Custom Mouse Ears Shadow Display Boxes

Custom Mouse Ears display boxes

The first time I went to Disneyland I was 7 years old.  I had to wait another 35 years to return.  I didn’t know what I was missing.  There is a magical culture to Disney that I discovered.  It permeates everything!  Our house has been filling with Disney stuff ever since.  My wife loves Disney, my kid loves Disney,  but I won’t admit that I love Disney, but I do like a lot of their stuff.

OK, now that that’s out of the way let’s talk about a different room in our house.  The Ball Room.  The Ball Room is the 3rd bedroom in our 2000 square foot ranch, and is devoted to, and mostly decorated by my wife.  Because of this fact, and the fact that she loves Disney, she has a small collection of custom Mouse ears.

These aren’t your typical Disney Mouse ears.  These are custom, one-of-a-kind works of art.  The detail on these is simply incredible, I’m surprised they don’t work for Disney!  Some of her favorite artists on  are:

Please visit each of these creators on their Instagram page.  Some even have Etsy shops.  Their work is simply amazing.

My wife has been collecting these for a while now, and until recently hasn’t had a way to display them.  That was until her dad, my father in law, said that he could come up with a way.  And that it wouldn’t be hard at all.  He talked about an idea for a shadow box type of thing, using materials you can get from Home Depot for only a few dollars.

We told him that we wanted something that would show off the artistry of the ears, something that would enhance their artistic value, and group the collection in a way that was unique and classy.  It is after all a collection, and they are one of a kind.  We wanted something nice.

He said, no problem.  And a few days later we didn’t just have one display box for the magic mouse ears, we had FIVE!  Plus they looked so good.

He made 2 different sizes, 3 smaller ones and two big ones.  The smaller sizes hold 2 custom made mouse ears, and the larger shadow boxes hold 4.  They are made with 1/2 inch pine boards of different lengths.  The backs of the boxes are made from 1/2 plywood for stability and rigidity.  Everything was sanded and painted.  The outsides of the boxes are black, and the insides were white.

Here are the instructions on how to make some Custom Mouse Ears Shadow Display Boxes.

Smaller boxes:

Width 13 inches

Thickness 3 inches

Length 24 Inches

Larger boxes:

Width 13 inches

Thickness 3 inches

Length 36 Inches


All the wood was 1/2 inch  thick pine cut to the lengths above.  The backs were made from 1/2 plywood and cut to fit inside each box after they were made.

First he cut 2 sides (24 inches for the shorter boxes, and 36 inches for the longer ones) on his chop saw.  Then he cut a top and bottom 13 inches long the same way.  Then he simply butted the joints together with some glue and a few brad nails from his nail gun.  I don’t have any photos of him making them, but if he makes any more I will bring my camera along to show the process.

Once the box was made, he measured the Outside dimensions and cut the plywood back to fit.  He used some more wood glue and brad nails to affix the back to the sides and this made the box super rigid.

Finally he sanded each with some 120 grit sandpaper, and painted the outside black, and the insides an off white muslin.  I think they came out perfect, and it was so easy to do!

To hang them on the wall he used some picture framing hooks, and toggle bolts through the drywall to make them rock solid.

To attach the ears to the box, we use simple clear push pins.  Putting the boxes on the ground, my wife played with the arrangement of the ears until she found the perfect order to display them.  She carefully lined them up and then using the push pins she carefully pushed them into the back of the box, and set the mouse ears on them.  There are no holes in the ears, and if we want to change anything it is very easy to mix and match any way we want.

We think they came out great, and Each box was only a few dollars in materials.



The easiest way to remove a popcorn ceiling

Ever since I put up a post about popcorn ceiling removal I’ve gotten hundreds of hits from Pinterest & Google about popcorn ceiling removal.  Thanks for visiting, and I hope you find this little blog post helpful.  Ask your questions in the comments below.

I hate ceilings with texture.  Ceilings should be smooth, flat, and painted white.  Not just any white, but ceiling white (it’s a special white paint for ceilings).  To me, any room that doesn’t have a normal ceiling just looks weird.

Plus it doesn’t take that long to scrape.  Maybe an hour or two for a normal sized bedroom.  Most of the time is used to take all the furniture out, anyway.

