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21 Simple DIY Shadow Box Plans You Can Make by Yourself

21 Simple DIY Shadow Box Plans You Can Make by Yourself

shadow box plans

A shadow box is simply a display case designed to stand by itself, or hang on a wall. It may be open or have a glass at its front. Its use is to show off pretty or sentimental items.

Some individuals use them to display awards and some to pay tribute to friends and family. They come in a variety of designs, color, and shapes and are available in retail for a hefty price.

However, be it as it may, most people, you included prefer to have custom designed shadow boxes. There is just something to a DIY shadow box that makes it fulfilling.

Speaking of which, DIY shadow box projects are simple and best of all, creative. I have taken the liberty of preparing a bunch of shadow box tutorials you can choose from. You can choose whichever DIY project you prefer.

If you like these shadow boxes, consider these other free box plans such as grow box, planter box, nesting box, wood box, wooden jewerly box, sandbox, and toy box.

1. DIY Black Wooden Frame Shadow Box

DIY Black Wooden Frame Shadow Box

This is a beautiful piece. It is a creative way of displaying our collectibles to the world. The matte black finish is to die for.

The Bob Vila blog decided to use a wooden frame as this gets rid of the hassle of having to fit the glass on the frame. Depending on the item to be displayed, you can prefer to use a frame with more designs.

To hack this wood shadow box plan, you will need plywood, sandpaper, wood glue, nails, rubber grip pads and hinges in addition to the wooden frame.

2. Rustic Graphic Shadow Box 

Rustic Graphic Shadow Box

The Build Basic tutorial presents a frame that is easy to make and that features a beautiful rustic graphic as its wallpaper. This complements its overall look.

I love this shadow box for the mere fact that the frame is put together using pocket holes and screws. The finishing is flawless and makes for the perfect housing for any sentimental collectible.

To replicate this unit, you need several boards, a graphic paper of your choice and a jigsaw to complete the elegant and fine look.

This is completely a beginner project and can be done in less than 30 minutes. It will cost you about $8.

3. Dramatic Blue Shadow Box

Dramatic Blue Shadow Box

What is better than having one shadow box? Three shadow boxes. The Build Something blog takes DIY shadow box building to a whole new level.

The blog tutorial details the process of not only building a stylish shadow box but also adding color to your otherwise plain wall.

The homemade shadow box display frames are simple and provide safety and display space for tiny collectibles. Small items are easy to lose. These shadow boxes help keep them safe for long.

In the tutorial is a tools and materials list, a cutting list and instructions to help hack the project.

4. DIY Cottage Shadow Box

DIY Cottage Shadow Box

This shadow box by the Saw on Skates blog tutorial is a winner. It is partitioned to accommodate more than one collectible in an organized fashion. It also features no back panel. A scrapbooking paper unit can, however, be added.

This shadow box is a perfect solution to a plain wall in your kid’s room, the bathroom, the guest room or any other room at that. It adds ample storage to a wall and adds beauty to an unsightly space.

The project is easy and can be completed in a single afternoon. The PDF tutorial provided will help you hack the DIY shadow box like a pro.

5. DIY Grid Shadow Box

DIY Grid Shadow Box

This shadow box comes in a set. The shadow boxes feature several little compartments to store tiny items. All of the shadow box pieces are made using oak wood.

While at first glance this shadow box tutorial may seem elaborate primarily courtesy of the interlocking grids, the Wood Archivist simplifies the process a great deal in the tutorial.

The final product is eye-catching, smooth and elegant. The perspective diagrams provided in the tutorial give a better understanding of the project. With all the materials needed, the shadow box only takes several minutes to build.

6. DIY Custom Shadow Box

DIY Custom Shadow Box

This shadow box features a custom made frame. The custom design is imperative for displaying an unusual item like a tiny doll dress. Rogue Engineer shows you how this works.

The first step in the project is to take precise measurements of the special item. The dimensions have to be just right for a perfect shadow box display.

