Monday, October 21, 2013

DIY Tutorial: Shadow Box Halloween Decoration

Looking for a unique Halloween decoration? A shadow box is a great way to create your own dimensional Halloween art. Using just layers of paper, you can create a spooky, ethereal scene, great for tabletop or window decor. The same idea can be used for any holiday theme!

1. Paper or card stock. I used white card stock, black card stock, silver paper, white and red vellum, and dark blue paper for the background.
2. Shadow box frame.
3. Scissors or X-acto knife with #11 blades.
4. Self-healing mat or cardboard to cut on.
5. Ruler for cutting straight lines.
6. Tape and white glue.

To create your design, you need to plan out how many layers of paper you will use. You can draw your own design, find a design template, or cut out collage images to use. For my shadow box I drew a ghostly image of a mysterious woman amongst the trees. I drew the design on one piece of paper, and marked which parts will go on which layer. I used two layers of trees, the cloaked woman, a background layer, and some separate pieces of vellum to create an effect of mist.

Open your shadow box and measure the inside of the frame. This is the size of your image, but leave some extra room on top and bottom to create a folded flap that you can tape or glue to the sides of the frame. Cut out each layer, leaving a flap on each one. You will cut the flaps down to fit into the box, depending on where your layer sits. You can use an x-acto knife or scissors, making small, slow cuts with a sharp blade. Vellum is usually easier to cut with scissors, but a sharp blade will also work.

I attached the white tree layer first, and added the woman behind them, attaching her to the bottom. The silver trees were spaced behind her. Behind the trees, I added a piece of vellum on the bottom. For the background layer, I attached it to the top of the frame, and left some space open at the bottom to let light in. I cut spaces out of the paper and glued a vellum moon and some more layers of mist onto it. Use a toothpick to apply small amounts of regular white glue, or attach small bits of double sided tape. The vellum adds a nice glow when placed near any light source, and I left the back of the frame open to let the light in. You can protect the back of the frame with a piece of clear acetate or Plexiglas.

The effect this creates is of a mysterious, misty forest, using only paper, light, and the depth of the shadow box. The design options are endless to make your own art and dioramas. You can experiment with different papers and vellum, and also add in 3 dimensional objects. Have fun and a Happy Halloween!

Arwen from Arwen Designs


Marilyn Perez said...

This looks so cool! Thanks for sharing!

HuzzahHandmade said...

Very beautiful and beautifully crafted.

Sue Tucker said...

Really great (and spooky) idea! You are very talented!!