Lately I have been itching to make another Multi-Media Design, so I thought I would create a different kind of project for you! Today we are going to be making this Beautiful detailed DIY Multi-Media Shadow Box. This was a fantastic project to make! And I truly hope you just love making this DIY Multi-media Shadow box with me.
This tutorial is a long one and very detailed. We will be using our cricut machine or you can substitute those pieces to chipboard! The ideas are endless here.
In this tutorial WE will be working with vinyl, chipboard, flowers, paints that spray and so much more! I hope I open you up to more things you can create and craft.
Make sure to follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook and tag me so I can see your awesome creations!
I am so thrilled to teach you how to make this DIY Multi-Media Shadow Box! This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you! Read my full disclosure here.
Materials Needed for this Project
- Design Space
- Cricut cutting machine
- 9×9 Shadow Box with cloth- White Shadow Box Black Shadow Box
- Moss sheets from the dollar store- they don’t have the sheets on their site but they do have Floral Moss
- Chipboard– We will cut a bench from it
- Kraft Board (lamp post) or you can get the lamp post here
- Vinyl– black and grey (for the trees)
- Flowers– 3 different sets of Paper Flowers- you can make them or buy the already done paper flowers
- Transparency Film
- Coloringz paint- Heidi Ho Blue, Keep Palm, Don’t Citron Me, Don’t be Suede, Moody Mauve, Oh Say Can u Sea, and Lil Yellow School Bus (must put my name, Amanda, in the comments to get a free paint)
- Distress Paint Dabber- Broken China by Tim Holtz (link is to the paint not the dabber)
- Distress Spray Stain–Tea Dye, Walnut Stain, Hickory Smoke-Tim Holtz
- Lindy’s Moon Shadow Mist Spray
- Inklingz Gosh Garnet (must put my name, Amanda, in the comments to get a free paint)
- Weeding Tools
- Fine Point Blade
- Knife Blade
- Purple & Green Cutting Mat
- Masking Tape
- Transfer Tape
- Glue- Aleene’s Rapid Dry Mixed-Media Adhesive
- Paint Brush
- Chipboard pieces used are-
- Brick Chipboard
- Grass Chipboard
- Gate Chipboard- Option one Option two
- Beautiful Chipboard with an Edge
- Bird Chipboard
- Dream Chipboard- Option one, Option two, or choose the inspiring word you want to use
- DragonFly Revolution-layered die-cut embellishments
- Browse Embellishments
Shadow Box Prepping and Painting
To start I gathered my shadow box and paint. For the Paint I used Broken China Distress Paint (dabber) and Coloringz paint- Heidi Ho Blue, Keep Palm, and Don’t Citron Me which are all sprays.
I took the Cloth insert that came with the shadow box (in the picture above) and started distressing the top part. I took the Broken China dabber and ran it back and forth across the top until I was satisfied with how it looked.
Once I did that a few times, I then grabbed my Coloringz Heidi Ho Blue and made sure the sprayer was clear. You don’t want it to spray dots. Once I knew it would spray good, I then started spraying back and forth a little more than half way down the 9×9 cloth backdrop.
Spray the area until you are content with the color. It doesn’t have to be perfect we are just setting the outside atmosphere for the shadow box. I did take a damp paper towel and blended it to my liking. You don’t have to do this, but it does help with the blend.
Next we are going to grab our Coloringz Keep Palm and do the same for the bottom of the cloth. Just spray it until you are happy and take your wet paper towel to blend. Then I grabbed my Don’t Citron me and sprayed right on top of the Keep Palm to add more of a grassy warm feel.
I did add a bit of the Don’t Citron me right as the two colors came together and blended it to get a late night feel for the sky.
Let that Dry
Cutting the Vinyl Trees for our Transparency Film
Alright so I am linking the Project for this Shadow Box. The project has the Trees, Park Bench, and Light Post. If for some reason you can’t access this please send me an email and we will get it figured out!
The Trees we are going to cut out of Vinyl in grey and black. The colors are completely up to you!
The Park Bench is going to be cut out of Chipboard using our cutting machine. This does require the Knife blade, masking tape, and Purple Mat.
The Light Post is going to be cut from Kraft Board. I tried using the cricut with chipboard and it didn’t do so well. So I went with Kraft Board.
