In theory I’ve left the last slot in this series for the hardest project. But none of them have been as easy as I assumed. Anyway, for this one I had to do a shadow box.
I have done a shadow box before – sort of. One of the first projects I did with the Cricut was this wolf layered piece from Cricut Access. It was very messily put together and not great.
But that’s essentially what a shadow box is. It’s layers of cut cardstock, creating a 3D effect. In some cases they’re put in a deep frame, and in some cases they have light in the back.
The intention for this project is to have it in a frame, with lights. Let’s see how that goes.
I’m using this awesome Halloween SVG from PaperLightbox.
I’d seen a video by Jennifer Maker, so I had some idea of what I was doing.
The SVG came with seven layers, but I didn’t see a backing square, so I added one of those. This was my first mistake.
For some reason I’d had in my head that a gradient of coloured card would look good. This was my second mistake. And my third was deciding to use grey. But I’d got this set from Hobbycraft.
The colours themselves didn’t seem to match as much as the little squares on the label though – I couldn’t find a gradient I liked.
So I settled on using just one colour. It occurred to me that the light and layering effect would cause the gradient anyway. Duh!
Fatty helped me load the card onto some mats.
And they cut easily and smoothly.
I was left with quite a few adorable tiny bat cut outs.
And then I had a pile of (out of focus) grey card.
While I was sorting the spare card from the cuts I needed from the cut outs I didn’t need, I had a bit of a casualty.
Finally I had eight layers. Fatty helped me here too.
I wasn’t too sure about the backing square at the point, so I decided to leave it til last. I used the SVG layers for reference to get them all in the right order.
And I double checked that it fit in the frame that I had bought.
Now to assemble. I had these sticky 3D glue dots. They did not like peeling from their backing paper.
Fatty helped me again.
When I had all the layers compiled I realised I didn’t need the backing square, because the designer had made sure all the space was filled.
Now for the light. I had a few different types. Some little strings of fairy light style LEDs, that came with battery packs attached. And some strips of lights that had USBs but no power.
I went with the string lights, because of the attached power source. But when I’d compiled everything the light was barely visible through more than one or two layers.
This was my second DUH moment. Why did I use grey card? Light would show better through white card.
So I decided to recut it. I had some issues establishing a good depth, and had some bad cuts to start with.
But I had my seven layers – I didn’t cut a backing square this time.
And when piled up they looked awesome even without the spacers and light.
I glued them together, put them in the frame, added the lights. I cut a tiny corner of the frame board off so the power cable could fit through.
And I was pretty pleased with how it looked.
The light isn’t perfect, but it’s much better. I’ll have to experiment with different light types.
Later in the evening I got annoyed with the fact that the backing board was too low for the clips. So I watched the Jennifer Maker video again. She removed the wood insert from the frame to measure it – and I had registered that she’d taken it out. So when I made mine I took the wood insert out and cut my piece to fit the frame without it.
What I should have done is measured the wood insert, and cut the piece to fit inside that.
I could have left it, but I was tired. So I didn’t. I was too tired to recut though, so I placed the wood insert on the layers and made marks where to cut. Then I hacked at it a little with a craft knife and a metal ruler until it fit, trusting the card mount in front of the glass to hide the mess.
When I had it back in the box, I used the strip lights instead.
And I think it looks pretty damn awesome. A “fitting” finale.
Happy Halloween everyone!