Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Snowflake Shadow Box

I have a bit of a snowflake obsession. I'm not sure when exactly it started, but I first noticed it last winter when I made myself late for work one morning because I was using the macro lens to take close-ups of flakes on the hood of my car.

This winter, the snowflakes have been creeping their way into my craft room. It started with some Martha Stewart punches...


...and then moved on to the Winter Lace cartridge from Cricut...


...and then I spotted these hand-cut beauties on How About Orange...


...all of which hit a climax when I spotted these geeky snowflakes on the Star Wars blog (and there are even more of them here). I really, seriously need to make some of these.


I took all that snowflakey goodness and channeled it into a little decor project for the living room.

I raided my paper scraps (this is one of those cases where it really pays to have an organized scrap filing system) and chose a selection of colors from all points of the spectrum. Most of these prints aren't Christmas or winter themed, which doesn't matter at all!

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Using the Winter Lace cartridge and a Cricut Gypsy, I designed five mats with four 3.5" snowflakes each. I had originally intended to use each design on the cartridge (there are 20) once, but a few of them were real pickles to cut, so there are a few duplicates in the final product.

I loaded up each mat with four sheets of paper, taking care to select papers of similar weights and thickness that would all use the same blade settings.

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And then, umpteen million hours of cutting later, I ended up with a pretty pile of snowflakes.

My Dad was awesome and drew out an evenly spaced grid for me on a 16x20 mat board (purchased at Hobby Lobby for $3.50 in the art section). After that, it was just a matter of applying Glue Dots and sticking each flake in the appropriate slot.

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I then placed the board in a shadow box frame that I keep hung in the living room (and occasionally switch out displays). I love that this isn't particularly holiday themed, so I can keep it up through January if I want to (and I probably will).

I just realized that I parenthesize a lot.

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So now I have a frame full of snowflakes rounding out my Christmas display. Other items here are my favorite Star Wars poster ever (not Christmasy, but awesome all the same), some amazingly cool Christmas subway art downloaded from Eighteen25 (and printed at Sam's, of course), and a Christmas layout. I love that I can swap elements out in this grouping to quickly change themes or seasons.

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That last project rounds out my Christmas decorations for the year, and not a moment too soon!

If you want to make one for yourself but don't have a Cricut (or a cartridge with a snowflake), there are tons of other options. You can use punches to make smaller flakes, then use either a smaller frame or more of them. I think that a bunch of smaller snowflakes in one of these specimen boxes (instead of a Halloween themed punch) would be adorable. You could also hand-cut your snowflakes (giving you the opportunity to geek out if you so desire). You could use a monochromatic color scheme, or change it up to match your decor. The possibilities, just like snowflake patterns, are infinite.