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Friday, February 10, 2012

Romeo, Romeo… A Romantic Shadowbox Tutorial

I just finished a literary love story nestled within a shadowbox.

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A while ago my cousin “T” sent me this cigar box that she had purchased at a Philadelphia estate sale a few years ago and asked me to “Do something with it.” Inside the box was one lone cigar band.

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It was a really great turn of the century box. I loved this old label.

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Months went by. The horrid Romeo Y Julieta box taunted me day after day. Finally I decided to create a shadowbox with a very literal theme.

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Enter the players. An fine Italian Renaissance couple I found on Ebay for 99 cents. They were the perfect size at 3” tall and marked “Made in occupied Japan”.

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I wanted to recreate the balcony scene (Act II  Scene II).  Given that the depth of the box was a mere 1 1/2” deep I really had to put on my thinking cap. I meandered down the doll house aisle at Hobby Lobby and found this country style armoire.  The tin panels popped right out. A coat of cream colored paint and a light sanding transformed it a balcony of sorts. 

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After finding an old paperback of the play in a used bookstore I selected favorite passages and mod podged them onto the bottom of the box’s interior.

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The edges were trimmed with gold foil German Dresden tiger tooth border found on Etsy.

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I printed the Italian words for poison “Veleno” and love potion “Pozione d'amore” as well as triple XXX ~the symbol for poison. The labels received a bit of distressed ink and were glued onto tiny glass bottles I also found in the doll house section.

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The bottles were filled with various forms of glitter and tiny scrolls were created from paper scraps and twine. One bottle now wears the old cigar band for a label.

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On top of the apothecary cabinet is our damsel in distress.

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A close up of her ill fated sleeping potion.

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Next to her, a portrait of the great bard himself.

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Here is the enlarged version of the Cobbe oil painting of William Shakespeare.


A scattering of stamped blooms ~ "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" .

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A final addition of pearl vines to further create a garden scene.

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Off in the mail it goes where “T” will then decide if it will hang on a wall or sit on a table.

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Are you creating something special for your Valentine?


Debra at Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday
Sherry at
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday

Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday


Auntie Em said...

Oh my! You are such a creative genius! I love the little altered cabinet and the background is perfect! How lucky to find the little couple in just the right size. I am sure your cousin will treasure this sweet confection.

jeanette from everton terrace said...

Oh you clever girl you. I am cleaning out my hodgepodge of broken bits of jewelry etc. because I know I will never get to all the little projects I think they would be great for - should have sent them to you :)
Saw your pic' in the magazine article Andrea did - very nice, you are even more famous!

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

This is just AMAZING Laura! I love love love the little cupboard and loving the spilled 'poison'!

Debbie said...

OK, Laura...admit it. You were the girl who always LOVED doing projects in school, weren't you? (I was too.) I also have a huge passion for Shakespeare so that makes this one a double win. Excellent.

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

That is really lovely, Laura! I love the figurines you found for the box ~ they really work perfectly for this. Love the Shakespeare picture you added and the little doll cabinet. I especially love the little bottles you did and the scrolls. It looks like you had a lot of fun putting this together!

TRay said...

WOW...WOW...WOW!!! I love it!!! THANK YOU!!!


The PEAculiar (aka "T")

Stalking the mailbox!

Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

You have outdone yourself again! What a great treasure with the Romeo and Juliet theme!

Karena said...

Laura I am constantly amazed by your creativity and attention to detail. This diorama is so unique! I love it!

Art by Karena

Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

This is so cute! You really did a great job and unique thinking for sure!!

French said...

Too cute, Laura! I love your attention to the smallest details...and so curious where you found the Shakespeare portrait...?

Jill Elaine said...

That is just darling! I love it:)

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Just beautiful, Laura! I am sure "T" will love it. Have a wonderful weekend.

Vel Baricuatro-Criste, MD said...

so creative!!!!

jeanetteann said...

How on earth did you think of that. It is so creative. Beautiful idea. I love it.
xx jeanetteann

Liz said...

So cute! :) I love it!

Hope you guys are going to have a fun Valentine's day. :)


Kay Furlong said...

This is an inspiring project - it is enough to get my creative energy flowing again.....thanks for sharing!

Charming idea!

Kay @

Jane said...

What a lovely idea! I have plans for your tutorial! thanks
Jane @

Little Leslie said...

wow, awesome! Thanks about your concern regarding my theft. Tomorrow, the detective on the case will be showing photos of guys with records. I'm gonna get those "you know whats!"

Tammy@Beatrice Banks said...

Wow! Your creativity amazes me. This is darling!

Kim @ La Belle Époque said...

This idea rocks! I have used old cigar boxes for altered invitations but never for a shadowbox! And, how perfect for Valentine's Day!

Debra @ Common Ground said...

wow Laura, this is just wonderful and oh so romantic! I'll be featuring this post on VIF tomorrow! thanks so much for linking up to the party! xoxo