Saturday, March 13, 2010

Make: Time Capsule Shadow Box

I collect mementos from trips taken with family and friends and from special occasions. When I get home, I then tuck them into a shoe box or train case thinking that I'll come back to at a later date, but forgetting them altogether. I've found that a time capsule shadow box is a great way to display these treasures and to share your stories.

The idea for a family time capsule shadow box was born when cubes and I first moved in together and were 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, foreign currency, and more from trips. These two boxes were created to celebrate my MBA graduation and the first time the San Jose Sharks qualified for the NHL Playoffs.) I immediately thought about how we could repurpose these for the wedding sprung into my head, time capsules of our relationship to date. (The day before I'd just seen the Behind The Scenes: Memory Keeping on The Bride's Guide (a Martha Stewart Publication that's no longer available online).

Gathering Mementos

Family time capsule shadow boxes are a great way to reflect on the past year and everything you have that you're grateful for. Everyone should choose an item or two they want in the shadow box; items should be selected so that they'll fit in your shadow box. As family shares their items they should recount the memory associated with them.

Our memory boxes were going to be on display at our wedding so we wanted our chosen mementos to have meaning for us and be interesting to our guests. We decided to include a photo of us dining with friends (from the first time we met) and a dolphin name tag from a friend's going away party. We chose found objects that we'd included in the wedding party attire (the groomsmen's boutonnieres and the maid's bouquets.) The other items were more of inside jokes to us and those in our wedding party who had helped on abandoned DIY projects:

  • a paper fan that I made from the pages of a vintage cookbook to represent the acquired cookbooks that would not be used as centerpieces on the reception tables
  • vintage silverware that would not be used as the dinnerware at the reception

Choosing Your Word or Words

Because your shadow boxes are going to be on display in your house, having a word or phrase that sums up the essence of your treasures helps guests engage with your time capsule. Your word or words should sum up what the previous year meant to you and what you're thankful for. cubes and I entertain our family and friends pretty regularly, so our words capture what we wanted guests to do and to feel when they dined at our table:

  • Share
  • Enjoy

We selected pages out of duplicate, damaged vintage cookbooks that we'd (I'd) collected. I looked for pages with photographs with similar color schemes. I laid our chosen objects on top of the letters to ensure the palettes were complementary.

Creating Your Shadow Box

Supplies You'll Need


What would you put in your shadow box?
genuinely eden

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Credits: All layouts designed by and images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.

This post was originally published on our wedding blog. It has been rewritten and edited to replace referenced wedding sites that are no longer online.

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