I can’t be the only mom who feels like her little ones are always collecting miniature odds and ends. My son loves to collect mini animal figurines, game pieces, “special” rocks from outside and the occasional scrap of string and tape. These tiny treasures are far too valuable to toss away or throw in the toy bin. But how do you keep track of all those pieces without your kids’ rooms filling up with clutter? Here’s my idea — an alphabet shadow box. This clever craft is so super easy and affordable, and it keeps your kiddos happy with all their treasures within arm’s reach.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- a cardboard 3-D letter (any size will work)
- a utility knife
- craft paint and foam paintbrush (optional)
- hot glue gun and glue sticks
Step 1: To begin, you will want to transform the 3-D letter into more of a letter box. To do this, use the utility knife to cut around the edge of the letter. It doesn’t need to be a perfect cut, but the cleaner the cut lines the cleaner your shadow box will look. Once you have cut along one side of the letter, remove the cut-out section and set it aside for step two.
Step 2: Using a pencil, hold the cut-out letter face up to your hollowed-out “box” letter and measure the opening where you will want to add a shelf. Once measured, use scissors to cut your shelves from the letter face scrap that you put aside in step one. Make sure that the shelves fit into your hollow letter. You don’t need to secure the shelves yet, just make sure that they fit.
Step 3 (optional): I chose to paint the inside of my letter white so that the tiny items stored inside my shadow box would really stand out. If you decide to paint, I recommend painting the shelves separate and using several coats on all painted surfaces. Let dry.
Step 4: Apply hot glue to the two ends of the shelf that will be touching the inside sides of the letter. Then insert your shelf and wipe off any excess glue. Once the hot glue dries your alphabet shadow box is ready to go.
I am such a fan of how fun this mini alphabet shadow box looks on my son’s dresser. It’s a great place to store all those knickknacks too special for him to part with. I plan to make even more to hold our growing collection of special treasures.