I had picked up this wooden shadow box a while ago at the dollar store. I wanted the final piece to resemble an old apple crate, so I didn’t even bother looking for the wood stain in the garage. I watered down some brown acrylic paint and washed the entire piece. That took about 10 minutes, and I left it to dry for a day or two…out of distraction, rather than necessity. When I came back to the project, I sanded the edges to simulate wear. I also heavily sanded the imperfection on the back to make it look more distressed and vintage.
I did a quick Google Image search for apple related illustration, and saved them to my hard drive, I scaled them way down and the largest image used is the apple crate label on the back–I then printed these.
I found some scrap-booking paper that had old map images and other ephemera, I measured the interior cubbies and decoupaged these squares into their space. I then decoupaged the apple images along with other tiny scraps into individual cubbies.
Once those dried, I hot glued the wooden apples into place. I then decoupaged dictionary scraps to the outside of the piece. I did this to tie the disparate elements together and to create dimension. I then decoupaged the apple crate label to the back and hot glued the Scrabble tiles to the top along with the last tiny apple crate. I cut out the word Applegate from my business card and attached that to the bottom as a kind of signature.
I don’t know if the entire project was exactly 2 hours, but I had time left over on whichever of the Thin Man movies I was watching to put away my craft supplies.
My mother was pleased with the result, and the apples got a new life in this small shadowbox.