Handmade Autumn-Themed Shadow Box

I am an avid lover of shadow boxes. It’s so easy to add depth to projects when creating handmade shadow boxes. If you’re looking for a Fall craft to celebrate the season, here is a Handmade Autumn-Themed Shadow Box that’s easy and fun to create.

Materials and Tools for Handmade Autumn-Themed Shadow Box

  • Walnut Hollow Basswood Canvas, 10″x10″, (#29471)
  • DecoArt Americana Lamp Black Acrylic Paint 
  • Sizzix Big Shot Die Cutting Machine and Bigz Dies: Bird, Flower Layers
  • Beacon Adhesives: Fast Finish Decoupage, Gem-Tac 
  • Fairfield Polyfil Fiberfill
  • Fabric, scraps
  • Black wool felt, scraps
  • Patterned papers with scallop edges: black/white polka dot, self-adhesive cork with script font
  • Wooden block, 1″
  • Assorted embellishments: self-adhesive pearl rows, gem stone rows, flower centers, decorative stick pins
  • Inkjet fabric sheets or rubber stamps, ink, and muslin scraps
  • Wire, 18-gauge, 10″ lengths
  • Foam brush, paintbrush, wire cutters
  • Scissors, sewing machine and thread, needle and thread, ruler, paper trimmer

I started by painting the unfinished box Lamp Black. Even though you will be covering most of the handmade shadow box with decorative papers, you want to start with a nice evenly-coated black canvas.

 To découpage the box, measure the sides and insert of the basswood canvas and cut the papers to size using the paper trimmer. I usually cut the papers about an 1/8” smaller than the actual measurements, which makes it easier to découpage. Use the découpage medium and a foam brush to apply the papers to the sides and insides of the box. If you want to cover the back as well, feel free to do so.

Coat the back of the papers with the découpage medium with the foam brush, as well as the surface you will be applying it to. Smooth out any air bubbles with your fingers, being careful not to tear the découpaged papers.

To create the die-cut flowers which will embellish your shadow box, use die-cut machine, flower layers die, and fabric scraps in Fall-inspired colors. Stack them together and use a little glue to hold in place. As an option, you can pin them together before sewing.

Let the glue dry and then use the sewing machine and thread to stitch the flowers in place in a freeform motion.

Create a fall-themed sentiment by typing it into a word processing software program and then printing it out on inkjet fabric sheets. As an option, you can stamp on muslin scraps with alphabet stamps or an Autumn-themed sentiment with black ink.

As the focal point for my Handmade Autumn-Themed Shadow Box, I chose a black crow. Die cut the crow using the bird die-cut and black wool felt two times. Using the sewing machine and thread, sew the sentiments on one of the bird die-cuts.

Use the sewing machine and thread to stitch the bird together, leaving about 2” open at the bottom for stuffing with the fiberfill. Cut two 5″ lengths of wire for the bird legs. Use a little glue to secure to one side of the felt bird.

Use needle and thread to whipstitch the opening of the bird closed. Adhere the wooden block to the back of the bird. This will give a dimensional effect as the crow will be standing in the Autumn-themed shadow box.

Now here comes the fun part! Putting your Handmade Autumn-Themed Shadow Box together! Adhere the flowers to the inside of the shadow box on the sides, as desired. Embellish further with the self-adhesive gem stone rows and flower centers. Adhere the wooden block to the center of the box so the crow stands up inside the shadow box.  If you wish, embellish the crow further by adding some decorative stick pins.

Use your imagination and materials you have on hand to create your own unique Autumn-themed Shadow Box. Happy Fall!

Live Life Creatively,

Melony Bradley (www.mel-designs.typepad.com)

Scarecrow Hot Cocoa Jar

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

Fill this whimsical scarecrow jar with hot cocoa or apple cider mix as a great autumn gift for a teacher or friend.