Make it Button
Everything is going to be the right size if you are working with a 9X9 Shadow Box so you do not have to fix anything. Lets hit the make it button located on the top right panel. (green/aqua button)
If you need more help with Cricut Design Space, Please head on over to my Ultimate Beginners Guide to Cricut Design Space.
We are now on our editing screen with the mats. We have 4 different mats like the picture below shows.
Everything in our editing screen looks great and we are now ready to continue on. Let us hit the continue button in the bottom right corner! You can see this button in the picture above!
Let’s select the machine we are working with, which in my case it is going to be the maker. Then select our material which is going to be Vinyl.
Now I do things a bit differently here because I am awful at remembering to change my material.. LOL
The Order in which we are cutting these
So I am going to cut mats 1 (grey tree) and 3 (black tree) first then mat 4 (lamp post) then mat 2 (Park Bench).
Cutting the Vinyl Mats- 1 & 3
The First two mats we are cutting are going to be with vinyl. So I grabbed my grey vinyl and put it on my green cutting mat. The Vinyl is facing up and the backings should be on your mat.
Make sure your Fine Point Blade is loaded in the cutting machine.
More help with cricut blades? I got you covered. Check out Cricut Blades- All you need to know about the different cricut blades.
Let’s load our mat by pressing the flashing arrow. Once it is loaded let us hit the cricut icon and our awesome little machine is going to start cutting away!
Once the mat is done cutting, go ahead and unload the mat and take the Vinyl off and set aside.
Now click on the third mat so it’s on the right mat
NOW, we are going to click on the third mat so it’s on the right one. We are going to lay our black vinyl down on our green cutting mat, black vinyl facing you and load it into our cutting machine by pressing the flashing arrows. Once loaded hit the cricut icon and it will begin this cut.
While that is cutting let’s go ahead and start weeding out our grey tree.
If you used a big piece of vinyl go ahead now and cut off the extra. We don’t want to waste the extra material.
Now begin weeding the tree. We want to leave everything that we need on the backing See image below. The bottom black tree is what you want your tree to look like when you are done weeding.
Once our black vinyl tree is done cutting, unload the mat and take the vinyl off. And we will do exactly the same thing here. Cut off extra and weed.
Cutting the Lamp Post- Mat 4
So we have just cut both of those trees from vinyl. Now we are going to click on mat 4 which is our lamp post. And change the Material to Kraft Board.
If you do not see the Kraft Board in your selection, head to the browse all materials icon and click on that. Then type in Kraft Board and it will pop up. Then select it.
NOTE: if you are going to be working with Kraft Board you can star the material so it will be there which means you don’t have to look for it each time.
We are going to grab a sheet of Kraft Board. It doesn’t matter the color because we are going to be painting these. So grab your Kraft Board and secure it to your green cutting mat.
MAKE SURE YOU ARE ON MAT 4. Then let us load our mat into our cutting machine by pressing the arrows and start the cut by pressing the cricut icon.
One that is done cutting lets unload the mat and take our material and lamp post off.
WOOHOO! We have now cut two trees and our lamp post!
Cutting the Park Bench- Mat 2
OK, Now we are ready to cut our chipboard. WOOHOO!
So let us select mat 2 and go into our materials and change it to chipboard. Again, if you do not see it, click on browse all material and type in chipboard.
I am using the Heavy Chipboard because it is more sturdy. Yours may be different depending on the chipboard you have.
Now, let’s grab our purple cutting mat and lay the chipboard on it. Once it is on our cutting mat, we are going to grab our masking tape and tape down each side of the chipboard to the mat.
Our mat is now ready to be cut, but our machine is not yet.
Getting our machine ready for chipboard
We need to change the blade in our cutting machine. First take out your fine Point blade and change it to the Knife Blade. If you are using the cricut maker the video below will show you how to change the blade and push the white wheels over.
Our Knife Blade is now loaded into our cricut machine, next let us move those white wheels on the metal bar all the way over to the right side of our machine.
We are now ready to cut our chipboard. Let’s load the mat into our cutting machine by hitting the arrows then start the cut by pressing the cricut icon.
MAKE SURE YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT MAT WITH THE RIGHT MATERIAL SELECTED!
