practically free friday #1 – make a shadow box

Back in January, when I dubbed 2012 be a super frugal year, I started a list of free, or nearly free, things I wanted to do. My intent was to come up with 52 of them and blog about one each week – free and fun things to do, using stuff I’ve already got on hand. Alas, I have magpie syndrome.

Better late than never, right?

So I am starting this feature this week. Practically Free Friday will be a post about something, uh, practically free, that I did that week and thought it was cool enough to blog about it. Hopefully other thrifty folks will find inspiration out of it; if not, oh well, I did. 😉

This week’s project came off the list I made back in January: Make a shadow box.

I had some old IKEA Ribba frames lying around unused. I have held onto them because I thought they would make cute shadow boxes. The depth is perfect. So, for this one I knew immediately that the perfect thing to corral into one weird little collage is some of the goofy toys I’ve collected. Voodoo dolls from New Orleans, gifts from people, Hello Kitty merch, that kind of thing. The stuff I stash in drawers because I don’t know what to do with them except say “Oh yeah! This thingy is sooo cool!” then stuff it back in the drawer.

To make the shadow box, I cut a piece of scrapbook paper to fit the frame, and used Velcro squares {AKA the best invention ever} to secure each trinket to the paper {so I could remove them if I decided to put them somewhere else.} Worked like a champ!

Where to hang such a masterpiece? Well, semi-hidden from public traffic areas, like our office. Here it is hanging over the filing cabinet.

With my Lack bookcase and desk chair, it’s pretty much obstructed from view of the hallway. I like putting weird, interesting things in neglected corners. Like little surprises. {oops, window glare. You get the idea.}

Cost: zero-dollars-and-zero-cents. Time: 20 minutes or so. Happiness factor: 8 out of 10. I have 2 more frames and other assorted knickknacks so this may turn into a “thing.” We’ll see. For now, I really like the little guy.

If tchotchkes aren’t your thing, there are plenty of  cool and non-weird things to put in a shadow box: seashells, baby shoes, memorabilia, vintage finds, spoons, keys, or a mixture of photos/flat objects with three dimensional objects. Pinterest has about a million ideas.

Welp, what do you think of the feature {if not the project – I admit it’s kinda a weird kick-off project!}? Hopefully it’s a fun one!

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