Creative Shadow Box Ideas to Inspire Your Next Project

Shadow boxes as decor pieces have been in vogue for quite some time now. For a good reason too– they give a room so much personality.

When done right, shadow boxes can convey so much about a person living in that home, and can add a personal touch to rooms that may otherwise be filled with run-of-the-mill furniture and decorations.

The most common kind of shadow box people probably make is the one filled with seashells. I love the beach as much as the next person, but why not use seashells as a part of a larger shadow box creation instead?

To be fair, I wouldn’t expect someone to be able to create such a work as the one above on their first try. This box has obviously been created by an artist with some skill and experience. You can always make your own version of this though. Perhaps make the mermaid out of clay? Or you could use seashells to shape the mermaid itself?

If such a shadow box feels way out of your skill set, you could always incorporate your photos of the beach:

The great thing about shadow boxes is how personal you can make them. They’re often used to showcase memories such as weddings, birthdays and vacations. I am personally very fond of the boxes that hold photos, tickets, pamphlets and other random things that people collect on holiday. It gives your wall a very scrapbook-like feeling.

Like above, the shadow boxes kind of serve as a timeline of all the places you’ve been.

Along similar lines, you can make shadow boxes that incorporate both old and new memories. These make for pieces that have a very vintage feel to them.

If you have nothing saved from previous trips to make boxes like these, you can also create one that will inspire your next trip! Create a shadowbox that will remind you to save money (however little at a time) to fund your next adventure.

You’ve probably seen a lot of shadow boxes that incorporate paper craft. What I like about the box below is that they’ve used paper flowers of different sizes and shapes, making it look more natural and interesting.

If you want something truly natural, why not go with an actual plant?

You can follow the step-by-step directions on how to make it here.

If you’d rather stick to something more paper craft related, you can always make a simpler birch tree shadow box like this:

You can also aim for something far more complex, such as this beautiful set of shadow boxes by artist Allison May Kiphuth:


Making boxes like these once again require great skill, but you shouldn’t worry about trying to create “realistic” and perfect images. Sometimes even your quirky and unusual style of painting can create beautiful and whimsical works such as this:


You can also veer from any of these themes, and try to make something that reflects your tastes and interests, such as this Wizard of Oz shadow box. (It is, of course, easier to make when you own any such pop culture merchandise that you’d like to preserve.)

Whichever idea you choose, the point is to have fun creating your shadow box and to make it your own.

If you think you’d be up for building a wooden shadow box from scratch (rather than buying a readymade box from a store), you can follow a step-by-step process here. You can also read a few tips on securing items in your shadow box here.

If you’ve made a shadow box of your own or have any thoughts on the ideas shared here, please leave a comment below!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s