15 Shadow Box Ideas

Paper Flower Shadow Box

Creative Ramblings 

Whether you’re displaying a couple of special photographs, a meaningful piece of artwork, or keepsakes from a significant memory, a shadow box can be a creative and beautiful solution. Oftentimes you can repurpose old picture frames into shadow boxes and even exchange their contents with the season or holiday. Or, try constructing your own frame from scrap wood and a bit of hardware, then decorate to your tastes. No matter the size and shape of the shadow box, it remains an excellent way to display your treasured belongings. Skim the list below for ideas on how to get started creating your own personal, unique shadow box artwork.

  • 01 of 15

    Succulent Shadow Box

    Succulent Shadow Box

    Pretty Providence

    Why not combine your wall art with your house plants for a trendy, fresh, take on the shadow box? Gather a variety of succulents for this project—more diverse leaf shapes and colors add depth and visual interest. Because succulents require such little maintenance, you can even create this craft with live plants, just hang on a sunny wall and spritz with water every now and then.

  • 02 of 15

    Color Block Heart Shadow Box

    Color Block Shadow Box

    Crafts by Courtney

    For those painterly types, coat a simple balsa wood decoration with a few selected hues, and pop into a deep frame for a lovely piece of DIYed art. This craft is perfect for kids: it’s simple to put together, is doable in an afternoon, and the shadow box displays your little one’s painting beautifully. 

  • 03 of 15

    Ampersand Shadow Box

    Ampersand Shadow Box

    Julie Measures

    Commemorate a significant union with a stylish, knitted and framed ampersand. Fully customize this piece’s colors to match a couple's color story for a unique, homemade wedding shower or housewarming gift. 

  • 04 of 15

    Rainbow Thread Shadow Box

    Rainbow Shadow Box

    Craftily My Love

    If you have a sewing room, art studio, or playroom to decorate, consider a trio of shadow boxes filled with rainbow-hued media. Be sure to hot glue everything down to a sturdy cardboard background to ensure a lasting project. 

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  • 05 of 15

    Floral Shadow Box

    Floral Shadow Box

    A Beautiful Mess

    Add a little life to your shelves with a set of floral-filled shadow boxes. Faux blooms work best here, so hit the craft store to select your favorite silk flowers—no regular watering or pruning required. 

  • 06 of 15

    Summer Shadow Box

    Summer Shadow Box

    Casa Moncada

    Removable vinyl decals make quick work of this project, although you can easily stencil on your own lettering too. Add another layer of interest by inserting a tchotchke or two between the shadow box’s colorful background and the lettered glass. 

  • 07 of 15

    Rosette Shadow Box

    Rosette Shadowbox

    Crafts Unleashed

    This cute shadow box allows you to easily introduce a few pretty colors into a space. Try folding your own paper flowers (a great use for those small scraps of card stock you weren’t sure what to do with) instead of purchasing them for a totally homemade craft. 

  • 08 of 15

    Initial Shadow Box

    Initial Shadow Box

    Ideas for the Home by Kenarry 

    Perfect for an entryway or covered front porch, this bold initial artwork welcomes guests to your home. Consider making them for friends as personalized moving presents, too, and tailor the embellishments and color schemes to coordinate with each family's home.

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  • 09 of 15

    Map Shadow Box

    Map Shadow Box

    Making Manzanita

    Cut away a section of a vintage map (bonus points for sourcing a map of a meaningful location), and combine with a favorite quote and a few small souvenirs to commemorate a special vacation or road trip. Not sure where to find a paper map these days? Pick up an atlas from your local thrift store or pop by a gas station for a freebie while you’re on the road.

  • 10 of 15

    Ocean Shadow Box

    Ocean Shadow Box

    Southern Couture

    There’s nothing like being transported to the beach through your house’s decor, so bring a bit of the sand and sea home by incorporating it into a tactile piece of artwork. In fact, collect sand, shells, and photos from each and every vacation to create an entire wall of personal seascape shadow box displays.

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    Collage Shadow Box

    Collage Shadow Box

    A Beautiful Mess

    Gather a few special bits of paper (think: movie tickets, greeting cards, or photo strips) into one neatly arranged collage, then place into a painted wooden shadow box. Add a patterned background (scrapbook paper works well) for an eye-catching wall display. 

  • 12 of 15

    Paper Flower Shadow Box

    Paper Flower Shadow Box

    Creative Ramblings

    Fold a dense garden of paper roses to display in a rustic shadow box for a lovely piece of homemade art. A set of monochromatic roses creates the perfect base for a pretty quote scrawled across the top glass. Not sure what to quote to select? Pop open a favorite novel and flip to a memorable passage for a meaningful, non-cliche line. 

    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15

    Nursery Shadow Box

    Nursery Shadow Box

    Mama Say What

    While your newborn’s photo looks plenty cute framed and hung on a wall on its own, try assembling a shadow box with a couple of pictures, a name banner, a set of baby footprints, and a hospital bracelet for a physical remembrance of a very special birthday. 

  • 14 of 15

    Light-Up Holiday Shadow Box

    Light Up Holiday Shadow Box

    The Latina Next Door

    Add a little polish to your seasonal decorations with this LED-powered display. Start with a holiday photo, string lights carefully around the frame, and finally fill with fluffy white snow. Can’t find faux snow at your local craft store? Try sub-textured salt instead; it’ll give a similar effect at a fraction of the cost and effort. 

  • 15 of 15

    Memory Shadow Box

    Memory Shadow Box

    Emily Henderson

    It can be tricky to preserve and cherish three-dimensional items: a scrapbook can’t contain them neatly and a shoebox tucks them away out of sight. Cue the shadow box! Fill it with outgrown toys, trinkets, and photos, and display it in a place of honor (like your fireplace mantel).