How do you like your eggs?….. Part 3

We move on from Easter themed ‘egg’ items in this post – the two items here are bird and box themed.

Shadow boxes seem to be very popular in the craft world at the moment – sometimes they are made using pre-made frames, but I based my box on a demonstration I attended by the talented Sandra Carey.

She showed us how to score, cut and fold our own frames from heavyweight (approx 290gsm) cardstock which allows custom-sized frames to be made which are both lighter and cheaper than most pre-made options.

The basic box started with a square of card 10½” x 10½” – score the card at ½”, 1½”, 2½” and 3½” on all sides. Cut two diagonals from the corners of the 2½” lines and fold the flaps inwards, then fold the scored triangles at the tip of each flap back towards the centre (see photo).

Shadow Box 1

The folds on each of the score lines are then ‘burnished’ and each box corner cut in a stepped fashion (see the photo below); this allows the box corners to be stuck once it has been decorated to provide rigidity to the structure. The box is further strengthened by gluing a sheet of card to the ½” flaps on the back of the box.

Shadow Box 2

My box was slightly smaller than the one outlined above and I wanted it to have the look of one of those old museum collection boxes with the typed labels and chose the theme of birds’ eggs.

The sides of the box and surrounds of the aperture were ‘aged’ with ‘Old Paper’ Distress Ink.

The gorgeous Madame Payraud papers from Papermania were particularly suited to this subject and one ‘vintage’ sheet which had a bird positioned perfectly on the top left was used to cover the front of the frame, with the piece removed for the aperture forming the background for the eggs.

Egg Box

Another of the sheets from the paper pad had the reproduction of a cover from a publication called ‘Nests and Eggs of Familiar Birds’ – this fit in with the theme perfectly – you can see it in the lower right corner.

Nests And Eggs

I used small polystyrene eggs cut in half to provide a flat base for sticking into the box, and referring to my trusty Observer’s Book of Birds Eggs, I painted three polystyrene eggs to look like Robin, House Sparrow and Starling eggs; once the paint was dry, I gave each egg a quick burst of ‘Spray and Shine’ to make them slightly glossy, like a real egg.

I saw a pack of small nests lined with feathers and containing 3 speckled plastic eggs in The Works – one of these fit into the corner perfectly (kismet!!).

Final touches included using the Spellbinders Die-D-Lites die ‘Tweets’ for the ‘sparrow’ coloured bird on the front and a ‘Gorjuss’ metal frame with ‘typed’ labels for the eggs within.


Just a brief note on constructing a shadow box – the measurements given above result in a box 1” deep, 7½” high, 7½” wide, the aperture is 5½” x 5½” with a border of 1” width all around.

To calculate the measurements for a specific sized shadow box, start with your required aperture size, then add the width of the borders which will surround your aperture (remember to add left, right, top and bottom borders), add the required depth of your box (again remembering (left, right, top and bottom edges), then add ½” to all 4 edges for the flaps on which you can attach the back of your box; this will give you your initial card size and your score lines.

For example, a box with an aperture of 3” wide and 4” high, with borders of 1” and a box depth of 1” will require a pieces of card 8” wide x 9” high – see below:

Width = (aperture) 3” + (left & right borders) 1” + 1” + (left & right depth) 1” + 1”

+ (left & right back flaps) ½” + ½” = 3 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + ½ + ½ = 8”

Height = (aperture) 4” + (top & bottom borders) 1” + 1” + (top & bottom depth) 1” + 1”

+ (top & bottom back flaps) ½” + ½” = 4 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + ½ + ½ = 9”

Bird houses have been popular for quite a while now, but I had not got around to making one until I was playing with the Xcut nesting die set – Easter Eggs (XCU 503419).

As I got into the swing of seeing the dies not as eggs, but as shapes I began to see more and more possibilities. You may look at the next project and wonder – OK, where are the eggs?

Bird House 1

Take another look at the roof.

Bird House 2

The smallest of the six dies in the Xcut set reminded me of shingles – the wooden roofing material, not the painful viral disease.

I downloaded a simple birdhouse template from the internet (type ‘free birdhouse template’ into the Google Images search box to get a number of options) and created the basic birdhouse out of cardboard from packaging and/or backs of A4 note pads. I used a watered-down emulsion (from a match-pot) in a neutral colour and cut some Spellbinders D-Lites – Corner Sprigs for decoration; again I used the Spellbinders Die-D-Lites die ‘Tweets’ for my bird.

I cut approximately 130 shingles from a mixture of kraft card and a couple of sheets of Madame Payraud paper, then stuck them in overlapping rows on the roof – the roof ridge, the sprigs and the bird are also cut from Madame Payraud paper.

Bird House 3

Obviously it took a fair amount of time to produce both these projects, but I believe that the journey is at least as much fun as arriving at the destination, if not more!


I have used my Birds’ Egg display as an entry to a Things to Alter challenge.


This entry was posted in Home Decor, Miscellany. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to How do you like your eggs?….. Part 3

  1. katie says:

    your work is stunning and love the detail you put into your projects. Thank you for joining us at Things to Alter

  2. Wow what stunning work, adore the roof it’s so good, thanks for joining us at things to alter
    Jac x

  3. Avril Watson says:

    WOW, What stunning work, so much love has gone into these project. Thank you for sharing with us at Things To Alter, best of luck xxx

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