Today’s post is brought to you by Monica’s cheapness. I truly love agate, and there’s a plethora of coasters, book ends, and artwork made with the stuff. While at ZGallerie awhile back, I noticed their agate shadowboxes and fell in love. At $99 a piece, it simply wasn’t happening. I searched some more online and found a $179 version at Pottery Barn and a $200+ option at Home Decorators.
All the nopes.
One day I was bored and browsing the Internet when I came upon this tutorial on YouTube. She made some DIY agate coasters and provides STUNNING, realistic looking agate graphics for free to download so you can make them.
I downloaded them and printed them on glossy photo paper to make my own DIY agate shadowbox art. My version cost about $25 for a set of two. Now, if you have to buy some supplies, I’d say this would run about $30. The bulk of the cost is the frame(s).
I adapted her tutorial by adding aluminum foil on the edges of the cardboard so it’d look truly shiny and metallic like the high-end versions I’ve seen being sold.
Once it’s all assembled, I pinky promise you cannot tell that it is cardboard, aluminum foil and a printable. Seriously…I would not lie to you.
Let’s do this!
DIY Agate Shadowbox ArtworkDifficulty: Easy Time: 20-30 Minutes
- Agate Printable from Hello Maphie
- Aluminum Foil Strips (About 1″ wide by 15″ long)
- Krylon Gold Leaf Pen or Gold Leaf Paint & Paint Brush
- Shadowbox Frames (Mine are 11×14 from Hobby Lobby, $11/each with coupon)
- Felt Furniture Pads
- Double-Sided Tape
Step 1: Cut our your agate slices and trace them onto cardboard using a pencil. Make sure not to get pencil marks on your agate slices. Cut out the cardboard shapes.
Step 2: Cut your aluminum foil strips to roughly an inch wide and long enough to go all the way around the edge of your agate slices. Scrunch it around the cardboard and make sure it overlaps on both sides of the cardboard.
Step 3: Once your aluminum foil is in place on the edge/perimeter of the cardboard, place double-sided tape on the front of the cardboard (where you’ll place the agate) to keep the aluminum foil in place. Also place double-sided tape strips in the center where the agate slice will lay. TIP: make sure you lightly mark which side of the cardboard is the back/front.
Step 4: Grab your gold leaf pen or gold leaf paint and paint the edge of the aluminum foil gold. Once you’re done painting the foil, lightly go over the edges of the agate slice, too. Look over it carefully to make sure you didn’t miss any spots. Let the gold leaf dry about 3-5 minutes. Gold leaf paint may take longer to dry- use the gold leaf pen if you can.
Step 5: Adhere your agate slice to cardboard. Make sure it’s smooth and there are no gaps. Add extra tape (carefully!) if necessary. The flatter, the better.
Step 6: Grab a felt furniture pad (like the type you use to protect chair legs from floors), use the adhesive side to adhere it to the back of the agate slice. Add double-sided tape to the felt side.
Step 7: Mount the agate slice in your frame and enjoy!
I was going to hang these up initially, but I decided to place them on my VITTSJO shelves in my office. I cannot tell you all how awesome they look. You simply have to make some for yourself. (Yes, that’s a Christmas garland, but I love it so much it’s staying up.)
Personally, I think the black background and gold frame really make it pop. The felt furniture pad makes it seem like the agate is floating in the frame.
Printing my agate slices on photo paper was a good choice– the colors pop and look glossy, like the real thing.
Overall, this project is a lesson that should be titled, “Why buy it… when you can make it!”
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial! I have plenty more awesome ideas in my project gallery. Feel free to pin and share.
Do you love agate, too?