Introduction: DIY Shadow Box

Have you ever seen a piece of art displayed beautifully in a shadow box? Have you ever wanted to have one in your house but the cost of one turned you off? Worry no longer! This instructable will teach you the step by step directions on how to make a shadow box using materials you probably already have!

Step 1: Materials Needed

In order to make your own shadow box you will need to begin by gathering the necessary materials:

  • a box with a separate lid (large enough to fit your artwork) EX: clothing box
  • 1 pieces of paper (large enough to fit the base of the box, any color)
  • the picture/photo you want to mount
  • scissors
  • box cutter
  • glue/double sided tape
  • ruler
  • plastic wrap/cellophane
  • a writing utensil

Optional materials

  • something to decorate the exterior of your shadow box

EX: I used washi tape to outline my top border

Step 2: Measure the Border on the Top of the Box

Remove the lid from the box.

Place it on a flat surface, top side up.

Using a ruler, measure out a .25-1.00in border around each side. (width of border can vary depending on size of box and how large of a border you want.)

Draw out your lines to create a rectangle.

*I recommend using a pencil for this step so that you can erase any unwanted lines.

Step 3: Cutting the Lid

Using a box cutter, cut out the rectangle that you measured on the lid of the box.

*Be sure not to cut past where the lines intersect.

*Discard the inner rectangular piece of the box- it will not be needed.

Step 4: Cutting the Background

Flip the bottom of the box so that it is bottom side up.

Measure the length and width of the bottom of the box.

Take your piece of paper and, using a ruler and scissors, cut it to the measurements taken.

Apply glue/double sided tape to the back of the piece of paper and press it into the bottom of the box.

Step 5: Taping Your Art Work

After securing the background, apply tape to the back of artwork that you want to be displayed in your shadow box.

Firmly press your work onto the background, positioning it how you please.

Then, apply tape to the back of your piece of work and firmly press it into the inside of the bottom of the box.

Step 6: Applying the Plastic Wrap

The plastic wrap is used as a make-shift window so that your shadow box is not open.

Begin by cutting a piece of plastic wrap significantly larger than your box- about an inch extra on each side.

*you should be able to eyeball the size pretty accurately, however, measuring is always an option. Keep in mind you want to have slack.

Put double sided tape on one side of the back of the top of the box- pressing the plastic wrap to it.

Continue with the other three sides, pulling the plastic wrap tight as you go.

Using scissors, cut off the extra plastic wrap.

Step 7: Finishing the Shadow Box

Once you have your picture taped to your background in the base of your box, and the top of the box cut and plastic wrapped, you can reassemble your box.

Place the top of the box on the base of the box.

If you want, you can tape the two sides of the boxes together to ensure security and stability.

Or do not tape the box closed so that you have the option to change the picture inside the box from time to time.

*At this time, you can decorate the exterior of your shadow box however you like. Note: no decoration is necessary.