How to Make a Shadow Box

Thanksgiving Shadow Box (Ikea) - www.SimplySimpleStamping.com

Last week I shared a photo of a shadow box that I made for my home.  Can I just say how much FUN I had creating this?  Each little square was its own little piece of art.  I love that!

Today I want to share with you some tips for making your own shadow box.  What I love most is that I can change it out season after season.  Hmmm, I think I need a football one right now!  lol

Creating the base

Obviously every frame will be different depending on where you buy it.  Mine is from Ikea (drove 3 hours just to get there).  The inside measures 9″ x 9″.  I stamped randomly on this piece.  Only the edges will show so don’t mess with stamping a lot on the inner area.   I thought Chocolate Chip would look nice as my base.

2nd Layer 

This piece is your working area and it’s 7 1/4″ x 7 1/4″.  If your frame is 8″ x 8″, I would still work with the  7 1/4″ x 7 1/4″ area for the center.   I didn’t do any stamping on this piece so once it’s cut, you’re ready to go.  For Fall, I chose Cajun Craze.

9 Inner Squares

I have 2 layers on my squares.  2 1/8″ x 2 1/8″ (I chose Crumb Cake).  The top squares, I used 4 colors cut 2″ x 2″ – Old Olive, Elegant Eggplant, Crushed Curry, and Cherry Cobbler.  I did cut 3 of each so that I had more to play with.  I only needed 9 but I had 12 to work with.  This allowed me to play with different layouts as I worked so I do recommend you do this (or just use 3 color and have 3 of each).   

Decorating the Squares

Have some fun!  Look through all those stamps you have – images, sentiments, whether it has anything to do with the season or not.  Sometimes the coolest images are not necessarily seasonal but look great (I used Postage Due and it tied it perfectly)!  And if you stamp it and it’s not quite right, what are you out?  A 2″ x 2″ piece of paper?  Big deal!  Start over.  It’s just a little piece of cardstock  🙂  Play around and enjoy the creative time!

Tips on Decorating

  • Use punched images and adhere with Stampin’ Dimensionals.  It is a shadow box, after all.  The more dimension the better!
  • Sponging can really make a square stand out
  • Try adding a ribbon knot or just emboss the square.
  • This is a great way to use scraps of Designer Series paper too.  Use them as a layer (1 7/8″ x 1 7/8″)

Adhering the Squares

This can be the tricky part but I have some great tips to make it easy breezy! Begin by laying all the squares in place with no adhesive.  You’ll want to move them around so that your color pattern looks good.  I moved mine around A LOT before adhering anything down.

Next, set them up so you can see your spacing.  Mine came in at 1/4″ all the way around.  Don’t try to measure it.  That will make you bonkers.  Just eyeball it.  Remember, there is NO adhesive on the squares yet so it’s all good.

When you’re happy with the layout, adhere the four corner squares first but DON’T PRESS ANYTHING DOWN!  Lay it on gently so if you need to move it you can.  You can adhere it with SNAIL or Stampin’ Dimensionals.  Next adhere the other 4 outer squares and end with the center square.

Place it in your frame and viola!  You are ready to display you fabulous piece of artwork!  Want to see some close-ups of my squares?  Here you go!

Thanksgiving Shadow Box Frame - www.SimplySimpleStamping.com - Instructions on the website too! Thanksgiving Shadow Box Frame - www.SimplySimpleStamping.com - Instructions on the website too! Thanksgiving Shadow Box Frame - www.SimplySimpleStamping.com - Instructions on the website too!

Thanksgiving Shadow Box Frame - www.SimplySimpleStamping.com - Instructions on the website too! Thanksgiving Shadow Box Frame - www.SimplySimpleStamping.com - Instructions on the website too! Thanksgiving Shadow Box Frame - www.SimplySimpleStamping.com - Instructions on the website too!Thanksgiving Shadow Box Frame - www.SimplySimpleStamping.com - Instructions on the website too! Thanksgiving Shadow Box Frame - www.SimplySimpleStamping.com - Instructions on the website too! Thanksgiving Shadow Box Frame - www.SimplySimpleStamping.com - Instructions on the website too!
Thanksgiving Shadow Box Frame - www.SimplySimpleStamping.com - Instructions on the website too! Thanksgiving Shadow Box Frame - www.SimplySimpleStamping.com - Instructions on the website too! Thanksgiving Shadow Box Frame - www.SimplySimpleStamping.com - Instructions on the website too!

So, are you ready to give this project a go?  If you can’t find a shadow box, you might even think about doing this in an 8 x 10 frame without the glass that way you can get all the dimension without any issues.

Hope you guys have fun decorating for the upcoming season and holidays!  I will post more of these framed pieces of art through out the coming months!

Have a terrific week, my friends!  I can’t thank you enough for subscribing and for your comments you leave me.  It’s like an instant smile every time I read one!

8 Responses to “How to Make a Shadow Box”

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  1. Lisa says:

    Hi Connie!

    I LOVE this! It’s so beautiful! The colors are amazing, the sentiments are meaningful and all the little details make it POP! (Plus, I LOVE fall!) =)

    I may do this someday to put up in my craft room! =)

    Thanks for sharing!

    Lisa

  2. Maria A. Rodriguez. says:

    Oh Connie, this shadow box is so beautiful and colorful!! The trick would be to adjust the layers accordingly, depending on what size frame you get. Hobby Lobby has an amazing collection of beautiful frames, all styles and colors. This could be a fantastic gift for any occasion.
    Thank you so much for sharing the dimensions to your project, this makes it so much easier.
    Have a great day.
    Maria.

  3. Cathy Dahl says:

    Connie, this is absolutely stunning! I just happen to be going to IKEA this week. I think these are going to make great gifts for my sisters. Love, love, love this idea. Thanks for sharing all your wonderful ideas.

  4. adaloufry says:

    GREAT IDEA=I THINK I WILL DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS FOR MY GREA GRANDBABY THAT IS COMING TUESDAY OR WEDNESDAY OF THIS WEEK. I HAVE BABY PICTURE OF THE 4 GENERATION I COULD PUT IN THE CORNERS THEN FOUR OF TODAYS PICTURES OF THE FOUR OF US THEN FILL IN FROM THERE WITH COMMENTS OR BABY THINGS. I WILL TAKE A PICTUEE TO SEND TO YOU WHEN I FINISH IT. AD

  5. Charlene Fortney says:

    Very nicely done, thanks for sharing, Char

  6. Janene Smith says:

    Thanks, Connie for the fantastic idea. A wonderful seasonal gift idea. Not only from the heart, but handmade and designed. That truly is the best kind of gift to give and receive. Another big WINNER!!

  7. Debbie Campbell says:

    I loved all the printer’s trays that were shown last year, but never had the opportunity to get one. Now (with your idea) I get to make one, too!

  8. Dianne says:

    Lovely idea. It looks really difficult Nothing has to be difficult. It is only difficult if one makes it! Great way to use up the DSP as you mentioned. Thanks for sharing.

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