How to Make a Simple Papercut Layered Shadowbox

  • 01 of 06

    Some Information About DIY Shadowbox Art

    Layered Shadow box paper craft project
    Rita Shehan

    Papercut art has been around for a long, long time. Part of its popularity stems from the fact that you don’t need expensive equipment or supplies. All you need is a good pair of scissors, a craft knife, some paper and a little bit of artistic ability (or a template) to make a remarkable work of art.
    This art form can be simple or complicated. Professionally made papercuts usually have beautiful details and take many, many hours to construct. Once you have done your first papercut work of art, you undoubtedly will want to learn more about the craft.

    Today's highlighted paper craft project is a simplified adaptation of the papercut style that is an example of timeless design. It is a beginner’s version that uses simple details and can be cut by hand or with a digital die cut machine. It features the famous saying “I love you to the Moon and back,” a quote that parents often say to their kids as an expression of their love. This project would be fabulous as a wall decoration for a child's room. You could also give it as a gift to someone you love for Valentine's Day or as a shower gift for the Mother to be.

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  • 02 of 06

    Gather the Supplies for the Layered Paper Shadowbox

    Measure shadowbox frame.
    Rita Shehan

    Supplies needed:


    1. Download template and cut files.
    2. Unzip the download and save to your computer.
    3. The templates provided in the download will fit a 12-inch by 12-inch shadowbox frame.
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  • 03 of 06

    Print or Load Your Downloaded Shadowbox Template Files Into a Cutter

    12 x 12 shadowbox moon and quote die cut layers
    Rita Shehan
    1. If you are cutting the project by hand, print the pdf templates onto the card stock. Print the word layer onto the white cardstock, and print the moon and stars layer onto the silver cardstock. Use the dark blue cardstock as the background sheet. This page does not have a template.
    2. Using the Xacto knife and ruler, carefully cut along the template lines and remove cut sections. Always remember to use caution when cutting with a Xacto knife. Remember always to be safe. Never cut towards your hand, only away from your fingers.
    3. If using a die cut machine load the appropriate cutting file into the die cut software. Then cut out a layer with wording onto the white cardstock and the layer with the moon and stars art onto the silver cardstock.
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  • 04 of 06

    Cut Foam Core Strips to Use as Inserts

    foam core spacers for 3d papercut art shadowbox
    Rita Shehan
    1. Cut sixteen  1/2” x 11.5” squares out of the foam core using the Xacto knife and ruler.
    2. The foam core rectangles will be used as spacers between the paper layers and will add dimension to the shadowbox project.
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  • 05 of 06

    Glue Together the Foam Core Square Inserts

    foam core board frame spacers
    Rita Shehan
    1. Apply glue runner to the bottoms of four foam core squares.
    2. Glue a second layer of foam core squares onto the four foam core squares
    3.  Glue one double foam core square onto each edge of the front of the dark blue sheet of cardstock. This piece will be the background.
    4. Run glue along the edges of the silver glitter layer on the backside and then place over the blue background. You should now have a foam core layer between the navy blue background and the silver glitter layer.
    5. You may have to trim the foam core squares a bit to fit.
    6. Apply glue runner to the bottom of four foam core squares.
    7. Glue a second layer of foam core to the foam core squares.
    8. Glue the double layer foam rectangles to the edges of the silver glitter top layer.
    9. Turn the white layer over and apply glue runner along the edges. Turn the white sheet over and place over the silver glitter layer.
    10. Your project should now be layered in this order: blue sheet on the bottom, double foam squares, silver glitter layer, double foam squares and the white sheet on the top.
    11. You may have to trim the foam core squares to fit once again.
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  • 06 of 06

    Assemble the Shadowbox Layers Into the Frame

    Layered paper shadow box
    Rita Shehan
    1. Place the stacked layers face down into your picture frame.
    2. Attach the backer piece into the frame.
    3. Hang your finished piece in your desired location.

    *A Quick Tip It is a good idea to clean the inside of the glass frame with a bit of glass cleaner before you start the next step. Little scraps of paper and dust tend to gather on the glass, and it is frustrating to have to take the entire project apart to clean the bits and pieces.