Friday, October 28, 2016

DIY Shadow Box by Angela Jose

Hello All, today we have an extremely talented blogger & crafter on our blog, Angela Jose!

Angela absolutely loves crafting & DIY. She inspires others to create pretty things, through detailed tutorials. Hope you enjoy reading :-) Over to Angela.

Hello All, I have been looking for a very long time to make a crafting den on my own but never ever have I seen a messier place than my crafting table! I have hence decided to add some shelves for extra storage space and some crafts to fill up blank work space. Well this tutorial is for DIY shadow box which I made for use as photo frames for my wall. They are simple and easy to make except for a little math that I have covered up for you :) So shall we start?
Materials required to make DIY shadow box:
  • Pattern papers of sixe 16"x16" : The patterns I have are from ItsyBitsy
  • Score and trim board (or alternately an empty pen, ruler and pair of scissors)
  • Glue

How to make these simple DIY shadow box :
As I told you, the math is a little confusing but otherwise, its a very simple craft. I advise you to blindly follow the measurements given here and try out a shadow box using any scrap paper that you have so that you can understand the exact math and create boxes of your own sizes.

For now, I have given the measurements for DIY shadow box of size 6"x 8" and inner frame size 5"x 7" and you can try these out. For variations in measurement of the boxes, keep reading and I tell you how to calculate.
Place your paper and score at positions : 0.5", 1",1.5",2" and at 10",10.5", 11", 11.5" . Turn your paper 90 degrees and score at measurements 0.5", 1",1.5",2" and at 8", 8.5", 9", 9.5" and 10". You need one more scoring of length one inch at measurements 2.5" and 9.5". Rotate your paper 180 degrees and score one inch at measurement 2.5" and 9.5"
Now that you are done with the scoring, lets start marking out the cutout. Follow the image and mark with a pencil for all four corners and then cut them out with your scissors. ( Doesn't look like its understandable as to where to mark! Scroll down to the bottom of this post for a link for pdf file from where measurement template can be downloaded).
Next fold along all of the score lines and lets get started with sticking them. I tried sticking with red tacky tape but I couldn't realign once pasted and that was a major drawback so I used glue which was easier.
Start with the side where the scored portion has straight cut. Apply glue to the edge of the folded panel as seen in the picture. Make sure you apply glue all over the strip especially towards the score/fold so that the frame stays well. Fold the sheet and hold it tight for 1 minute so that the glue sets right. Make sure your fold looks like a perfect square shape like in below photograph when seen from the side. If your alignment is wrong your frame will end up wobbly and unsymmetrical so while you are doing, take utmost care- after all its just a matter of few minutes!
Once you have completed these two side, you can start the other two sides the same way. The only difference this time will be that the shape will be a bit different to add a small triangular portion. While applying glue this time, you can apply a tiny dot at the triangular area as well so that the frame on all sides stays together.

While I made the box first, I did not apply glue at the triangle area so this was the result. I could see gaps at the corners because the shadow box frame of all sides weren't holding together.
I used tacky tape pieces at the triangle are to hold them together but alternately, while you are sticking the frame itself, you can apply glue at the triangle area. I have also used Itsy Bitsy's embellishments like bows, chipboard shapes, metallic paint.
So thats it. If you have the measurements in hand, making these DIY shadow box is a cakewalk. Lets get into the math behind these DIY shadow box then :-D
Measurements to make DIY shadow box
Paper size = 12"x12"
Maximum inner frame size of shadow box = 7"x7" which means your W& L shouldn't be more than 7 inches. If you have understood the math, you can extend it to any measurement of pattern paper and any frame size.
Say width of your proposed frame = W and length = L then your score lines will be at :
1/2", 1", 1 1/2", 2"  and (3+W)", (3+W) 1/2", (4+W)", (4+W)1/2", (5+W)" , (5+W)1/2
rotate paper 90 degree and score at
1/2", 1", 1 1/2", 2"  and (3+L)", (3+L) 1/2", (4+L)", (4+L)1/2", (5+L)", (5+L)1/2
Don't forget to score a one inch line at 2 1/2" and (2+L) 1/2"

If there is any extra paper beyond your last scored line, you should trim them out before starting to fold at the scored lines.If these are too confusing, don't worry I have a prepared a standard chart for all measurements of shadow boxes that you can create from a 12"x 12" paper. 

Hope you enjoyed watching the tutorial. I used these shadow boxes to hold few of my favorite photographs and also a few quotes. This pretty handwritten quote with handmade embellishment one was sent to me by my pen friend Piyu :) Do check out few more simple crafts on my blog and let me know if you want to see any specific craft.

Until next time
xoxo Angela


  1. Wonderful shadow boxes Angela! Explained every step so well! Love them!

  2. Thank you for doing the guest post Angela! Loved the shadow boxes, they are very neat! Thank you also for the detailed technique, loved it!

  3. Beautiful shadow boxes Angela! Thanks for the tutorial!

  4. Thank you for the tutorial. I'll definitely give a try. Hope mine too turns out as beautiful as yours. 🙂

    1. They are pretty simple seema. I am sure yours will turn out good too :)

  5. Lovely shadow boxes.... Thanks

  6. Hi,

    Beautiful boxes. I am a bit confused about the small 1 inch scoring lines. You have mentioned a pdf but I don't see the link anywhere. Can you please post the link to the pdf?

    1. Aw sonali, I think the download link is missing. Please give me a day to make sure about the link.