A very sad thing happens when I come back from a great vacation. Besides the fact that I’m not on vacation anymore, I shove my trinkets and photos in a drawer or a shoebox and pretty much never see them again. But let’s face it . . . that’s no fun! Rather than hiding your vacation memories away, display them in a shadowbox that is very easy to assemble using Snapfish printables and a few other simple supplies. This would be so fun to put together with children – you can talk about your favorite parts of the trip as you create! Then display this shadowbox on your mantel to provide amazing memories for years to come. Here’s how I made it.
Small vacation trinkets – I used beach shapes, small sunglasses, shells
Filler for the bottom of your shadowbox (sand, moss, etc.)
Elmer’s glue stick
You need a template for the letters that will go at the top of your shadowbox. Open a word-processing program and type in the name of the place you went on vacation – you can see my city is “MIAMI.” Enlarge the letters and choose a bold font. For example, I used the Impact font that came with my computer in size 180.
TIP #1: You’ll need to play around a bit and print out your name a few times to make sure it fits your shadowbox!
Print the “Insert Travel Tags” from the Snapfish printables section – I printed a few pages to get some different patterns and loosely cut out each tag.
Loosely cut out each letter and use the stencil tape to adhere to the patterned portion of your printable. I love the fun patterns of the Snapfish luggage tags!
Cut out each letter carefully with your scissors. Use a different pattern for each sequential letter to make your shadowbox look fun.
TIP #2: Some of the letters may have areas that are more difficult to cut out; in that case, use a craft knife and a mat.
Once you’ve cut out your letters, organize them into your shadowbox and make sure they fit. How do you get that white background? I simply flipped over the insert that comes with the frame to the back side, which was white! If you don’t have an insert like that, you can use a piece of HP Bright White Inkjet Paper.
Use the glue stick to adhere each letter to the shadowbox, toward the top.
TIP #3: Start with the middle letter(s) and work outwards, so that you can make sure your letters are spaced perfectly.
Keep gluing until all letters are adhered; smooth thoroughly and let dry.
Read carefully on how to assemble the shadowbox: I placed the shadowbox face down on the table and poured some sand in the bottom area. Then I tilted it up to see where the sand would rest.
You have to be patient while adding your sand. You don’t want to spill it or have it prevent you from being able to add the back into the shadowbox. You also might find that sand leaves some dust on the glass. Have a dry paintbrush ready for any of these situations. Simply brush the sand where you want it to go, or brush away any dust from the glass.
TIP #4: Lots of material can be used for filler. If you went to the beach, sand is perfect. But you can also use dirt, moss, or even shredded paper. Experiment and get creative!
Once you decide where the sand is going to rest, glue the creatures down onto the back of the shadowbox, under your place name, in this case, MIAMI.
You can see how I glued the shells and trinkets onto the background above. Leave a little space between the name of the place and the trinkets.
TIP #5: Make sure to glue the trinkets above where the sand or filler will sit.
As you can see, the finished shadowbox is so fun! A fun challenge for the whole family during vacation is to find the best trinkets for your individual shadowbox. When you get home, everyone can make their own!
I have another idea for the letters I wanted to share: use vacation photos that you print out as your pattern. Wouldn’t that look cool?
Where are you going on vacation this year? Let me know! I’d love for you to make this project too and share it in our Idea Exchange.