Upcycle an old thrift store shadow box into a beach-inspired decor piece. With stencils, paint, and a little remodeling, this little shadow box never looked so good!
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There’s not much that I love to do as well as working on a repurposed or upcycled project – except maybe going to the beach.
So when this season’s topic was announced and we were given the challenge to upcycle something using nature-themed stencils from Cutting Edge Stencils, it took no time at all for me to decide which one I’d choose.
I loved the starfish the moment I saw it, and although I didn’t know exactly what my project would be, I knew it would include this fabulous stencil.
So a few weeks later while I was shopping for supplies to make a caterpillar costume of one of the boys, I stopped in my tracks when I saw this:
It captured my attention mostly because I love the beach. It also inspired this project that features that gorgeous starfish stencil. I took the general idea and created a project of my own using a shadow box I had picked up at the thrift store last year.
(Tip: In your thrifting trips, always bring home anything that appeals to you. It may take a while before you find a good use for it, but when you decide how to use it, you’ll be so glad you have it on hand.)
Mine is quite a bit smaller than the one I found in the store, but it was the perfect size for the stencil. I just love it when supplies “fit” together so perfectly – especially when I’m using a great thrift store find.
Here’s what I did
I started by removing the ribbon hanger, taking the box apart, and removing the wood letter. With the bare bones remaining, I was ready to get busy giving it a fresh new look.
After a light sanding, I gave it a fresh paint job using a combination of two colors of paint: “Plaster” by Waverly and “Lite Mocha” by Apple Barrel. I wanted a very light sandy color, so I mixed the colors in a 3:1 ratio.
While it was drying, I went to work on a new background. I scavenged through Tony’s workshop and found a stick of red oak that was the perfect width. We cut it into four pieces that fit the dimensions of the inside of the box, and I was ready to paint.
I was really looking forward to this part of the project because I was itching to try a new paint technique I learned from my friend, Carole. For the oak pieces I used 4 Apple Barrel paints:
- “Granite Gray”
- “Lite Mocha”
The oak had a wonderful grain that really showed off well and I was so pleased with the results. I’ll definitely be using this technique again.
Read Stencil Art for details on how to create flawless stencil projects.
Putting it Together
Once all of the pieces had a new face, it was time to put them together for a fun beach shadow box.
I started by gluing the wood pieces into the box.
Next, I replaced the glass and glued the frame back on.
Finally, I added a nautical-style rope for a new hanger, and my thrift store find-turned beach shadow box was done!
Now I have my very first piece of beach decor for the restyling of my craft room. I’ve got a LONG way to go with this project, but it should be fun. I’ll keep you posted.
I loved working on this project and with these amazing ladies again. Special thanks go to Maria from Simple Nature Decor who lead our challenge this season. Be sure to click on the links below and see what gorgeous projects the rest of the team designed with their stencils.
Joyce – At Home with Jemma