Twiddleybitz Shadowbox

Last month I found myself the proud parent of a 21 year old. I’m not sure where all the years went to so fast – but it was a good opportunity to pull out the Kaiser Attitude! papers and a couple of Twiddleybitz products. I had my eye on the Plain Shadowbox kit (SBP003) and 6 Frame Chicken Mesh Overlay (OVO12) – I just needed to work out how to combine them.

The Shadowbox itself is easy enough to put together – the instructions are very clear – but I recommend avoiding making one when the weather is very damp/humid. I started this one just as the very wet period in Jan started up here in Qld – and it was exceedingly hard to get the chipboard to dry well.

Whether you cover the frame before you start or after, depends on how you intend the finished product to look. If you are painting or inking it – then do so before you construct the frame. If you are going to be covering it with patterned paper – then it is often easier to make the frame and then cut the paper to suit.

I wanted mine inked to start with – so I inked all of it with Black Soot Distress Ink  first and then glued it all together.


Before I glued the sides on – I stamped them with my Kaiser Graffiti stamp using a white ink from my stash. It’s a shame you don’t really get to see much of the stamping – but it does look cool when you do.

I’ve obviously spent way too much time at Tracy’s – I was compelled to make a frame from an old pizza box for the front of the Shadowbox. Once this was done, I sprayed the pizzabox frame with Burnt Red Glimmermist and then rubbed some black ink (Black Soot again) randomly here and there to grunge it up a little.

Then I ripped some bits of Dude up and after inking the edges black, I glued them here and there around the frame, to make the frame look even older and more tattered. For inside the frame – I carefully cut out a piece of the dark and grungy reverse side of Individual and popped that across the back wall.

Then came the ‘Boys will be Boys’ panel from What’s Up – and this was mounted onto some folded bits of pizzabox so that it sits about mid-depth in the frame. The photo is mounted straight onto this panel and appears to be ‘floating’ in the middle of the Shadowbox.

On the bottom left corner of the Shadowbox I added part of the 6 Frame Chicken Mesh Overlay (OV012). I’ve had this for awhile now – and although I stuggled with what to do with it as a whole piece – I have no end of ideas for it in pieces. 🙂

I deliberately let the Black Soot Distress Ink soak in a bit to the chipboard on this one and left the colour so that it looks a little washed out and faded. It just adds to the interest factor. The cogs over it are from the Sprocket Set (TRA008) also inked – the green one is Olive Colorbox with Black Soot smudges; the small one is Black Soot (just more heavily applied); and  the umber coloured one is a combination of several unknown Colorbox inks with a coating of Black Soot Distress Stickles.

The Lightbulb (SPK014) is one of my favourite steampunk designs from Twiddleybitz. I love it to bits and plan to use it whenever and where-ever I can. Here, I’ve just inked it with a silver ink – that’s all it needs really.

I finished off the chippy cluster with some Tim Holtz Gears and Game Spinners and a Steampunk Cog Silver Charm. I grunged up the silver charm first with some Oil Slick Glimmerglaze and used my heat gun to set it.

Now I have a lovely hodge-podge of textures and colours. Having the chippy set against the Chicken Wire Frame like this not only makes it all stand out, it also makes it very easy to attach to the Shadowbox.


Across the top of the Shadowbox I popped a Twiddleybitz Steampunk Gear Border (SPK008). I’ve embellished it the same way as the gears/cogs on the bottom of the Shadowbox. The only addition is a reddish ink on a couple of the gears.


On the right-hand side I added another frame from the 6 Frame Chicken Mesh Overlay (OVO12). The broken bits of chicken wire add a nicely ‘aged and broken’ feel to the embellishments. The ‘so very proud of you’ is part of a die cut panel from What’s Up. There’s another Lightbulb (SPK014) as well – just because they are so awesome.


The finishing touch is this small Silver 21 Birthday Charm – which has also been grunged with Oil Slick Glimmerglaze.


Apologies to SE Qld – every time I go to do something with this OTP it rains. Making it took weeks thanks to the last lot of floods we got. Then trying to take photos of it produced more rain. I might hide it in the cupboard for a while so that we can get some dry weather.  😉

You’ll notice that the chicken wire frames are arranged so that they are above and below the level of the Shadowbox. This was done deliberately – but only because I planned for it to sit on the metal frame you see in the photo.

So hopefully you will look at your overlays with new eyes now – you don’t have to keep them in one piece to use them – just like everything else they can be cut up and used in ways their maker might not have thought of.

Imagination – it’s your only limit.


One Response

  1. Firstly… congrats on your son’s 21st Birthday.. woo hoo !!

    Love your work on the shadow box – gorgeous as usual 🙂

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