Friday, December 23, 2011

DI(fr)Yday: How to artfully display a small treasure

Here's an idea for how to display that small treasure that's been sitting on a shelf or in a box somewhere, unnoticed. You know the one: that baby tooth or family heirloom, that special stone or trinket.

For us, it was Coco Cha-snail, a black and pink snail shell that Ryan found when we were staying in Sweden the summer after I graduated from college. Ryan, who, after seeing Coco Avant Chanel had joined me in my Coco Chanel obsession (we are currently reading her biography together) named her Coco Cha-snail, and we knew immediately that we would keep her forever.

Coco Cha-snail
Coco, just as we found here, sitting on a rock in Sweden

But then the thing sat on our shelf, rather than being displayed and labled somewhere that guests could see her and ask about her, prompting the story of our whispered conspiracy as we filled out customs forms on the Air France flight home -- a form that specifically mentioned snails. "Don't tell anyone about Coco," we giggled in hushed tones.

But now, as we move move into our new place, it's the perfect opportunity to reevaluate our decor, make new art, and decorate our space together.

How to artfully display a small treasure

Here's how to frame your own treasure . . .

You will need:
How to artfully display a small treasure

- Watercolor paper
- Watercolors and brush
- A shadowbox (found in the frame section of a craft store)
- Glue
- Scissors
- A thin marker or calligraphy pen
- Your treasure, of course

How to artfully display a small treasure

Step 1. Cut a piece of watercolor paper to fit the back of your shadowbox.
Step 2. With a light shade, give your paper a wash of color. I like to let the strokes show a little bit, leaving the color darker in some places than others. Let dry.
Step 3. With a darker shade (like black), paint a frame in the middle of your paper and a label box just below it.
Step 4. Now, paint a series of diagonal lines in a repeating pattern (such as: narrow, narrow, wide, space, narrow, wide, narrow, space) across your paper from corner to corner, leaving the frame and label box blank as shown
Step 5. Paint lines in the same pattern crossing the first set of lines perpendicularly as shown. This will create a plaid pattern.
Step 6. Using your thin marker or calligraphy pen, label the treasure and decorate the corners of the frame if you want.
Step 7. Glue the treasure to the center of the frame. Let dry.
Step 8. Glue the paper to the back of the shadow box.
Step 9. Put the shadow box back together, first making sure the glass is smudge free.

Now, display your treasure proudly!

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