Monday, November 5, 2012

Project House Update: The Box Office

Maybe you've seen this before on Pinterest. It's a slotted shadowbox so you can store all your ticket stubs as a souvenir for all those events. When I saw this, I thought, "I love ticket stubs, but they always just make a mess and I end up throwing them away. I could use this." Unfortunately, when I clicked the link, it doesn't take you anywhere helpful.

Well, screw that, I can figure this out. And I did! Here's what I did and why!

Let's start with some of the decisions I made. First, I wanted a shadowbox comparable to the one in the picture. I wanted the tickets to collect at the bottom and still be able to see the imagery in the box above it. This means you will probably need a shadowbox that is at least 8 x 11 inches, if not greater.

Secondly, we don't really go to a lot of shows and concerts. Most of our ticket stubs actually come from traveling, like plane tickets or wristbands and maps from tours. Therefore, I wanted the box to be more about traveling and our trips than tickets.

Lastly, I don't know about you, but I had some trouble finding a pre-slotted shadowbox. I knew I was going to have to cut a slot in an existing shadowbox. I needed a shadowbox that I could clean up after slotting, not one of those plastic boxes that would look like crap afterward.

Fortunately, at Michael's, I found a bare wood, 11 x 14 inch shadowbox. You may think that the fact that the front opens up is a downside because the stubs might be able to fall out a gap between the door, but it closes pretty tight. Also, if you don't have a husband who lives for his tools (especially his router), it would be easier to cut, or even use sandpaper to rub a slot, in the top of the box.

So here's how the box started.

And after my husband attacked it with his router, here's the pretty slot. It's roughly four inches long and half inch deep. It actually came out a lot more professionally than I expected (sorry, honey!).

Because the wood is unfinished, the frame needed to be painted. I taped up the glass and painted the exterior. {Sidenote: one of my favorite house tips is to take advantage of Ace Hardware's free pint of paint deals. Certain Saturday mornings, they give away 40 pints of paint. Any time they are doing this, go and get some. Even if I don't have a specific project in mind, I always grab a can of some color I like for a potential future project. That's how I came into this gray with a hint of lavender color.}

It should be noted that because I didn't do anything to protect the opening of the box, I had to run a straight razor along the door opening to break the paint. Two coats and it was ready for a background.  To line the back of the box, I cut a piece of cardboard the same size.

Then, I wrapped it in a simple wrapping paper. {Sidenote: if you aren't buying wrapping paper from the dollar section of Target, what is wrong with you?} I taped it to the back of the box (in case I ever wanted to switch it out) and weighted it overnight.

Finally, since my theme was our trips, I printed out some of my favorite pictures from our travels, arranged them, taped them in place, and weighted them down overnight as well. My favorite part is the quote. It's actually from Winnie the Pooh. I found it in a separate pin on Pinterest and typed it up with some flair in Paint. It's hard to read in the picture, but it says, "As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was going to happen."

Here's the finished product!

Now, the numbers. Here's a breakdown of what it cost to make this:
  • Shadowbox from Michaels: $11.99
  • Gray Interior Paint: Free
  • Background paper: $1.00
  • Prints of us: Free (free promos of photo printer paper)
Grand total: $12.99. Not bad, not bad at all. I have yet to find a place to hang it and to fill it up with our ticket trash, but I'll update this post when I do!

UPDATE (2/25/2013):

I finally got around to finding it a home! It lives in the guest room! I was a little afraid at first to hang it there because it's a different shade of gray than the walls, but I don't think it looks bad at all. Also, it's now the official home for all my fortune cookie fortunes as well as tickets. We've already been pretty organized and collected our tickets from the basketball game, our Underground tickets from London, and my train ticket from Oslo! It's not clutter anymore! It's art!


  1. I love this! I keep all my movie tickets in a coffee cup and all my play, concert, etc. tickets kind of all over. I travel a lot too but am not sure where all that stuff is. What a great way to display everything.

  2. AHHHH I've been looking for something like this. THANK YOU!

    // Justynn