Wednesday, July 20, 2016

DIY Gemstones Picture frame/Shadow box

We (Me and my Husband) went to a gemstone mine near Little Switzerland, North Carolina two weeks ago. Before going there we thought we would be digging the stones by ourselves and exploring the varieties of gems. But once we got there, we came to know that we will be just washing away the stones from a bucket which is already filled with the mixture of raw stones, gemstones, and mud. It was not very exciting but we I did enjoy discovering the different variety of gemstones.
My husband was satisfied in a way that he was sure I will somehow find a creative use for the stones we collected. ;) (How sweet!!) So here I am today showing you what to do with the gemstones that you might have collected like us from a gemstone mine or from a gemstone show. This idea will also work for those stones and shells you collected from beaches. So let's get started.

Gemstones shadow box

Materials required :
Shadow box
Hot glue gun and sticks
A photo of your choice
Ziploc bag(Optional)
Foamboard pieces
Any thick cardboard piece
Double sided tape

Step 1: From the collection of gemstones you have, separate the stones that fit into a shadow box and those which are big in size. The picture above shows my collection of gemstones. I got four to five Rose Quartz in which only one fitted the shadow box. Similarly, there were some other stones which did not fit the box.So put those stones in a Ziploc bag and use a hammer to break the stones into small pieces.

Step 2: Take the cardboard piece or the paper that came with the shadow box and use that as a template to trace a background board(Whatever you are using, either a cardboard or poster board). I used the piece of cardstock that came in the box and added a piece of poster board for extra strength. Make sure the cardboard or whatever you use as a background should be thick enough to hold the stones at the same time you should able to close the shadow box.(Especially if it is back opening)

Decide the layout you are going to use and trace the area where you are going to glue the stones and where the photo is going to go using a pencil. I decided to attach the photo in the center so I traced 7" square in the middle of 9" inch board allowing 2" inches on all the sides for the stones. 

Step 3: Arrange the gemstones on the frame. Fill the gaps between the gemstones using normal stones. I collected some white stones from the beach when we went to the beach last summer in New York. I used those stones to fill the gaps. 

Step 4: Once you are happy with the layout of the stones make sure everything fits in the shadow box. 
You can see in the picture above that I arranged the stones till the edge of the paper. While you assemble the whole thing in the shadow box you have to account the little space on the edges.(I totally forgot that, Thank god I did not glue anything yet!)The  shadow box came with adjustable depths, so I took the frames out and put it on the corners. Moved the stones a bit inside so that  everything fits inside the frame. 

Step 5:  Now glue each stone in its place using hot glue. Start with big stones.I know this step can be intimidating but don't worry you can do it. Once you glued all the big stones, just flip the board so that all the small stones fall down, you can then fill the gaps as desired. You a tweezer to maneuver small stones into the spaces. 

Step 6: Once you glued all the stones, cut two foam boards of size 5"X5" and glue to the center. This is done to elevate the picture from the center. This step is totally up to you. I wanted the photo to look elevated from the stones frame but if you want the photo to be at the same level as the stones, you can glue the photo first and then the stones. Use double sided tape to glue the photo to the foamboard.Carefully assemble the whole thing into the shadow box and secure the back with the sliders that came with the box. That's it !! You're done.

beach stones diy
diy with gemstones

How cool is this? Do you like this idea of using gemstones in a picture frame? As said earlier, the same can be done with beach stones and shells. The picture I used here is from New York, as all the pictures we took in the gemstones mine trip are selfies and single pictures so I thought we will use our favourite picture from the past beach visits as we have used beach stones too ;) 

Will you give this project a try? Do you have any ideas as to what to do with the gemstones and beach stones? If you have done any project with them be sure to leave a comment below. I would love to see. Share what you think about this project in the comments below. As always I will be happy to hear from you. 

Other DIY with photos that you might like :

Photo display using Push pins & Corkboard


  1. What a gorgeous photo frame and so perfect for your sweet photo! Thank you so much for sharing over at Waste Not Wednesday! :-)

  2. That is beautiful!! What a great gift idea for family! :) #HomeMattersParty

  3. I just love this idea! Beautiful! #HomeMattersParty

  4. This is such a beautiful craft! I love how it brings nature and memories together into a nice piece of art.

    Thank you for sharing this with us on the #HomeMattersParty.

  5. love the story and how you shared other various ways to hang or showcase personal photos - I love the first shell idea- so beachy, and fun! Thanks for sharing at #homemattersparty with me and everyone this week! xx Bee

  6. Very cute idea! Thanks for sharing at #HomeMattersParty


  7. What a fun way to add interest to a picture frame...looks great! Thanks for sharing and co-hosting at the #HomeMattersParty ! :)

    Life With Lorelai

  8. I really love this gemstone photo frame idea. I would love to try with shells from the beach! Wish we would have brought some back!



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