I live in a family neighborhood; and given that I, too, have kids, I am all about children—my own or my friends’. As a diehard crafter, I focus a lot of my work on things they can use or display. If possible, I love to have them join in the fun of doing it yourself to produce something attractive and useful. When others get involved, you quickly expand your range and repertoire. It keeps me motivated and on the hunt for materials with which to fashion and fabricate all kinds of odds and ends. One of the more unusual is a shadowbox that I made for a friend’s son, whose basketball team recently won their league championship. His mother wanted to commemorate the event with a special gift and turned to me as the resource for the DIY project.
She didn’t want an ordinary box of no consequence, but a nicely finished piece that would contain some basketball memorabilia including a basketball hoop like this – https://www.ballersguide.net/best-portable-basketball-hoop-reviews/. She gave me the exact measurements and showed me where it would ultimately go. Since it was to be the focal point of one empty wall in her son’s room, I decided to go all out on quality. If I had to take hours and hours, so be it. I was ready, willing, and able.
I decided that wood would be sturdier than foam board, and while a bit rustic, it offered the look I wanted for a child. It would resemble the old shadowboxes I used to see displaying artwork and personal treasures at the town museum. Making a wood box is more of a woodworker’s job than a craftsperson, but I have a saw, a bench screw and a vise, so it was within my reach. I got help from a friend to make the grooves for the glass front so it could slide open. I thought about, but rejected, the idea of pull-open doors. With a bit of careful labor, the shadowbox was ready to stain and mount.
My friend gathered some items and mementos from her son’s room so we could place them strategically and fit them all in by using some small platforms made from wood scraps. The stain had a nice medium gloss finish that matched the shutters and headboard of his room. It was truly a décor enhancement. The boy could change out the contents of the box anytime, but at least he would have some inkling of how the final item should look. I truly hope it is the kind of project that he will treasure all his life and perhaps keep beyond into adulthood. Who doesn’t remember those exciting basketball days of one’s youth? A shadowbox can make memories live forever.
Doing something like this is the inspirational side of crafting and goes well beyond decorations for a party. I crossed the bridge from craft to art with the shadowbox. It will remain a one-of-a-kind project when I look back at my work.