  • Recycled quart jar with lid
  • White cardstock
  • Men’s socks: brown, white
  • Felt scraps: light orange, red, white, purple, brown, green
  • Brown burlap, 6” circle
  • Buttons: two each, yellow, black, orange; one each, purple, green, brown, red
  • Black rickrack, 5” length
  • Orange polka dot ribbon, 18” length
  • Embroidery floss: black, white
  • Polyester stuffing


  • Embroidery needle
  • Hole punch, 1/4”
  • Pinking shears
  • Bright yellow fabric spray paint
  • Aleene’s Quick Dry Tacky Glue

Basic Supplies

scissors, ruler, black marker, newspaper or plastic tablecloth (to cover work surface)



Measure and cut 4-1/2” section from straight area on white sock. On covered work surface, spray sock bright yellow. Let dry. Position yellow sock around jar.


To create hat brim, cut out circle slightly smaller than jar lid in center of 6” burlap circle; set center cutout aside for future project. Apply glue to jar lid sides. Position hat brim over jar lid and pull down over edge to adhere to sides; let dry.


For hat, cut 5” section from straight area of brown sock. Wrap orange ribbon around one end of brown sock and tie into bow as shown. Lightly stuff hat with polyester stuffing. Roll bottom edge of hat and adhere around jar lid, covering burlap edge.


Using pinking shears, cut the following from felt: 1-1/2” triangle (nose) from red, two 1-1/2” circles (cheeks) from orange, two 1” circles (eyes) from white, and one 1” squares (patches) each from purple, green, and brown.


(Note: Use three strands white floss to sew buttons onto felt pieces; tie knot on front of buttons.) Sew coordinating-color buttons onto patches. For mouth, adhere ends of rickrack length onto centers of cheeks. Sew orange buttons over rickrack ends. For eyes, sew yellow and black buttons to white circles as shown. For nose, sew red button onto center of triangle.


Adhere patches onto hat. Adhere eyes, cheeks, mouth, and nose onto yellow sock on jar.


For tag, use marker to write “Happy Fall” on paper. Trim cardstock into tag shape around words; punch 1/4” hole in tag as shown. Insert six strands black floss through hole and orange bow; knot ends.

by Mary Ayres

Fall Candy Jar / Table Décor

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

If you’re someone who smiles when the Halloween candy appears in the stores, you’ll love creating this cute-and-easy candy jar to hold your favorite treats. The only problem you may have is numerous trips back to the store to replenish the candy!


  • Quart-size Mason jar
  • Craft felt: orange, light green, purple, black
  • May Arts Ribbons, 1-1/2” wide: Rust/Black Iridescent (405-15-36), Wired Faux Burlap (445-15-32)
  • Small white buttons
  • Treats of choice


  • Xyron Creatopia with Fabric Adhesive
  • Xyron 1.5″ Sticker Maker
  • Xyron 3” Sticker Maker
  • Xyron 3/8″ High Tack Adhesive Dots
  • Xyron 1/4″ Double-Sided High Tack Tape
  • Provo Craft Cricut Cuttlebug Die-Cutting System
  • Sizzix Dies: Bigz Branch with Leaves & Flower, Bigz Tim Holtz Alterations Tattered Florals, Sizzlits Vintage Lace

Basic Supplies




Using 3” Xyron Sticker Maker, apply adhesive to Rust/Black ribbon and attach around the center of jar.


Die cut Vintage Lace border from black felt; run through the Xyron 1.5” Sticker Maker. Adhere border around jar along center of Rust/Black ribbon.


Run purple, orange, and light green felt sheets through Xyron Creatopia with Fabric Adhesive Cartridge; die cut vines from light green felt and flowers from purple and orange felt. Peel off paper backing and apply to jar over ribbon as shown. Using Xyron 3/8” High Tack Adhesive Dots, apply buttons to centers of flowers.


Wrap burlap ribbon around top of jar; tie into bow. Adhere bow to jar using Xyron 1/4″ Double-Sided High Tack Tape.


Fill jar with your favorite seasonal treat!


  • Die cut additional flowers from leftover, adhesive-backed felt and store them for future projects; just don’t remove the backing paper until ready to use.

by Gini Williams Cagle for Xyron, Inc. (www.xyron.com)

Stamping on Vellum

Fall is a favorite time of year to pull out my warm and cozy paper-crafting products in a beautiful array of colors.

