DIY Vintage Jewelry Shadow Box: Treasured Jewelry, A Treasured Friendship
As an Army wife I am blessed with a multitude of beautiful ladies I call my Army Sisters. Each time I move I always find myself blessed beyond measure with these treasured friendships. Today I would like to share a little story about my Army sister Stephanie and how this vintage jewelry shadowbox gift for her came to be.
I first met Stephanie in 2013 during our first tour at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington at a neighborhood gathering called Cups and Pups.
…An early morning ritual at whim!
…PNW Rain or Shine, RAIN most likely!
…Come in your PJ’s or dressed for the day!
…Bring a Pup and a Cup!
…Girlfriends around a fire pit laughing and chatting required!
…Hosted and founded by another Army sister and sensational sparkler, the lovely Carla!
Now if any of you know Stephanie, you know you need body armor and a firehose to douse her in coffee if you plan to wake her or plan to be in her presence before 0900. Well, no one warned me of this. I sat right down beside her….”Hi! My name is Gwyn.” …and went in for the big hug. I am not sure she knew what to make of the “ENTHUSIASTIC! WIDE AWAKE AT DAWN! LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED SOUTHERNNESS,” but Stephanie gave me the once-over and I think I heard a little growl. Then the most fantastic laugh in the UNIVERSE erupted from this tiny little body under a head of pretty blond hair! When I heard that laugh, I knew we were going to get along just fine and dandy. Still to this day, I remind her that she is always just one big hug away from my southernness complimenting her northernness. …Especially on days when I scoop her up before 0900 for random adventures like a drop in at Trader Joe’s for goodies to have a morning picnic on the Puget Sound.
Fast forward four years.
We left JBLM and moved to Carlisle, PA for my husband to attend War College. When we got the message that we were heading back to JBLM, I immediately contacted the friends I would soon re-join. Of course Stephanie was at the top of the list! Hailing from the state of Pennsylvania, she asked me if I would be willing to add a family heirloom to our household goods to be shipped. I without hesitation said yes. Her dear father delivered a beautiful jewelry chest that belonged to her mother along with the surprise of five shoeboxes full of vintage jewelry, several bags of Middlesworth Potato Chips (a PA favorite), and Yuengling.
Our shipment was delivered in tact and I could hardly wait to give Stephanie her mother’s jewelry chest and the added surprise of the five boxes of treasure. She was thrilled indeed. After we were all settled in, Stephanie came down (…four houses down to be exact. SMILE!) to resume our backyard fire pit tradition. She was loaded down with the boxes of jewelry. We sat out back with another friend and went through each box as she shared memories of special pieces. She took what she wanted and then handed over the rest. “Take what you want and get rid of the rest.” WHAAAAT?! My heart! She was sharing her precious treasure. I turned some of the pieces into this Vintage Jewelry Shadow Box for her, of course kept the sparkly and pearl pieces to style with my own wardrobe, and with her permission, gave the rest to our military community thrift shop.
* See the beautiful pieces she gave me here: Vintage Earbobs: Clip-ons to Posts
My Gwynian Webster Definition of Stephanie
dear friend, army sister, origin, Pennsylvania
1. loyal, kind, heart of gold, sparkler
2. best laugh extremely northwest of the Chatahoochee River
3. a friendship I will treasure for life
Yes, one of the best parts of being an Army wife are the friends you make along the way. Always sad when paths part, but BOY OH BOY, the PURE SPARKLING CHARM AND JOY that comes when paths cross again is just priceless.
Sparkle! Sparkle! XX -gwyn
Interested in making one of these for yourself? I found a photo inspiration for this project on Pinterest at this link: DIY’s.com. Below are the Sparkling Charm directions on how I emulated this project.
Shadow Box (I picked this one up at Hobby Lobby.)
- Remove the backs from the vintage jewelry to create a flat surface.
- Cut chains to desired lengths for your design.
- Cut out the shape of a vase to fit your shadow box.
- Lay out your design inside the shadow box.
- Starting with the felt vase, glue your design to the shadow box backing.
- Let your project dry for 24 hours.
noun, Southern and South Midland U.S.
1. an earring or eardrop.