Mini Bug Shadowbox

I mentioned in the guest room update that I’ve been drawn to natural elements for decorating.  The bookshelves are filled with things found in nature including driftwood, feathers, skulls, and a framed butterfly.


Just a few weeks ago, after watering plants, I shut off the water and was startled by a large (2 inches long) beetle on the ground.  It didn’t move, and I went back inside.  Three days later, it was still there and obviously dead.  Ben brought it inside to show, ah hem, scare the boys.  Surprisingly, only one was afraid of it, while the other thought it was cool.  Half jokingly, I said we should frame it for over his bed, and he agreed.  All that to say, I’ve hit what may be a new crazy, even for me.  I made a tiny bug coffin shadowbox.  But, most of the supplies I already had, so that saves me some crazy points, yes?  Anyway, if you want to make a small shadow box, here’s what I used: one 2 foot strip of 1 1/2 inch wide by 1/4 inch thick poplar, one 1/4 inch square wooden dowel, both originally from Home Depot and a small piece of glass from a frame at Goodwill.  To get started, I applied a bead of wood glue to the top of the poplar board and set the square dowel on top to clamp, like so:


This beefs up the face and gives a lip for the glass to rest on, but keeps the frame from getting too thick.  It’s also easier than getting out the router.


Once the glue dried, I assembled the frame the same way I made this larger set.


To keep the beetle away from the glass, I cut pieces of a paint stick to fit snugly inside the frame and gave everything a coat of white paint.  After the paint dries, place the clean glass in first, then the paint stick spacers, then the backing with the mounted bug, or whatever normal thing you’re framing.  A dab of glue holds the bug onto a scrap of white cardstock.  For now, it’s living in the guest room, but I think it’ll get moved to the boys’ room.


Poor guy lost a few parts sitting outside, but he’s still pretty cool.  By cool I mean semi creepy, but not to all little boys.  Have I totally lost it?  Wait, don’t answer that.

6 thoughts on “Mini Bug Shadowbox

  1. I think it is cool, but then again…I have a little boy too. We have a swimming pool so we get really interesting (read HUGE) intact bugs to study once they have drowned.

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