Vintage Holy Shrine

I was lucky to come across this fabulous vintage holy shrine at our local swap meet recently. The asking price? $1.00... score!
Here is what it looked like when I found it in a box of junk....

Upon further inspection I noticed that the image of the Virgin Mary was one I was familiar with already....
This gold and black harlequin pattern is very distinctive and I immediately knew it was a match to the little rosary box that I had bought when I was around 10 or 11 years old when my family had taken a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland. I remember there was a little table set up (I think outside of a church) with second hand things and also a few handmade things to buy. I bought this little rosary box and a seed-bead necklace for $1.00....
When I pulled this image of the Virgin Mary out of this Holy shrine it appears to be an actual prayer card, there are words on the backside that are in Italian. One day it is my hope to find the entire prayer card, wouldn't that be awesome?
I wanted this little shrine to light up again, so I pulled it apart to see what I could do...
It took some work, but I managed to pull out all the old wires and the existing bulbs from the piece.
When you hoard as much crafting supplies as I do it was just a matter of "shopping my own stuff" to find some battery operated lights to use.
I ended up choosing the super thin-wire strand of "starry lights" which I just taped in place on the backside.

They lit up pretty nicely in the piece.

The battery pack was easily taped to the backside once the piece was finished.

Next I wanted to add some color to the inside of the shrine.
I used Modge Podge to adhere some blue shiny foil. I chose the blue to match the blue sash she is depicted as wearing.
After that I got a little bit to happy and over zealous with the bling.... I added some rhinestones and a few vintage pieces of jewelry to the piece as well.
I replaced the two images that were in the two small circle frames at the feet of the Virgin Mary. One was an image of St. Anthony and the other was an image of a Nun. I replaced them with vintage ephemera of flowers.
 This image is so special to me... I scanned it so I can print it out to use in the future. I added a half pearl over each light bulb so the light is diffused a little bit. I wanted this Holy Shrine to still have the appearance of being very old.
In these photos the Holy Shrine looks extremely discolored, but when you see it in person it isn't so jarring. 
All that was missing was a Rosary for the little drawer....Ah, much better~ 
big hugs,


  1. Nice save. And with lights too!!
    xx, Carol

  2. I love it! Ya gotta love it when a project is on the completed side of the list.

  3. Very nice work, Cheryl. It looks terrific!

  4. Beautiful revamp! Of course I would expect nothing less from you!

  5. I love all the little details you put into this. Looks so enchanting!

  6. Oh wow that is so cool, I love the additional touches you gave to it to dress it up, not only do you have great embellishments to dress it up but very creative with the changing of lights!

  7. That's St. Rita (the small round image of a nun).


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!
Chaste hugs & air kisses!