The frame used by the Rogue Engineer features a gold glazing which adds to its overall beauty. You, however, can use a frame of your choice.

The instructions provided in the tutorial are straightforward, and the project can be done in a matter of hours.

7. Shadow Box Wall Art

Shadow Box Wall Art

This DIY shadow box project tutorial on the Real Simple blog is super easy. It displays a trio of framed boxes each capturing the special moments in the life of every family member.

These shadow boxes are perfect wall hangings for home offices and family rooms. The beauty of the project is that you can have pretty much any special moment added to the display.

The shadow boxes are also great as mother’s day and father’s day gifts.

8. DIY Sentimental Shadow Box

DIY Sentimental Shadow Box

Who thought used and rusted nails would make amazing pieces of art? Well, the Crate and Barrel blog are creative enough to think of seemingly useless nails as pieces of art.

The blog tutorial takes the liberty of guiding you through the process of displaying rusty nails in a professional, presentable and eye-catching manner.

Kim and Scott saved the nails recovered from a fallen construction and used them in the project. The shadow box features a 11x14 Benson Picture Frame.

You also will need a stiff board, a thin wire, a pair of scissors, artist tape and some scrap paper. The blog instructions are easy detailing the process of piecing the unit together.

9. DIY Light-Up Shadow Box Picture Frame

DIY Light-Up Shadow Box Picture Frame

Showcase you sentimental items and Instagram images in a creative remote controlled light-up shadow box. One glance and you will fall in love with this shadow box.

I love it for its lighting feature and that with the HGTV blog tutorial it can be made in 10 minutes or less. This shadow box is refreshingly different yet easy to construct.

The materials needed for the project include some battery operated LED lights sporting a remote control feature.

10. DIY Baby Shadow Box

DIY Baby Shadow Box

This shadow box by the Baby Chick blog will help you immortalize your baby’s arrival to this world. The tutorial teaches you how to build a shadow box.

Giving birth is a tedious and painful process. However, holding the baby in your arms or the first time flushes out the pain experienced.

It is a special moment that needs to be immortalized. This DIY shadow box is the perfect solution. You can add some more special moments as your kid grows.

Building the frame is a simple and easy process. For beginners, the tutorial provides instructions to hack the project.

11. Partitioned Pink Shadow Box

Partitioned Pink Shadow Box

Beautiful partitioned shadow boxes are expensive. Good thing you can replicate one for close to $0. The Making Joy and Pretty Things blog provides a tutorial for this.

I love the pink color. However, if it is not for you, you can always prefer a different color. You can use an ornate or plain frame provided it features a 11x14 opening.

The box you build will need to be the same size as the frame opening. With the box and accurate measurements, you can proceed to cut the partitioning wood.

Attaching the partitions is the tricky bit, but with some patience and the tutorial, you can hack the project with ease.

12. DIY Shadow Box Bank Tutorial

DIY Shadow Box Bank Tutorial

Think of this DIY project as an unconventional piggy bank. Yes, this is one craft that you do not see every day. Though simple and straightforward, this shadow box bank is a gem.

I love the fact that it can be customized to match all kinds of personalities. With the transparent shadow box door, you can view your savings in the bank.

The A Mom’s Take blog tutorial details the process of building the shadow box frame. You need a picture frame, an image of your choice for the backdrop, a Dremel tool and vinyl.

For the frame, be careful to choose one that is thick enough to allow the routing of a coin slot.

13. Multiple Detached Shadow Boxes

Multiple Detached Shadow Boxes

These are shadow boxes like no other. They are simple, easy and quick to build. They are perfect for displaying florals/plants and décor.

The reason this project is so simple to hack is the fact that these shadow boxes come almost ready to hang from Michaels. They come in a perfect set of 3 and feature hangers on their backs. 

In this project, all you need to do is to cut a basswood board for each shadow box and attach it to the back of the boxes. The basswood can be painted in whichever color one pleases.

If you please, you can also leave the boxes without backing, and they still will be beautiful.