Increase the value of your home by $10,000

Every house I buy, move in to, or remodel, gets this treatment.  It is messy, but the results are incredible, and I know for a fact that it increases resale value (because I’m a Realtor).  Exactly how much is hard to say, but when the room is scraped and painted, with no traces of texture on the ceiling, it seems larger, brighter, and cleaner.  And I know that is what homebuyers want.  I’d guess that for every room you remove a popcorn ceiling, you are adding $1,000 to the value of your house.

So if you have a 3 bedroom house, you can easily add $10,000 value to your home – (kitchen, 2 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms, living room, dining room, hall, and entry way).

Items needed for popcorn ceiling removal

You will need to buy 5 things if you don’t have them already.  You can get them from your local hardware store, Lowes, or Home depot, or even (I have Amazon Prime, and buy everything from them) .

  1. A ladder – 6 foot or high enough so you can easily reach your ceiling -(Yes I even bought my ladder from Amazon Prime).
  2. A Garden Sprayer.
  3. A large flat blade putty knife or scraper. 10 inches is the perfect size. larger, and the ceiling might not easily scrape off, and smaller and you need to make more passes
  4. a bottle of Dawn dish soap
  5. A gallon of distilled white Vinegar.

Should I test my popcorn ceiling for asbestos?

YES!  Absolutely!  Asbestos is a known carcinogen.  It causes mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer that might not show up for years.  Testing your ceiling is easy, and can potentially save your life, as well as your family.  Asbestos use in homes ended in 1978, so if you home is newer than that, you don’t have to worry.  But in older homes, it is worth a quick check.

Testing your ceiling is easy.  I just did a quick web search for Asbestos Testing in Austin, and came up with a couple of labs.  After a couple of quick phone calls to get the price and how long it would take.  I found a place that could do it in 24 hours for $30 bucks.  They asked me to scrape a 2×2 inch section into a plastic bag, and drop it off.

I did just that, and got the results – no Asbestos.  I was cleared to proceed.  If your sample does come back positive, you may need to hire a company and follow local or state guidelines for removal and disposal.

 How to scrape popcorn off your ceiling – step by step

You are going to want to remove everything from the room.  Take out all the furniture.  Take off any curtains or blinds.  Remove any rugs.  Cover the floor in a large plastic tarp.  I’ve seen other people tape plastic all over the walls, but that’s really not necessary.  Yes, this gets messy, but the scraping action doesn’t get everywhere.  It just falls down on to the floor.  A little tiny bit may get onto the walls, but it easily wipes off with a damp rag.

I tried a bunch of different removers, and found that vinegar and dish soap was the fastest (and cheapest) way to do it.  You can also use plain hot water, but it takes longer.  The idea is to find the right mix so it penetrates the paint and popcorn before dissolving the wallboard underneath.

  • Fill the garden sprayer with HOT Water.  The hotter the better.
  • For every gallon of HOT water add 1 cup vinegar, and 7 tablespoons of Dawn Dishsoap.  Too much soap, and all you are going to get is bubbles.  Too much vinegar, and you are just wasting it.
  • Pump the sprayer.  Pump, pump pump, and make sure you have it good and pressurized.  You want a good stream coming out that sucker, not a little trickle.  Also the pumping action mixes up all the vinegar and dish soap.
  • Scrape popcorn off ceilingSpray the solution on the popcorn ceiling.  The idea is to get it just wet enough so the stuff scrapes off easily, but not so wet that you soak the drywall underneath.  Here’s a guide:  spray enough so it is exactly this wet – just wet enough so it doesn’t drip down in your eyes.  If the water mixture starts dripping onto the floor, you have sprayed too much, and are wasting water, and overwetting the popcorn ceiling, and potentially soaking the drywall.  Get some towels and dry the area that is too wet.  This photo is what it looks like if it wasn’t wet enough.
  • After wetting a 3 foot by 3 foot area, 9 square feet, wait exactly 2 min 37 seconds to let the stuff do it’s job. OK that’s an estimate, not scientific at all.  But you want the solution to soak in.  When done properly, the putty knife just slides across the ceiling, and it is easy to scrape the popcorn off.  Your time may be longer depending on age, amount and type of paint and total styrofoam content of the popcorn.  With a smooth motion, scrape the ceiling with the scraper.  You should get a wide strip of the stuff just falling off the ceiling.  If you don’t, try again.  There isn’t a wrong way.

Soon, you will be able to do a decent sized bedroom in about an hour – in fact, you will probably spend more time cleaning the floor than the ceiling.

Leave a comment with how it worked out for you!