A Literary Shadow Box

It’s been a few months since my short story “Makers of Men” was published in Issue 3 of midnight & indigo. One of the things I was excited to do when the book came out was to memorialize a copy for myself. I had an old shadow box that I bought on sale at Michael’s (*cough* from 2013 *cough*) that I’d never done anything with, so I decided to decorate it around my first (paid) published piece.

The first thing I did was paint the box inside and out. It took a while to mix the right shades to compliment the colors of the book cover, and the first couple of layers of paint disappeared into the wood entirely (mostly because I didn’t have primer on hand). After I was happy with the inside and outside colors, I had to figure out how I was going to mount the book in the middle of the box.

My first thought was to attach a frame inside for the book to rest in, but it would’ve taken up too much space and I was trying to keep my project budget low. Instead, I hung a mini copy of the book inside the box using a binder clip and a clear hook. Lots of hot glue was used in the making of this shadow box.

Before I could hang the mini copy I had to do a few things. First, I had to decorate the background. I had some wide burlap ribbon in my craft box from a few Christmases ago, so I hot glued three overlapping strips inside the shadow box. Second, I purchased an eBook version of Issue 3, converted it to a PDF, and printed basically everything except other people’s stories (to keep the ink and paper low) onto small sheets of paper. Then I used hot glue to secure the clear hook onto the burlap, making sure it also made contact with the back wall of the box, and hung the mini book on the hook with a yellow binder clip.

Then it was time to decorate! I got the glass bottles, paper flowers, and mini terra cotta pot from Michael’s and Hobby Lobby; salt and loose leaf tea (herbs) from the kitchen; obsidian, butterflies, and a chicken from Etsy, and sand from a trip to the beach. I also made a small anklet from leftover beads and string I used to make my waist beads.

Put it all together and we have a literary shadow box!

Of course, you’ll have to read “Makers of Men” to know how it all fits together to represent the story. You can get Issue 3 of midnight & indigo here. There’s also an eBook version. Of course, I have both!

I’ve been wanting to share this little project with you for a while, I just… I forgot, okay. I may never truly get over the excitement of seeing my name on the cover of a book that I didn’t have to publish myself. I’m sure I’ll also be excited once I finally figure out the best self-publishing method, but it’s been a challenge trying to navigate all of the many ways to get my own book done. It’s been a little stressful and a bit pricey, but I don’t want to just throw something out there all willy nilly. There’s enough junk in the world.

Until next time…

Happy crafting!