Sunday, December 20, 2015

FCE's Gift DIY: Ribbon Shadow Box

On the off chance that any of you are still pulling together thoughtful and loving gifts for Christmas (or if you're just looking for display ideas for your burgeoning satin collection), I'm sharing the ribbon shadow box I recently put together for my mother.

Because my mother is the sweetest and most supportive soul ever, and said all she wanted for Christmas were framed photos of me and Isabel (particularly the shot of me untacking the mare from Loch Moy... my mom likes candids, what can I say?) and a shadow box with my ribbons.

Well mom, I can totally do that for you. Happily and with love. Here's how:

collect your materials!
First step was bringing the ribbons home from the barn, where they had been left piled in my tack room corner after coming down for the season (coinciding with blankets getting hung in their place for winter, boo). As an eventer, I don't have a very extensive collection,** but each ribbon is fairly rich in the memory department.

(**My collection certainly doesn't rival the impressive wall-fulls of other bloggers like Gingham, who managed to creatively decorate her entire tree with ribbons and still have scads left over!)

ribbons are neatly folded and labeled
Given that (and the fact that every single detail is documented on this here blog), I hadn't properly labeled any of the ribbons, so that became step two. They are labeled with my and Isabel's names, the show name, division, and month and year. Then the tails are rolled up under the clip.

it's recommended that you have a cat handy for emergency assistance
The shadow box was very conveniently on sale at Joann's, which I didn't even realize until we were checking out. Not bad! It's pretty straightforward organization-wise too, just a matter of playing around with the ribbons to see what pattern etc that you like.

I knew that my blue ribbon from our first ever Novice at Olde Hope would get top billing - not just bc it's blue, but also bc damn it's a pretty ribbon. The rosette isn't my favorite, but the floral streamers just really please me.

these proved more versatile than the big strip included with the box
The shadow box (which has velour backing) came with one long strip of adhesive velcro, but I found that these little velcro rounds were more useful. The ribbons aren't particularly heavy, so one round was good enough for each ribbon, and I adhered it to the metal clip in case my mother is ever inclined to take the ribbons out for a different purpose.

submit finished product for feline review
How you organize the ribbons is up to you. I had envisioned confetti or ribbon decorations or labels etc. But actually, I ultimately decided that the ribbons spoke for themselves. And there was enough color and sparkle (esp with the gold accents on so many of the ribbons) that no other decoration was necessary.

My second place Fair Hill ribbon got top placement bc that was the first horse show my parents ever attended (I didn't really start competing until moving away for college). They knew exactly zip zero about eventing, and hadn't even seen me ride in maybe 10 years. And it was at that event, watching me and Isabel gallop across a rainy cross country field, that it finally clicked for them - they understood what it was all about. And they LOVED it.

obvi it's gotta pass the sniff test
They also attended my event at Olde Hope, which I went to solo and stressed out by move-up nerves. It was really special having them there, especially bc the show venue is pretty close to home for them. They even came to the Oktoberfest Olde Hope event, despite the fact that I wasn't riding since I broke my leg the day before... Tho hopefully that won't be the first memory they associate with that farm name haha!

it only counts if the cat is impressed
Then the two MCTA ribbons on the bottom (both from Tranquility, since MCTA is awesome and pins dressage through 6th place in addition to final placings) are from Father's Day. It was another event I attended solo, and recall calling my step dad between phases to wish him a happy Father's Day, and chat with my mom a bit too. It felt poignant, esp as I couldn't talk to my father but felt his presence all the same.

The rest will carry less significance for my parents, but I love them anyway. The yellow and white MCTA ribbons in the middle left section are from Jenny Camp, where we had our redemption with an easy romp through their BBN course knowing full well that BN at Loch Moy was slated for the following weekend.

And that BN course challenged us, but our strongest dressage test to date secured our place in the ribbons (green mid right) despite xc penalties. Then, of course, the red ribbon in the middle right is from our home turf at OF - where we had a BLAST galloping across that xc course a week before our victorious move up to novice.

ta da!
Final step is to wrap it all up (carefully and with extra padding!) and tie a nice bow around it all. Hopefully my mom loves it!

What about you - have you done something like this for your ribbons?

30 comments:

  1. Such a beautiful and thoughtful gift, love that there are memories for all of you attached to this. If you mam is anything like mine she'll get misty eyed as you talk her through each ribbon ♡♡♡♡

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    1. ha probably! it'll be fun going through each one with her and the family tho ;)

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  2. That is so cute and sweet! And cat approved so your mom is sure to love it!

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  3. What a great year summed up in a beautiful gift!

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    1. thanks! it turned out nicer than i expected

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  4. I love this! I love that every ribbon has a meaning- makes it that much more special.

    I did something similar with mine. Candy used to be hot-shod so every shoe is a perfect mold to his foot; I added a (gold glitter encrusted, because sorority girl) horse shoe to his box of ribbons. It hangs in my apartment, and I see it every day. :)

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    1. oooh nice! i have one of isabel's shoes (could probably get more if i asked) that is just clunking around in my car's trunk waiting for me to get inspired. still not sure yet what i want to do with it!

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  5. I don't know how you could have possibly gotten that done without that feline help.

    The candid is a GREAT photo.

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    1. glad you like that shot too! and yea, OG's help was instrumental to the final product (or at least making sure i actually finished it so that he didn't destroy the ribbons in their half-way state haha

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  6. I have way too many ribbons and need something to do with them, so it looks like a shadow box will be the way to go.

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    1. other bloggers have also done ribbon jars or quilts, if you find that you have too many for a shadow box

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  7. Wheww, thank goodness Kitty was on hand to help! Seriously, though, it looks wonderful!

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    1. thank you! not sure i could have gotten it done without kitty's help lol

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  8. Wonderful! Really love this (and kitteh, too)!

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    1. thanks! hopefully my mom loves it too :)

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  9. Aww this is so sweet! (And your mom is so sweet!) she's going to love it. And congrats on impressing the cat too lol job well done!

    I meant to make a Christmas wreath out of the ribbons I collected from the random pleasure show I went to back in May (all 6th, 4th, and 2nd - very Christmassy!) but I haven't gotten around to it :/

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    1. oooh a wreath sounds really pretty too - you should totally still do it! it sounds super festive

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  10. What a great idea! I wonder if my mom would like a shadow box.

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  12. that is so cute - my mom made two of these for me with all my favorite ribbons one year for christmas and i LOVE them.

    also love the 'cat on hand for emergencies'. you know if there are any mice. or lazer pointers.

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    1. aw that's sweet that your mom made one for you too! and yea, my cats tell me all about what they see. birds out the window... spiders lurking in corners... or ya know, just plain old nothing. one cat just stares at the wall and chirps. not creepy at all lol

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  13. Very pretty! I have two ribbon shadow boxes, but I go more the route of "shove them all in there" since I had so many from my hunter days. Some day I'll post them.

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    1. oooh you should totally post them! i have a whole bunch of old ribbons from my hunter days too (and my mom already has all the big tri-coloreds that i won), but wanted this particular box to be representative of exclusively our 2015 eventing season

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  14. I need to do something with all my ribbons from back in the day

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    1. you totally should! i've seen lots of other good ideas around the blogosphere and am pretty happy with how this particular project worked out

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  15. I have a ribbon shadowbox from my very first horse show ever, and it's a very cherished item <3

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