Make a Nature Display Box | Living the Country Life
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Make a Nature Display Box

Inspired by the art found in nature, this wall-mount frame provides a place to showcase a collection of textural and colorful botanical objects. Take a stroll in your garden or neighborhood to gather materials, such as pinecones, seedpods, acorns, sweet gum pods, or fallen bark. Saw tree branches into small crosscut pieces or find online sources for natural materials. Then follow these instructions for making frame to contain your treasures from nature. To extend the life of your wall art, hang the frame in a sheltered outdoor location and move it indoors in winter. Over time, some display pieces may deteriorate and need to be replaced.
  • Photography by Peter Krumhardt

    Nature Display Box

    Arrange an artful collection of garden finds in a handmade or purchased shadow box. The contents of this shadowbox can be as diverse as the landscape in which the items are collected. Here, the compartments are filled with (from left to right):

    Top Row: Driftwood, maize, pinecones

    Second Row: Red chiles, Bells of Ireland, strawflowers

    Third Row: Hydrangea, Chinese lanterns, juniper berries

    Bottom Row: Peanuts, sweetgum seedpods, Scotch moss

    Date Published: October 17, 2016
    Date Updated: November 2, 2016
  • Botanical Display Box Materials

    ››  1×2 wood boards

    ››  Tape measure

    ››  ¾-inch nails

    ››  Hammer

    ››  ¼-inch plywood

    ››  Wood glue

    ››  #6 1-inch wood screws

    ››  Drill and screw bit

    ››  3/8×2 wood boards

    ››  Stain/sealer

    ››  Brush

    ››  2 small D rings

    ››  Construction adhesive

    ››  Caulking gun

    ››  Natural materials: 

         Pinecones, seedpods, 

         birch branches, moss, 

         horsetailgrass, bark

    Date Published: October 17, 2016
    Date Updated: November 2, 2016
  • Jacob Fox

    Cut Boards

    Before starting, sketch the compartment configuration within the frame, based on the size and quantity of natural materials you want to feature. Or measure and cut the wood pieces to duplicate our frame. Cut 1×2 boards, often sold as molding, to make a frame of desired size. Use ¾-inch nails to assemble the outer frame.

    Date Published: October 17, 2016
    Date Updated: November 2, 2016
  • Attach Back

    Cut ¼-inch plywood to fit the back of the frame. To secure the plywood to the frame, apply a bead of wood glue to the back edges of the frame, then fasten the plywood in place using #6 1-inch wood screws.   

    Date Published: October 17, 2016
    Date Updated: November 2, 2016
  • Create Dividers

    Measure and cut 3/8×2 boards for compartment dividers. Secure dividers by applying a bead of wood glue to the bottom edge of each divider. Use ¾-inch nails to secure dividers. Let glue dry overnight.  

    Date Published: October 17, 2016
    Date Updated: November 2, 2016
  • Seal the Wood

    Apply stain/sealer over frame and compartments. Let dry overnight. Brush on a second coat. 

    Date Published: October 17, 2016
    Date Updated: November 2, 2016
  • Fill Compartments

    Attach D rings to the frame back for hanging. Fill each compartment with natural materials using dabs of construction adhesive to secure the objects. Let adhesive dry overnight before mounting the frame on a wall, fence, or other vertical surface.

    Date Published: October 17, 2016
    Date Updated: November 2, 2016

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