It’s Jill Cornell here today to share a Thanksgiving card idea with you, and this time I even incorporated stamps! I adore the “Harvest Lane” collection from Simple Stories and featured the line on this card. I cut the “thankful” bingo card in approximately half and then tied twine around it before tying it in a bow around a heart sticker.  A couple of sentiment stickers adhered to stamped leaves – “blessed” and “grateful” – keep with the Thanksgiving theme.

Here’s a look at the dimension of the card…

And I’m going to share a simple tutorial with you on how I stamped the leaves. The set is “Mod Leaves” by Cocoa Daisy. I used pigment inks from American Crafts with clear embossing power. And yes, I stamped on vellum! I love the softness that vellum brings to my projects. (Note: Do not hold heat gun too close to the vellum when embossing and keep the gun moving so the vellum does not melt.)

Stamp the image with a coordinating ink color. (Note: I have found that I am able to get a crisp image by using a foam mat underneath my paper.)

  Sprinkle with embossing powder and apply heat gun.

Cut out the image and adhere to project.

Stamping is a great way to add pops of color to projects and the heat embossing helps preserve the images.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jill Cornell from Blessed Scrapper (www.jillcornell.blogspot.com)

Simple Autumn Napkin Rings

Just like that, the shorter days of autumn are on us. Cooler, crisper days often kick up our creativity, but the demands of life such as school and work leave us with little time to create. If you have been searching for simple fall crafts to make, consider creating these miniature wreaths to adorn your fall table.

With just a few supplies, you will be creating these fall crafts that are as simple as they are fun. You might want to make one for the fall celebration hostess or even your neighbors and friends. They will be delighted to receive these fun fall crafts perfect for autumn decorating.

Gather some unfinished wood pieces such as wood rings, beveled napkin rings, and small ovals. Paint them brown, adding a coat of white to the small ovals when they are dry.

Choose a die cut that is leaf shaped or contains leaf-shaped elements such as this flower layer die by Sizzix. Cut several leaves from various fall colors of wool felt.

Adhere them around the wood ring to resemble a tiny wreath.


To add a fun touch to this simple fall craft, apply a rub-on sentiment on the white oval.

Adhere the oval to the center of the wreath.

Adhere the napkin ring to the wood ring to complete this colorful, festive craft!

Melony Bradley (www.mel-designs.typepad.com)


Give Thanks Card

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day


Create appealing texture on handmade cards with layered chipboard stickers and a touch of machine sewing.


  • Bella Blvd. Finally Fall Collection Papers: Autumn Splendor, Apple Holler, Borders, Cute Cuts, Leaf Pile
  • Bella Blvd. Stickers: Finally Fall Collection Alpha + Bits Stickers, Just Write Journaling Stickers, Chipboard Icons; Sophisticates Collection Quattrofina Mustard & Apricot Alpha
  • Turquoise button


  • Sewing machine and threads: bright green, light blue
  • Turquoise acrylic paint
  • Adhesives: paper adhesive, clear dots

Basic Supplies

paper trimmer, detail scissors, ruler, pencil, small paintbrush, non-stick craft sheet, sewing needle, bone folder



Make 5-1/4”x4-1/4” top-fold card from Apple Holler paper; fold with apple side out. Make second card of same size from Autumn Splendor paper; fold with wood grain side in. Set aside Autumn Splendor card until last step.


Cut orange strip from Borders paper; adhere across bottom of apple card. Sew light blue straight stitch along bottom edge of strip.


Paint turquoise border down right edge of card to create look of torn paper; let dry.


Adhere brown journaling sticker to card as shown. Cut smaller Leaf Pile panel; distress edges slightly with scissors blade and adhere to journaling sticker. Adhere green leaf tab sticker to top edge of journaling sticker.


Adhere alphabet sticker sentiment to orange border strip as shown. Adhere Alpha & Bits “give thanks” sentiment above “happy.”


Detail cut cloud from Cute Cuts paper; adhere to layered panel. Adhere tree, pumpkin, and apple chipboard stickers to layered panel.


