How we do it: LED 3D Shadowboxes
When we first started out I knew I didn't want to just do paper flowers. They do make me very happy. Once an arrangement is done and I get to see the final product all together, I am often surprised by my own work. However, it can get monotonous. They take a long time to do. So when I decided to try and design my own shadowboxes it gave me the nice reprieve from flowers and opened up more areas for creation in later products.
The first boxes.
When I first designed my own shadowboxes it was close to our first Christmas season. So I sat down at my computer and brought up my photoshop and started working on the design. Working and figuring out what item should go on which layers. There were not really any other shadowbox makers when I started out, which meant no pre-made templates for me to use as a learning guide.
These are my first shadowboxes, and also a customer favorite at Christmas shows! I can't wait to release the improved redesigns for these.
The small details.
I got my Cricut Maker before we launched the business, and after using the air, I couldn't wait to try out all the new improved features. I wanted to be able to make the smallest details for these boxes. Especially since when I design them I often forget what will or will not cut cleanly. This is a delicate dance I routinely do with my machine. Especially since I work with cardstock of various weights (thickness) ranging from 20lb copy paper, to 180lb (almost like cereal boxes).
Even then, the maker can only do so much. Small details around an inch big I often have to cut by hand, windows to house, grass, tree limbs and other similarly small details have to be cut by hand. I find it satisfying to be able to get these details just right.
Getting the layers and lights right.
When I'm building I box I have about 1.5 of an inch of width to work in. Which can be a lot of paper, but I also use spacers between certain layers to add appropriate depth, as well as space for laying the lights. So when I'm designing these boxes I have to figure out which items can be added to which layers, and how many items can share the same layer space. While keeping in mind the best place to lay lights for the most dramatic effects.
One thing that I do differently when designing my boxes is the amount of free floating designs. They are not attached to a design boarder and instead attached by hand during assembly. I also like to get crazy with design ideas. Who else would put a stage in the middle of their box?
If you look closely at the stage you'll see the curtains that are folded realistically as well as proper placement for stage lighting. This was one of my most unique builds and I love it so much.
The finished looks.
After the layers are laid, I have to put everything in. Sometimes I have to lay lights between so I'll do lights as I lay. Afterwards I have to use tweezers to get to the glass and clean up all the hot glue strings that may have fell to the glass. I usually do this as I go as well since as the layers go in, there's less space to get to the front. Then the backs are added and the box is closed up. The box is done and ready for pictures and it's new home.