Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Key to My Heart (& a Lovely Old Inn in Virginia)

You know when you find a forgotten $20 or a long-lost necklace hiding in a coat pocket or old purse, and you feel like you somehow managed to give yourself a little gift?  Months after our wedding, I was rifling through the smallest pocket of a rarely used purse and found this...

...a key to the Carriage House, our room at the Clifton Inn where we were married nearly five years ago.  (You can see photos from our wedding and the Clifton Inn here.)

While my initial do-gooder reflex was to return the key to the inn, my sentimental side couldn't bear to part with such a quirky relic from such a fantastic day, so into my sock drawer it went for safe keeping.  (I think you're supposed to stop squirreling things away in your sock drawer after you graduate high school, but it's a habit I haven't outgrown yet.)

While at first I thought I'd hold onto the keychain until our silver anniversary, the thought of keeping a key in my drawers (the wooden kind) for 25 years seemed a little ambitious.  I decide instead that I wanted to display our accidental treasure in our ever-growing bedroom photo gallery.

I'd casually kept an eye out for a shadow box for my key but kept coming up empty-handed. Everything was either too big, too small or too expensive, and it wasn't until I wasn't looking that I found my perfect shadow box, which coincidentally I could also say about finding my husband.

Here's my shadow box, which I picked up for less than $5 at Blick Art Supply...

Do you know what it is?

The backside of a canvas.  Heck yeah, sucker!  Whenever I have a few minutes to kill at an art, hardware or craft store, I love walking the aisles to discover and file away materials for future projects, and as I turned onto the canvas aisle, it hit me that these puppies would make awesome shadow boxes, not to mention that I could still preserve the canvas side should I decide to revert back to its original purpose in the future.  I sifted through a few canvases until I found the one with the least amount of glue in the corners and then brought it home for its new life as a shadow box.

I gave the frame two coats of almost-white paint I had laying around.

I trimmed a piece of patterned scrap paper to fit inside the frame & glued the paper into place.

I heart chevron.

I then used poster tack to hold the key in place.

One side effect of all these hormones is that I'm feeling extra sappy, which may explain why I'm only now, almost five years after our anniversary, getting around to this project.  Here's another project I did a while back around our wedding lyrics and a post about what we do for our anniversary (which is also on display in our photo gallery) in case you're feeling sentimental, too.

Have your own shadow box project crying itself to sleep alone at night in your sock drawer?  Here's what you'll need to get 'er done:

- canvas with a respectable back (the one shown is 6" x6")
- scissors
- paper cut to fit inside your frame
- hot glue gun (or glue of your choice)
- paint (I used acrylic)
- paintbrush
- poster tack (or the adhesive of your choice to stick your object in your shadow box)


  1. awe, what a sweet find, and a *GREAT* DIY

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