Monday, August 2, 2010

Stamped Shadow Box Collage

Happy Monday!

Are you ready to create?!?!?

Well today I've got a fun project that I thought of when I was looking through an old Christmas craft book from the 70's!

It was actually a Christmas scene created on the inside of a shoebox...I know you can do the same in any size box but I wanted something a bit layered so here's what I came up with....

Stamped Shadow Box Collage


Chipboard (recycled - old game box)

Acetate (recycled - discarded packaging)

Rubber Stamps - Birds, Nest - Ink Stained Roni Designs - Queen Kat Designs, Leaves - Just For Fun Rubber Stamps

Archival Ink

Distress Ink


Sizzix Rectangle Frame

Distress Crackle Paint

Note: I am really excited about this project because the base/foundation is made from recycled goodies! It makes it not only an inexpensive craft but also very Earth Friendly!


1. Die cut several rectangle frames from the game board box. The number of frames needed will vary with each project depending on how many layers you want/need. I ended up using 4 frames plus a few spacers (I'll talk about those later) as well as a solid backing piece.

IF you don't have this die then you can use any frame (chipboard or wood) as a template...simply trace and cut!

Stamped Shadow Box 001

Stamped Shadow Box 002

don't toss the inside pieces of the frame...they are almost exactly the size of an ATC!!!! It's something like 1/16" off for the 2.5" side and 1/8" off for the 3.5" side. Not enough to really notice so these are just a neat added bonus!!

Stamped Shadow Box 003

2. Now cut several pieces of acetate a bit smaller than your frame. The exact number again will depend on how many layers you want to include in your finished shadow box. For the example I made I used 4 pieces.

I recently decided to store all of my nesties on key rings so I had the perfect size packaging for this project!

Stamped Shadow Box 004

Stamped Shadow Box 005

3. Time to stamp! I have found that it is easier to incorporate stamp images that are stand alone images...collage images don't work well for this as there is too much going on. I used a couple birds and a nest image for this shadow box collage.

In addition to my images for layering I also stamped the outermost piece of acetate with leaves to create a neat little frame for my collage. You could also use a flourish, stamp or other border stamp if desired.

Stamped Shadow Box 006

I then stamped the background paper (white cardstock covered with Broken China Distress Ink and the Spritz & Flick technique) with the same leaves to add a bit of cohesiveness to the finished collage.

Stamped Shadow Box 007

4. It is time to determine placement on each individual sheet of acetate. I moved my images around until I was satisfied with how each layer looked then glued it down in place ~ one image per sheet of acetate.

Stamped Shadow Box 009

5. After the images/acetate has dried, apply adhesive to the back of each chipboard frame. Affix one frame to each piece of acetate centering the image as desired.

Stamped Shadow Box 010

At this time you can also affix the background paper (Blue Distress Ink w/stamped leaves) to the solid background piece of chipboard. Set all of these pieces aside to dry.

Stamped Shadow Box 011

6. Now to give added depth to this shadow box collage I added scrap pieces of chipboard to the back of each individual frame as shown. You could if desired glue on an extra chipboard frame which was what I had originally planned to do but these smaller bits work just as well and cut down on waste!

Stamped Shadow Box 012

7. Paint and/or ink the upper most frame as desired. I painted mine with Distress Crackle Paint to add a bit of texture to my finished shadow box.

8. Now glue each layer together beginning with the bottom layer working your way forward. Right away you will notice how each layer works together and really adds an amazing depth to the collage.

**You would think I should have a photo of this BUT I was to intense as I was working on this and totally forgot to take a photo of this step!**

And here is what the finished box may look like...

Stamped Shadow Box 013

To hide the layers I finished off my sides using a bit of Tim Holtz's tissue tape but you of course could use any number of items....ribbon, masking tape, gaffers tape, cardstock, etc.

Stamped Shadow Box 015

I just used a couple pieces of scraps for a quick fold-out stand that I glued to the back.

Here is another angle trying to show a bit of depth achieved by the various layers...

Stamped Shadow Box 016

Pretty cool huh?

Now you could use virtually ANY theme to create this project...think birthdays, anniversary, get well, personalize it for a special gift for a friend, family member, home decor ~ kitchen, bathroom, children or adult bedrooms, etc.

There are just so many directions you could take this project, the possibilities are endless!!

Tomorrow I'm going to finish off this collage with some nifty embellishments and I may even have another shadow box collage if things go as planned!

Till then friends,

start diggin out those supplies ~

it's time to join in the fun!!


  1. Amazing project! Love it! This is so creative!

  2. This is FANTASTIC!!! WOW! Thanks for the directions too!

  3. Hi, Roni! Very, very cool project! Thanks so much for the tutorial! =)

  4. WOW! Amazingly cool! thank you for sharing the 'how to'!~

  5. I knew there was a reason why I'd saved all that plastic packaging! What a creative idea, Roni. My head is spinning with the possibilities. thanks so much!

  6. I do not think I have ever seen a shadow box quite like this, in fact I know I haven't. Very inventive and creative. Thanks so much for the tutorial. I would like to try this sometime. :)


  7. Just beautiful Roni! Love the textured frame!


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!