DIY Shadow Box Storage

Posted by Katie King
Learn how to create your own shadow boxes out of simple paper-mache boxes and scrapbooking paper.

Whether you live in a small apartment or are a student living in a dorm room, finding space to either display or store your stuff can be difficult. Most likely when faced with this challenge, you begin hunting for storage solutions at your local big box store. Now you may be able to find a storage contraption to fix your problem, however you may be faced with another (not so important) problem which is its overall design. I mean, you want to store and display your stuff in style, right?

Well, to solve both of these problems, I'm going to show you how you can turn two paper-mache boxes into shadow boxes! Yes, shadow boxes! Now the boxes that I'm using in this project are two paper-mache boxes which measure 8 1/2 inches and 7 1/2 inches. These boxes came in a set which also included a 6 inch box. This 6 inch box I used in my Hidden Storage DIY.

Now depending on your particular needs and style, you can add or take away the amount of boxes you want to use in your shadow box configuration. Personally, I liked the look of two paper-mache boxes because it doesn't take up that much wall space but still provides me with the storage I was looking for. Beside square boxes, you can also recreate this project with either rectangular boxes or even hexagon boxes (which I think would be really cool)!

When it comes to decorating, the sky is the limit! This is the time to put on your creative hat and have fun! In this tutorial, I'll show you a couple of different decorating techniques so you can really see what all can be done with these little boxes.

So, to find out how to make your own shadow boxes just check out the full tutorial below!


  • Paper-Mache Square Box Set Of 3-8.5", 7.5" & 6" (For this project I just used the 8.5 and 7.5)
  • Scrapbooking Paper (I used this pretty paper pack from Amy Tangerine)
  • Wooden Veneer Shapes (I used the Say Cheese II pack and the I Am pack from Simple Stories)
  • Craft Paint
  • Gold Paint Pen
  • Foam Brushes
  • Mod Podge (I used the gloss finish)
  • Craft Knife
  • Scissors
  • E6000
  • 3M Command Strips

Take the lid of your box and flip it over (the bottom side should be facing you). Then, take your craft knife and cut each corner and fold the sides of your lid down flat (like in the first picture). Once that is done, cut off the sides of your lid. After doing this, you should have a normal looking piece of cardboard.

Now take your cardboard and cut it in half. When you're done, you should have two separate pieces (like in the second picture). These pieces will end up being your shelves.

Take your cardboard pieces and slide them into your cardboard box. You may need to trim down the sides of your cardboard pieces to make them fit into your box better. Once you're happy with the look of your box, glue in your cardboard pieces using E6000. Then set the box aside to dry.

Arrange your wooden veneer shapes inside your box. When you're happy with the overall look, glue each wooden veneer shape into place using E6000. Then set your box aside to dry.

Once your box is dry, paint the inside and then set it aside to dry. You may need to paint 2 coats to get the coverage you desire.

Take a gold paint pen and cover the edges of your shadow box. Now, this step is optional, but I think it really gives your shadow box a more complete look.

Measure each side of your box and cut out a piece of scrapbooking paper to match those measurements. Then, glue each piece of scrapbooking paper down by using some Mod Podge. Don't be afraid to use some extra Mod Podge because you want to make sure that your paper stays down and won't bubble. Once each side is covered, set your box aside to dry.

As a side note, I did go back and use my paint pen to cover up the corners of the box where the scrapbooking paper didn't necessarily meet all the way. By doing this, it gave the box a more decorative edge and covered up any little areas which weren't ''perfectly'' covered by the paper.

When your box is completely dry, attach some 3M Command Strips to the back and place it on your wall!

I love how these little shadow boxes turned out! As you can see, I used mine to store small craft supplies, but you could use yours to display little knickknacks or even nail polish!

If you made these shadow boxes what would you use them for?