Do not be alarmed with how many passes it is going to take. The Bench only needs about 5 passes, but make sure you keep an eye on it. And you can always check the chipboard by pausing the cut and seeing if it is all the way through.
Once that is done, unload the mat and take it off and look at your beautiful park bench:) WOOHOO!
OK, So far we have colored the 9×9 cloth backdrop for our shadow box. We have cut the trees, lamp post, and bench out in cricut design space. Now we are ready to place those trees on the transparency film.
Placing the Trees on your Transparency Film
We are going to gather our transfer tape, transparency film, and our vinyl trees that are weeded.
Let’s cut the transparency film to a 9.25×9.25. Yes we may have to trim it down. But we rather be safe than sorry!
Now, Let’s cut off a piece of our transfer tape that is big enough to cover the tree and lay it over the grey tree and use our scraper to make sure it is stuck to our transfer tape. Then peel it off the backing.
You are going to place that onto the transparency film. The location is completely up to you! I wanted mine more centered so I offset it to the left a bit and layered it on the transparency film and used my scraper to make sure it stuck.
Repeat with the Vinyl Black Tree
Now lets do the same thing for the black tree. You can use the same transfer tape. Just put it over the black tree, use your scraper to make sure it stuck, and lift it up off the backing.
I offset mine so it looked like it was a shadow or that the other was in the distance. You can look at the picture below to get an idea of how I laid mine out.
Now, we can place the transparency film which now have our vinyl trees attached to it over our 9×9 cloth backdrop to see what we think. It is coming along:) WOOHOO!
Gesso the Bench and Lamp
So we are now ready to grab our Gesso, paint brush, park bench, and the lamp. We are now going to take our paint brush and get some gesso on it and start coating the pieces. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but we want a good amount of gesso on them.
The reason that is, is because it thickens and hardens the pieces so they aren’t so flimsy. So go ahead and coat those a few times with gesso.
Painting the Bench & Lamp with our Distress Spray Stain
Let us gather the bench and lamp along with the paint.
The spray (paint) I am using on the bench and lamp are Distress Spray Stain in Tea Dye, Walnut Stain, and Hickory Smoke by Tim Holtz. Lindy’s Moon Shadow Mist Spray was also used here.
Grab a doubled up paper towel to set the pieces on and start spraying and staining them. I did rub off some spray the first few times then I just sprayed and let it sit and dry. Then added more and more spray to it and waited for it to dry. And repeated until I was satisfied with the look of it.
I also sprayed a little bit of Lindy’s Moon Shadow Mist to get a light blue/green color to shine through.
Setting up the layout for our DIY Multi-Media Shadow Box
While I was letting that dry, I started setting up the layout of the shadow box so I know what is going where. The Chipboard pieces are listed below, that our cutting machine can’t cut because they are too intricate.
Keep in mind that you can use whatever pieces and chipboard you want to use. I am just showing you the basics and how I put my projects together! Plus I am using what my mom likes and loves. Your likes maybe different which is ok! You can get super creative here and just let your mind flow!
Here I grabbed these items
- Shadow box
- 3 different sets of Paper Flowers- you can make them or buy the already done paper flowers
- Brick Chipboard
- Grass Chipboard
- Gate Chipboard
- Beautiful Chipboard with an Edge
- Bird Chipboard
- Dream Chipboard
- DragonFly Revolution-layered die-cut embellishments
Now that the layout is how we want it, we are now ready to gesso the rest of the pieces for the outside of the shadow box.
Gesso the pieces for the outside of the DIY Shadow Box
Now we are ready to take all of those pieces listed above (the ones on the outside of our shadow box) and the flowers and start to gesso them.
If you like the color scheme of the flowers you are working with you do NOT have to gesso them. I wanted all my flowers but three to be the same. So I took most of the flowers with the exception of three so I could gesso them and spray them to the color I want.
So lets grab all those pieces, a paint brush, and our gesso and give them about 3-4 coats on both sides so they are super sturdy. Then, we are going to let them sit for about 10-20 minutes before we start spraying them with our paint:)
Spraying our pieces for the outside of our DIY Shadow Box
I started with all the chipboard pieces and laid them out on a doubled up paper towel.
