Jazz style

Shadow box theme

Got a plain shadow box, but have no idea what to do with it? Well, I have a perfect idea for ya! Begin with a theme and I promise you the possibilities are endless.  This shadow box theme started when my mother purchased it from the Goodwill in Orange County where she works. If you’ve never met my mother, she’s like me but cooler. She thrift shops at her favorite place, the Goodwill and finds thee best items. Her house is mostly filled with items from the goodwill as well as her DIY projects. One day Ill post about it.

Anyways back to the story. My mother bought me the shadow box in hopes of turning it into something amazing of course, which I did, but it took me forever to figure out what to do. I had plenty ideas but nothing that would stick.

The inspiration for this theme was the fact that I love Jazz music and Billie Holiday, of course. I have a huge love for Jazz music. The passion and raw truth of the music and that soulful voice just speaks to me in a way that just makes time stop. Billie Holiday is my all time favorite Jazz singer. Her voice brings me to life the same way acting brings me to life. Last year I dressed as Billie Holiday for Halloween and I recently bought a book from Barnes and Noble called Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth, which is basically a Jazz biography of her life. So what better way than to create a shadow box with the theme of Billie Holiday and my love for Jazz.

So here’s a pic and a list of the items I used to create my shadow box theme:



  • Styrofoam-to create a 3D dimension for photo
  • Album stickers- bought from Hobby Lobby
  • Billie Holiday photo-(Printed from internet)
  • Flowers-items Billie Holiday was known for. You can purchase fake flowers anywhere from Michaels, to Icing, Claire’s, etc.
  • Glue gun- for keeping every thing in tact. (bought from Joann’s)
  • scissors- for precise cutting for lace and photo
  • Black lace fabric-to create the style for background
  • Jazz instruments, letter glitter stickers and New Orleans Jazz sticker-to create theme from her time/ era. (Bought from Michaels)

Side note: The use for Billie Holiday wearing flowers in her hair was a last minute brilliant idea to cover up burning her hair with curling tongs. Her friend found a flower girl who sold gardenias and the rest is history.

Fun fact about myself: Throughout high school and part of college, I used to wear flowers in my hair all the time. For joking purposes, I was nicknamed after the shopping mall,”Victoria Gardens,” which is located in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

My first step in creating the shadow box theme: Cutting Lace fabric and gluing to shadow box to make sure it’s in position.


Next, I thought of adding items in the box that Billie Holiday was known for. So I chose to highlight her nickname, “Lady Day” and flowers that she would normally wear. I chose the glitter stickers because they reminded me of the art deco style from the 20s, which is the era Billie Holiday is from . Underneath her nickname, I chose a cool vinyl record sticker that says “You Beat the Record” and a Trumpet for juxtaposition purposes. I chose those exact flowers because they were an accessory given to me to wear for my best friend’s wedding. I had to hot glue the glittery letters, to keep them in place, but the flowers had a clip on the back so I decided to just attach the clip to the lace fabric. I mean you never know when you want to wear them again.

Afterwards, I glued the styrofoam in place and glued the photo of Billie Holiday on top. I was really fortunate to have that styrofoam already placed in the shadow box. You can always make something out of nothing! I chose that portrait because it’s one of my favorite portraits of her; it’s classic and timeless, plus I did my own closeup for Halloween.


Next, I glued the year she was born next to her portrait, which was 1915. She was born in April, which makes her an Aries just like me. Her birthday is April 7,1915 and I’m April 10,1990. I knew we had a connection lol.

There was little space left and that’s where I chose to add more Jazz instruments like the Saxophone and French Horn, along with the New Orleans Jazz sticker, to create that Jazz theme of Billie Holiday.

Another side note: The New Orleans Jazz sticker was chosen for two reasons: 1) New Orleans is the most visited state I’ve been to since it’s my mother’s birthplace, therefore, it brings a bit of nostalgia; and 2) Billie Holiday was in a production of the film called “New Orleans,” which told the story of Jazz and introduced Jazz Blues singers like Louis Armstrong. Therefore, it brings about an evocative tonality into the theme.

Once the jazz instruments and stickers were in the right place, I hot glued them so they wouldn’t move. I took this simple shadow box..



And turned it into this…


Never be afraid to show your creative side. Sometimes I get stuck when it comes to DIY projects, but it always helps to start with a theme and the possibilities are endless. You can always turn nothing into something. Remember “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!”


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