Introduction: Cement Shadow Box Made Using PVC Pipe and Cardboard

About: Two of my passions in life is woodworking and resin work. A lot of my pieces combines the two together. You can check out some on my work on either Instagram or in my Etsy store “resinandwoodworld “. Many of m…

After having some cement left over from another project I decided to make this candle shadow box. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a mold to cast it in so I figured I could make one using a scrape piece of pvc I had and some cardboard. When it was completed I was very pleased how it turned out. Being made of cement it can be used either indoors or outdoors. The flames reflecting off the curved back of the shadow box creates a wonderful atmosphere. It’s like having your own mini fireplace. Also the curved design helps to protect the flame from the wind when using outdoors. For more finished pictures be sure to check out the last section. Thanks for looking.


- Cement Mix

- PVC Pipe

- Cardboard

- Packing Tape

- Pam Spray

- Sponge

- Candle

- Utility Knife

- Bucket for mixing

Step 1: Designing the Cement Shadow Box

- For this project I’m using a piece of pvc pipe with a outside dimension of 4 1/2 inch.

- For the mold I used half the PVC pipe cut to a length of six inches long.

- Once the shadow box is finished it will measure eight inches by eight and half inch.

Step 2: Preparing PVC Pipe for Mold

- First step was to cut the PVC pipe to a length of six inches.

- Next is to rip the PVC pipe in half long ways.

- To make end pieces I marked the inside dimension on a piece of plywood and then cut it out.

- Next cut the plywood circle in half. One for each side of the PVC pipe.

- You could either glue or tape these wood pieces to the ends of the PVC pipe .

Step 3: Making the Cardboard Mold

- First step is to layout a sheet of cardboard so that it is 8 inches by 8 1/2 inches in the middle and with 4 inch flaps on the out side edges.

- Using a utility knife cut the four corners out and then score flap areas so they can be folded up.

- Next cover entire cardboard area with packing tape to prevent cement from sticking to it.

- I also completely covered PVC with packing tape.

- Then center the PVC piece and tape it onto the cardboard.

. - Fold cardboard flaps up and tape the four corners together.

Step 4: Pouring Cement Into Mold

- For this project I used a all purpose cement.

- Spray the inside of the mold with cooking Pam to help prevent the cement from sticking to it..

- Then mix the cement according to the manufacturers instructions.

- After pouring cement in the mold I laid a vibrating sheet sander against the outer edges (this helps to remove air bubbles from the cement)

- I had one side of the mold start to bow out a little so I stretched a piece of packing tape across it to help hold it straight.

Step 5: Removing Mold and Softening the Edges

- As soon as the cement hardens enough to remove the mold do so. This is so you can soften the hard edges with a wet sponge before it gets to hard to work with.

- Be careful removing the shadow box from the mold as it could crack until the cement is fully cured.

- Use a sponge dipped in water to soften the edges to your liking. After this step let the shadow box dry for a few days before using.

Step 6: Finished Photos to Inspire You to Make a Cement Shadow Box

Thanks for looking and be sure to post pictures of your candle shadow box if you decide to make one. And if you get a chance check out my Etsy store at or you can find me on Instagram at resinandwoodworld.

Stone, Concrete, Cement Challenge

Runner Up in the
Stone, Concrete, Cement Challenge