Make a Shadow Box out of a Wicker Basket Make a Shadow Box out of a Wicker Basket

What You'll Need
Wicker basket
Items for display
Elmers glue (if display items are very light weight)
Hot glue gun with glue sticks (if display items are heavier)
Florist wire
Picture hanging wire
Small flat head screwdriver

A shadow box can be made out of any number of materials, and using a wicker basket can lend a homey appeal to your project. Silk flowers, bird nests, small dolls, souvenirs and mementos can be displayed beautifully this way.

Your first task in preparing for your wicker basket shadow box is to identify the items you wish to display, and find a suitable wicker basket for the project. Your basket should have a flat bottom and near-perpendicular sides in order to rest squarely against the wall when hung.

Step 1 - Attach Wire to Basket

Place your basket upside down on a flat work surface, and locate a point 1/3 of the distance below where the top of the basket will be when the finished shadow box is hung on the wall.

Measure a length of picture hanging wire an inch longer than twice the width of the basket.

Depending upon the tightness of the weave of your basket, you may need to use the screwdriver to carefully open enough space to insert the picture hanger wire. Thread your wire through the base of the wicker basket, at either side of the width of the basket. Twist the ends of the wire together so you have a double thickness to catch with your wall hook.

Step 2 - Arrange Display Items in Basket

Flip over your basket, and arrange the items to display in the shadow box. Assess the best method to attach them.

  • Light-weight items such as photos, clippings or other paper materials can be glued into the shadow box with Elmer’s glue.
  • Medium- to heavy-weight items should be secured with florist wire or hot glue, depending upon the shape of the item and where you might be able to hide the wire.
  • Items with high intrinsic value should be wired rather than glued, so they can be removed later if needed, with no damage done from gluing.

Step 3 - Glue or Wire Objects in Place

Once again, use the small screwdriver to separate the wicker weave enough to thread your wire through, if you are wiring the objects.  If you are using a hot glue gun, plug it in to warm the heating element.

Start with any items that will be layered behind others, if your shadow box will have this effect.  Larger items will likely be placed behind smaller, but whatever your style, you will need to secure your items from back to front.

Allow time for your Elmer’s glue to dry thoroughly, at least a few hours.  Hot glue is set in a matter of minutes, and of course anything you attach with wire is secure immediately.

Be sure to select hanging hooks that will support the weight of your wicker basket shadow box and all of its contents.

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