Alphabet Shadow Box with Martha Stewart Glass Paint

Have you noticed the entirely new and fabulous line of Martha Stewart glass painting products from Plaid that are available at Michaels? You have to check it out. And I'm not just saying that because I'm getting paid to.

I got a huge box of gorgeous paints in various colors and finishes and glitteriness and metallic shininess, and loads of stencils (that really work) and some pouncers and tools and stuff sent to me from Plaid (all available at Michaels) with the instructions to make something and write up a tutorial. So I made a shadow box! From an old frame I found at Goodwill for $3.99!
These are the Martha Stewart products I used. I love that all the paints have that pointed tip. Genius. And the stencils are awesome. They're really sticky so if you press them down nice and hard, no paint squishes under them. 

So find a frame you like that's nice and cheap. All you need is the actual frame and the piece of glass. You can get rid of all the paper, cardboard, and hardware. I pulled the staples out and replaced them with glaziers points (like 100 for a dollar at the hardware store). Give it a little light sanding.

Then you build the box. Don't freak out, it's really easy! Of course, you can buy one if you can find one that has 26 little spaces. Let me know where you get it. Haha. You just a) cut a piece of quarter inch plywood to the exact size of your frame. Then b) cut four pieces of 1"x2" wood to go around the edges. Glue them down then c) hammer little nails in through the back to make it extra strong. Then cut four strips of 1/4"x2" and glue them down in the box evenly spaced out (d). They should fit snugly. Then cut 21 little bits of 1/4"x2". They're all exactly the same size (e). Glue them into the box, too. You might want to think ahead about what you'll be putting in each space to determine how to space them. For example, I knew my kazoo would need a bigger compartment than my hairpin. 26 letters is an odd number to work with. Who decided to have a 26 letter alphabet anyway? 
Now you can paint the whole thing. I chose Martha Stewart's satin multi-surface acrylic craft paint in pea shoot. And attach the frame onto your box with 2 hinges and a little hook. 
Now find a little object to represent each letter of the alphabet. This is so fun. You could also choose a theme like animals or nature or something. I was going for a sort of vintage things you'd find in a kid's pocket in the 50s aesthetic. The hairpin was my grandmother's. My daughter found it recently while cleaning out the drawers of the dressing table I inherited years ago. I used to sit next to my grandmother at that dressing table while she did her makeup. Sigh. 
Now the awesome part. Stick your stencils on. Make sure the glass is super clean (use alcohol). Burnish the stencils onto the glass with a paper towel so they're nice and stuck but don't touch the glass with your greasy old fingers. 
Squirt out a little paint onto a plate and dab the dauber into it. Then dab a little off. You want the dauber to be pretty dry. You can build up the paint layers if you want to make it really opaque. Just don't dab too much on at once. I used white (wedding cake) but there are so many pretty colors to chose from. I mean, it's Martha. She knows pretty. 
Then, before the paint is completely dry, carefully peel off each stencil and squeal a little each time. It's so exciting!
I'm going to hang it in my daughter's room. And then sit there and stare at it. Like all day. 
Because I hate to sound braggy, but I'd marry this thing if I could. I love it. So much. And just think of all the other glass painted shadow box projects you could make! If you don't want to build a box, just buy one at Michaels and you could stencil on a baby's name or you could do a travel-themed one and paint on the name of the city you visited. That's my next project. Stencil NEW YORK CITY and fill it with photos and subway maps and souvenirs. Wouldn't that be awesome? I should probably wrap this up now. 

Dear FTC, 
I got free products and cold hard cash to write this post. The Blueprint Social set up the deal with Plaid. The opinions are my own. The awesomeness of the project is objective. Martha Stewart did not include any cookies in the box. Dang it. 

More crafty inspiration here:

Tweet with us using #marthaglass. Lots of links to pretty projects using Martha Stewart glass paints!


  1. I wish I could marry it too. Thanks for telling me how to make my own. I'll just pin it for later. Heh heh.


  2. You MADE the shadow box? That's very impressive! It looks awesome!

  3. wonderful job - I'm sure you had a great time finding the objects - One question though, what is it that is representing the "X"?

  4. thanks for sharing.

  5. Fantastic job, you really raised the bar on what a little bottle of glass paint can do! Pinning!

  6. Amazing!! You could sell these for like a kajillion dollars!!

  7. This is amazing! I wish I could marry!
    What size frame did you use? (sorry if I missed that detail above.)

  8. You made that look so EASY!!

  9. This is an amazing idea! I love how you made thing from scratch. Making one like this will be my next project! Thank you!! :o)

  10. Did the materials cost very much


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