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A Ribbon Shadowbox Frame

So you might recall we got married last summer.  It was kind of a big deal. 🙂  We were blessed to be able to hire fantastic photographers, husband and wife team Daniel and Kate Pullen.  And BOY do we have a lot of photos from our big day!  A favorite shot we’ve previously shared, making our grand entrance through our ribbon curtain at the reception.

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While there are many photos we plan to frame, this one was the first one we wanted to find a place to display in our new apartment home.  After the move, we hadn’t yet found a home for the Venn Diagram art I made for Bill in our old apartment.  The frame I used is a simple Ikea Ribba frame that fits a matted 12×12 image.  The frame is a deeper set with an interior frame to it to create a shallow shadow box effect.

Ikea Ribba Frame shadow box for wedding photo

Above is that frame deconstructed, with the bigger frame on the ground the one you actually see, and the frame in my hand is the interior frame.  This is how the image and the mat is set back away from the glass by about an inch.  Suddenly, I had an idea!

Using leftover wedding crafting to create a memory shadow box frame

We have a LOT of ribbon leftover – a whole curtain’s worth!  Plus extra scraps, which would help create a neat depth to the photo if I could figure out how to place them in the frame with the grand entrance photo.  Here’s how I did it.

First, I figured out the scraps of ribbon I wanted to use.  I picked pieces that represented all the vibrant colors we used, and that were relatively flat with some crinkle so they wouldn’t be too flat or one-dimensional in the frame.

Then, I determined the order and where I wanted the ribbons placed in-front of the photo, like this:

Using leftover wedding crafting to create a memory shadow box frame

I lined the ribbons up so that their cut edges at the bottom were varied to help create more character and evoke movement even in a still shadowbox.

Once I was set on placement, I pulled out a roll of trusty packing tape.  To mark the edge of the ribbon that should align with the mat, I placed the tap across the ribbons at the top of the mat’s edge.  This locked the ribbons in their order and would make it simple to place them on the shadow frame later.

Using leftover wedding crafting to create a memory shadow box frame

(The tape is clear and hard to photograph, so this handy animation helps illustrate things better.)

I repeated this step for both groups of ribbon, and folded over the tape to sort of isolate the ribbon and cover the sticky side as well.  This left me with two sort of taped ribbon tassels of sorts, like this:

Using leftover wedding crafting to create a memory shadow box frame

Now, in order to attach the ribbon to the interior shadow frame, I needed a straight edge to help line things up.  The edge of the tape is perfect for this, but I also needed the ribbons to fall straight down within the frame.  To do this, I folded and pressed the ribbbons with my fingers a bit along the bottom edge of the taped ribbon, like this:

Using leftover wedding crafting to create a memory shadow box frame

Next, I pulled out a roll of MORE tape – this time a roll of seldom-used washi tape.  Washi, or masking tape, is sticky enough to hold things in place, but forgiving enough that if I later decide we don’t want the ribbon in the frame, I can easily change things up and not destroy the frame.  I picked a bright green and polka-dot roll partly because it would show well in the photos for you, but also because I rarely use this particular roll and might as well use it up!  No one will see the tape once your frame is assembled, so grab that weird color that came in the multi-pack that you never use.  To attach the ribbons to the shadowbox frame, I simply draped them over the front edge of the frame, and lined up the bottom edge of the tape that, when initially applied to the ribbon, I had lined up with the edge of the mat.  Like this:

Using leftover wedding crafting to create a memory shadow box frame

make sure the shiny side of the ribbon (or whatever you consider the front side of your material) is facing up when you lay the frame down.  I repeated this step again for the other side.  Then It was time to flip the shadow frame so the ribbons were draping over the side facing away from me — and then place the shadow frame into the exterior frame so that the front of the ribbon was facing the glass of the exterior frame.

Using leftover wedding crafting to create a memory shadow box frame

Once that was in place, it was time to attach the photo to the mat of the frame.  Here again I used the washi tape so I could easily remove the photo and re-use the mat again in the future.

Using leftover wedding crafting to create a memory shadow box frame

Next re fit the back onto the frame, bend the metal tabs in place and you’re all set.  The frame is ready for the wall.

Using leftover wedding crafting to create a memory shadow box frame

I really love the depth the ribbon gives the frame, and helps to capture an extra dimension   of the memory.

Now if we could just agree on the perfect spot on the wall!

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