Making the Most of a Small Piece of Artwork

Jul 22, 2013 | On the Cheap, Projects, Whole House

For my birthday, my mom got me a woodcarving of New Orleans from, my new favorite store.  My husband and I met in New Orleans our first year of law school so the city has special meaning for us. When I got the piece though, it was waaaaay smaller than I thought it would be.  (P.S. If you email, they’ll make this in a bigger size for you, but I had already framed mine up before knowing this.)

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The size is 11.5 x 9 inches.  Hand to piece ratio = not good!


Although I still liked it a lot, it was too small for the wall that I wanted it to go so I racked my brain to come up with a way to make the piece seem bigger while still showcasing it.  A frame with a big ol’ mat wouldn’t work because you’d be focused on the dead space (mat) around the wood carving instead of the actual wood carving.  And then I thought, duh!, a shadow box would do the trick and it did (with some modifications).  Here’s what I came up with:




Even though this is a shadow box where typically items are supposed to lie inside the depths of the box, I propped up the woodcarving to have it lie really close to the glass so that you could see the detail of the carving.  I did that by taking a couple small canvases and gluing them together using spray adhesive and then I glued them to the back of the box.




I used double-sided foam squares to stick the piece to the glued canvases since I didn’t want to damage the wood carving by using glue and viola, the carving stood out from the black background of the shadow box so that you could see the carvings.



Sorry about the terrible reflection but this is where the carving now lives and the size is perfect for the space.

Here’s one more with the wood carving in the background:


Now, on to replacing those almond colored blinds and painting the kitchen cabinets, but one thing at a time!