This past week marked some very important milestones. We welcomed the Aries moon of new beginnings (yes please!) and (hopefully!) saw the end of lockdown in England. (Now THAT’s a new beginning we all need.) But more importantly than all of that, we moved another zero closer to Halloween!!
And to celebrate 200 days until my favourite festival, I knocked up a Halloween Shadowbox, complete with flickering tea lights.
Now you may remember from my last blog post, that I’ve been bitten by the Book Nook bug. Indeed, if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ll have seen I’ve been indulging in my new obsession with a whimsical, three-room affair.
Check out this Instagram reel to see my Alice Shelforama in all its glory.
Who knew my Doll House Ouija Boards would be such a huge hit?
It was only natural then, that when I wanted a project to mark 200 days until Halloween, I would go in search of something small and compact.
So, I put Halloween in a box.
Now before I get into the nitty gritty of this project, I have a confession.
I forgot to photograph the build.
Cue ashamed emoji.
I do have a couple of boring Work in Progress pics, but not my usual step-by-step images. Soz. Nevertheless, I shall endeavour to explain how I went about making my lighted Halloween Shadowbox.
Seasoned crafters will easily be able to follow along and for everyone else… feel free to skip the blurb and enjoy the video and photographic goodness of my latest curious creation.
Naturally, if you have questions about any part of the build, feel free to pop them in the comments.
The other thing to notice is that I’ve linked to some of the Amazon resources I used. If you happen to click on any of those links and go on to buy something, I may earn a few pennies at no cost to you. For more info, you can check out my affiliate info HERE.
Turning a plain Gift Box into a Lighted Halloween Shadowbox
This spooky scene started life as a small, but sturdy lidded box that I had stashed away. I’ve had it that long, I couldn’t tell you what came in it but over the years, it’s come in very handy for corralling bits and pieces.
Excitedly, I told Beloved how this humble little gift box was destined to become a Witch at OneandSeventy masterpiece. There followed something of a tumbleweed moment as he tried to fathom what the hell I was banging on about.
Can’t really blame him; I hardly know what I’m doing myself half the time!
What I did know is I wanted to turn that box into a Halloween Shadowbox with a backlit Haunted House. However, like any box of this type, the lid is much shallower than its base, so I had to get creative.
First, I glued the lid to the base, then reinforced the sides with 1mm chipboard, which I clamped in place.
While that was curing, I sourced the perfect Haunted House graphic on Pixabay and spliced it in half using Photoshop. I then cut the two halves from 280gsm Kraft card using my trusty Cricut Maker – one layer for the bottom and five for the top.
Using Heather Tracy’s superglue method, I laminated the multiple layers to create a sturdy, 3D version of the top of the house. I then added orange ‘stained glass’ vinyl behind all the window apertures and finished each half with two L-shaped supports made from chipboard.
A beautiful Full Moon and a creepy cabin scene (gotta love Pixabay!) provided all the backdrops I needed for the insides of each box and after measuring, printing and gluing them in, I moved onto the lighting.
My original plan was to use LED string lights like those in my Witch’s Book Nook but I think you’ll agree…candlelight is much more atmospheric.
The top half was easy. The lid of the gift box provided the perfect amount of room for a battery-operated tea light. All I did was paint the tea light black so it didn’t stick out like a sore thumb.
Downstairs, I wanted to recess the bottom half of the house far enough back to allow for decoration in front, so I made a hole in the back of the box just large enough to poke the tea light ‘flame’ into.
A little black electrical tape around the hole helps reinforce the hole, as well as provide a snug fit for the flame and minimise light escaping out the back of the box.
After gluing in the sections I sculpted a tree (also in two halves) using tin foil, masking tape, and PVA-soaked kitchen roll. Once dry, I painted the tree and glued the halves into position.
Hopefully, it looks like one cohesive unit!
If you fancy having a crack at a fake tree, I use these brilliant tutorials from Where The Gnomes Live. I just scale them down to suit my needs.
With the main structures complete and glued in place, it was time to move onto my favourite part of any miniature project.
The grass is moss from the garden centre, the skull is a bead, and the tombstone was stolen from a long-retired previous project (hands up if you’ve been around long enough to remember the mini graveyard?)
After taking a ton of photos, I THEN decided to faff a bit more and added moss around the edges to help disguise the joins. The eagle-eyed among you will also notice a couple of extra bats. I thought those teeny, tiny Halloween staples were lost forever but miraculously, they appeared unscathed 24 hours later… in the mess that is the floor of my creative space!
How… is anyone’s guess.
Oh! And the bats and crow were cut from black card using the Cricut.
It’s worth noting that I don’t have a Cricut Access subscription. The vast majority of my creations are uploaded, either from images I design in Photoshop, or free resources I find online.
You know I’m rather pleased with how this project turned out. The only planning was a finger in the air and the only measuring involved was for the backdrops.
Just as well, really, as I’m shit at measuring!
Everything else was done by eye, so it’s an absolute miracle it all came together as well as it did.
Without blowing my own trumpet, I have to say my capacity for new skills never ceases to amaze me. But when I look back at the ton of new techniques I’ve learned during making miniatures, the thing that pleases me the most was writing that tiny KEEP OUT sign with a paint brush!
So there you have it. A lighted Halloween Shadowbox to mark 200 days until Witching Hour.
And you know what that means…
It’s almost time to break out Hagatha!
A hui hou,
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