Crafting Memories with Shadow Boxes

The Shadow Box I Made for My MomI inherited my grandmother’s house many years ago. I still have not went through everything that came with the house. Boxes remain that have not been sorted and organized. My grandmother wasΒ a pack rat but the awesome thing is that she left behind memories of her lifeΒ like pieces to a puzzle for me to put together.

I have found newspapers and photographs from the 1800s, old magazines, some cool handbags and hats and tons of letters, cards, and little mementos of a long life.

I found love letters written between my grandparents in the 1930s when they were “courting”. I read some of them but there are so many and they are so personal, perhaps some day I will go back and read them all. I packed them all, tied them with a ribbon and created a beautiful treasure box to put them in, then gave them to my mother for Christmas. She was amazed and very touched.

After that I wondered what to do with other family treasures that I uncovered, like Valentine cards to my mom when she was little, cards that she gave to my grandmother, photos, broken bits of jewelry, old watches, spectacles, and even a baby bonnet and baby gown that was my mother’s (she was born in the 1930s by the way).

I decided to make a memory collage in a shadow box with a few things that I found. There was so much that I had to sort through it all and choose a theme. I picked the simplest choice, Mom.

I found a great photo of my mom and grandmother, an old card my mom had given to my grandmother, some handmade lace and a doily that my grandmother made, an old watch, a cameo and a few tins and some beads and even my mother’s own baby bonnet. Then I put everything together in a way that was simple yet visually appealing. I gave it to my mom and she loves it, of course. It now hangs on her wall where everyone can see it.

Now I still have one shadowbox left since they came in a pack of two. I think my next theme will be a “remember when” or “this is your life” kind of deal because I have cards, letters, drawings even old school stuff of mom’s when she was little. If I can get it arranged to look good I think it would be a great companion memory box to the first one I made.

I’m also working on a vintage firefighter theme box for my husband that combines all his mini firefighter collectibles, like his old fireman badges and pins. He’s going to love it when I’m done. (If I ever get it done, I need more vintage firefighter memorabilia small enough to fit).

I like this concept of putting memories together in a shadow box because it gives you a way to create something beautiful out of pieces from the past, little things that normally just get stuffed in a box and pulled out maybe once every decade or so, and turned into a type of art. Something to display that connects you concretely to your history everyday.

And you can do it with anything, any theme. I love creating Shadow Memory Boxes more than scrap-booking because I can work with larger treasures, trinkets and memories that currently are wasting away unappreciated in boxes and trunks. This is a great way to “remember when” while crafting.

5 thoughts on “Crafting Memories with Shadow Boxes”

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  3. I am envious! You are so lucky to have all those tangible memories at your fingertips πŸ™‚ My grandparents are overseas so I never had anything of theirs. When my mother passed away I kept a few things that I absolutely cherish.

    I had a friend I worked with many years ago that made shadowboxes from her kid’s baby momentos. I plan to do that when my kids are each 25 (the oldest is 17) and give them to them as presents. I love your shadowbox πŸ™‚ I work on a blog called Old Fashioned Tips and the site that it belongs to, Old Fashioned Living, and was just cleaning up an article on preserving old photographs. I think I will link to this blog post as a resource, great post!

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