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Saturday, March 13, 2010

DIY Project: Shadow Box Signs

When we were planning our wedding, I'd initially thought of decorating the tables at our reception with cookbooks from my childhood. (This was before we had secured a site and found out that we'd be lugging all of these books up and down two flights of stairs. And that we'd be transforming our ceremony hall into our dining hall during our cocktail reception.) Before abandoning this idea, I purchased many cookbook lots on Etsy and Ebay, obtaining a few duplicates. I immediately thought about how these books could be used for signage or as a centerpiece at the bar or on the gift table.

The Dog N' Bird Artful Wedding Blog (no longer in publication) had highlighted a Book & Tree Wedding Paper Cut and commented that it would be "[a] showstopper next to the guest book table or as a centerpiece." The artist Su Blackwell created a backlit pop-up diorama of carved trees and birds from the pages of an open book (check out his portfolio). Not as ambitious I thought of carving the words Share, Enjoy, and Drink from three books to place at our guest book and favor tables and bar, respectively. After discussing the idea and brainstorming about how we'd create the signs, we decided to do something else.

When cleaning out our closets in preparation for our housewarming, I came across two "old" brushed steel 11"x14" shadow boxes. (I use shadow boxes to house photos, trinkets, and foreign currency, etc. from trips, these two boxes were created 5 years ago to celebrate my MBA graduation and the first time the San Jose Sharks qualified for the NHL Playoffs.) An idea for how we could repurpose these for the wedding sprung into my head. (The day before I'd just seen the Behind The Scenes: Memory Keeping blog on The BridesGuide http://thebridesguide.marthastewartweddings.com/2010/02/behind-the-scenes-memory-keeping.html.) For personal signage that reflected our theme, we could create 3-D collages that incorporated the extra cookbooks for our guest book and favor tables!

You'll have to wait until the wedding to see the final Enjoy sign. But here's a sneak peek of what we did.

Unlike Su Blackwell's paper cut, intricate cutting with an X-acto knife or other sharp implement isn't required. You chose the pages with photos and text patterns that you like (keep in mind how busy the image you're choosing is and the perceived color both when viewed up close and from a distance).

Initially we thought of simply cutting letters from various pages of the cookbook and hanging them by ribbons. With the rest of the objects we wanted to include this was too busy. We decided to include a photo of us dining with friends (from the first time we met). A paper Dahlia made from the pages of the cookbook ties to the flowers we'll have on the cake and that I'll have in my bouquet. The finishing touch will be a brief explanation of what we'd like guests to do adhered to the front glass (which will be removed after the wedding for hangable art).


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