La Casa Azul Pin Display Box Tutorial by Lizette Guzman
*Note* This content was created for Bee Creative Swaps which is no longer active and has been moved to The Morose Bee blog for archiving.
I have a small collection of Frida Kahlo pins. I started collecting Frida pins to celebrate each year I hosted a Viva La Frida Swap with Emily, through Bee Creative Swaps. One thing I love about my Frida pins is that they are all slightly different, reflecting the artist’s individual style and how they were inspired by Frida Kahlo while illustrating their pin. This is why every year, I look forward to seeing all the amazing artwork inspired by Frida during our Viva La Frida Swap.
I decided to make a display box to showcase my Frida pins after almost losing one when displayed on my bag. In this tutorial, I will be showing you how to make a pin display box but I’ll also include some facts about Frida you may or may not already know.
I always recommend reading all the steps first before you begin crafting.
Frida Kahlo Pins
5” Peg Doll
Not Pictured: Paper, Embroidery Thread, Pencil, Pen
Step 1: Grab your shadow box and paint it. I painted my shadow box blue and red to resemble Frida’s home, La Casa Azul. La Casa Azul is Frida’s childhood home and the home where she lived when she passed away.
Link to La Casa Azul: https://www.tripsavvy.com/museo-frida-kahlo-1589077
To avoid getting paint on your shadow box’s display window, insert a torn sheet of paper between the window and the frame, if possible.
Once the inner portion of the box is painted (mine is red) and dried, you can use masking tape to cover it and continue painting the rest of the box. The masking tape prevents you from getting paint on the inner part of the box.
Step 2: Remove the shadow box’s backing and place it over the cork board. Trace the backing with a pen onto the cork board.
Cut the cork board with an X-Acto knife.
Place the cut cork board onto the back of the shadow box to make sure it fits. My cork board sticks out a bit but I’m okay with that. I lifted the picture frame turn buttons up a little to secure the cork board in place.
Step 3: Place shadow box’s backing over the felt. Trace the backing with a pen onto the felt then cut it with scissors.
I changed my felt to yellow instead of the beige (as seen in my supplies picture) because Frida kitchen has yellow in it.
Link to Frida’s kitchen: https://www.tripsavvy.com/inside-la-casa-azul-1589080
Step 4: Using a paint brush or your finger, apply glue to the cork board and glue down the felt in sections until the cork board is completely covered with the felt. Let it dry.
Step 5: This is my favorite step. Sketch what you want your Frida to look like with a pencil on your peg doll then paint her.
Here are some pictures that inspired me for my Frida peg doll. Frida Kahlo was born and died in Coyoacan, Mexico.
Step 6: (Optional) Frida is known for her braided hairstyle. To give your Frida peg doll a braid, cut out two 5 inch strands of black embroidery thread and one 5 inch strand of red embroidery thread. Place the red thread between the black tread and have someone hold the ends while you loosely braid the threads together.
Wrap the braided thread around Frida’s head with both ends ending evenly on the front of her head. Starting from one end, working your way around her head, glue the braid into place. Let dry. Once dried, unbraid the top of the braid, tie the black threads together and cut, leaving the red thread behind.
Grab one red thread and make a small loop going left in front of Frida’s head and glue it in place (that’s the middle loop). Then make another loop just like the previous loop you made and glue it in place (that’s the left loop). Now, take the remaining red thread and make a loop going the opposite direction (that’s the right loop) and glue it in place. I only did one loop with the last red thread and left the loose strands of thread alone.
I love the flowers in Frida’s hair; another of her signature looks. But, I noticed that she also let’s the ends of the ribbon in her hair loosely tied in front of her head.
Step 7: Remove the pin backings off your Frida pins and arrange them in your shadow box. The picture above shows the pins arranged with their backings. I realized later it was easier to remove the backing first then arrange them.
Next, carefully (watch your finger) push each Frida pin through the felted cork board. Return pin backings back onto the pins.
Step 8: Place peg doll Frida in the display box. Return the felted cork board with pins into the shadow box. Now, you have Frida living in her Casa Azul with her little self portraits. Frida Kahlo is the queen of painting self portraits of herself.
I decided not to glue my peg doll Frida just in case I needed to move her to make room for more pins. Plus, I like the idea of being able to take her out and display her somewhere else, if I wish.
The cool thing about this tutorial is that it is versatile; it can be used for any theme. Like a Disney theme pin display box, for example. Paint your favorite peg doll Disney character and display your disney pins in the box.