Introduction: How to Make a Shadow Box

About: Beth discovered the simple pleasure of creating at a young age and she has been honing her artistic skills ever since. She began, as most artists do, with drawing and painting, but has expanded her love of cre…

Preserving memories is important for everyone, so that you can look back on them and remember important milestones in your own life, your children's lives or your family history. There are many ways to preserve those memories. You can create a scrapbook, digital photo album, photo-book, a collage, a shadow box and much more.

I was married to a wonderful man just about a year ago. After our wedding we had a lot of things left over from decorations, extra invitations to pieces of lace from my dress that we don't really have any use for, except preserving the memories of that day. For about a year now those items, have just been sitting in my craft room collecting dust. I knew I wanted to do something with them, but it wasn't until I started this blog dedicated to “all things creative” that the idea of a shadowbox to preserve some of the wonderful memories from my wedding day came to mind.

I have realize lately that I have lots of creative ideas and craft projects running around in my head, but I never accomplished them. Sharing my ideas with you, my readers is helping me to actually follow through on some of them, which is fun for me and helpful for you. In the following tutorial I will layout the steps I took to create my shadowbox in hopes that you can create one of your own by following along. I hope you enjoy the process of preserving your memories.


Step 1: Purchase a Shadow Box

I found mine at Hobby Lobby, but any craft store will do. I also found some on Etsy that I really liked, but for the sake of time I did not go that route. The shadowbox I loved on Etsy is found here

Step 2: Gather Your Supplies

  • Shadow box
  • Scrapbook Paper
  • Decorative Straight Pins
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Your memorabilia
  • Scissors
  • Paper-cutter

Step 3: Prepare Shadow-box

Open your shadowbox, so that you have the back of it separated from the glass and frame. The back of a shadowbox may be foam and velvet, a hard wooden surface or a cork-board. Depending on what the back of your shadow box is made out of will determine how you affix your memorabilia.

Step 4: Planning Your Shadow-box

Start mocking up how you want your memorabilia arranged. Do not permanently attach anything until you are certain you have it arranged just how you want it. My shadowbox contains some patterned paper I liked, lace pieces from my dress, parts of our cake topper, an extra save-the-date and an extra invitation. I also purchased at Michaels the metal letters you see placed against the glass to form our initials. One way to add depth and interest to your shadow box is to put an item or two against the glass as seen in my photos.

Step 5: Attaching Your Memorabilia

After you have decided how all the pieces will be placed, you can start attaching them to the back of your shadow box using pins or hot glue. After everything is attached assemble the shadow box and enjoy your work.

I hope you found this project fun and easy to accomplish! I certainly enjoyed making mine and now my husband and I can look back on some of our wedding memories and remember that wonderful day.

You can also use shadowboxes to capture memories the milestone memories of your child like graduation, birthdays, awards won, trips taken and much more.

Visit for more tutorials and printables to use in your own creative projects.


DIY Journal by Beth Ann Erickson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at