Sew bright green thread through buttonholes, knotting at back. Adhere button to card with clear dot.


Adhere cards together with apples on outside and wood grain on inside. Firmly crease fold with bone folder.


To make cards that are patterned inside and out, adhere two layers of patterned paper together to approximate the weight of traditional cardstock.

by Michelle Clement for Bella Blvd. (http://www.bellablvd.net/)

Apple Orchard Memories

Many of our early fall traditions have come and gone this year, but I still have a lot of photos that I want to use to document my family’s memories. It’s Jill Cornell here with you today to share a mini album idea that highlights favorite photos of a fall tradition we love – picking apples at the orchard! My daughters love looking through tiny hand-held mini albums, so I created this “Apple of My Eye” tag mini album with them in mind. (All of the supplies and instructions to make this mini album can be found in the October 2012 issue of Crafts ‘n things.)

 I used a tag album by Maya Road and used the tags as a template to trace onto patterned papers (Farmhouse Collection by Crate Paper), then I either machine-stitched each tag before adhering or traced around the edge with a brown journaling pen.

The design inside the album is very simple. The photos were printed at 2”x3”. I covered the inside cover with a patterned paper that had lines for journaling.

 Each tag has minimal embellishments – a few stickers with sentiments and some chipboard frames, photo corners, etc.

Sometimes, I dressed up the chipboard elements, such as the rhinestones I used here.

And on the final pages, I even used a brad (where I removed the prongs) and a button threaded with twine.

To assemble the album, I hooked it together with the ball chain that was included with the album and tied some tulle at the top for a little texture.

Documenting family memories can be so easy, yet it can seem very overwhelming when looking through photos of an event. The key I try to remember is that I don’t have to use every photo but rather choose the highlights and go from there. For those with older children, they can also be involved in the process by selecting photos and journaling their memories of the event. Before the hustle of the holidays is upon us, take some time to document those fall family memories!

Jill Cornell from Blessed Scrapper (www.jillcornell.blogspot.com)

Leafy Inspiration

Hello, crafters! My name is Suzanne Czosek and I’m excited to be part of the new Crafts ‘n things Blog Team. I live in northern Illinois with my husband, three kids, and two dogs. I will be sharing my creative ideas with you here twice each month.

Fall breezes are blowing here in Illinois. The leaves on the trees are painted in beautiful hues of yellow, orange and red. I decided to go out and pick up a few leaves from outside to use on an autumnal card.

I started with my leaves, STAEDTLER Aquarell Watercolor Crayons, and a STAEDTLER drawing paper to create this leaf inspired card:

To create my background, I laid the leaves vein side up onto my work surface. I placed the drawing paper over the leaves. Next, I peeled away the watercolor crayon wrapper to expose the crayon and rubbed the crayon lengthwise over the leaves under the paper. This creates the outline of the leaves on the paper.

Helpful Tip: The drawing paper was a lighter weight of cardstock and allowed the technique to capture texture from the paper and the veins. The heavier the cardstock, the more pressure you need to apply to make the veins appear.

To allow the watercolor crayon to soften and to add a splash of fall colors, the surface was spritzed with yellow, orange and red Glimmer Mists. The red was squirted a few times to get splotches of red. Let dry.

To add a little more definition to the leaves, I colored in the leaves using STAEDTLER Aquarell watercolor pencils and a waterbrush.

To finish off the card, mount the leafy background onto ivory cardstock.

Stamp Artistic Outpost Old Grist Mill leaf onto white cardstock using yellow, orange, red and brown dye inks. Cut out leaves with detail scissors.

Add Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Crackle Paint over leaves; let dry.

Stamp Memory Box Happy Fall stamp onto ivory cardstock using brown ink. Cut into tag shape and punch hole at end.

Tie twine several times around leafy background and attach tag and leaves. Mount onto brown card base.

Hope this inspires you to head out and look for some beautiful autumn leaves. Happy fall!

Suzanne Czosek from Suzz’s Stamping Spot (www.suzzstampingspot.blogspot.com)