Hey, maybe you folks can…

Hey, maybe you folks can help me figure something out? So, you may remember that I made a stained glass bougainvillea piece in my class last fall. My own original design:

Finished piece (9 1/4 x 12 1/4 inch):

I'm pretty happy with how the stained glass came out, but I don't really have a need for it anywhere in my house. I might at some point want to do some bougainvillea stained glass for Kavi's room, but if I did, I'd design it to be inset into a door or a window, rather than as a hanging piece. So I was thinking I would use this as the base for a poetry collage art project. Maybe paste typed poetry on the glass, or, more likely, write directly on the glass with a writing-on-glass permanent pen. (Very carefully.)

But the piece needs to either hang in a window (which people might not have to spare) or be backlit, so the stained glass glows properly. Like this (in these photos, the piece has sunlight behind it):

It'll also display a lot better that way at the art show, since it'll just be hanging on a pegboard wall. So what I think I'd like to do is create a shadowbox for it (11x14), and mount the glass near the front of the box, with a light behind it. I tried poking around for backlit shadowboxes online, but all the pre-made ones I found are rather hideously expensive -- $200+ or so. There have to be less expensive ones out there, right? I just want a simple wooden box, that either already has a light inside it, or that I can mount a small light inside. Either battery-operated or plug-in, but battery-operated would be better, I think, like a booklight. The stained glass will be hanging freely near the front of the box, so that if the battery dies, it'll be easy for the owner to replace. (Although a good, super-long-lasting battery/bulb would be ideal, of course, and I could use suggestions for that too.)

Do I need to actually build the box myself? My carpentry skills are pretty nil at the moment. Is there somewhere I can find cheap wood boxes online that I'm missing? I don't need it to be a fancy box; a rustic look is just fine, since I can paint it, etc. Help!

4 thoughts on “Hey, maybe you folks can…”

  1. I recommend an unfinished furniture store. In the Boston area, I like Bostonwood a lot; http://www.bostonwood.com/cubes/acubes.htm has some simple cubes, and they do custom orders for basically time and materials, so I’m sure you could get whatever size you wanted from them, probably with a hole drilled in the back for a lightbulb even. Don’t know if they ship out of the area, but there must be analogous places in the Chicago area.

  2. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Laura, those lights look perfect, thanks! And others, thanks for the suggestions. I’m going to try the local craft stores first, and then turn to the internet if they fail me…

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