This year I decided I wanted to make a holiday shadow box. While trying to decide exactly what I wanted to do, I was going through my craft room and found a container of jingle bells from last year that I never used. My original plan was to use the tiny ones to make earrings, which still might end up happening, but I had no real use for the rest of them. So now I’m happy that I can put most of them to good use in this jingle bell shadow box.
The shadow box I picked out is a 5×7 inch, but they come in many different sizes and depths. I’d just suggest trying to find them on sale because they can be very expensive. I would probably work with them a lot more if they were a bit more affordable, but that’s just how it is sometimes.
What You Will Need for this Project
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Assorted Jingle Bells
How to Make a Jingle Bell Shadow Box
Prepare Shadow Box
Depending on your shadow box, this step may not be needed. Mine had a foam backing, which would be fine if you were pinning items onto the back of the shadow box. But since my plan is to glue scrapbook paper to the back I need to remove it.
I was able to tear off the foam backing without any problem. There was some foam bits that remained stuck on, so I used sandpaper to get a smoother surface.
This step is also a good time to clean any fingerprints or marks that may be on the inner side of the glass.
Add Paper Backing to Frame
Now you can add the paper to the back of the shadow box. Since I’m doing a jingle bell theme, which brings to mind the Christmas song of the same name, I chose a paper with sheet music printed on it.
Using the backing of your shadow box as a guide, cut your paper to fit. You can either trace with a pencil and then cut it out, or cut around the backing with a craft knife. Either way will work.
If you are using a paper that has a defined pattern like mine, I’d suggest using one of the edges of the paper as a guide so the pattern isn’t tilted when your backer paper is cut.
Double check to make sure your paper is facing the direction you want and glue your paper to the shadow box backing.
If after gluing there is some paper hanging over the edge of the backing, trim it up so everything will fit.
Add Bells to Jingle Bell Shadow Box
Now comes the easiest (and most fun) part. Pour your jingle bells into the shadow box. Then do any adjustments that may need to be done before closing up your frame.
I noticed that the largest size jingle bells were just a bit too snug once the box was closed, so I removed them.
Then put the backing in place and close the shadow box securely. Here’s what it looks like so far:
It’s looking really good, and at this point you could even consider it finished. But I think it looks a bit bare, so I’m going to add a few more embellishments to make it stand out some more.
Decorate Jingle Bell Shadow Box Exterior
Since I still had the large jingle bells and didn’t want them to go to waste, I added two of them to the top of the shadow box. It ended up being for the best, because I think it helped pull everything all together.
To do this, cut a piece of ribbon about 50 inches long (or more if you have a larger frame) to wrap around the shadow box. Then string your bells onto the ribbon and tie them in place at the center.
Next, place the bells at the top left corner of the frame.
Take your ribbon ends and cross them behind the frame. This will help everything to stay in place.
Then bring your ribbon ends back to the front of the frame in the bottom right corner. Pull the ribbon tight so there is no slack and tie a bow to secure.
Although the ribbon will keep in place fairly well when the frame is stationary, it can still easily shift when handling it. This shouldn’t be a problem if it isn’t going to be moved around a lot. But in case you want this part to be a bit more permanent, you can probably hold it down with hot glue in the corners.
Lastly, it’s time to fill in the empty space at the top of the frame. I found these pretty alphabet stickers at Hobby Lobby and decided to spell out the word “Jingle” onto the glass.
I had originally wanted to do the phrase “Jingle All the Way” but my frame is too small to fit all of that. But overall I think it still ended up looking nice.
Here is what the shadow box looks like when fully finished.
And here’s how it looks at an angle so you can see the depth of the frame.
I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and found it helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. I’d love to hear from you! Thank you for stopping by and happy crafting!