14. DIY Cardboard Shadow Box

DIY Cardboard Shadow Box

Creative shadow boxes can be made from pretty much anything. This particular shadow box is made from cardboard.

Though not as strong as wooden frame shadow boxes, I love this design as it is easy to handle shape cardboard. No special tools or skills are required. You can build a shadow box of whatever depth you prefer.

In addition to the cardboard, you also will need scrap paper and tissue paper to provide beauty and add strength and support to the shadowbox. The Instructables PDF guides you through the project.

15. DIY Holiday Shadow Box Frame

DIY Holiday Shadow Box Frame

This frame is without a doubt a perfect addition to any home’s holiday decorations. You do not have to do the same old and cliché holiday decorations you did the last holiday.

Alternatively, if you do, make some beautiful additions including this holiday shadow box. The To Simply Inspire blog used an 8x10 Shadow box frame, and added holiday colored puff balls and colored bells.

In this blog tutorial are some steps to follow to hack the project in a few minutes. The color and finishing can be altered to meet your preferences.

16. DIY Photo Frame Shadow Box

DIY Photo Frame Shadow Box

With the development of technology, most people have turned to storing their picture memories in cloud storage services.

While this is a great move, it also is good to display those happy couple and family moments on your walls and to the world. This shadow box is specifically designed to hold images.

The Crafty Angels made use of pattern papers, glue, and a normal frame. That said, the math and measurements of this project may prove to be slightly confusing.

However, overall, this is a simple craft. It is recommended that you follow the measurements blindly unless you can make all round adjustments. Images of the project are added to give you a better visual of the project.

17. DIY Shadow Box For Deployment Letters

DIY Shadow Box For Deployment Letters

This DIY Military shadow box plan is perfect for displaying letters written to and from your deployed loved one showcasing the love you share with each other.

Rather than stuff the letters way in a drawer or some secret place you have to retrieve every time, build this perfect shadow box.

The blog, Singing Through The Rain, provides you with instructions on how you can hack the DIY shadow boxes.

18. DIY Showcase Shadow Box Jewelry Shelf and Display

DIY Showcase Shadow Box Jewelry Shelf and Display

This is a perfect project to create a sentimental shadow box. This will display your jewelry, gifts and even memorable moments.

I love that it is affordable and unique. Also, the fact that it is made from old picture frames is a plus.

You can start with a frame measuring 13.5x16.5-inches as Ann Le does in her blog tutorial. Making the back piece is simple and can be done in a few minutes and is simple even for beginners.

19. DIY Travel Shadow Box

DIY Travel Shadow Box

This shadow box presents a minimalistic way of displaying all of your moments traveling around the world.

Rather than having these moments hidden in your drawer away from the world and losing their value every waking day, try building this shadow box. It is a creative way of celebrating your travels.

The blog, Sugar Spice and Glitter features a tutorial that guides you through building a shadow box using supplies readily available from local stores.

20. DIY ‘Tis The Season Shadow Box

DIY ‘Tis The Season Shadow Box

It may not be decorating season yet, but it is never too early to add a beautiful DIY Shadow box to your wall. If you want to learn how to make a shadow box, this tutorial is perfect.

While many shadow boxes only feature decorations on the outside, with the Practically Functional blog tutorial, you can learn how to decorate the glass too.

It is a simple project and can be completed in less than 5 minutes.

21. Beautiful Butterfly Shadow Box

Beautiful Butterfly Shadow Box

Butterflies are beautiful and graceful. If you coincidentally find one that has left this earth to be with the Lord, you can use it to make a shadow box.

There really is nothing to hacking this project. Just ensure that the butterfly you use is fresh. If it is stiff, you might have to hydrate it before mounting it.

The total cost of this shadow box is $5. This is quite a bargain for such a beauty.

Shadow boxes are the perfect solution for storing and displaying special items. Listed above are 21 DIY shadow box plans you can complete.

Choose any that catches your attention. Additionally, if you feel we have left out any DIY shadow box project, feel free to comment on the space below.