You made me a shadowboxer, baby

{Fiona Apple, anyone?}

Shadowboxes: I love them. They are the perfect little containers to hold memories, a collage of sorts, that bind up an event into a neat and tidy box. You know I'm all for scrapbooking but sometimes only a shadowbox will do.

For instance, I am acquiring quite the collection of 'race day shadowboxes.' First there was our first half marathon way back in 2005. Such babies we were, proven by the ages listed in our stats: 23 and 24 years old. Wow. I remember that day so vividly and making this shadowbox was fun, with all of my little added text and stats cut from the marathon program. Fun times:


Then comes my first full marathon shadowbox, only one medal this time [boo!] but with a few added running quotes/prayers. I needed those prayers on this day. I also kept the map of the course which included our notes about where my family could meet up with me along the way. I didn't add a picture to this one but that's fine by me...pretty sure I have a few in my 2008 album to view whenever I please:

And then there is our half marathon shadowbox from this year, in St. Louis. I found cute little 'official' clocks with our times online and printed those suckers out, just to add them into the box. I also kept a course map in there and added a little family pic just for fun. Can't go wrong with a little Henry in a shadowbox:

Breaking from my running theme, we have our wedding shadowbox. It's probably my fave, you guys. I kept one copy of each paper item from the wedding: our Save-the-Date, our invitation, our program, and our menu. Then I added my hair flowers my mom made for me out of her wedding veil and my great-grandmother's jewelry. Overall, this is one sentimental box full of happy memories and it hangs right above my dresser with prominence:

I've always wanted to make a wedding shadowbox for my friends who are getting married. It would be so easy: just keep their Save-the-Date, keep their invitation, grab an extra ceremony program, maybe try to snatch a menu or a place card or something from the dinner table, and then after their big day you could easily put one of these together for a friend. I've never actually done it because I wasn't sure if any of my bride-friends were doing something similar on their own. But I think it would make a fabulously personal gift, don't you?

And really, why stop with weddings? You could easily make a shadowbox for a new baby, too. Just keep the birth announcement, a shower invite or two, maybe print off some parts of their online registries, and DEFINITELY add a scan of an ultrasound to this guy. Once the baby is born I'd even add a picture of the newborn with his/her parents in the hospital.....maybe the official 'hospital' picture with the stats would be fun. I can see myself getting really into this one in the future...

Or even for graduation: how easy would it be to put the graduate's tassel, part of the ceremony program, a scan of the diploma, the high school/college symbol, and a few pictures into a shadowbox? Pretty easy. And quite personal.

I'm all about containing major life events into a perfect little box. Something about that just makes me feel content and happy, like those memories can be preserved in their own physical space in the world. Each box symbolizes so much more than pieces of paper and random objects. Tangible memories behind glass....that's what they are.

Maybe someday we'll have an entire room devoted to our shadowbox decor. A few more races, a baby or two, and Nate's graduation......I can see it now. And I cannot wait. :)


  1. You are quite the creative one! I have a scrap book from our first year as a married couple but stopped after that :( This post makes me wish I kept up with the memories.

    And you're right...the wedding one is my fave. I love the color combo!

  2. Those are really great! I made a shadow-box as a gift one time for my mom and she loved it. :D your's are really pretty.

  3. Definitely inspirational! I'm thinking I may have to do a baby shadow box!

  4. It's very cute & a great idea!! =]

  5. What an awesome idea. I totally love it! You are really talented and so much more creative than me.

  6. I love the idea of the shadow box. I've never really understood the point but I also haven't figured out what to do with all of wedding paper stuff. This would be really great especially for our wedding invitation which can't be traditionally framed. I'm going to try this out for sure!

    And I just have to say that part of the reason I want to be a runner is because of you. We just made up our half marathon training schedule and start in umm.. 12 minutes! To run a marathon would be amazing but I'm just not sure I could do it... But then I realized your ages at your first half marathon will be just like our's - 23 and 24! Maybe we can do it afterall?! Your blog is so great in so many different ways:)

  7. Now, I want to make some shadowboxes! I have stuff from my wedding (which was the day before your first half marathon, coincidentally) and definitely have a baby (and your post also reminds me that I should really order birth announcements)...

    I suppose that I should finish my sister-in-law's wedding invitations first. Sigh...

    Thanks (as always!) for the great ideas! :)

  8. I freaking love Fiona Apple! I still crank Criminal like it came out yesterday. Saw her a couple years ago in concert and she was cra-zy...but awesome obvi.

    I LOVE the shadowboxes. I might need to make a wedding one for us to commemorate all the hours I slaved over all the paper products. Fantastic idea to do one as a gift for a friend also!

  9. These look great!! I've never made one myself, maybe I'll give it a try.


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