DIY Cardboard Shadow Box


I’m one of those weird people who saves EVERYTHING. I seriously have a stack of cardboard boxes in my kitchen that goes up to the ceiling. I always keep them because I think I’ll make something with them but then I never do… until now! I decided to take one of the boxes I got with Christmas gifts this year to make a personalized shadow box. Here’s how:

What you need:

  • cardboard box (ideally one of those ones that you get clothes in at department stores)
  • a large photo or poster slightly smaller than the box (mine is 11×14)
  • acrylic paint and a paintbrush
  • washi tape



Start by painting around the sides of the box, covering both the sides and the back around the area your photo won’t cover. Let the paint dry and then tape or glue your photo in place. Use washi tape to cover the sides of the box that face front, since these look a little awkward and unfinished with just paint.



Fill the box with other items or mementos and place the shadowbox on a shelf or add a wire to the back so that you can hang it up on a wall.



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About Annie

Annie is the voice behind Wattlebird the blog and the creative force behind Wattlebird the shop. She's a business writer living in Michigan who loves knitting, Harry Potter, and yoga. Her main goal in life is to eat as much pizza as possible. Read more about her here


  1. You’re bringing me back to childhood with that AVON lid. My grandma sold a LOT of Avon and we found MANY MANY uses for those boxes and lids. I don’t think we ever did a shadowbox though, great idea!

  2. Very cute idea and that picture is totally adorable!

  3. We are soul sisters for sure, because I’m the same way with those boxes lol!! Love this and so happy I’ve got everything already to make one!

    Kristine from The Foley Fam {unedited} Blog