I grabbed the colors I wanted to spray the pieces which were Distress Spray Stain in Tea Dye and Walnut. In the Coloringz brand I grabbed Don’t be Suede, Moody Mauve, Oh Say Can u Sea, Don’t Citron Me, Lil Yellow School Bus, and Keep Palm. I also used Inklingz Gosh Garnet.
Again if you do not have all these you can improvise! This is your creation! I am just showing you what I did and am giving you a guide.
For the Grass I sprayed Lil Yellow School bus, Keep Palm, and Don’t Citron Me and sprayed them over and over again until I was happy with the look of the pieces.
For the Bricks I used Moody Mauve, Distress Spray Stain-Tea Dye and again kept coating it until I was happy. You can pick up the pieces and shift the paint if it pools.
The gate I used Distress Spray Stain-Tea Dye and the Walnut, Coloringz Don’t Be Suede and I added a spray or two of the Moddy Mauve.
Corner pieces I used Coloringz Oh Say Can u Sea and Moody Mauve
Now once that side is DRY we are going to flip everything over and do the other side. You will like one side more than the other. Choose which ever you are the most happy with!
Spraying the Flowers for our Shadow Box
So we have already used gesso on the flowers, now it’s time to spray them. For the flowers I used Coloringz Oh Say Can u Sea, Lil Yellow School Bus and the Inklingz Gosh Garnet.
I sprayed the flowers with Oh Say Can u Sea, then I grabbed the Inklingz put a drop of water in there and stirred it around with my paint brush until I had enough on the brush.
Then, I brushed the flowers all over to give it a shiny pinkish feel. I didn’t pick them up. I just placed my finger over a corner to hold them in place while I painted them.
Next I grabbed the Lil Yellow School Bus spray and sprayed them so they would be bright with a hint of yellow. Finally, I sprayed them again with Oh say Can u Sea so that would blend nicely with the yellow.
While they dry, I do watch them because it changes so quickly. If there is a spot you don’t like you can easily take a paper towel to it and wipe some off. Just make sure you don’t wipe everything off.
NOTE: if does look completely different in different lighting. So I always check that too.
Let everything dry and once it’s dry we are ready to start piecing this whole thing together!!! SOOOO EXCITING!!!!!
Putting the Multi-Media Shadow Box together
So the first thing we are going to do is glue all the pieces to the outside of the shadow box using Aleene’s Rapid Dry Mixed-Media Adhesive. I always lay it out on the shadow box first!
Go ahead and lay the chipboard pieces on the outside of the shadow box to make sure everything looks great! You can add little touches here if you want.
Once it is laid out and you are happy, Let’s start gluing pieces down:)
Gluing the left side of the Shadow Box Down
Let us start in the top left corner and just start gluing the pieces down. We already had it set up how we wanted, so all we need to do is glue.
The video below shows you how I glued the left side down. Then you will continue all the way around the shadow box.
NOTE: Be careful and quick with this glue. You can see at the start of this video, when you open the glue, it will start coming out!
Gluing the bottom of our DIY Multi-Media Shadow Box
Gluing the right side down
Gluing the top of our Multi-Media Shadow Box Down
Adding some final touches
Once everything is glued, let it sit and dry for a bit and we can now move onto the inside of the Shadow Box
The Inside of the Shadow Box
Next we are going to lay the inside of our shadow box out.
I grabbed the cloth back drop and also the trees and got them both were I wanted them and then added the bird to the tree and also added flowers to the bottom were I wanted them. I grabbed my word dream and also placed that on the park bench and added a cute little butterfly to the bench.
Once I was happy with the layout, I glued everything down.
Quick tip- If you are unsure where to place your flowers, grab the outside of the shadow box without the glass and lay it over so you have an idea where to place the flowers:)
Finally, I brought the shadow box over and put it all together and looked to see if there was anything else I wanted to do to the shadow box and TA-DA!
You just made this AMAZING DIY Multi-Media Shadow Box!
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2 thoughts on “Insanely Beautiful DIY Multi-Media Shadow Box”
This looks amazing! I like how well everything is explained and you give super useful tips. Thanks for this 😀
OMG Thank you so much! I truly appreciate your feedback and can’t wait to see what you come up with!!
Enjoy the process and have a blast:)