Sunday, 27 January 2013

Pinterest challenge - Matchbox car art

When I was cleaning out the basement in preparation for the reno, I came across a bag of old matchbox cars.

I think most of them were passed along from my eldest nephew (he's 22 now), who was obsessed with them when he was young. He would spend hours lining them up in neat little rows. And his devilish little brother took great joy in waiting until he had them all perfectly arranged, only to swoop in and smash them across the room.

While my kids never really played with them, remembering how much Ryan loved them I didn't have the heart to just get rid of them. But I also didn't want them kicking around in my house in a little cloth bag forever. At some point in the past I had seen a picture of a shadow box filled with cars, so I was happy when I came across the perfect frame to use.

I enlisted Matthew's help in pulling the frame apart, and he was more than happy to comply.

He pulled the back off, opened the frame up, and did some test-fitting to make sure that the frame was deep enough for the cars to fit.

The depth of the box was perfect, so I taped up the glass on the front and sprayed the frame with a few coats of black paint. That was a little tricky since it was so cold outside last weekend and I was worried that the paint would never dry. I ended up putting the frame on an old tile that we had hanging around, taking it out on the porch to spray, and bringing it right back inside between coats.

We waited a couple of days to give the paint some time to cure and then arranged the cars inside. I used a piece of white card stock on top of the ugly bathroom print so that it wouldn't show through between the cars. Arranging the cars took some time - fitting them in the frame without leaving gaping spaces was like piecing together a puzzle.

In the end we were only able to fit about 3/4 of the cars into the frame, so it wasn't a total success in ridding my basement of the clutter, but is Matthew ever proud of how it looks. When we were making it we planned to give it to Ryan, but now I'm not sure if Matthew will be willing to give it up easily!


  1. What a great idea! Only, the cars I have left over from Ryan's line ups would fill a wall full of frames!!
    They are in the basement in a rubbermaid container that also has a lot of sand in the bottom from the sandbox. I can't bear to throw it out!

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