ever beginning to glue or alter them. I also find it helpful to snap a picture of the project in process. It is incredible to me how when looking at a photo of my projects, little balance issues come to the surface.
There is nothing wrong with the top project photo, but I felt it lacked balance when it came to the black - it was so strong in the upper left-hand corner. My solution was to snip a couple of little black pieces of paper to see if putting black behind the letters would create definition, balance and focus. I loved the way it looked, so then had the courage to alter my burlap panel.
Once again I used tissue tape to define the areas I would paint with black gesso. Tissue tape is fabulous because you can easily remove it without destroying your project.
Black Gesso is a product that is new to me and having a love for the texture gesso provides and the ease of coverage I decided to try it for the first time on this project.
LOVE IT! It easily covered the burlap panel in the areas I had defined. I simply squirted some on to the panel and using an old brush that had "tough" bristles spread the gesso in the defined area. The "tough" bristles leave texture marks in the gesso. I then removed the tissue tape, cleaned the brush of most of the gesso and dry brushed the edges to create a more "feathery" look.
Once the black gesso was dry I glued the Shadowbox to the Burlap Panel surface using Fabritac glue.
7 Gypsies has thought of THE most fabulous little components for these Shadowboxes! I adore all the little pieces that can be used to customize these fabulous trays. I used the Antique Silver Loops and Hooks Display Trim to hang this cute little calendar.
The calendar is the same calendar as I used in the Pocket Watch project. To create the smaller size all you need to do is change your print settings - shift the Orientation to Landscape, making certain to remove the automatic rotate and centering features - like magic you will easily change the size of this printable PDF to a smaller version of the same calendar.
One cannot have a message center without a place to put notes. I discovered that the 7 Gypsies Printers Tape and Collage Tape are very similar to tissue tape. So easy to apply and remove - PERFECT for putting notes on your noteboard. Now I just need some real tickets to put on this message board, but for now these adorable Gypsy tickets look oh, so cute!
To create the names for this message center I used Tim's Newsprint Alpha Parts and attached them to the back side of the Wooden Alphabet Tiles. I LOVE the added texture these provide and they were meant to be as they are THE perfect fit.
Now this is one cute little key display! The reality is that I doubt this would hold my big old key ring, BUT I love the idea of putting special keys on this display. I have to wonder if I applied these cute Display Trim Squarehooks with a strong adhesive if they would hold, but I didn't have time to test it out. As it is the hooks will definitely hold the keys to neighbors homes you pet sit, a key from the first home you owned or other sentimental keys.
Add a little Typewriter Charm to each key to define whose key it is or what makes it special. SO cute and fun!
Last was the "chalkboard." Yet again it was meant to be. The apothecary bottle easily holds a piece of chalk! I embellished the bottle with some Printers Tape and glued it to the corner so that it would not fall off. I then hung the chalkboard tags from another Display Trim Hook.
Thank you for sharing in my excitement of this simple little project! I hope that it inspires you to try your hand at these darling Shadowboxes, especially now that you can start small!
stamps: Memory Box Distressed Tag
accessories: 7 Gypsies Black Solo Shadowbox Tray, District Market Memoirs Burlap Panel, 7 Gypsies: Antique Silver Display Trim - Loops and Hooks, Squarehooks, and Keys, Butterfly Rubbings, Clear Apothecary Bottle, Train Tickets, Lille Book Dangles, Lille Paper Tape; Memory Box Distressed Tag Die, 1 1/2" Square Memory Glass and Black Patina Frames, 6"x6" Square Burlap Shape, Studio Black Gesso