Happy almost Spring! It’s Kati from Houseful of Handmade here today to get you super excited for all things green. Green is good 🙂 And coming up in a couple short weeks is the holiday of green: St. Patrick’s Day. I usually don’t decorate for St. Patrick’s Day. I usually don’t do so great at decorating for spring either. But this year I am determined to bring the green indoors and actually get around to decorating. So I am starting with this super fun St. Patrick’s Day Shadow Box.
The idea for this decorative shadow box actually came to me from the kids “find it” games. St. Patrick’s Day is all about finding a 4 leaf clover, but they are hard to find in a sea of 3 leaf clovers. So why not make a “find it” game out of it? Then take it one step further and make it pretty enough to be a decoration on my mantle for St. Patrick’s Day and spring.
I made this simple St. Patrick’s Day shadow box out of a 1×2 and 2 8×10 Polystyrene sheets. It cost me a total of $7.50 since I already had some finishing nails and wood glue on hand. I found a beautiful piece of blue tinted wood for the 1×2 and I love the grayish hues and texture it has. This allowed me to skip the painting step since I wanted to show off the natural wood.
To make the box, I cut 2 pieces of the 1×2 at 9 1/4 inches and 2 pieces at 8 3/4 inches. Then I built a box with the 4 pieces as shown below. I used a little bit of wood glue and secured the boards with a couple finishing nails in each corner. The finished dimensions of the box were 10 3/4 x 8 3/4.
Then I took it inside so I didn’t freeze. It wasn’t feeling like spring on the day I built it, but you know what they say “If you build it, they will come”. Well I’ve been building spring decor and spring is coming 🙂 Okay, enough cheesy movie quotes and back to the shadow box!
I wanted to use little finishing nails to secure the Polystyrene sheets to the box. But it can crack or chip unless you pre-drill nail holes. I marked the top and sides of the Polystyrene sheets with a dot 1/8 inch in from the edge every 2 1/2 inches. Then I used a 1/16″ drill bit and drilled a tiny hole. The whole time I did this, I left the protective cover on. Then I removed the protective cover from the back of the sheet and just around the edges on the front of the sheet, and centered it on the box. Using my pre-drilled nail holes, I gently tapped in my finishing nails.
Be careful when you tap in the nails because you can easily break the edges if you hit it too hard. I know, I did it. Oops! Luckily it was on the back of the shadow box so no one will see it.
Only attach the back of the shadow box right now. I did pre-drill the nail holes for the top, but left it off so I could fill it up with clovers! I also left the protective coating on the back until I got everything else done so it didn’t get scratched when I nailed the top on.
Then it was time to make clovers. I used my Silhouette cutting machine to cut out 3 pieces of cardstock, each with 17 clovers on it. One of the clover was a 4 leaf clover and the rest were 3 leaf clovers. You could also use a clover shaped punch for this.
To give them a little dimension, I decided to fold the each clover just a little bit. It was super easy and I got them all folded while watching last week’s episode of Gray’s Anatomy. I used a butter knife to make a little ridge down the center of each leaf, not quite all the way to the center. Then I pinched it together just slightly. I finished the leaves off by rolling the outside edges on a pencil. Nothing too crazy, but the little bit of 3D detail really shows up in the shadow box.
I tossed them all into the open shadow box, then nailed the top cover over them.
To finish it all off, I added a little bit of gray vinyl to the front. I think the words “Feelin’ Lucky” are the perfect enticement for anyone who wants to try to find the 4 leaf clover! (P.S. My husband still hasn’t found it… yet.)
So now I have my very first piece of spring decor for my house. And now that the weather is starting to warm a bit, I am getting a serious case of spring fever. I am going to work on the rest of my spring mantle so I can at least have a little bit of green inside while I am waiting for the outside to catch up!
If you are starting to decorate for spring, check out some of my other DIY decor ideas.
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